Garlic powder substitute


What are the best garlic powder substitutes? Garlic is a wonderful herb that has been used by ancient civilizations for medicinal and nutrition purposes. Its benefits have been tested time and again over thousands of years. Moreover, it continues to be one of the most sought-after natural remedies in a host of illnesses and health issues. A potent antioxidant, it also acts as a natural antibiotic. Thereby, it prevents a lot of illnesses and health issues from occurring and also curing the existing ones.

Other than the medicinal properties, it’s an excellent herb to condition and flavor all types of food, be it vegetable, vegan, meat, or a combination of them. Not only does it add a beautiful flavor and completes the taste of any recipe, but it also makes the diet extremely healthy. Being nutrient-dense, it is packed with a lot of nutrients that essential for the body for its daily needs. A few cloves a day will help replenish the daily nutrient levels in the human body. 

What is garlic powder?

Garlic powder can be considered to be an extract of raw garlic, which is devoid of any moisture while retaining all the other essential nutrients. This process is executed by drying out the cloves in air, dehydrator, or an oven. The resulting product when ground in a mixer will give you a fine powder called Garlic powder.

Garlic powder finds wide use for extra flavor in meatballs, hamburgers, or as a seasoning to be added to pizza, pasta, lasagna, baked or fried potatoes, and lots more. It can be used individually or can be combined with other spices like pepper, chili, etc. for that perfect spice blend you wanted to make. A sprinkle or two (or even generously) over your favorite popcorn jazz it up and do wonders to the taste. 

However, you may be out of garlic powder at some time and there will be times when you are preparing an exotic dish or simply some routine cooking and may not have access to garlic powder. In such a scenario, you will have to substitute the garlic powder with some other ingredients. We will discuss there the perfect substitutes for garlic powder so that you can continue with the cooking uninterrupted. 

Choosing the right garlic powder substitute

Chances are, your home is already stocked up with a few of the garlic substitutes we discussed already. Therefore, when selecting a substitute, we would advise you to choose the one that best mimics the taste of fresh garlic and closely replicates its function in the recipe. 

garlic powder substitute
Garlic powder substitute @Pinterest

Garlic flakes:

Ideally, we would choose garlic flakes as the closest version. Garlic flakes are essentially just dehydrated minced garlic. Garlic flakes can be used in the same fashion as garlic powder in any recipe. This version of the processed garlic products does not hold any preservatives and so using it does not cause any harm. Also, the taste profile is similar to garlic powder. They will easily mix with any ingredients and because they are already minced, they would release their flavors quickly just like garlic powder, and they get quickly hydrated in the food and the flavor and texture will mimic fresh garlic. 

Granulated garlic:

The next closest version will be granulated garlic which is essentially a coarser version of the garlic powder. This can effortlessly blend in dry or gravy-based recipes and give you a mouth-watering aroma. In place of 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, you must use 2 teaspoons of granulated garlic. It’s best used for seasoning blends, marinades, rubs, stews, stir fry, and more.

Fresh garlic (minced):

It is a known fact that fresh garlic (whether crushed, cut, minced or diced) retains the maximum nutrients which are lost a few minutes after the freshness goes away. Nevertheless, the best way to replace garlic powder with fresh garlic is to simply crush the cloves, mince them and use them in the recipe. This is usually found in recipes that require lesser cooking time or a recipe that does not need any sautéing.

While substituting garlic powder, being the freshest form of garlic, it contains the aroma and flavor that garlic is so famous for. You can use 1 clove of garlic for every 1.8th teaspoon of garlic powder. Its best used in vegetables, poultry, sauces, pasta, meat, and more such dishes.

Garlic puree:

Garlic puree can be made in a couple of ways and its use will depend on how it is prepared. This can be added directly to the dishes or can be used for sautéing. A fine example would use it in garlic bread. Due to its fine paste and good consistency, it blends well with recipes and delivers the same flavor as garlic powder. Here we discuss the use of garlic puree to substitute garlic powder. It’s best used for pasta, sauces, stews, bread, casseroles, and more such dishes.

Raw garlic puree or Garlic paste:

You can simply clean all the garlic cloves off their skin, put them in a mixer or blender, and run it. The fine paste that comes out is a garlic puree. Since the puree is raw, you will need to cook it before it can be used. This puree will need refrigeration to be stored. You can use it while preparing pizza, pasta, or dishes using mayonnaise. It will blend perfectly with all the sauces and also creams and will replicate the taste and flavor of garlic powder. 

Roasted Garlic Puree:

Another way is to wrap the garlic cloves in aluminum foil and heat them all in an oven for an hour at a temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Once they are done in the oven, you can puree them in the blender with a little olive oil, and this can be stored in a jar for a long time. Another way to prepare the same is by roasting the cloves in oil in a pan for a few minutes. Once they are done, you can puree this garlic minus the oil content and there you have an even simpler yet effective roasted garlic puree recipe. 

