How many of us actually keep fresh garlic on the counter at all times? If you are like me, you buy it for a specific recipe, put off making that recipe, finally get around to it, and realize the garlic has sprouted about the time you are ready to add it to your dish. Now you need to know “How much is a clove of garlic?” so that you can substitute dried garlic from your pantry. And you need to know fast. So we’ve broken it all down for you in this handy chart.
|Type of Garlic||One Clove Equals||One Tablespoon Fresh Equals|
|Fresh Garlic Clove||1 Teaspoon by Volume||Three Cloves|
|Dried Minced Garlic||1/4 Teaspoon||3/4 Teaspoon|
|Jarred Minced Garlic||1/2 Teaspoon||1 1/2 Teaspoons|
|Garlic Powder||1/8 -1/4 Teaspoon||1/2-3/4 Teaspoon|
|Granulated Garlic||1/4 Teaspoon||3/4 Teaspoon|
|Garlic Flakes||1/2 Teaspoon||1 1/2 Teaspoons|
|Freeze-Dried Garlic||1/2 Teaspoon||1 1/2 Teaspoons|
|Garlic Salt*||1/4 Teaspoon||3/4 Teaspoon|
How to Measure
As you can see from the chart, one clove of garlic is about one teaspoon by volume whether it is whole or minced. That doesn’t mean you should substitute the fresh garlic with equal parts of dried garlic.
Dried garlic has had all water content removed, so it is in a concentrated form. Our table above shows you exactly how much of each type of preserved garlic you can use in place of one clove.
Since there are 48 teaspoons in a cup, each clove of garlic is about 1/48 of a cup. That means if you need one cup of garlic by volume you need 48 cloves of garlic.
Doing the math, you will find that you can use 12 teaspoons of dried minced garlic as a substitute.
1 garlic clove = 1/48 cup
48 garlic cloves = 1 cups
3 garlic cloves = 1 tablespoon
There are three teaspoons in each tablespoon, so if you need one tablespoon of garlic, you need three cloves of fresh garlic.
Are Garlic Cloves Uniform?
No. On a single head or bulb of garlic, you will find ten to twenty cloves of garlic attached to the base.
Each clove will be a slightly different size. Some of the cloves might be as little as 1/4 teaspoon by volume while others might be larger than 1 teaspoon.
The average is about one teaspoon per clove, so that’s how it should be measured for recipes when using a substitute.
How Do You Measure for a Recipe
Measure garlic cloves after they have been separated from the bulb and peeled. To peel your garlic cloves quickly, place them in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave up to twenty cloves for 30 seconds.
Remove them from the microwave and they should each pinch out of the skin very easily. If they don’t slide right out, you can slice the skin open to help facilitate the removal. Cut off the hard ends before using the garlic cloves in your food.
Since each clove of garlic will vary in size, I like to remove all of the regular to large cloves from the bulb first and use those. If I still need more, I combine two smaller cloves and count that as “one clove” for my recipe.
If a recipe calls for half a cup of garlic cloves, that’s about one bulb of garlic. But if you are unsure, you can always fill your dry measuring cup with garlic cloves until you have a half cup. I love garlic, so I always err on the side of extra.
Origins of Garlic
Where did garlic come from? This plant has been used in food and medicine for centuries, even thousands of years, and in nearly every culture.
In fact, garlic is one of the oldest recorded plants used for medicinal purposes. It was once thought to ward off vampires!
Garlic, an allium, is a member of the same family as onions, leeks, and shallots. It grows in bulb form below ground while above ground is a flowering plant.
The flavor of garlic is pungent, onion-like, with hints of sulfur. It adds richness and depth to the flavor of your dish.
The Types of Garlic and How Each is Used
Fresh Clove of Garlic
Bulbs of garlic are found near the onions and shallots in the produce section of your local supermarket. Fresh garlic can be used as whole cloves, sliced, minced, or pureed in all kinds of recipes.
Using a garlic press will make peeling and mincing the garlic super easy and relatively mess-free compared to mincing the garlic with a knife.
If you have fresh garlic on hand, it is nearly always the best choice for cooking. The only exception I can think of is when you need to make a dry rub for meat.
Peeled Cloves in Oil
You can find large jars of peeled cloves preserved in oil at your supermarket as well. Peeled cloves can be drained and used just as you would fresh garlic.
In your spice drawer, you may have a bottle of minced garlic. It is more concentrated and potent than fresh garlic, and lacks that sweet edge.
Dried minced garlic can be used in sauces, soups, stews, dry rubs, compound butter, salad dressings, and more. It may have to be rehydrated depending on the recipe.
Minced garlic has been placed in a jar and then preserved in oil. Your supermarket will have jarred minced garlic near the avocados and tomatoes in the produce section.
It is usually on a shelf at the end of a produce aisle. This garlic can be used interchangeably with freshly minced garlic. Drain off the oil to avoid a bitter taste in your food.
This is probably the most common form of garlic found in spice cabinets in the United States. It is garlic that has been dried and ground into a fine powder.
The texture can vary from very fine to more coarse. Use garlic powder in compound butter, sauce, soup, stir-fry, dry rubs, and general dish seasoning.
Tip: Need a garlic powder alternative? Check out our garlic powder substitutes guide!
Slightly smaller than minced garlic and larger than garlic powder, the granulated form is about the size and texture of coarsely ground salt.
Use granulated garlic just like you would use minced garlic or garlic powder.
A flaked form of dried garlic, this is a little fancier and more uniform than minced garlic.
Add garlic flakes to food at the table for an interesting visual effect and punch of flavor.
This form of preservation removes all moisture and keeps more of the flavor over traditional drying methods, but creates very delicate, powder chunks of garlic. Use freeze-dried garlic in place of minced garlic or garlic powder.
Salt, pepper, sugar, and granulated garlic are combined to form a seasoning called garlic salt.
It needs to be shaken before each use since the ingredients are all different sizes and settle differently.
Garlic salt can be used to make compound butter, garlic bread, and added to sauces, soups, or stews.
What Can You Make?
One of my favorite uses for fresh garlic cloves is just making roasted garlic cloves on the grill. Add a roasted clove of garlic to a slice of warm toast, a baked potato, or your bowl of mashed potatoes for instant garlic flavor.
Fresh garlic cloves make a welcome addition to so many different dishes. Whether you choose to use them whole, sliced, minced, or pureed, garlic adds so much flavor and interest to each recipe. Here are some great options to try!
- Garlic Broccoli Stir Fry Recipe w/Video
- Air Fryer Frozen Garlic Bread
- Air Fryer Garlic Butter Naan
- Parmesan Garlic Roasted Green Beans Recipe