The best substitutes for minced garlic are garlic flakes, garlic powder, and garlic salt. Peppercorn and cumin make a great taste substitute. If you have a garlic allergy or aren’t a fan of the taste, onions, shallots, and ginger will give you the same texture.
Some are allergic to garlic and nightshades, while others get acid reflux or heartburn. Below, I’ll list the best substitutions for minced garlic based on taste, budget, and allergens.
What Can I Substitute for Minced Garlic?
Dozens of recipes call for minced garlic. Its savory taste and the texture it creates when roasted or fried is a staple of many cuisines around the world. However, if you have an allergy, don’t have it on hand, or don’t want to worsen any acid-reflux symptoms, you’ll need a replacement.
You can substitute garlic powder, garlic flakes, garlic salt, or garlic juice for minced garlic to save money and get the same garlicky taste. If you lack texture, onions, celery, and shallots make a great replacement when fried. Replacements for allergies include cumin, peppercorn, and ginger.
Based on your budget, thoughts on garlic’s flavor profile, or sensitivity to garlic, you might be looking for different characteristics in your replacement.
Usually, veggies with a little bit of oil and another savory seasoning will be the best replacement texture-wise. If you just need more salt in your dish, use salt, pepper, or cumin. A brighter flavor can be achieved with horseradish or ginger.
|Substitutes Best for Taste||Substitutes Best for Budget||Substitutes Best for Allergies|
|Garlic flakes||Garlic powder||Salt|
|Garlic powder||Garlic flakes||Onions|
|Garlic juice||Garlic Salt||Cumin|
I’ve separated the best substitutes for minced garlic based on taste, budget, and avoiding allergies. While some things work for both categories (garlic salt, powder, and flakes work great for both taste and budget but won’t help if you have a garlic allergy), others are stand-alone (like horseradish and cumin, which have a very different taste profile but can still add something bold if you have an allergy).
Best Substitutes for Taste
Garlic is known for its warm, unique flavor that’s slightly spicy, but not in a hot way. Garlic is salty and slightly acidic and can be used in many ways to elevate a dish. The difference between garlic and minced garlic is how the flavors are released—a regular clove of garlic can be roasted, fried, and much more. However, minced garlic usually is paired with oil, fat, or liquid.
If you want the taste of garlic but don’t have a jar of minced garlic or fresh clove to chop on your hands, you can replace it with a jarred seasoning or another vegetable. Remember: the texture still plays a significant role in why recipes ask you to use minced garlic rather than powder.
Garlic flakes are dehydrated minced garlic. To use garlic flakes instead of minced garlic, add a little liquid to the pan and then let the garlic rehydrate. The best options for this are broth, oil, or butter. Then, you can replace minced garlic on a 1:1 ratio. The flavor will not be as fresh or robust as the minced garlic has been dehydrated for shelf keep.
Garlic powder is another form of garlic seasoning. It is made by dehydrating garlic, like the garlic flakes above, and then crushing the powder. This will not be as flavorful or fresh, but it will still give that garlic taste to whatever you’re cooking. Use garlic powder paired with a little bit of extra oil and possibly another vegetable (like shallots, celery, or onion) to create the texture and taste minced garlic would have provided.
Garlic salt is another option for getting that garlic taste in your food without using fresh garlic. However, unlike the other two suggestions, garlic salt is best served to replace garlic and salt in a recipe.
Garlic salt is made with garlic powder and sea salt. For this reason, you’ll want to look at both the amount of garlic required in the recipe and the amount of salt. Replace minced garlic and salt with the garlic powder, then add another liquid to hydrate the meal.
Onions & Shallots
Onions make for a great replacement for garlic in both texture and taste. Though the flavors are distinct, the minced onion will give you the same savory flavor and the same fried and roasted texture as garlic would have.
This will also be a solution for anyone allergic to garlic, though it won’t be better for acid reflux. Keep in mind that many of the people who are allergic to garlic are also allergic to onions. You should replace garlic with onion on a 1:1 ratio.
You can mince shallots just like garlic and add them to your dish for a replica of their texture and taste. Replace garlic with shallots on a 1:1 ratio.
Minced garlic produces an oily, almost paste-like texture when fried or roasted. If that’s the texture that you’re after, garlic juice is a perfect choice.
Garlic juice makes an excellent replacement based on taste, though the texture may become slightly off. Garlic juice will give the same garlicky taste in a powerful way and make your dish more watery and less thick.
Best Budget Substitutes
Minced garlic in little jars or a head of garlic for you to mince yourself may be out of your budget right now. Luckily, you can get a powder, flakes, or another vegetable to replace garlic in your recipes and likely still have a little leftover for your following recipe. There’s a chance you may also have one of these joint replacements sitting around, meaning no extra cost at all!
