What are 3 cloves of minced garlic?

Garlic is a popular ingredient used in many savory dishes around the world. When a recipe calls for minced garlic, it is referring to garlic that has been finely chopped into very small pieces. Minced garlic mixes well into sauces, soups, marinades, etc. and infuses the dish with garlic flavor.

How much is 3 cloves of garlic?

A clove of garlic refers to one segment of a whole garlic bulb. Garlic bulbs contain multiple cloves, usually around 10-20 cloves per bulb. The cloves can vary in size depending on the specific variety and growing conditions, but on average one clove of garlic weighs around 3-7 grams.

So 3 average sized cloves of garlic would weigh approximately 9-21 grams total. This would equate to about 1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic.

Steps to mince 3 cloves of garlic

Here is a step-by-step process for mincing 3 cloves of garlic:

  1. Break apart 3 cloves from a whole garlic bulb. Try to select cloves of similar size if possible.
  2. Peel the papery skin off each clove. You can do this by hand or use a small knife to help peel the skin off.
  3. Trim the end off each clove and remove any dried or discolored portions.
  4. Lay the peeled cloves on a cutting board and roughly chop into smaller pieces. You may need 3-5 chops per clove.
  5. Gather the chopped garlic in a pile and holding your knife parallel to the cutting board, mince the garlic by making thin slices through the pile.
  6. Continue mincing, scraping and gathering the garlic back into a pile as you go. Mince until the garlic is very finely chopped and has a paste-like consistency.
  7. Use a spoon or knife to transfer the minced garlic to your recipe or storage container.

Chopping and mincing garlic by hand takes some practice to master. Be sure to work slowly and keep your fingers curled under to avoid accidental cuts. Using a sharp knife makes mincing much easier.

Garlic equivalents and conversions

It can be handy to know garlic equivalents when substituting pre-minced garlic or other forms:

  • 1 clove fresh garlic = 1⁄2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic = about 3 small cloves
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic = about 9 cloves
  • 1 small garlic bulb = about 9-12 cloves

Some other useful garlic conversions include:

Fresh garlic Jarred, minced garlic
1 clove 1⁄2 teaspoon
3 cloves 11⁄2 teaspoons
1 tablespoon, minced 1 teaspoon

How to store leftover minced garlic

Minced garlic can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To help it last longer:

  • Place the minced garlic in an airtight container or jar.
  • Cover with a thin layer of olive oil or water.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

The oil or water creates an anaerobic environment that slows spoilage. Stored this way, minced garlic can last around 5-7 days. Without oil or water it may only last 2-3 days.

What to use minced garlic for

Minced garlic is a versatile ingredient that can be used to add flavor to many savory preparations:

  • Sauces and marinades: Mix into tomato sauce, pasta sauce, salad dressings, brines, herb rubs, and more.
  • Soups and stews: Add to chicken noodle soup, beef stew, chili, lentil soup, etc.
  • Vegetables: Toss with roasted vegetables, stir fries, garlic bread, mashed potatoes.
  • Meats and seafood: Season chicken, beef, fish, shrimp, pork chops before cooking.
  • Casseroles and bakes: Mix into lasagna, eggplant parmesan, enchiladas, casseroles.
  • Dips: Stir into hummus, spinach dip, baba ganoush, tzatziki sauce.

Start with 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic and adjust to taste preferences. Garlic burns easily, so add it towards the end of cooking when possible.

Some recipe ideas using minced garlic:

Garlic Shrimp Scampi

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  2. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes per side until pink.
  3. Add wine, lemon juice, butter, parsley and season with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes until sauce reduces.
  4. Serve over pasta or rice.

Chicken & Vegetable Stir Fry

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • Cooked rice, for serving


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry 30 seconds.
  2. Add chicken and stir-fry 3-5 minutes until lightly browned.
  3. Remove chicken from pan. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil, broccoli, bell pepper and mushrooms. Stir-fry 3-4 minutes.
  4. Whisk together soy sauce, honey and cornstarch. Return chicken to pan and add sauce. Cook 2 minutes until sauce thickens.
  5. Serve over rice.

Tips for cooking with minced garlic

Here are some tips to get the most flavor from minced garlic:

  • Cook briefly: The flavor becomes bitter and unpleasant if cooked too long. Add towards the end of cooking.
  • Watch the heat: Too high heat burns the garlic. Use medium-low to medium heat.
  • Sauté in oil: Heating it briefly in oil helps mellow the flavor.
  • Roast for sweetness: Roasting whole garlic cloves makes them deliciously sweet and spreadable.
  • Pair with herbs: Garlic nicely complements herbs like parsley, basil, oregano and thyme.
  • Enhance with acid: Splash with lemon juice or vinegar to brighten the flavor.

With proper storage and careful cooking, minced garlic can add its signature flavor and aroma to countless dishes. A little goes a long way, so start with a small amount and increase to taste. Enjoy experimenting with easy ways to incorporate minced garlic into your everyday cooking!


To summarize, 3 cloves of minced garlic refers to about 1-2 teaspoons of finely chopped garlic, which provides a versatile flavor boost to many savory recipes. Proper mincing technique, storage and cooking helps maximize its flavor potential. With so many uses in sauces, meats, vegetables and more, minced garlic is a handy staple in any kitchen.

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