Garlic Powder Substitute: Top Picks

Next to salt and pepper, garlic powder is an ultimate pantry essential, and it’s easy to see why. Besides the long list of health benefits, garlic powder is used in many recipes. However, you might not always have it on hand, so it’s good to have a garlic powder substitute.

Garlic powder is a constant when preparing stews, curries, marinades, and grilled meat or vegetables. With it, there’s no need to chop up fresh garlic cloves. As such, garlic powder has been a go-to in the culinary world for years.

An endless list of savory recipes calls for garlic powder. This means it’s a good idea to have a replacement on hand if you find yourself without garlic powder.

What Is Garlic Powder?

Garlic powder is made from dried garlic that has been crushed into a powder. It has an intense garlicky flavor with a fine texture and off-white to slight yellow color. 

This makes it great for several types of dishes, including soups and stews. But it’s also fantastic for dry rubs and seasoning popcorn. And it’s often the star ingredient in savory bread and pasta dishes.

As a bonus, garlic powder typically has no preservatives or additives. Which makes it exceptional for anyone who is health conscious.

Substitute For Garlic Powder 

If you don’t have a jar of garlic powder on hand, a few easy replacements may already be in your cupboard. Here are some excellent garlic powder alternatives to add to your dish if you don’t have it available. 

1. Fresh Garlic Cloves

Fresh garlic is an obvious garlic powder substitute. It works well in dishes such as soups and pasta. However, it’s not ideal for dry rubs since it is moist, fleshy, and will be challenging to blend. It also requires a little more effort since fresh garlic needs to be peeled and crushed or chopped before use.

But it’s well worth the effort because it packs a punch of flavor. Not to mention you will be met with the mouthwatering scent of the allium plant from which it comes. 

Since garlic powder is far more concentrated than fresh garlic, you will need to use one whole clove for every teaspoon of garlic powder for the best results. 

2. Minced Garlic

Minced garlic is a fantastic garlic powder substitute because it requires little effort to prepare. However, it is more concentrated than garlic powder.

You’ll find minced garlic in a jar or squeeze bottle at your local store. And it’s excellent for slow cooking or sautéing. It’s also great in marinades but may add some acid to your food. 

When you want to substitute for one teaspoon of garlic powder, use about ½ teaspoon of minced garlic. This will ensure it doesn’t overpower your dish. 

3. Granulated Garlic

Like garlic powder, granulated garlic is made from dehydrated garlic cloves. However, the texture is much courser, almost cornmeal-like, compared to the fine texture of garlic powder.

This means it may require extra effort to add it to your dish since it doesn’t dissolve as quickly as garlic powder. Plus, you may feel the textural difference. However, in terms of flavor, it’s an ideal replacement in any recipe, including dry rubs.

To achieve the same results in your dish, start with 2 teaspoons of granulated garlic for one teaspoon of garlic powder. 

4. Garlic Flakes

Garlic flakes are another suitable garlic powder substitute that you might already have in your kitchen. This spice is made from pieces of dehydrated garlic, similar to garlic powder. Therefore, it closely mimics the flavor of garlic powder. However, it is less intense than garlic powder. 

This replacement is ideal for recipes such as soups and stews that incorporate a liquid element within the cooking process. This will allow the garlic flakes to rehydrate and add a concentrated flavor to your dish.

When substituting, you can choose to grind the garlic flakes into a powder form, resembling garlic powder. Either way, you can use garlic flakes as a replacement at a 1:1 ratio.

5. Garlic Puree

Garlic puree is fresh garlic cloves blended into a paste-like consistency. Often found in a long tube, it makes a great garlic powder substitute because it blends easily into food. And the aroma is identical to that of garlic powder. 

It’s an excellent replacement in dishes like pasta, stews, soups, curries, and sauces. However, it has a high oil concentration, making it higher in calories than garlic powder. 

You’ll only need to use ¼ tablespoon of garlic puree for every tablespoon of garlic powder since it’s more potent. 

6. Garlic Juice

Garlic juice may sound a like an odd garlic powder substitute, but it’s surprisingly fantastic and has a long list of health benefits. Made from pureed garlic that has been strained into a liquid form, it’s more potent than garlic powder. 

It is also twice as rich as garlic powder, making it an excellent replacement for marinades and sauces. You’ll want to use ½ tablespoon of garlic juice for one tablespoon of garlic powder in your recipe.

7. Shallots

If you want a non-garlic replacement, shallots are a popular garlic powder substitute. Shallots are also a member of the allium family. Therefore, they have similar properties to garlic.

However, unlike garlic powder, shallots are much sweeter with an intensely tangy flavor. But they’ll work well in almost any dish. Garlic powder can be added during and after the cooking process. However, you’ll need to add your shallots early in the cooking process to give them time to cook through. 

When you use shallots as an alternative for garlic powder, grind them or dice them up. This way, they don’t add an unwanted texture to your dish. Then use it as a substitute in equal parts.


Even if you already use garlic powder, consider trying the above alternatives. If you use a garlic powder substitute from our list, we promise you won’t regret it.