I have a recipe that calls for 2 cloves of garlic, but all I have is minced garlic. How much minced garlic do I use per clove?

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    Out of curiosity: How did the garlic become minced? Can you but it (serious question, never seen it here, but perhaps in other countries they do), did you do the mincing, or do you mean garlic powder? Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 17:13
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    @WillemvanRumpt : You can buy jars of pre-minced garlic, but not in all areas. (when I was living in Kentucky, Kroger and the other local supermarkets didn't have it, so I'd get a jar or two for my boss when I was visiting family back east)
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 17:38
  • @WillemvanRumpt: Where I am (UK) I would assume this to mean "Very Lazy Garlic" which can be seen here: verylazy.com/products/chopped-ingredients/… . It may not be the same as the OP is using but gives an example.
    – Chris
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 11:43
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    @WillemvanRumpt I think I've seen tubes of garlic puree (with olive oil) like this in AH before. It's certainly not a specialty item. They do tend to list how much to use for the equivalent of a clove.
    – user25798
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 18:19
  • @Lilienthal: Maybe I missed it, never seen it. Ginger-garlic paste: Yes. But plain, minced garlic? No. I also never actively looked for it of course, so it might well be there, just that I never noticed. Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 5:59

4 Answers 4


Well, it depends on the size of the clove. A heaped teaspoon will probably be about equivalent to two cloves of garlic, but it's cooking, not particle physics. Remember you can always add an ingredient, but you can't take it away - so taste your food and adjust as necessary.

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    Most store-purchased minced garlic will have conversions on the label. I believe mine says 1/2 tsp = 1 clove.
    – David K
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 19:29
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    So my 1tsp/2 cloves is about right. It's almost like I know what I'm talking about :) Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 21:32

There is bottled minced Garlic and freeze-dried minced Garlic.

1 medium-size clove Garlic equals 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic, this is around 5 g / .18 oz. So for 2 cloves you should add 2-3 teaspoons.

You need about 50% less for freeze-dried minced Garlic.

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    Amazing. Googled for "bottled minced garlic", and it actually exists. When would you use this (apart from not having to mince your own, i.e.: flavor, added flavor, texture, anything)(and again: Serious question, no judgement)? Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 17:36
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    @WillemvanRumpt : some people really don't like peeling garlic. And they don't know about the two-bowls trick.
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 17:41
  • @Joe: You've already achieved God status with that one over here ;) Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 17:46
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    @WillemvanRumpt It is mostly for convenience sake. There is citric acid or something acidic in there for preservation.
    – NadjaCS
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 18:20
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    @WillemvanRumpt My favorite pizza is garlic, hot pepper and onions, like a spaghetti aglio e olio version. I've found that it is very difficult to get an evenly distributed taste of garlic over the whole pizza, when using regular fresh thinly sliced garlic. Garlic oil is the best for this...but well, adds a lot of oil. In theory you could add the Garlic to the tomato sauce, but the result is not the same, maybe due to the cooking times. But yes, I assume it is mostly used as convenience product. It does have a better shelf life than fresh Garlic. Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 19:10

As even with garlic directly from the bulb, you need to taste, as @ElendilTheTall says. Adding is easy...

All other things being equal (clove size), garlic can easily range in tastes from stronger to weaker. And, the tastes of your target audience will be different as well.

Its no different, and arguably more so, with chopped garlic, presumably in a glass container. You also have the luxury of easily adding a little bit, tasting, adding more if necessary. Then again, getting your own from your local farmer's market (or growing!), smash/chop, is not really very difficult for many.

Good luck!

  • Good advice as it'll vary, being an agricultural product, but it'd be more useful if you could advise on a starting amount to try to give people some clue to go on. Also, tasting might not work if it's something that goes in early and is then slow cooked for a while, as you can't easily taste & adjust without knowing what it would have tasted like in the mostly uncooked state.
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 17:27

It hasn't been established whether you have dry minced garlic, which is basically just dehydrated garlic, or the wet kind, which is minced in a liquid. I've used them both, but prefer the latter. To me, it acts and tastes more like fresh.

Since there's some curiousity expressed in the comments, I'll answer this based on the assumption that you're asking about the minced in a jar with liquid. I apologize if it's the other.

Where I live in Massachusetts, in the northeast region of the United States, jars of minced garlic in liquid are available in almost every major grocery store. They're generally found in the produce section, but not always. I use it because I don't cook very often and fresh things tend to go bad in my house. It's also perfect for times like you're experiencing, when I want to make something and have run out of fresh garlic. I usually buy this brand, because they offer an organic version, and I use organic products whenever I can. (I just noticed on that site that they sell a version in a squeeze bottle. It looks interesting!)

The jar says 1/2 teaspoon equals approximately 1 clove of garlic, so if you want to stick directly to your recipe, I'd go with that, meaning 1 teaspoon for your total recipe. I agree with the heaping teaspoon advice you've already received, as I find it easy to underestimate. In my experience, it tastes very much like fresh, so that substitution should give you the same level of garlic flavor. However, if you use it in other recipes, or just want to experiment, there's nothing wrong with adding more. As you've been told, you can add ingredients but can't subtract them, so be careful. I advise tasting the product before adding it, to give you a sense of what to expect.

The way you measure it can be important too. If you're doing an exact substitution, it's best to spoon out mostly just the garlic pieces, being careful not to use much of the liquid in the jar. However, the garlic imparts flavor into the water and citric acid in which it's generally packed, so if I have a recipe where the liquid content is adjustable, I always add some of the yummy "garlic juice." An example of that is mashed potatoes.

Minced garlic works quite well as a substitute in many recipes, so I hope you'll enjoy the recipe that prompted this question!

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    There is also a third way - a frozen crushed garlic product that can come in handy for those who can't get fresh, don't go through it quickly enough or just don't want to deal with it. I've used the cubes from mydorot.com and found them to be pretty good.
    – Tony Adams
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 17:00
  • @TonyAdams That looks awesome! I like that it has no preservatives, but still a long shelf life. The portion size is already measured too. Their whole product line looks great. A major grocery chain carries it, one of which is about 2 miles from here. I'll definitely try it. Thanks! Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 18:21

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