Garlic paste is a common ingredient in Indian cuisines but once you try it, chances are that you will want to use it for many other dishes as well.
This paste can add a lot of flavor to many dishes from curries and stir-fries to even soups, pasta, and meat. It is often used along with ginger paste as these two combined, create a delicious umami flavor to your food.
If you don’t have garlic paste, you can successfully use minced garlic, garlic powder, garlic flakes, green garlic, dried garlic, or some of the following options.
Best Substitutes for Garlic Paste
You can use either one of the following substitutes if you don’t have garlic paste. However, we recommend tasting your food as you are cooking it to make sure you obtain the flavor you are looking for.
1. Fresh minced garlic
The best substitute for garlic paste that you can use is fresh minced garlic. Add this ingredient to all foods that call for garlic paste and you will obtain a very similar taste.
You can buy already minced garlic or you can mince it at home. It is a common ingredient in supermarkets and comes at a fairly cheap price.
2. Garlic powder
Another suitable alternative for garlic paste is garlic powder.
The powder comes in a finer form that can dissolve a lot faster in your dish as you cook it. However, its garlic flavor will remain present. Use as much garlic powder as you would use garlic paste.
This substitute works great in curries, stir-fries, salads, or as a seasoning in stews, soups, or other sauces. You can find this alternative in nearly any store at a decent price. It is quite convenient to use in any type of recipe.
3. Garlic flakes
This product is very similar to minced garlic. You can use it in the same manner instead of garlic paste. Garlic flakes are bigger than minced garlic and they will not dissolve as easily.
You can use this alternative best in cooked dishes as heat will enhance the flavor of garlic. In terms of quantity, you will have to follow your preferences.
You can start by replacing a teaspoon of garlic paste with a teaspoon of garlic flakes and decide if you need to add more of this ingredient.
4. Green garlic
Green garlic is a seasonal option that you will find in certain countries, mostly during the spring and the start of summer. It is a good substitute for garlic paste in terms of taste, however, it will bring a different texture and aesthetic to your final dish.
Green garlic is often confused with green onion as the two ingredients look very much alike. But once you try green garlic, you might learn to prefer it in a variety of dishes.
Use it in the amount that you prefer and you will be able to cook the dish you want. Keep in mind that, you will have to chop the green garlic in order to get it to the size you need to be added to your dish.
5. Dried garlic
This type of garlic can also add garlic flavor to your food but you need to adjust the quantity to get to the desired result.
It is not as strong as fresh garlic and definitely not as concentrated as garlic paste. So, you want to add more of this substitute if you want a stronger garlic flavor. The recommended ratio is two teaspoons of dried garlic for each teaspoon of garlic paste.
6. Mixed seasoning
There are mixed seasoning packs on the market that will offer you a variety of herbs, including some garlic, in a pinch.
The garlic you will find in these mixes can come as dried garlic, powder, or minced garlic. If you find the right mix for your preferences, you might not need to add other seasoning ingredients to your food as it will taste delicious already.
But you will most likely go through a variety of such products until you find the one that works for you and the dishes you want to make.
7. Onion powder
While there is a significant difference between garlic and onion, you will notice that both these veggies are used to add a defined flavor to different dishes.
If you like onion and you have it in a powder form, it will resemble garlic paste very much in your foods. You can use minced onion or dried onion. However, the onion powder tends to be easier to find than the rest of the alternatives.
Add as much onion powder to your dish as you like, according to your personal taste.
8. Wild garlic
Wild garlic resembles lettuce as it comes in the form of green leaves. However, it has a very similar taste to the garlic you are more used to using in your dishes.
You can replace your garlic paste with chopped wild garlic in any recipe you want. It goes very well in salads and cold dishes as it has a more pungent taste in an uncooked form.
You can find it at many supermarkets, in the fresh veggies aisle. And it might become one of the staples in your kitchen.
9. Garlic sauce
You can easily find garlic sauce in a multitude of forms in your local stores. Some garlic sauce is flavored while other is plain but all of them can be great substitutes for garlic paste.
Both garlic sauce and garlic paste tend to have a similar, thick texture. However, the sauce is a bit finer than the paste. Again, the texture depends on the brand you purchase as well.
Use garlic sauce of your choice instead of garlic paste with a 1:1 ratio. You can always add more as you need when you are adjusting the taste of your food.
10. Garlic sprouts
Just like green garlic, garlic sprout is a great option to consider as well, if you don’t have the garlic paste.
Garlic sprouts might be harder to find in stores but you can also grow them at home in a pot. If you have garlic sprouts you can use them in any type of recipe that calls for paste.
You might need to use more garlic sprouts in order to obtain a similar, intense garlic taste that the paste would offer you. However, as long as you follow your preferences, you can’t go wrong with this substitute.
Is Minced Garlic the Same as Garlic Paste?
Minced garlic has many similarities in terms of taste and texture with garlic paste. However, they are not the same thing.
First of all, minced garlic is just garlic. Garlic paste, on the other hand, is a combination of garlic and other ingredients such as oil and salt.
So, ultimately, you will have a different texture and a different taste in terms of intensity. But you can use minced garlic and garlic paste interchangeably without compromising your dishes.
How Do You Make Garlic Paste?
You can buy garlic paste in many supermarkets. Or you can make it at home with no struggle.
If you want to make garlic paste at home, you will need a pound of garlic cloves and three tablespoons of oil. You can add a pinch of salt or extra flavor and any type of oil you want. Avocado oil or olive oil tends to be the best options for a garlic paste.
All you will have to do is peel the garlic and add it along with the oil and some salt in a blender or food processor. Blend until you get a paste consistency.
You can store this garlic paste in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.
Garlic paste is a delicious ingredient to add to your dishes and it can truly make a difference in the final taste. And if you don’t have this condiment, you can always use one of the alternatives in this guide.
However, considering how easy it is to make garlic paste at home, we suggest giving the recipe a try as you might be surprised by the result.