How to make chive salt

It is very simple to combine fresh chives and sea salt to make chive salt. It is important, however, to use the right ratio of chives to salt because chives produce a lot of moisture when processed. Too many chives will yield salt that’s dense and clumpy. Here’s my recipe for chive salt.

And if chives aren’t your thing, check out my rosemary salt recipe.

Chive salt recipe

Makes about 1.5 cups

1.5 ounces of fresh chives

1 cup of kosher or sea salt

You’ll need a food processor to make chive salt. You’ll also need a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper, wax paper or aluminum foil.

How to make chive salt

TIP:It’s best to work in a well-ventilated space because the chives are alliums and like their onion cousins, they can make you cry when processed in this quantity.

Cut the chives in half and divide into four even piles. Place all of the salt in the food processor bowl with 1 pile of the chives. Pulse until the chives are mostly minced. Add the next pile and pulse. Repeat until all the chives are pulsed.

Processing chive salt

Open the food processor and use a rubber or silicone spatula to scrape the salt down the sides and mix everything around. Close it back up and turn it on, set to high. Let it run for two minutes, keeping an eye on the salt to make sure it’s not getting stuck under the blades. If that does happen, open it up and use the spatula to scrape it out.

After two minutes, the chives should be thoroughly broken down and mixed with the salt. The salt will have a texture like wet sand.

Remove the salt and spread it on the baking sheet in a thin layer. Let it sit until completely dry. To speed things up, place the tray in a warm oven that’s been turned off. If you have a food dehydrator with silpat sheets, you can also dry the salt that way.

Let the salt dry completely

At this point, you’ll have a clumpy mess. You will probably wonder if this is going to work. Chives release a lot of liquid, which the salt absorbs, hence the clumps  – but don’t worry, it’s going to be fine!

Toss the dried chive salt into your clean food processor. Wizz it around for two or three minutes until the clumps have broken down and the salt is a fine, even texture. It will be coarser than in its unprocessed state but should still break down into a nice, even grain as you can see in the photo.

TIP: let the dry salt settle for a minute before you open the bowl, it raises a lot of dust.

That’s it, you’ve made chive salt!

homemade chive salt

Storing chive salt

Store chive salt in a tightly sealing jar to keep moisture out. For the first week, open the jar for a few minutes every day. That will allow any lingering moisture to get out, which will ensure your chive salt stays smooth and clump-free.

How long does chive salt keep?

Almost indefinitely, if it was truly dry when put into the jar. The salt acts as a preservative, so it won’t go bad any time soon. You may find the flavor diminishes eventually, however.

How to use chive salt

Sprinkle chive salt on anything you’d use fresh chives on. It is, of course, salt, so be mindful of that when you’re applying it. It’s not an exact substitute for fresh chives but it’s a great way to get that light, oniony flavor when you don’t have fresh chives or don’t want to use them.

I like it on popcorn, roasted potatoes, and french fries, just to offer a few suggestions. You can also add it to recipes, but again, it is salt so treat it like you would unflavored salt.

Harvesting chives

Homegrown chives are best for this but you can buy them at the store. They’re one of the easiest plants to grow, so if you have even a tiny garden, I recommend adding them. They will regrow year after year with minimal care.

Harvest chives early in the day if possible. Cut them near the root, just above the point where the leave the soil. This will help the chives regrow without becoming thick or woody. It’s easiest to harvest chives by grabbing a handful and cutting through the entire clump. With the clump in hand, go ahead and cut off the top inch or so, too.

Ideally, harvest chives before they flower in the early spring or after they have flowered, been cut back to the ground and regrown. Chives that have flowered are tough and woody, they won’t work well for making chive salt.


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