These easy ways to substitute for garlic powder in a pinch have been a life saver in my kitchen more times than I care to recall. Garlic powder is a staple in many kitchens, but somedays you may run out of garlic powder without even noticing until it’s too late.
This post is meant to help you find the best alternatives for garlic powder so you can cook tasty meals even when you have no garlic powder on hand!
What is garlic powder?
Garlic powder is a type of spice that comes from garlic that has been dried or dehydrated, then finely ground to form a powder.
Garlic powder is used to add flavor to cooking and is commonly used to flavor meats, chicken, fish or to add to spice mixes and sauces.
Garlic powder is very popular, but if you’ve just ran out, the most useful garlic powder substitutes are as follows: garlic salt, garlic flakes, fresh garlic, shallot powder, granulated garlic, garlic juice, garlic puree, minced garlic, onion powder and garlic chives.
You can read more on each below to learn about which recipe each of these garlic subs can be used in and the substitution ratios for each.
10 easy ways to substitute for garlic powder
Garlic flakes are a great way to substitute for garlic powder. Garlic powder is made from fresh, pure garlic that has been dehydrated to form dried flakes.
Garlic flakes are very similar to garlic powder and thus work great as an alternative to garlic powder in almost any recipe including stews, pizza, soups, marinades, vinaigrettes and more.
- Substitution ratio: 1 tablespoon garlic powder = 1/2 tablespoon garlic flakes
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder = 1 tablespoon ground garlic flakes
Fresh garlic is another easy way to substitute for garlic powder. Fresh garlic has a more subtle and sweet flavor than garlic powder, but it can most definitely be used in a pinch.
In some recipes the fresh garlic will not work due to the texture, therefore, it is great for sauces, marinades, soups and salad dressings. And while you won’t get the same potent garlic powder flavor, fresh garlic cloves do impart some garlic flavor that will work in those recipes.
Substitution ratio: 1 teaspoon garlic powder = 2 large garlic cloves
Yet another good substitute for garlic powder is shallot powder. Shallot powder is the powder derived from mincing fresh shallots, dehydrating them then grinding them to form a powder.
Shallot powder has an oniony flavor with garlic undertones and works great in fish, soups, for seasoning meats, for vegetables, sauces, pizza sauces and even salads!
Granulated garlic is another easy garlic powder substitute worth check in out. Granulated garlic is made from coarsely grinding dried garlic into garlic granules that are somewhat grainy.
Granulated garlic has the savory and sweet flavors of fresh garlic and is very easy to substitute for garlic powder in dry rubs, spice mixes, sauces, marinades, soups, stews, bread sticks, garlic butter bread recipes, meatballs, meatloaf, hamburgers and more.
Substitution ratio: 1 teaspoon garlic powder = 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
If you can’t find garlic powder anywhere, another garlic powder alternative is garlic juice. Unlike the dry garlic powder, garlic juice is of course a liquid and will not work in every recipe that calls for garlic powder.
However it is great for recipes such as marinades, soups, scrambled eggs, omelettes, salads and sauces and many other recipes that all for garlic powder.
Garlic juice is not the easiest to find in stores, and it isn’t something that many people purchase. But, you can always find it online, and it is perfect if you can’t find garlic powder or if you don’t like mincing garlic cloves yourself but you love the flavor of garlic.
Substitution ratio: 1 teaspoon garlic powder = 1/2 teaspoon garlic juice
Dried Minced garlic
Minced garlic is easily substituted for garlic powder. Minced garlic is made from mincing whole garlic cloves that have been dried or dehydrated.
Minced garlic does have a more subtle flavor, but, it is great for adding to nay dish that calls for garlic powder such as dry rubs, sauces like tomato sauce or pizza sauce, soups, pastas, pizzas and even dressings and marinades.
Substitution ratio: 1 teaspoon garlic powder = 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Homemade garlic paste
If you are out of garlic powder and you’re in need of some garlic flavor for a recipe in which minced garlic will not work, garlic paste is a great option to try.
I don’t recommend the store bought garlic paste as it lacks the flavor that garlic powder or garlic should add to a recipe.
Garlic salt is a mixture of garlic powder (or granulated powder) and table salt, typically with a ratio of salt to garlic powder of about 3:1.
Therefore, there is less garlic powder in garlic salt which does have an impact on the garlic flavor that will be added to your cooking. And because you cannot simply decide to add more garlic salt to a recipe to increase the garlic flavor as you can easily over salt your food, it is not the best garlic powder substitute out there.
Nonetheless, garlic salt can be used to substitute garlic powder in a pinch when the recipe calls for both salt and garlic powder. So for instance you can use it for seasoning meats, fish, sautéed vegetables, tacos, chili and even to season your fries!
Substitution ratio: 1 teaspoon garlic powder = 1 teaspoon garlic salt
Onion powder is another easy garlic powder substitute.
They’re often used together in many recipes, but, in the absence of garlic powder, you can substitute with onion powder on a 1:2 ratio.
Substitution ratio: 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder = 1 teaspoon onion powder
Garlic chives or Chinese chives
Garlic chives also called Chinese chives or Asian chives are an herb from the allium family that looks similar to the more commonly used chives but with flatter leaves. These chives have a very strong, and pungent garlic flavor.
Therefore these chives make a great substitute for garlic powder and can be used in recipes like stir fries, stews, soups, eggs, dipping sauces and more.
Cooking them for too long will deplete the garlicky flavors of the garlic chives, therefore, it is recommended to add them into any dish at the last few minutes to preserve the garlic flavor.