The National Garlic Day (April 19) is just around the corner, so we figured now is the perfect time for us to dedicate an article to all the garlic lovers out there.
We know you’ll agree with us: garlic salt is the most convenient form of garlic condiment out there.
Unfortunately, it has high sodium due to its salt content, so it may not be the best option for people who need to reduce their sodium consumption.
With that said, what’s the best alternative for it?
Regardless of whether you need to cut down on salt or run out of garlic salt stock, we’ve got the best garlic salt substitutes for you. Continue reading to know what these are.
- What Is Garlic Salt?
- Garlic Salt vs. Garlic Powder Difference
- Why Replace Garlic Salt?
- What Can I Substitute for Garlic Salt When Cooking?
- The Bottom Line
What Is Garlic Salt?
Garlic salt is a blend of garlic powder and salt. It’s used to season food, and it has a slightly different flavor than just garlic powder or salt alone.
Garlic Salt vs. Garlic Powder Difference
Garlic powder is made from dried, ground garlic cloves. Salt is a mineral compound composed of sodium and chloride.
Both garlic powder and salt are common ingredients in food. They are both flavor enhancers. However, they have different functions.
Salt can be used to add flavor to food or to enhance the flavors of other ingredients in a dish.
It can also be used to improve the texture of food and to retard spoilage.
Garlic powder does not have these same properties.
Why Replace Garlic Salt?
Most people replace garlic salt because they think it’s healthier. In fact, garlic salt is just as bad for you as regular salt. (*)
It’s high in sodium and can increase your blood pressure. If you’re looking to cut down on salt, swap out garlic salt for other options below:
What Can I Substitute for Garlic Salt When Cooking?
Here are some of the best garlic salt substitutes that you can use if you don’t have a bottle at home:
1. Homemade Garlic Salt
Yes, you can always make your garlic salt at home! The best part is that all the ingredients you need are probably already in your pantry: garlic and salt.
Use either garlic powder or granulated garlic if you want a mild garlicky flavor. On the other hand, go for fresh garlic if you love dishes with a solid and sharp garlic taste.
When using garlic powder or granulated garlic, mix a teaspoon of it with 1 tablespoon of salt.
You need to add 6 cloves of garlic and ½ cup of salt into a food processor and blend well for fresh garlic. After that, spread the resulting mixture into a baking sheet and bake it for 45 minutes at 200 degrees. If you find the mix a bit chunky, you should try blending it one more time.
Transfer in an airtight container, and you can enjoy it for 6 months.
Pro Tip: You can create your own custom garlic salt mixture by adding other spices and herbs to the mix.
2. Garlic Powder
If you don’t have the time to make a homemade garlic salt substitute, your next best bet would be garlic powder. Garlic powder is powdered dried garlic, so it’s finer than garlic salt.
Moreover, garlic salt contains more salt than garlic powder. Therefore, to achieve the same taste of garlic salt, you may need to add salt to your dish.
Since this has a mild garlic flavor than garlic salt, you can use it for dishes that don’t need a sharp garlic taste like garlic bread, meat rubs, stews, dips, sauces, and marinades.
Pro Tip: You can also make your garlic powder by drying the garlic cloves using a food dehydrator and grinding it afterward.
Can you substitute garlic powder for garlic salt in a recipe?
Yes, you can substitute garlic powder for garlic salt in a recipe. Garlic powder is made of dried, ground garlic cloves. Garlic salt is made of dried, ground garlic cloves and salt.
How much garlic powder equals a teaspoon of garlic salt?
So, if a recipe calls for garlic salt, you can substitute garlic powder by using 1/3 the amount called for in the recipe.
For example, if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of garlic salt, use 1/3 teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
3. Fresh Garlic
If you want an authentic garlicky flavor, then nothing beats fresh garlic. But of course, this would involve more work since you would need to remove the garlic’s skin.
Pro Tip: For easier peeling, there are three hacks that you can try: submerge the garlic cloves in boiling water, place them inside two bowls and shake, or crush it.
This substitute is best for all types of dishes that would require garlic salt. Don’t forget to add salt to achieve the level of saltness the dish needs.
For every 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder that the recipe calls for, use 1 clove of fresh garlic, then add salt to taste.
4. Minced Garlic
When it comes to minced garlic, you have two options: minced fresh garlic and jarred minced garlic.
Compared to garlic salt, the flavor of minced fresh garlic is a lot more potent, so this is the best option for garlic lovers. Additionally, you can preserve that intense garlic aroma when using this alternative.
After all, this is fresh garlic too. The only difference is it comes in a smaller form.
Due to its size and strong taste, this garlic salt substitute works well on dishes that require sautéing.
Pro Tip: You can prepare minced garlic in bulk. To preserve the extra minced garlic, you can try placing around 3 cups of garlic cloves in a food processor and add a tablespoon of salt and ½ cup of olive oil.
