Garlic powder is a spice made from garlic that has been dehydrated and ground into a fine powder. Garlic powder is used in cooking to enhance the flavor of various foods.
The best substitutes for garlic powder include ingredients that also have garlic in them because the taste and smell of garlic are hard to replace otherwise. However, other aromatic ingredients can also make excellent replacements for garlic in some dishes.
Best Substitute for Garlic Powder: Granulated Garlic
The best substitute for garlic powder is granulated garlic, a spice that’s also made from dehydrated garlic, like garlic powder, and then granulated. Granulated garlic is the closest match in taste to garlic powder, however, it takes longer than garlic powder to dissolve because of its larger granules.
Granulated garlic has a more intense flavor than garlic powder, so when substituting, use 2 teaspoons of granulated garlic in place of 1 tablespoon of garlic powder (2:3 ratio) to best match garlic powder’s flavor.
Other Garlic Powder Substitutes, Alternatives, and Replacements
There are many ingredients that can be used in place of garlic powder, some of which can be made at home.
Garlic has a unique taste and smell, which is why it’s best to use garlic powder replacements that contain garlic.
Fresh garlic is one of the easiest and most readily available substitutes for garlic powder. Fresh garlic is more aromatic, has a much stronger flavor, and enhances the taste of some dishes even more than garlic powder.
Use fresh garlic instead of garlic powder in pasta sauces, soups, or dips to allow the garlic to give its flavor to the food. Fresh garlic doesn’t work well in recipes that require a dry spice mix, like grilled meat or fish.
Use 1 medium-sized garlic clove for ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder.
Store-bought minced garlic in a jar is a great replacement for garlic powder. Unlike fresh garlic, canned minced garlic is easy to use because it doesn’t need to be peeled and cut. Minced garlic works best as a garlic powder substitute in sautéed or simmered foods like one-pot pasta, soups, and sauces.
Use ½ teaspoon of minced garlic for each teaspoon of garlic powder.
Garlic paste, or garlic purée, is an easy garlic powder substitute to make at home, and only uses three ingredients.
- 1 pound garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt to taste
Peel garlic cloves and blend them in a blender until smooth, around 30–45 seconds. Add oil and salt, and blend for 30 seconds more.
Garlic paste makes a good substitute for garlic powder in sauces, spreads, and soups. Use ¼ teaspoon of garlic paste for each teaspoon of garlic powder (1:4 ratio).
Garlic flakes replace garlic powder well in most dishes. Garlic flakes are made in the same way as garlic powder, from dehydrated garlic, but are minced into larger pieces.
Garlic flakes work well in stews, sauces, and other recipes that involve sautéing or long-simmering because the medium heat allows the garlic particles to release flavor into the food gradually.
When cooking, use ½ teaspoon of garlic flakes for every teaspoon of garlic powder (1:2 ratio).
Garlic salt is a dry mix of three parts salt and one part garlic powder, which makes it a good substitute for garlic powder. Because garlic salt is salty, cut down on salt elsewhere in the recipe. Garlic salt works as a garlic powder replacement in most recipes and can be used successfully as a substitute in dry spice seasonings.
Use 3 teaspoons of garlic salt for each teaspoon of garlic powder (3:1 ratio).
Garlic juice is a great liquid replacement for garlic powder that can be bought in most grocery stores or made at home.
To make garlic juice at home, peel and blend garlic cloves in a blender, and separate the juice using a coffee strainer or cheesecloth.
Garlic juice can be used in traditional recipes that need garlic, like pasta, pizza sauce, or soups, and it can also work well as a salad dressing or a marinade for meat and fish.
Use ½ teaspoon of garlic juice for every teaspoon of garlic powder (1:2 ratio).
There are many great substitutes for garlic powder that don’t contain garlic.
Onion powder is the closest non-garlic substitute for garlic powder in terms of texture. Onion powder is made from the respective dehydrated vegetable, just like garlic powder, but onion powder has a milder and sweeter taste than garlic powder.
Onion powder works as a replacement for garlic powder in some recipes that don’t require a distinct garlic flavor, like in a mix of various spices, or as an additional flavor dimension in already-flavorful dishes like soups and pasta sauces.
Use ½ teaspoon of onion powder for 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (1:2 ratio).
Shallot powder is made from dehydrated shallots. It has a smell that’s similar to onion but with garlic-like tones.
Shallot powder works well as a garlic powder replacement in meat and fish spice mixes, sauces, dips, and vegetable stews.
Use the same amount of shallot powder as garlic powder (1:1 ratio).
Sliced or minced fresh onions add an aroma and flavor reminiscent of garlic powder to rich dishes like sauces, curries, and stews.
Use 1–2 medium-sized onion rings to replace 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
Shallots are closer in taste and smell to garlic than onions and are easy substitutes for garlic powder. Shallots can be cut thinly and added to many dishes to enhance their flavor, including pasta sauces and thick soups.
Use the same amount of minced shallots as garlic powder (1:1 ratio).
Chives are a green vegetable in the onion family. Chives are a great garlic powder substitute in cooking thanks to their strong flavor and aroma which is representative of onion and garlic.
Chives work as a garlic powder substitute in clear, rich soups like tomato or ramen soup, pasta, salad dressings, and sauces.
Because chives are mild in taste compared to garlic powder, use one stalk of chives for each teaspoon of garlic powder when cooking.
Cumin seeds are a popular spice in Middle Eastern cuisine. The seeds are flavorful and slightly spicy, similar to garlic powder.
Because of their aromatic nature, characteristic taste, and bright color, cumin seeds work as a garlic powder substitute best in Middle Eastern and Asian dishes like curries, hearty soups, and stewed vegetables.
To match garlic powder’s flavor, use ¾ teaspoon of cumin seeds combined with ¼ teaspoon of onion powder as a substitute for 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
Asafetida powder is an ancient spice from Iran, made from a variety of fennel. Assafetida powder has a smell and taste reminiscent of garlic, which makes it a good substitute for garlic powder.
Asafetida powder can be bought from most online US stores. The powder can be used as a garlic powder substitute in most foods, especially in dressings and pasta sauces.
Use ½ teaspoon of Asafetida powder for 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (1:2 ratio).