How much minced garlic equals a clove?

Quick Answer

The quick answer is that 1 medium clove of garlic is typically equivalent to 1 teaspoon or about 3 grams of minced garlic. So if a recipe calls for 1 clove of garlic, you can generally substitute 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. However, garlic cloves can vary significantly in size, so it’s not an exact conversion.

How Many Cloves in a Head of Garlic

A head of garlic usually contains around 10-15 cloves on average. However, this can vary:

  • Elephant garlic heads contain 4-6 extra-large cloves
  • Regular garlic heads can contain as few as 8 cloves or as many as 20

The size of individual cloves also varies based on the garlic variety and growing conditions. Here are some approximations:

  • Small/medium garlic cloves = 1-1.5g
  • Large garlic cloves = 2-3g
  • Extra-large garlic cloves = 4-5g

So a typical head of garlic weighing 50g with 12 cloves would average about 4g per clove. Again though, actual clove sizes can range quite a bit from 1g for tiny cloves up to 8-10g for jumbo cloves.

How to Substitute Minced Garlic for Fresh Cloves

Since clove sizes vary, it’s tricky to convert a number of cloves to an equivalent minced garlic amount with precision. But here are some general guidelines:

  • 1 small clove = 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 medium clove = 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 large clove = 1.5-2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 extra-large clove = 1 tablespoon minced garlic

You can also substitute based on weight instead of size:

  • 1g garlic (small piece of clove) = 1/4 teaspoon
  • 3g garlic (1 medium clove) = 1 teaspoon
  • 6g garlic (2 large cloves) = 2 teaspoons

The most precise way to substitute is to weigh your garlic cloves on a kitchen scale, then use 3g of minced garlic for every 1g of garlic cloves called for (3:1 ratio).

For example, if a recipe calls for 30g of garlic cloves, use 90g or about 3 tablespoons of minced garlic.

Garlic Equivalents Table

Fresh Garlic Cloves Minced Garlic
1 small clove 1/2 teaspoon
1 medium clove (3g) 1 teaspoon
2 medium cloves (6g) 2 teaspoons
1 large clove 1.5-2 teaspoons
1 extra-large clove 1 tablespoon
10g garlic cloves 1 tablespoon
15g garlic cloves 1.5 tablespoons
30g garlic cloves 3 tablespoons

Tips for Converting Garlic Amounts

Here are some handy tips for substituting minced garlic for fresh cloves:

  • 1 medium clove is typically around 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • For accuracy, weigh cloves and use a 3:1 ratio (3g minced per 1g cloves)
  • If in doubt, start with less minced garlic and adjust to taste
  • One garlic head contains an average of 10-12 cloves
  • Clove sizes can range from 1g for tiny to 8g for jumbo
  • To substitute garlic powder, use half the minced garlic amount and add it toward the end

How to Select Garlic

Choosing fresh, high-quality garlic can make a big difference in flavor. Here’s what to look for:

  • Firm, tightly closed bulbs with papery skin intact
  • Avoid bulbs with soft spots or green sprouts
  • Heavier bulbs often indicate larger, juicier cloves
  • Choose bulbs with large cloves when using whole cloves is important

The variety of garlic also impacts flavor with softneck garlic being milder tasting than hardneck varieties. Elephant garlic has a very mild, almost sweet flavor compared to regular garlic.

How to Store Garlic

Properly stored garlic can last for several months:

  • Store bulbs loose, not bagged, in an open container
  • Keep in a cool, dry, dark place away from heat and sunlight
  • Whole bulbs last 2-3 months when stored at room temperature
  • Refrigerating extends shelf life to 4-5 months
  • Frozen minced garlic will keep for 6 months
  • Avoid getting garlic wet which can cause spoilage

Signs of old garlic include dried, shriveled skin and green sprouts emerging. Once cloves start to sprout, use them quickly.

Garlic Equivalents for Tubes and Jars

In addition to fresh garlic, minced garlic and garlic powder are handy flavor shortcuts:

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic = about 1 medium clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder = about 1 medium clove
  • 1 tablespoon jarred minced garlic = about 2 medium cloves
  • 1 teaspoon tube garlic paste = about 1 medium clove

When substituting jarred garlic, reduce the amount slightly as the flavor concentrates during processing. Also, add toward the end of cooking since heat diminishes garlic’s punch.

How Much Garlic Powder Equals a Clove?

Garlic powder is made from dehydrated, ground garlic cloves. Keep in mind it has a more concentrated, pronounced flavor than fresh garlic:

  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder = 1 small clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder = 1 medium clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder = 1 large clove

Since garlic powder lacks the subtle nuances of fresh garlic, use a light hand and add it near the end of cooking for best results. Start with half the amount of garlic powder as fresh cloves.