The added salt can help you achieve the saltiness of garlic salt. At the same time, it acts as a preservative that can help the fresh minced garlic last longer.
On the other hand, the jarred version contains minced dried garlic and a few preservatives, which will last longer than the fresh one.
5. Granulated Garlic
This is like garlic powder but with a rougher consistency. Because of this, it will give you the same strong and sharp garlic flavor as garlic powder.
But wait, there’s more. Its chunky texture gives it a bit of an edge. For one, it’s less likely to form clumps, so you can easily use this in making sauces, dips, or any dish with a smooth texture.
You can make granulated garlic at home simply by following the steps involved in making garlic powder. The only difference is that you stop blending while the garlic pieces are still bigger.
6. Garlic Puree
If you’re prepping creamy dishes, garlic puree is what you should use. Its thick consistency will suit your recipes quite well.
Use ¼ teaspoon of garlic puree for every 1 teaspoon of garlic salt needed.
Pro Tip: This is best used for making sauces and creams for sandwiches and pasta dishes.
7. Garlic Flakes
Garlic flakes are dehydrated thin and small slices of garlic, giving a richer and fuller flavor compared to granulated garlic and garlic powder.
When using this, replace a teaspoon of garlic salt with ½ teaspoon of garlic flakes and ¾ teaspoon of salt.
8. Garlic Juice
This alternative is made by
As compared to garlic salt, garlic juice has a milder taste. Because of this, you would need to add more of it than the amount of garlic salt the recipe requires.
Add 2 teaspoons of garlic juice and a 2/3 teaspoon of salt for every teaspoon of garlic salt in the recipe.
Pro Tip: Since it comes in liquid form, it’s best used in dressings, soups, and stews.
9. Garlic and Salt Paste
This is probably one of the best garlic salt substitutes because it contains the same ingredients. The only difference is the texture.
The advantage of using a paste is that it’s easier to incorporate into your dishes since you don’t have to wait for its salt content to dissolve.
Here’s another difference: the garlic flavor in the paste is a lot more intense and bolder than that in garlic salt.
To prepare this at home, you simply need to chop garlic cloves, season it with salt, and then mash using a fork.
Pro Tip: For your convenience, you can simply throw all the ingredients into a food processor and blend them to form a paste.
10. Garlic Oil
For those who don’t like the sharpness and aroma of garlic, this is the substitute for you. You can find garlic oil in lots of grocery stores. The good news is you can also make one at home.
To prepare homemade garlic oil, you would need ahead of garlic, a cup of olive oil, and spices or herbs.
Begin by peeling the garlic cloves and adding them to a pot. Add lots of olive oil. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, constantly stirring to prevent the garlic from burning.
Pro Tip: This is mainly used in making salad dressings. You can also drizzle it on top of roasted meat and chicken.
11. Onion Powder
Onion powder is just simply ground-dried onion. This is a recommended garlic salt substitute for people with kidney and heart issues because it usually contains less salt.
You would most commonly see onions used in conjunction with garlic in most recipes. So if you want to cut down on your sodium consumption, you can skip the garlic and use onion powder instead.
Use equal portions when using this as a substitute.
Pro Tip: This is an excellent alternative for cooking stews, soups, sauces, and dips.
12. Asafoetida Powder
In India, Asafoetida powder is used to substitute onions and garlic because they believe that those two spices are harsh on the digestive tract.
Bonus point: it lends a savory flavor to the dishes, minus the garlicky breath that many people don’t like.
To substitute, use ½ teaspoon of Asafoetida powder for every 2 minced garlic cloves or 2/3 cup of minced onion needed.
Pro Tip: A small amount of this powder goes a long way. Use this sparingly on eggs, fish, and salad dressings.
13. Mustard Powder
If you like adding a boost of flavor to your meals but need to cut down on sodium consumption, try using mustard powder instead of garlic salt.
We like this garlic salt substitute because it’s spicy, pungent, and a bit earthy—exactly like garlic salt!
Since it has low sodium content, this is highly recommended for people with kidney disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes.
When substituting garlic salt with mustard powder, use only ½ teaspoon of it for every teaspoon of garlic salt the recipe calls for.
14. Spice Mixes
Garlic makes everything better. However, experimenting with just garlic and salt can sometimes become boring.
To make your meals more flavorful, we recommend adding spice and herbs with different aromas and flavors to your dried garlic and salt mixture.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have the time to make your spice blend, you can always go for commercially available pre-made spice mixes.
The Bottom Line
When choosing a substitute for garlic salt, the most critical factor you need to consider is the intensity of flavor—whether you want a subtle flavor or a fuller and richer one.
Please browse through our list once you’ve decided on that to find which alternatives would work best on your meals.