garlic substitute

Best Six Garlic Clove Substitute

Aromatic foods and delicious flavors often call for a variety of spices and the garlic is, perhaps, the most common. This herb is commonly used for cooking in South Asian and Middle Eastern dishes the most.

Garlic has a compound called allicin in it that makes it have such an aromatic flavor and depth. But what to do when you don’t have any fresh garlic in your pantry? Garlic clove substitutes are easier to find than you might think. In fact, that’s exactly what we’re here to help you with.

Whether it’s due to an allergy or just an inconvenience of shopping for new ingredients, it’s best to keep some options open for the benefit of the doubt. And these substitutes are a sure fool-proof way to make your dishes taste just as good as always. So let’s check them out!

What Can We Use As An Alternative To Garlic Cloves

1. Garlic Powder

Even if you don’t have fresh garlic cloves at hand, chances are that your cabinet is filled with powdered herbs and spices including garlic powder. For substituting each clove of the herb, you’ll need 1/3 teaspoon of the powder. The good thing about using granules or powders instead is that it can be stored for longer periods comparatively.

Garlic Powder

Besides, most powders are available in small quantities in the stores. So, if you’re worried about not having fresh garlic at hand, use the granules. You’ll practically taste no difference in your dish and it’ll get the job done easily.

2. Chives

Chives are the long-distance cousin of garlic i.e. they belong to the same family. That means it’s the perfect substitute in case your dish absolutely cannot be made without allicin or a strong aromatic ingredient. Chives have medicinal properties that make them suitable for improving health conditions, sleeping issues, and bone health.


They contain lots of different vitamins and anti-oxidants needed for our bodies to thrive. So not only do chives have the flavor profile down, but they’re also a healthy replacement to garlic. If you’re making something like a simple omelet, pasta, casseroles or even pesto and gremolata, you can easily switch to chives and make the dish awesome.

However, bear in mind that if the primary reason for you to avoid garlic in the dish is any allergy to alliums, chives really don’t do any good. For that case, you’ll need to use another substitute that’s not from garlic’s family line.

3. Celery and Celeriac

If you’ve ever asked anyone what they use instead of garlic in their dishes, chances are they’ve told you they use celery. This vegetable is the most popular alternative to garlic in dishes and has amazing nutritional benefits. While celery seeds and leaves are healthy, in place of the herb you can use either its root or the stalk.


Moreover, it’s been found that celery is helpful to treat high blood pressure and lower cholesterol. As it has a good aroma and strong flavor, it’s definitely a good option when cooking lamb or any Indian curry without using garlic cloves.

Celeriac is basically another name for celery root. It tastes like a cross between parsley and regular celery stalk. You can use this if you’re looking for something pungent to add to the dish.

4. Fennel

This flowering plant from the carrot family might be the last thing to come to people’s minds when they think of replacements for garlic. However, you’ll be surprised how well it goes in any dish instead of the herb and makes it taste just as yummy. When cooked, this versatile herb takes on the texture of onions.


Whereas cloves of garlic are pungent with a deep flavor, fennel has a sweeter taste to it. Hence, it’s the sweet alternative to your regular cloves of garlic. Besides, fennel has many minerals and dietary fiber along with Vitamin-C that makes it a healthy herb.

It is also said to prevent anemia and work as an anti-flatulent. So what’re you waiting for? The next time you cook a bowl of pasta or that all-green salad, use fennel without worries.

5. Cumin

Indian cuisines like butter chicken, spicy malvani curry or a plain aloo curry might seem impossible to pull off without the pungent herb called garlic. However, cumin is there to save the day and makes it possible.

Cumin is a famous alternative for cooking Indian dishes without using onions or garlic. Thanks to the entire Falahari dish style developed by fasting Indians, you have so many options to use cumin instead of the regular herbs. As for its benefits, it is a great source of minerals and salts like calcium, magnesium, and iron.


Furthermore, this medicinal spice has very little cholesterol and saturated fat. Among its proven health benefits, one is that it boosts immunity. Due to cumin having lots of anti-oxidants, it works as a natural health regulator by improving digestion and even helps in slowing down aging. For all the fans of Indian cuisine out there, this might just be music to your ears.

6. Ginger

Ginger is also a good substitute if you’re in dire need of something with a kick for your homemade meal. While the flavor of ginger is not quite like garlic, it does get the job done due to its heat and zesty punch.

Besides, ginger is great for treating issues like the common cold or a sore throat. It’s definitely worth trying if you don’t have any of the other ingredients we’ve mentioned above. Who knows? You might be surprised by how many things ginger pairs well.


Some people even use it while making desserts! Due to the slightly earthy flavor and pungent scent, it does replace garlic in terms of aroma. Ginger is sweet and warm when bitten into and leaves a heaty aftertaste. So, it’s a safe bet that anything you can cook with garlic cloves you can definitely make with ginger.

Final Words

As they say, nothing new comes out of the old. So why keep fretting with old recipes that set too many rules? Improvise and try out these garlic clove substitutes and we promise you won’t be disappointed.  

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