Here’s What You Can Use to Substitute for Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is the perfect pinch of flavor for countless favorite dishes. From bread to butter, garlic is for sure one of the most popular flavors with fans everywhere. But sometimes you don’t always have what you need for that classic dish on hand. 

In case you don’t have garlic powder in your cupboard, or if the store shelf is empty, there are several seasonings and ingredients that can be used in its place. Minced celery, celery root, fennel, cumin, parsley, and onion powder can all be used to replace garlic powder. If you have fresh garlic, there are a couple ways to turn it perfectly powder-like. 

Everyone loves a good hit of seasoning, so here’s how you can still have that wow factor without the perfect garlic powder sprinkle. 

Garlic Powder Substitutes

Minced Celery

Minced celery is one of the most popular substitutes for garlic powder in addition to onions. With a nice fresh flavor, minced celery is a perfect aromatic replacement for garlic powder. Being such a common vegetable, you can find celery at nearly any grocery store or market. 

Measurement

Because celery doesn’t pack quite as much of a punch as garlic, it’s recommended that you use 2 teaspoons of minced celery for every teaspoon of garlic powder that is called for. This makes for a very easy substitute: just double it!

Best Use

Minced celery works extremely well in liquidy foods, such as pasta sauces, curry, or glazes.

Onion Powder

Onion powder is another favorite for replacing garlic powder. The intense, salty sensation of onion powder serves a similar effect to its garlic counterpart. You will likely find onion powder in a seasoning aisle with garlic powder, so it’s easy to grab if there’s no garlic powder. 

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Measurement

Onion and garlic are sister flavors, and they can flip flop places very nicely. So you should use the same amount that is called for. 

Best Use

Onion powder can be used in anything since it has the same consistency and similar flavor to garlic powder.

Celery Root

Celery root is the sharp-tasting end of a celery stalk. When this is minced or ground, it also works as a great way to pack an earthy punch. You can chop these off any regular celery stalk and make use of the whole plant! It has a flavor like a cross of celery and parsley, making it an easy middle ground.

Measurement

Coming from the same mild plant as celery, you should double the amount called for when replacing garlic powder. 

Best use

Celery root is best for sauces, like celery is.

Fennel

Fennel is a sweeter alternative to garlic powder, and gives a bump in texture. The seeds of fennel are quite small, so you can use whole seeds or ground fennel in place of garlic powder. 

Measurement

Due to the sweetness, you should start off with a 1:1 ratio and then season to taste.

Best Use

Use fennel in dishes for extra texture and to give an extra burst of sweetness.

Cumin

An easy one to find! Pick up cumin in any spice section to replace garlic powder in rich dishes. Another bonus of cumin is its health perks. Cumin can boost immunity and help digestion. Looks like a great choice.

Measurement

Similar to fennel, the rich flavor means you should use the same amount of cumin as you would garlic powder. From there, you can add until you reach your desired flavor. 

Best Use

Indian cuisine loves to use cumin, so replacing garlic powder with cumin in any Indian dish is a great swap. 

Using Fresh Garlic

If you’re fresh out of garlic powder, but have some fresh garlic available, that will also work! You can prepare garlic in several ways in order to use it like garlic powder. One great perk of using fresh garlic is that you keep the same flavor as garlic powder, so feel free to use it in any dish you would use garlic powder in!

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Mincing, grinding, juicing, and pulverizing fresh garlic will all work to mimic the taste and texture of the beloved garlic powder. Use these tips to your advantage to become the master of working with what you have! The more fresh produce the better, as everyone always says. 

Mincing

This is the hands-on approach for preparing fresh garlic. Grab a kitchen knife and chop your fresh garlic into tiny pieces to toss into your cooking pan.

Measurement 

Minced garlic is a little stronger than garlic powder. For every teaspoon of garlic powder, use ½ teaspoon of minced garlic in its place. 

Best Use

Minced garlic is best used in dishes that require sauteing. So pop your garlic off the chopping board and into the frying pan. 

Grinding

Grinding garlic gets you back to the good ol’ days. If your blades are dull, you can always grind your garlic by hand. Pick a sturdy bowl and blunt object. Place your garlic cloves in the bowl, and press and twist the blunt object into the cloves to squish them. Grinding is entirely subjective, so you can grind to whatever consistency you think is best. 

Measurement

For every ⅛ teaspoon of garlic powder, use one ground clove of garlic. You can grind however many cloves you need, so pick up that grinding rock!

Best Use

Ground garlic goes great in dishes that you want to give a delicious, tempting aroma. Grinding garlic brings out that smell that makes anytime mealtime. 

Pulverizing

If you have a pulverizer on hand, this is your one-stop-shop for turning those chunky garlic cloves in a paste just as fine as any garlic powder. 

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Measurement

Pure garlic mush packs quite the flavor punch, so you need to be careful measuring it out. For 1 tsp of garlic powder, use ¼ teaspoon of pureed garlic. 

Best Use

The pastiness of pulverized garlic makes it perfect for sauces and creams. Whip up that delicious garlic-onion dip to wow your guests. 

Juicing

If you really want to pack a punch with your flavor, juice your garlic to get the most pungent smell and taste. You can buy garlic juice to keep on hand for occasions when you need to wow, or put your cloves in a juicer to squeeze the liquid out of your fresh cloves. 

Measurement

Tip: Use garlic juice if you want to bring the most aromatic dish around. For every 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, use ½ teaspoon of garlic juice. 

Best Use

Garlic juice is best used as a combination ingredient. Add it to pastes, sauces, dips. Probably not the best idea to pour straight garlic juice over that seared steak. 

Conclusion

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love a good, garlicky flavor. But if you ever find yourself running through your garlic powder jar, don’t worry! There are a bunch of other ingredients you’re sure to have in your kitchen that will work just as well. 

Fresh cloves, spices, even some veggies can all do the trick in a flavor-pinch. Whether you’re making a soup, dip, sauce, paste, or breading, you can be sure that there are always ways to give your food that wow factor!

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