How much garlic is equal to 2 cloves?

Garlic is a popular ingredient used in many savory dishes worldwide. Its pungent, onion-like flavor can transform simple recipes into aromatic culinary delights. When following a recipe, you may encounter instructions calling for a certain number of garlic cloves. But what if you only have garlic measured in a different way? How can you determine garlic equivalents and substitute accordingly?

Quick Answer

As a quick answer, 2 cloves of garlic are approximately equal to:

  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt (to taste)

These measurements are based on averages and can vary slightly depending on the size of the garlic clove. When in doubt, start with less and adjust to taste. Below we’ll explore these garlic conversions in more detail.

Garlic Cloves, Minced Garlic, and Garlic Powder

When following a recipe, the first step is understanding the specifics of the garlic ingredient called for:

  • Garlic cloves – The entire garlic bulb contains multiple cloves, which are the individual garlic segments wrapped in papery skin.
  • Minced garlic – Garlic that has been finely chopped into very small pieces.
  • Garlic powder – Dehydrated, ground garlic that comes as a powdery seasoning.

Knowing how these forms of garlic differ is helpful when converting between them.

Garlic Cloves to Minced Garlic

On average, 2 small-medium cloves of fresh garlic will yield about 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. However, garlic cloves can vary in size. Here are more precise guidelines:

  • 2 very small garlic cloves = 1/2 teaspoon minced
  • 2 small garlic cloves = 3/4 teaspoon minced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves = 1 teaspoon minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves = 1 1/4 teaspoons minced
  • 2 extra large garlic cloves = 1 1/2 teaspoons minced

To substitute, first mince the cloves very finely. Then, measure out the amount needed based on clove size.

Garlic Cloves to Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is more concentrated than fresh garlic. On average:

  • 2 small-medium garlic cloves = 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

But similar to fresh garlic, clove size can impact the conversion:

  • 2 very small garlic cloves = 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 small garlic cloves = 1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 medium garlic cloves = 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large garlic cloves = 2/3 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 extra large garlic cloves = 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Since garlic powder is concentrated, add it gradually and adjust to taste. Start with less garlic powder and add more as needed.

Minced Garlic to Garlic Powder

When converting minced garlic to garlic powder, reduce the amount to about half:

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic = 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

However, you may need to adjust this ratio depending on your taste preferences and the dish you are preparing. Use the converted amount of garlic powder as a starting point. Increase or decrease the amount as needed.

Garlic Salt

Garlic salt is a popular seasoned salt that combines garlic powder with salt. It adds garlic flavor along with a salty boost.

Garlic Cloves to Garlic Salt

Substituting garlic cloves with garlic salt requires care, as garlic salt contains salt in addition to garlic. On average:

  • 2 small-medium garlic cloves = 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

But the actual amount can vary based on clove size and taste:

  • 2 very small garlic cloves = 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 small garlic cloves = 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 medium garlic cloves = 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 large garlic cloves = 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 extra large garlic cloves = 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Since garlic salt includes salt, err on the lower end of the range. You can always add more to taste.

Minced Garlic to Garlic Salt

When substituting minced garlic for garlic salt, you’ll need even less garlic salt. Try starting with:

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic = 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt

Taste the dish and slowly increase the garlic salt as needed. Garlic salt can quickly overpower other flavors.

Garlic Powder to Garlic Salt

Garlic powder and garlic salt have concentrated, powdery textures. But garlic salt contains additional salt. Try these conservative substitutions:

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder = 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder = 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

You can add more to taste, but use a light hand since garlic salt is very potent.

Tips for Converting Garlic Amounts

Here are some helpful tips when substituting garlic cloves with other forms of garlic:

  • Start with less garlic. You can always add more to taste.
  • Powdery forms of garlic are more concentrated. Use 25-50% less garlic powder or garlic salt.
  • Account for clove size. Larger cloves may need more substituted garlic.
  • Adjust to taste and be careful with garlic salt.
  • Don’t worry about perfection. Cooking is subjective, so taste and tweak as you go.

Garlic Substitution Chart

For easy reference, here is a garlic substitution chart summarizing the conversions:

2 garlic cloves Equal to
Very small 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp garlic salt
Small 3/4 tsp minced garlic
1/3 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp garlic salt
Medium 1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Large 1 1/4 tsp minced garlic
2/3 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Extra large 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4-1/2 tsp garlic salt

Sample Recipes Using Garlic Substitutions

To see these garlic conversions in action, here are some recipe examples with garlic clove amounts substituted:


Original: 2 garlic cloves

Substitution: 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Pesto often calls for garlic cloves, but garlic powder can substitute nicely. Use about 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder for 2 medium garlic cloves. Add it with the basil, pine nuts, olive oil and cheese.


Original: 3 garlic cloves

Substitution: 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

For a soup calling for 3 garlic cloves, use 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic instead. Add it to the onions and aromatics during the start of cooking to infuse the broth with flavor.


Original: 4 garlic cloves through a press or minced

Substitution: 2 teaspoons minced garlic OR 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

On a homemade pizza with garlic in the crust or sauce, substitute 4 pressed garlic cloves with either 2 teaspoons minced garlic or 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Adjust to taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do garlic conversions vary?

Garlic conversions vary mainly due to clove size, which can range from small to extra large. Larger cloves contain more garlic pulp and moisture, requiring greater substituted amounts. Powdery forms like garlic powder are also more concentrated.

Can I substitute garlic paste for fresh cloves?

Yes, garlic paste or puree can substitute for chopped fresh garlic. Use about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic paste per clove.

What’s the difference between minced garlic and chopped garlic?

Minced garlic is cut into very fine pieces, smaller than chopped garlic. Minced garlic disperses nicely into dishes. Chopped garlic has slightly larger pieces for texture.

Can I use elephant garlic in place of regular garlic?

Elephant garlic has a milder flavor and larger cloves. For full flavor, use 50% more elephant garlic cloves in place of regular garlic.


Converting garlic amounts is a handy substitution skill. While minced garlic, garlic powder and garlic salt can all stand in for chopped garlic cloves, pay attention to clove size and adjust seasonings accordingly. A good rule of thumb is to start with less garlic and increase to taste. With these tips and conversions, you can seamlessly substitute garlic measurements in recipes.

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