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10 Best Substitutes for Garlic

This list is full of the best substitutes for garlic.

Most might not be quite as delicious as garlic, but they’re pretty darn close.

And most importantly, they add tons of flavor to your dish. 

Garlic is an allium vegetable you can find in cuisines around the world.

If your meal is savory, there’s a good chance there’s garlic in it. 

Preserved Garlic with Herbs

That’s because garlic is wonderfully delicious. Raw, it’s sharp and spicy. But cooked, it’s rich, sweet, and buttery.  

I literally put it in every savory dish I make. But when I can’t, I use these substitutes for garlic instead. 

The Best Substitutes for Garlic

Now, I can’t imagine any reason not to use garlic.

The only options I see are that you’re a vampire, allergic, or you’ve run out. 

But really, garlic tastes scrumptious. It’s earthy and savory and delicious.

Plus, it makes every dish taste so much better. 

There’s a scientific reason for that. Garlic contains chemical compounds that wake up your tastebuds.

It’s like putting peppermint oil under your nose or being splashed with cold water. 

Garlic shocks your senses and makes them concentrate on the other flavors in the dish.

So, every bite is an explosion of well-rounded flavor. 

So, the very best substitutes for garlic will do the same thing. 

Ideally, stick to the allium family. Because many alliums contain the same chemical compounds.

But some capsicums, herbs, and tubers perform similarly.

Keep reading to learn about the 10 best substitutes for garlic. 

Garlic Powder on a Wooden Bowl

1. Garlic Powder

Fresh garlic is always the most ideal. But when you’re out, you’re out. So, garlic powder (or flakes) is the next best option.

Because garlic powder is literally made from dehydrated cloves of garlic. 

So, you get all of the delicious flavors of garlic without the actual veggie.

It actually has an even more potent taste than fresh garlic. 

Use a smaller amount of garlic powder than for fresh garlic.

Just be sure not to confuse garlic powder with garlic salt or granulated garlic. Those will require different ratios. 

I use garlic powder in basically everything. I always use more garlic than the recipe calls for.

And often, I’m too lazy to chop up a bunch of garlic cloves. 

So, garlic powder is my go-to.

It works in everything from soups and sauces to marinades and seasoning blends. In a pinch, I’ll use it in guacamole, too. 

Substitution Ratio: Substitute 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder for every fresh garlic clove.

Bunch of Shallots

2. Shallots

Shallots are part of the allium family, so they make a fantastic garlic substitute!

Actually, they taste like the love child of garlic and onions. 

They’re not actually a crossbreed between the two. But they truly taste like a perfect mix of the two veggies.  

Cooking with shallots can be a little finicky.

They’re best when they’re cooked over low heat, so you don’t burn them. Otherwise, they can be bitter.

P.S. They also make a tasty substitute for onions.

And I don’t recommend using both onions and shallots in a recipe. Just use shallots in place of both. 

I find shallots are great in chicken dishes, soups, and ragu-type sauces like bolognese.  

Substitution Ratio: Substitute 1 tablespoon of minced shallot for every fresh garlic clove. 

Fresh Chives

3. Chives

These skinny green stalks are, you guessed it, part of the allium family, too.

They’re actually even more closely related to garlic than shallots. 

Therefore, they’re probably the third-best substitute for garlic, especially if you can find garlic chives (check your Asian market).

But your regular, grocery-store variety of onion chives will work quite well. 

I love chives of both varieties with potatoes of any kind.

They’re especially yummy in mashed potatoes. Chives also taste delicious with eggs. 

Substitution Ratio: Substitute 1 tablespoon of minced chives for every fresh garlic clove. 

Wooden Spoon  Filled With Granulated Garlic

4. Granulated Garlic

Like garlic powder, granulated garlic is made from dehydrated garlic.

But instead of being ground into powder, it’s blitzed into smallish chunks. 

They’re still pretty tiny, but they’re not sandy like the powder.

So, granulated garlic is another amazing choice if you need to replace fresh garlic.   

I will often use granulated garlic in the same way I use garlic powder.

It’s a yummy option for soups, spice rubs, dressings, and sauces. I will also use this for guacamole. 

You just need to use more of the granules than you would the powder. They’re not quite as potent.  

Substitution Ratio: Substitute 1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic for every fresh clove. 

Small Bottle of Garlic Oil

5. Garlic Oil

Garlic oil is exactly what it sounds like. It’s oil that has been infused with garlic.

Typically, it’s made with olive oil, whole cloves of garlic, and other spices. 