Garlic Nutrition Facts

Garlic is low in calories but packs a nutritious punch. Some of its health benefits include:

  • Good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese
  • Contains antioxidants that may boost heart health
  • Has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties
  • May benefit digestive health and cholesterol levels

Here are the nutrition facts for 3g (1 clove) of raw garlic:

  • Calories: 5
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Vitamin C: 1% DV
  • Manganese: 3% DV

Garlic also contains small amounts of calcium, potassium, iron and B vitamins.

Health Benefits of Garlic

For centuries, garlic has been used for its medicinal properties. Science suggests some of its potential benefits include:

Heart Health

  • May lower blood pressure in people with hypertension
  • Appears to reduce cholesterol, especially LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
  • Thins the blood, preventing clots and lowering risk of heart attack
  • Contains antioxidants that protect the heart

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

  • Reduces inflammation linked to arthritis, allergies, and autoimmune disorders
  • May decrease risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s

Immune System Boost

  • Enhances immune cell activity to fend off pathogens
  • Contains compounds with anti-microbial effects against bacteria/fungi
  • May reduce severity and frequency of colds and flu

Blood Sugar Control

  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Lowers blood sugars in people with type 2 diabetes
  • May reduce complications of diabetes when taken daily

More studies are needed to confirm many of garlic’s benefits. But adding it to your diet can provide health perks along with its delicious flavor.

How to Cook With Garlic

Garlic adds wonderful flavor to all sorts of savory dishes. Here are some tips for cooking with garlic:


Cook minced garlic briefly in olive oil over low heat before adding other aromatics. Go for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and slightly softened but not browned.


Roast whole garlic cloves or bulbs drizzled with olive oil at 325°F for 30-40 minutes for a sweet, nutty flavor. Squeeze out the soft roasted cloves and mash into a paste.

Infusing Oil

Steep peeled garlic cloves in oil for a day or two, then strain out the cloves. Use the seasoned oil for sautéing, dipping bread or drizzling over pasta.

Adding Raw

Use raw minced garlic at the end of cooking for maximum bite and pungency. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to develop flavor before serving.

Toasting Garlic Powder

For an extra punch of aroma in spice rubs, sprinkle in garlic powder toward the end of cooking so it gently toasts but doesn’t burn.

Common Garlic Varieties

There are over 600 varieties of garlic grown worldwide. The main types you’ll see include:

Softneck Garlic

  • Best for braiding
  • More shelf stable
  • More mild, subtle flavor
  • Usually has 8-12 cloves per bulb
  • Most common in supermarkets

Popular softneck varieties:

  • Silverwhite
  • Artichoke
  • Silverskin

Hardneck Garlic

  • Offer more complex, pungent flavor
  • Contain a woody central stalk
  • Typically have 4-12 larger cloves
  • Don’t store as long as softneck

Popular hardneck varieties:

  • Rocambole
  • Purple Stripe
  • Porcelain

Elephant Garlic

  • Actually a different species, not true garlic
  • Milder, more garlic scape-like flavor
  • Contains just 4-6 oversized cloves
  • Low in the sulfur compounds responsible for strong garlic taste

Experiment with different garlic types to see which you prefer. Hardneck garlic offers the most traditional bold garlic punch.

Popular Garlic Dishes and Uses

Garlic is valued in cuisines across the globe. Here are some of the most popular ways to enjoy garlic flavor:

  • Aioli and toum – Rich garlicky sauces and spreads
  • Pesto – Basil, garlic, pine nut and olive oil Italian sauce
  • Hummus – Chickpea dip with tahini and roasted garlic
  • Shrimp or chicken garlic scampi
  • Garlic bread
  • Bruschetta topped with a garlicky tomato mixture
  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Garlic butter shrimp or steak
  • Greek tzatziki sauce with yogurt, garlic and fresh herbs
  • Chicken or lamb gyros with yogurt and garlic
  • Garlic parmesan wings or garlic chicken thighs

For the biggest garlic fans, recipes like garlic soup or garlic knots really let its flavor shine through. A little garlic goes a long way in providing a flavor base for sauces, marinades and spice rubs.


When substituting minced garlic for fresh cloves, a good rule of thumb is that 1 medium clove equals about 1 teaspoon or 3 grams. For ultimate precision, weigh the cloves and use 3 parts minced garlic for each 1 part garlic cloves by weight. Keep in mind that garlic bulbs contain variable numbers and sizes of cloves, so conversions are always estimates.Whether using fresh cloves, minced or powdered garlic, add it toward the end of cooking for the best flavor. And enjoy experimenting with garlic varieties like hardneck, softneck and elephant garlic for diverse culinary uses. With its health benefits and incredible taste, this flavorful ingredient truly deserves its status as “the stinking rose”.

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