Store-bought puree:

You can also buy ready-to-use garlic puree that’s easily available in any grocery store or supermarket. This can be in the raw or roasted form and can be used likewise. 

Garlic salt:

As the name suggests, it’s a simple mixture involving some amount of dry garlic and salt. Generally, the ratio is 1 part of garlic powder to 3 parts of salt. To use garlic salt you can substitute 1 teaspoon of garlic powder with 4 teaspoons of garlic salt. However, you have to make a note of the increased salt levels and if you are already halfway through your recipe with salt already added, you will have to look for a different substitute.

Also, you cannot use this substitute in large quantities as the salt content is anyways a lot higher than the salt requirement for most dishes. So the amount of Garlic Salt that can be used, will be dictated more by the quantity of salt than the content of garlic in the Garlic Salt itself. Also, do be careful of the higher salt content. It’s best used for pasta, mashed potatoes, dips, beef dishes, and more.

Garlic Juice:

Recently, garlic juice has become a popular substitute for garlic powder. Garlic juice is made by blending garlic puree in water, and the resulting mixture has a high concentration the garlic, taste flavor, and nutrients in the form of a liquid. Once it is strained, the remaining liquid is called garlic water and can be easily stored for a long time. Garlic water is really strong in taste and smell and must be used moderately. You can replace 1 teaspoon of garlic powder with just ½ teaspoon of garlic juice. It is best used for bread, meats, pasta, smoothies, and more such dishes.

Other garlic powder substitutes

Onion powder: Onions are closely related to garlic as they belong to the same “allium” family classification alongside garlic. Other similar vegetables in the same family group are Shallots and Chives. You can play around with them but they are not an ideal choice as they fail to replicate the exact taste and flavour of garlic. Also, there are several garlic substitutes already available that are quite better.

Each one of the above substitutes has its advantages and disadvantages, and some of them may turn out to be more useful than others in certain recipes. If you want added moisture in your recipe, you can prefer garlic juice. If you prefer pieces of garlic in your recipe you can choose minced or diced garlic cloves. Whereas the seasoning will require dry granulated garlic or garlic salt, while the final choice is yours and as required by the recipe.

The garlic powder substitute conversion table

For ease of calculation and conversion, we have made a chart that will make the entire process easier for you. You can print this table and keep it handy in your recipe book or else anywhere in the kitchen where you can have a quick look. Pasting it on the side of the fridge or the inside of the cupboard cabinet are some of the ways to have a ready reference without looking entirely bad. 

Garlic Clove Garlic Powder Granulated Garlic Garlic Flakes Garlic Juice Garlic Salt
1 tsp 1/8 tsp 1/4 tsp 1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp
8 tsp 1 tsp 2 tsp 4 tsp 4 tsp 4 tsp
4 tsp 1/2 tsp 1 tsp 2 tsp 2 tsp 2 tsp
2 tsp 1/4 tsp 1/2 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp

Garlic powder is a flavorful seasoning, be it pasta, pizza, grilled meats, etc. it finds many applications. The powder version has a shelf life of up to 1 year if stored properly. It is quite durable and easy to store and does not get spoilt easily. To continue with your cooking in the absence of garlic powder, you can now use a host of other substitutes which will help you complete the recipe unabated and easily recreate the same flavor. We have given you several good options to effectively substitute garlic powder in recipes and will not notice the absence of garlic powder by retaining the same aroma and taste.

Testing the different garlic substitutes

Naturally, when you have so many garlic substitutes, you sometimes will be left wondering which one to use. E.g. for the marinade, minced meat flavoring for a hamburger, etc. In such a case more than one would fit the requirement and would do the job well. However, for a food connoisseur, there are subtle changes to the flavor of food because there are subtle differences in garlic flavor according to the way they are processed.

Thus, If you are a regular user who does not bother much, god bless you. However, if you can notice these slight differences in the prepared food, you must try and experiment with different types of garlic substitutes and must also experiment with slight changes in the amounts you use. At the end of the day, Garlic is an herb that has a strong herb and aroma and greatly affects the way your recipe turns out. 


Though classified as a vegetable, Garlic is also named as a herd, medicine, and also spice due to the numerous ways it can be used. Nevertheless, garlic in its various raw and processed forms is often used to flavor and enhance the taste of food. Furthermore, garlic powder is a processed form of raw garlic and may not be as potent as the raw version. However, it should be noted that it still delivers outstanding health benefits due to its nutritional and medicinal properties.

You can get several benefits from garlic such as increased immunity, improved bone health, immunity to cardiovascular diseases, detoxification, reduced risk of heart disease, and many more. In case you run out of garlic powder, it’s essential to know how other forms of garlic or other substitutes can be used. I hope this information has been useful and will help you master the use of garlic in your home. Happy Cooking!

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