Garlic powder is a versatile seasoning used in many savory dishes. Its concentrated, dried form gives a punch of garlicky flavor without the hassle of chopping fresh garlic. But what if you're out of garlic powder?
Don't worry - you have options. Keep reading to discover the best garlic powder substitutes to use in a pinch.
Use Granulated Garlic For An Identical Flavor
Granulated garlic is very similar to garlic powder. It's made from dehydrated garlic cloves that are coarsely ground into small granules, akin to cornmeal. This gives it a slightly coarser texture, but the flavor is nearly identical to garlic powder.
Because granulated garlic has a courser grind, it's not quite as concentrated as fine garlic powder. To compensate, use twice the amount of granulated garlic as you would garlic powder. This substitution ratio will give you an equal intensity of garlicky flavor.
Granulated garlic can be swapped into any recipe calling for garlic powder. Its versatility makes it the number one substitute when you've run out of garlic powder but want that same authentic garlic taste.
For Fresh Garlic Flavor, Use Minced Garlic
Fresh minced garlic cloves offer an intense garlic flavor that can mimic garlic powder. The key benefit of minced garlic is that it provides a fresh, bold garlic taste. However, keep in mind that it has a much stronger potency than garlic powder.
For best results, use half the amount of minced garlic as you would garlic powder. A general rule of thumb is 1⁄2 teaspoon minced garlic per 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
Minced garlic works best in recipes that involve sautéing, stir-frying, or slow-cooking, like pasta sauces, curries, and soups. It allows the garlic flavor to develop fully over time. However, it won't blend as seamlessly into dry rubs compared to garlic powder.
Garlic Salt For Fast, Easy Garlic Flavor
Don't have straight garlic powder, but do have garlic salt? Then you're in luck. Garlic salt combines both garlic powder and salt into one easy seasoning.
The typical ratio is 1 part garlic powder to 3 parts salt. This gives garlic salt a very bold, salty, and garlicky flavor. It can easily be used in place of garlic powder in many recipes.
However, keep in mind that garlic salt will significantly increase the saltiness of your dish. Be sure to reduce any additional salt called for in the recipe. As a guideline, use twice the amount of garlic salt as you would garlic powder to achieve a similar garlicky impact.
Garlic Puree For Extra Garlic Intensity
Garlic puree is a paste made from garlic cloves cooked in oil until soft and creamy. It provides an intense garlic flavor thanks to being made from fresh garlic.
Garlic puree integrates easily into sauces, dips, and dressings. It will mimic the garlicky taste of garlic powder while adding a smooth, creamy texture.
However, garlic puree is much more potent than garlic powder. Use just 1⁄4 the amount of garlic puree to equal 1 teaspoon garlic powder. A little goes a long way with garlic puree.
Use Onion Powder For A Muted Garlic Flavor
Don't like the intense garlic taste? Onion powder makes a milder substitute. It provides onion flavor with faint hints of garlic.
Since onion powder is less pungent than garlic powder, use an equivalent 1:1 ratio when substituting. For each 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, use 1 teaspoon of onion powder. But feel free to add more onion powder to taste if you want a stronger onion flavor.
Onion powder works well in most recipes calling for garlic powder, from dressings to dry rubs. Its fine, powdery texture integrates seamlessly.
Garlic Flakes Offer Concentrated Garlic Taste
Dehydrated garlic flakes provide a concentrated garlic flavor similar to powder. However, they come in larger pieces instead of a fine powder.
For quick use, substitute 1 teaspoon garlic flakes for 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder. But for maximum intensity, grind the flakes into a powder first. Then you can use a 1:1 ratio.
Garlic flakes work great when you want bursts of garlic flavor in sauces or braised dishes. Their coarse texture adds a subtle crunch. Just be sure to hydrate them first for a softer texture.
Shallots Lend A Mild Garlic Aroma
Shallots offer a more subtle garlic-like flavor. When raw, they have hints of garlic behind their predominant sweet onion taste.
Because shallots are milder than garlic powder, use a greater quantity when substituting. A good starting point is 1 1⁄2 teaspoons minced shallot per 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
Shallots work well in dressings, sauces, and raw applications where you want light garlic undertones. Their mild sweetness rounds out the flavor.
Harness The Health Benefits Of Garlic Juice
Garlic juice provides many of the same nutritional benefits as garlic powder in liquid form. It gives a robust garlic flavor that's approximately twice as potent as powder.
When substituting, use about half the amount of garlic juice as you would garlic powder. For every 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, use 1⁄2 teaspoon of garlic juice.
The bright, tangy flavor of garlic juice shines in dressings, sauces, marinades, and pastes. For the biggest health perks, look for cold-pressed, organic garlic juice.
Familiar Cumin Adds A Garlic-Like Depth
Common in Indian and Mexican cuisine, cumin makes an unexpected garlic powder substitute thanks to its rich, earthy flavor.
Cumin isn't quite a direct flavor match for garlic. But a small amount mimics garlic's savory depth and complexity.
Use just 1⁄8 teaspoon of cumin in place of 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder. And adjust amounts to taste, since cumin has a very bold, potent flavor.
What's the best garlic powder substitute for pasta sauce?
For pasta sauce, minced garlic is the best substitute for garlic powder. The benefit of minced garlic is that it provides a fresh, aromatic garlic flavor that is perfect for pasta sauces. Use half the amount of minced garlic as you would garlic powder. Sauté the minced garlic first to develop the flavor before adding your tomato sauce.
Can I use garlic salt instead of garlic powder when making chicken rub?
Yes, you can use garlic salt in place of garlic powder when making a chicken rub. But be aware that garlic salt contains added salt along with garlic flavor. Reduce any other salt in the rub recipe by half. Use twice as much garlic salt as you would regular garlic powder to achieve the proper garlic taste.
What if I'm out of garlic powder and don't have any garlic on hand?
If you don't have garlic powder or fresh garlic available, try using onion powder. Its subtle onion flavor has light garlic undertones. Use an equal 1:1 ratio when substituting onion powder for garlic powder. Start with 1 teaspoon onion powder for each 1 teaspoon garlic powder called for.
Can I replace garlic powder with cumin or chili powder?
You can use a small amount of cumin or chili powder to mimic the flavor intensity of garlic powder, but they won't replicate its exact taste. Use no more than 1/8 teaspoon of cumin or chili powder in place of 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. Cumin has an earthy depth like garlic, while chili powder provides a punch of spice.
What if I'm avoiding garlic for health reasons but want a garlic-like flavor?
For a garlic-like flavor without actual garlic, try substituting shallots, chives, or asafoetida powder. Finely minced shallots and chives provide mild onion-garlic undertones. Or use a pinch of asafoetida powder, which has a potent flavor resembling garlic and onion. Start with 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida in place of each clove of garlic.
Garlic powder is a beloved ingredient, but you have options when you've run out. Granulated garlic, fresh garlic, minced garlic, garlic salt, garlic puree, and garlic juice can all provide authentic garlic flavor. Or use onion powder, shallots, or cumin for a more subtle garlic-like taste.
With these simple garlic powder substitutes, you can still add rich flavor to your cooking - even without the powdered stuff. Next time you're out of garlic powder, try one of these alternatives and make your dish shine.