Garlic powder is a delicious spice used in many dishes across the world, as it provides a savory, full flavor to your meal and creates a depth of flavor to your plate. However, if a mishap occurs that you find too much garlic powder has been added to your dish, it can overpower the rest of your flavors. Thankfully, if you find yourself in this situation, you can still recover the balance of your dish.
Here are 6 simple solutions to fix too much garlic powder:
- Balance the flavor by adding onion, shallots, or leeks.
- Dilute the intensity by adding more base ingredients.
- Embrace the intensity with heat.
- Tone it down with butter or cream.
- Add fresh, culinary herbs.
- Counteract the bitterness with sour, sweet, or salty.
Read on to learn in-depth how these simple solutions can transform your meal. You’ll want to read this article, especially if you accidentally added too much garlic powder to your dish.
1. Balance the Flavor by Adding Onions, Shallots, or Leeks
Cooking is all about striking that perfect balance between your ingredients. Each ingredient, each spice, is like a single melodic note plucked on a guitar. Your end dish should be an intentional blending of these notes into a beautiful harmony.
If the garlic powder acts like a dissonant chord, try to balance it out by adding other alliums.
Alliums are a genus of aromatic plants in the Lilly family. Onions, leeks, garlic, chives, shallots are all examples of species of culinary alliums. While onion may be the most commonly used in conjunction with garlic, don’t miss out on trying these other culinary stars in your recipe.
If you’ve added too much garlic, any of these alliums will do very well at balancing your dish’s flavor.
For example, leeks are fantastic in soups, shallots are great in a stir fry, and chives really shine in dips. Besides balancing out the garlic powder, these ingredients will elevate the dish’s overall depth and umami quality.
2. Dilute the Intensity by Adding More Base Ingredients
The solution of diluting the dish can be especially beneficial if you’re using soup stock, broth, or sauce. For instance, if you’re making a homemade, tomato-based spaghetti sauce and accidentally added too much garlic powder, then simply add more tomato sauce.
Caution is needed here, though, as you should be careful not to overdo your correction.
Remember, you can always add more of your ingredient, but taking out a component can prove more challenging, especially in soup and sauce-based recipes. Just add a little bit of the base tomato sauce at a time.
Stir the sauce and give it a try. If the flavor of garlic doesn’t overpower anymore, then you’ve successfully balanced the taste. If not, then just keep adding the sauce and tasting until you’ve got the right blend.
3. Embrace the Intensity With Heat
Another simple solution to too much garlic powder is to bring in some heat. In this scenario, rather than toning down the flavor of garlic, you’ll be balancing its pungent bite with a heavy-hitting spice such as cayenne pepper, dried Thai chilies, jalapenos peppers, or other hot spices.
If you’re making a delicious vegetarian chili, for instance, you could add cayenne powder until the power of the garlic powder is complemented by the zing of the cayenne. Just make sure that the chili doesn’t become too single-noted by increasing the other base flavors as needed.
You may have to add in some more salt, cumin, and lime to make sure the spiciness is not masking the overall flavors of the chili.
4. Tone It Down With Cream or Butter
If spiciness isn’t your thing, or you’re creating a dish for people of varying spice tolerance or enthusiasm, then try adding in some cream or butter to tone down the taste of the garlic powder. Not only will the creaminess tone down that garlic punch, but butter/cream and garlic are a mouth-watering combination.
If you’re vegan or dairy-free, you can add in plant butter or non-dairy creams like full-fat coconut milk. One of my favorite ways to balance the flavor of garlic in a vegan Indian curry, for instance, is to add a splash of coconut milk. The result is just a wonderfully creamy, deep, umami taste.
5. Add Fresh, Culinary Herbs
A delightful way to balance a dish with too much garlic powder is to add fresh, aromatic culinary herbs. While adding in powdered herbs can work as well (especially for woodier herbs like rosemary), the fresh version is often the way to go with softer, leafy herbs like basil, cilantro, and parsley.
These delicate herbs can lose a bit of their flavor and sharpness when dried, so adding them fresh rejuvenates and elevates a dish overpowered by garlic powder. As an example, if you’re making falafel and added too much garlic powder to your falafel mix, adding in a healthy bunch of fresh, chopped parsley will balance your flavors beautifully.
6. Counteract the Bitterness With Sour, Sweet, or Salty
Especially in its powdered form, too much garlic powder in a recipe can result in a bitter taste, which can seriously overwhelm a meal. To counteract this bitterness, try adding a salty, sweet, or sour element to your dish.
For example, if you’re making guacamole, you may want to add in more lime to balance the overpowering garlic taste. In addition to balancing the garlic, the sour lime will freshen up the dish and give it a pleasant zingy taste.
If you’re making pasta sauce and don’t want to add more base tomato sauce, adding a little sugar can nicely counterbalance the too-strong garlic powder taste. Add in a little bit at a time as too-sweet of a savory sauce can swing the meal in the opposite direction of your desired flavor profile.
If, for instance, you’re making mashed potatoes and need to balance your dish, adding some salt can be an excellent and straightforward way to make sure the garlic powder doesn’t overpower your meal.
Salt is a fantastic ingredient since it acts as both a bitterness reducer and a flavor enhancer.
Is Too Much Garlic Powder Bad for You?
You might be wondering if adding in too much garlic powder will negatively impact your health.
Too much garlic powder is not bad for you. In fact, garlic has been widely studied for its potential health benefits. The garlic supplement group from the following study had significantly fewer colds than the placebo group and recovered faster from colds if they got infected than the placebo group.
In one study published by the National Library of Medicine, 146 volunteers received a 12-week dose of a placebo pill or garlic supplement containing its organosulfur compound, allicin, from November to February.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), some people may be at risk of experiencing heartburn or an upset stomach after ingesting too much garlic.
However, the NCCIH notes that this risk usually is specific to eating an abundance of raw garlic instead of the powdered form.
As you can see, there are many simple, practical solutions to balancing out a dish that has been overpowered by garlic powder. By thinking about your dish’s end goal flavor profile, you’ll be able to adjust accordingly.
With these six simple tips, you can confidently rejuvenate and restore your meal. Remember, you don’t want to think about just masking the flavor of too much garlic but transforming the dish and improving. Happy cooking!
For more, don’t miss How to Fix Dry Meatballs (And Prevent It).
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.