Garlic powder can be found at most grocery stores for a dollar or less, though it won’t be the name-brand garlic powder. If you’re using a discount garlic powder instead of minced garlic, add the seasoning to taste first and supplement a little oil for texture. It will taste like garlic, but the less quality the seasoning, the less fresh and impactful it will be.
Garlic flakes are just dehydrated minced garlic, making them a glorious budget hack if you’re sick of paying for fresh minced garlic or mincing it yourself.
To help the garlic flakes come back to life, add some moisture to a pan and cook the flakes until they’re rehydrated. You could use a splash of oil, broth, or even water for this to work. It won’t be as robust a flavor if you go for the cheap flakes bottles. For lower-quality garlic flakes, consider using a 2:1 ratio.
Salt also works in a pinch (pun intended) if you don’t have money for garlic or new seasonings. It may seem weird to think of salt as a replacement for garlic—after all, nearly every recipe already has salt. However, salt can be a good starting point, and it can be mixed with almost anything.
Garlic is savory, though also a little bit acidic and spicy. Salt is also a savory seasoning, and it can add that impactful salty taste to your dish. If you want a little more acid or spice, consider the things in your fridge or cabinet you already have, such as lemon or hot sauce.
Garlic salt combines garlic powder and sea salt and can often be more expensive than powder or flakes. Garlic salt also works well as a budget replacement for minced garlic, though it’s lower on the list because garlic flakes and garlic powder work so much better.
If you have the choice, opt for the other two. If not, garlic salt will work on a 1:1 ratio once paired with a liquid textured item such as oil or broth.
Onions are versatile and have the same acidic, spicy flavor as garlic. A whole onion is cheaper than a clove of garlic and can go a long way. Replace minced garlic on a 1:1 ratio and enjoy your money saved. To store the excess onion, you can place it in the fridge in a bit of water.
If. for whatever reason, you can’t afford minced garlic jars and thought you were out of luck for your garlic recipe, you could also buy just a clove of garlic and mince it yourself. Once detached from the head, a clove of garlic should only cost you a couple of cents.
Celery is the oddball of this group, but you’ll be surprised at how it works texture-wise in your dish. It has a similar composure to onion, shallots, and garlic but is one of the cheapest that won’t fire up any allergies or acid reflux.
Best Substitutes for Allergies
Garlic allergies are common, and garlic is also known to ignite many people’s GI issues or acid reflux. Typically, people who are allergic to garlic are also allergic to onions or shallots, though this isn’t always the case. Additionally, some people just don’t like the taste of garlic but may enjoy a different seasoning in their recipe.
Salt is a good allergy replacement because it will still add savoriness to your dish without reactivity. I’d suggest adding salt to taste and then looking at oil, broth, butter, or other fat to help bring the texture that minced garlic would have.
If you’re one of those rare people who are allergic to garlic but not onions, or the flavor of garlic is too much for you, this would be the perfect replacement for you. It’s similar in both texture and taste. However, be cautious if you avoid garlic for GI or acid-reflux issues. Onions are known to make both act up. Replace on a 1:1 basis.
Shallots work the same way onions do, so you can replace garlic on a 1:1 basis with shallots. They have a similar texture and a strong, savory flavor, though they can sometimes be difficult to find and are frequently more expensive than your basic clove of garlic.
If you’re allergic to garlic and onions but still want a big flavor in your dish, you might consider cumin. Cumin has a very strong, spicy flavor and will still add a big impact to your dish without any negative allergen reactions. Add a liquid fat (oil or butter) and then replace 1:1.
Peppercorns are one of the most common replacements for garlic because they are both savory and spicy. Though they won’t have the same texture as minced garlic, you can easily add a splash of oil or butter to make it more similar.
Horseradish is a root that can be mixed with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar and pepper to create a minced garlic substitute.
Though its taste is a bit different from garlic, they have a similar flavor: they’re strong flavors with a robust and impactful taste. Use about half of what you would have used in minced garlic for horseradish, as it can be very flavorful! Sometimes, people will also add sugar or sour cream to their horseradish.
Garlic and ginger go very well together, but if you have to give up the garlic, ginger will still work great on its own.
Although it has a much different flavor profile, ginger has a similar texture to garlic and a very robust taste of its own. Some may use ginger if they want the same texture as minced garlic and an impactful flavor. Add only a half or a quarter of what you would have used if you were using garlic—ginger can be pretty strong.
Fennel often replaces garlic in recipes because it too has a strong flavor, albeit much different from garlic’s spiciness. Use fennel seed as garlic powder or garlic flake by adding a little bit of oil or butter. Don’t replace it on a 1:1 basis, but rather taste it as you add little by little.
For more, don’t miss Can I Use Garlic Powder Instead of Minced Garlic?
Hi, I’m Anne but my grandchildren call me Jelly Grandma. I have over 50 years of experience as a Southern cook and am a retired librarian. I love sharing what I have learned. You can find me on YouTube as well! Just click the link at the bottom of your page.
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