Garlic adds a spicy, earthy warmth to some dishes, and it can be sweet and nutty in other dishes. It all depends on how you prepare it.
If you are unable to get your hands on minced garlic, there are several substitutes for this unique ingredient. Options for substitute ingredients include garlic flakes, granulated garlic, garlic powder, garlic salt, asafetida powder, shallots, and onions.
Apart from fresh cloves of garlic that you mince at home, which are the most straightforward substitution, there is a variety of other ingredients that will help add that garlicky flavor to your recipes.
1. Garlic Flakes
After freshly-minced cloves, garlic flakes are the closest substitute to minced garlic. They are small, dehydrated pieces of garlic. As such, they release a strong garlic flavor very similar to minced garlic. They also mirror the pungent aroma of minced garlic.
2. Granulated Garlic
Granulated garlic is dried garlic that has been cooked, dried, and coarsely ground with a spice grinder. This substitute will impart the same flavor as minced garlic, but not the same texture.
3. Garlic Powder
Garlic powder is essentially the same as granulated garlic. The difference between the two is that garlic powder is finely ground, and is more like flour or powder in texture and consistency. Like granulated garlic, it will add the flavor of minced garlic but the texture will not be the same.
4. Garlic Salt
A blend of garlic powder and salt, garlic salt is typically 1 part garlic powder to 3 parts salt, with the addition of an anti-caking agent. If opting to use this as a substitute for minced garlic, be sure to decrease the amount of salt in your recipe.
A good rule of thumb is to add garlic salt slowly to make sure you do not over-salt your recipe.
5. Asafetida Powder
While you may not have this in your pantry, it’s a good spice to look into having on hand. Asafetida powder is native to Southwestern Asia and is not well known outside of India. Asafetida is the dried resin from the rhizome or tap root of the giant fennel plant. Powdered asafetida has a strong odor, similar to pickled garlic, and releases a flavor very similar to that of onions upon cooking.
Shallots are close relatives of garlic and onions. Their flavor profile is often compared to garlic, chives, scallions, and leeks.
While they do have a garlicky flavor, they taste more like onions and this should be noted when using them as a substitute for minced garlic.
Like shallots, onions are in the same family as garlic. Using onion will add some of the complex flavors you expect from garlic, but the flavors will not be an exact match.
Minced garlic is a common ingredient and is found in many recipes. However, missing this ingredient does not mean your recipe or meal will suffer. The use of any of these ingredient substitutions will impart some of the same flavors as minced garlic.