Say you’re preparing to cook a tender London broil as the star to your delicious feast and it calls for 1 tablespoon of minced garlic. You then find yourself looking at the garlic bulb on your kitchen counter, wondering how many cloves of garlic you need to get a tablespoon of minced garlic. Cooking directions may ask for 1 clove of minced garlic, while others might say 2 teaspoons. This could leave you stumped and have you searching online for conversions in the middle of cooking. Of course, measurements can be confusing when recipes describe them in varying ways and the tools you have in your kitchen may also be limited. So, knowing how to convert measurements in the kitchen using tools that are available to you will be an important culinary skill.
Luckily, we got the answer for you! Read below to find an easy cloves-to-minced-garlic conversion chart. We’ve also provided a guide on how to mince garlic, as well as the many substitutes you can use if you don’t have it on hand. Lastly, try the recipes below that are made better with this prized kitchen staple.
Cloves to Minced Garlic
Garlic is one of the most essential cooking ingredients that can lend fantastic flavor and depth to any dish. It boosts the aroma of your cooking and excites your senses as soon as it hits the sizzling pan. These little flavor bombs are usually in every savory recipe in different forms from sliced, chopped, minced, to powdered form. Minced is the most common preparation recipes ask for. But how exactly do you correctly measure when using them in recipes?
First, of course, is to get ahold of a garlic bulb from your favorite grocery store. They vary in size but you can typically get 10-12 cloves from a regular-sized garlic bulb. And with these cloves, you can start preparing however it is asked for in the recipe.
How Much Minced Garlic Can You Get From a Clove?
Estimating how much you can get from a clove of garlic can be a head-scratcher. To answer this question right away, 1 small clove of garlic is usually equal to ½ teaspoon of minced garlic. If the recipe calls for more than ½ teaspoon, you just need to double or triple the amount to get an accurate measurement. But you can follow this quick guide for the conversion of small garlic cloves to be more exact:
- 1 garlic clove = ½ teaspoon of minced garlic
- 2 garlic cloves = 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- 3 garlic cloves = 1 ½ teaspoon of minced garlic
- 4 garlic cloves = 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
Clove to Minced Garlic Conversion Guide
On the other hand, it is possible that you don’t have fresh garlic on hand and opt to use alternatives you already have at home. For a quick reference of minced garlic to clove measurements, here is a handy guide you can use!
The garlic conversion chart above is equivalent measurements for a small clove of garlic in teaspoons. If you need larger quantities for your cooking, it would be useful to know how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon to estimate the ratio of minced garlic to cloves. Basically, in 1 tablespoon there are usually 3 teaspoons. Thus, if there is ½ teaspoon of minced garlic from 1 clove, you would need 6 cloves of garlic for 1 tablespoon of minced garlic.
How to Mince Garlic
Minced garlic packs a big punch to any dish despite its size. In fact, the smaller the mince is, the more its flavor intensifies. This is thanks to the enzyme, allicin, that garlic produces the more you break it down into finer pieces. That is why some recipes ask for chopped or minced garlic depending on how intense the flavor should be in the dish.
Adding the familiar flavor of garlic to your dish is quite easy. You can opt to use jarred garlic as it will save you a lot of time. But don’t stress if you don’t have jarred garlic or tools such as garlic presses, graters, or food processors at home. Just follow these simple steps to help you easily mince garlic:
- Take your garlic cloves and trim off both tips with a knife. Some parts of the peel may also come off as you do this.
- Carefully crush each clove with your knife flat side down (blade facing away from you). The skin will separate from the garlic with just enough pressure from your knife. Peel the rest of the skin off.
- Cut thin slices down the garlic and then finely mince with a rocking motion until you get the desired size.
Crushed vs Chopped vs Minced
Although there isn’t much of a difference between crushed garlic, chopped garlic, and minced garlic apart from their sizes, this tiny detail can greatly alter a dish if you choose one over the other without paying attention to the recipe.
To be more specific, crushed garlic is basically cloves that have been pressed to make a paste. Alternatively, chopped garlic is rough in size and can have big chunks while minced garlic is finer in texture. The apparent size difference is important to take note of whether you want bigger or finer pieces in the food. Of course, you wouldn’t want to get a huge bite of garlic in a smooth and creamy mashed potato!
Substitutes to Minced Garlic in Dishes
On another note, if you don’t have fresh garlic cloves on hand, no need to worry! There are still other ways you can impart the distinct and pungent flavor of garlic we all know and love! Here are a few alternatives to minced garlic you can use in your kitchen:
- Garlic Paste – This ready-made version of garlic can be easily found in stores. People often grab one of these off the shelves for convenience. One squeeze and you have all that flavor in paste form!
- Garlic Powder – This alternative is popularly used in many recipes next to fresh garlic. Garlic powder is more concentrated in flavor and sweeter in smell due to the drying process. But it is still less potent compared to the fresh kind.
- Garlic Salt – This swap is basically garlic powder combined with salt. You can use ½ teaspoon to replace one garlic clove. Do note that opting for garlic salt will add ⅜ teaspoon of salt to your dish. So, remember to adjust your seasonings accordingly.
- Granulated Garlic – Also made from dehydrated garlic. This is just a rougher or coarser version of the garlic powder that we’re used to. It’s less concentrated than garlic powder but you can use more of it if needed.
- Garlic Flakes – Another substitute that you can use if you really can’t find any other version in your pantry is this dried type. Garlic flakes are essentially dried slices of garlic and are larger in size compared to other varieties. This characteristic makes it better suited for dishes that require bigger pieces of garlic.
With these alternatives in mind, you can still add the essential taste that garlic brings to a dish even without freshly minced garlic. Just refer to the garlic clove conversion guide for measurements we made just for you!
Savory Dishes You Can Make With Minced Garlic
Now that you’ve mastered garlic measurements in any shape and form, the best thing to do now is to whip up a delicious meal you can enjoy with your family and friends. Here are our recommendations for recipes that are loaded with flavor and will surely put a smile on your face!
- Chinese Red Cabbage Fried Rice – We won’t miss including this classic fried rice when talking about garlicky goodness in a recipe. Irresistible with its appetizing aroma, this Chinese fried rice has ginger, green chili sauce, scallions, and of course, garlic. The addition of red cabbage adds a bit of crunch and sweetness that is so satisfying.
- Copycat Panera Bread Garden Vegetable Soup – With garlic comes bold flavors, and this dish is the right recipe to fill you up with deliciousness! While seemingly simple, this soup is bursting with flavors from the bright vegetables, herbs, and spices. This dish will certainly be the go-to comfort food that will keep you cozy during the cold weather.
- Creamy Chicken Drumsticks – Recreate this creamy chicken drumsticks dish that is quick and easy to prepare. Add the right amount of garlic mince or a cheeky amount for an extra bite!