There's no need to plan a special trip to the grocery store just to buy granulated garlic the next time a recipe calls for it. Instead, use fresh garlic or garlic powder in place of the granulated version, although you'll need to use more of the fresh garlic to make up for granulated garlic's intense flavor. In a pinch, garlic chives, shallots or even onions can be used as a similar replacement for granulated garlic, as they're all members of the same plant family.
Dried Garlic Substitutions
Garlic powder is the closest thing you'll find to granulated garlic. Both products are made from dried garlic, but have a slightly different texture. Garlic powder has a fine, flour-like texture, while granulated garlic has a slightly more grainy texture. The two can be used interchangeably in recipes, and garlic powder is often easier to find in grocery stores. Garlic salt is dried garlic that has been combined with salt. To substitute garlic salt for granulated garlic, increase the amount by three times, but reduce or eliminate any other salt in the recipe. For example, if the recipe calls for 1/8 tsp. granulated garlic, use 3/4 to 1 tsp. garlic salt.
Fresh Garlic Substitutions
Fresh garlic can also be substituted for granular garlic. Mince 1 clove garlic or use 1 tsp. minced, bottled garlic for each 1/8 tsp. granulated garlic. Fresh garlic has a less intense flavor than granulated garlic so you'll need more for the same effect.
Granulated garlic has an intense, potent garlic flavor and blends easily in sauces and rubs. Fresh garlic has a mellow, slightly sweet garlic taste that is enhanced through roasting. It works well for fresh dishes that don't require long periods of cooking, such as salsas, shrimp scampi or pasta salads. Keep these differences in mind when substituting fresh garlic for granulated garlic.
Substitute onion varieties for granulated garlic when nothing else is available. Shallots, chives and garlic chives have a flavor similar, though not identical, to garlic cloves. Mince shallots finely and add them to any recipe that calls for granulated garlic. Chives and garlic chives lose color and flavor during long baking times. Use them in fresh salads or add them to soups and casseroles as a garnish after cooking.
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Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."