You can make it yourself. But you can probably find a delicious version in the store.

Most likely, your best options will be found in a culinary boutique-like shop. 

Garlic oil is the perfect choice if you’re not the biggest fan of garlic. #whoevenareyou 

But it works because it imparts a little garlicky flavor, without the lingering garlic breath.

And you definitely won’t have a garlicky smell radiating from your pores. 

Obviously, you can use garlic oil instead of regular olive oil when you cook.

But I love garlic oil drizzled over bread and pasta and mixed into salad dressings. 

Substitution Ratio: Add by the tablespoon, to taste.   

Fennel Seeds on Wooden Spoon and Glass Jar

6. Fennel

You can use both fennel seeds and fronds as a replacement for garlic.

Fennel has a distinct anise-like flavor that is quite yummy. And it’s even better when it’s cooked.

Now, the part of the plant you use depends on how much flavor you want.

If you like a really strong taste, use the seeds. And the fronds are much milder. 

Fennel works best as a garlic substitute if it’s cooked. Cooking mellows out its flavor, so it doesn’t taste only like anise. 

If you don’t like the flavor of licorice, I would not go this route. 

Substitution Ratio: Substitute 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seeds for every clove of garlic.

Substitute 1/2 teaspoon of minced fronds for every clove of garlic. Add more to taste. 

Fresh Garlic Scapes

7. Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes are part of the hard-neck garlic plant.

They’re actually the stalk and bud of the plant. And garlic as we know it comes from the root.  

Flavor-wise, garlic scapes are not quite as potent as the root.

Rather, they taste like a delicious combo of garlic, scallions, and onions. 

And since they’re part of the same plant, garlic scapes are a fabulous choice for substitution.

The only downside is that you’re probably not going to have them in your house.

They’re not commonly found in the store, and you’d be better off just using garlic. 

However, this is a good option if you have to eat a low-FODMAP diet, or if you simply want to try something new. 

Substitution Ratio: Substitute 4-6 garlic scapes for every fresh garlic clove. 

Sliced Green Jalapenos

8. Jalapeños

Add a little heat to your dish with jalapeños! They work especially well in dishes where you want raw garlic.

Raw garlic is a little bit spicy and obviously, so are the jalapeños. 

Jalapeños do not taste like garlic, but their heat definitely wakes up your tongue.

So, your tastebuds can pay attention to the other flavors of the dish. 

In my opinion, jalapeños are the perfect substitute when you’re making Latin-inspired food.

Substitution Ratio:  Use approximately 1/4 teaspoon chopped jalapeños for every fresh garlic clove. Adjust to tastes. 

Truffle Oil in a White Bowl

9. Truffle Oil

Much like garlic oil, truffle oil is made with olive oil and truffles.

And holy cow, it’s delicious! It has a rich, earthy, umami flavor that is absolutely irresistible. 

If you can, make sure your oil is made with Italian truffles. They taste the most like garlic.

However, if you can’t find that, feel free to use whatever kind you have available. 

One of my favorite dishes is cheese-filled ravioli, tossed in butter and truffle oil. Add some salt and you’re good to go! 

The crazy part is that it really does taste like there’s garlic in the dish, and there’s not!

You can use truffle oil for pasta, bread, and cooking oil. 

Substitution Ratio: Add by the tablespoon, to taste. 

Asafoetida Powder in Spoon and Mortar

10. Asafoetida

Popular in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine asafoetida is a great substitute for garlic.

You might have heard it called hing or giant fennel. 

Asafoetida comes from the root of the ferula plant.

It’s technically part of the celery family, but it literally tastes like burnt garlic. 

So, the taste and the smell are quite strong, though both mellow out with cooking.  

Sprinkle a pinch of asafoetida into a hot pan of butter or cooking oil.

Let it dissolve for about 30 seconds before adding anything else to your pan. 

Substitution Ratio:  Use a pinch (approx 1/8 teaspoon or smaller) for every fresh garlic clove.  

10 Best Substitutes for Garlic

These tasty substitutes for garlic are almost as good as the real deal! From shallots to chives to truffle oil, all work well as replacements in recipes.

Ingredients

  • Garlic Powder

  • Shallots

  • Chives

  • Granulated Garlic

  • Garlic Oil

  • Fennel

  • Garlic Scapes

  • Jalapeños

  • Truffle Oil

  • Asafoetida

Instructions

  • Select your favorite garlic substitute.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Substitutes for Garlic

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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