Making homemade garlic paste is a much healthier and affordable solution— and SO much easier to do when you follow the simple tricks below! It only takes five minutes to blend a whole bulb in a food processor with oil until it forms a smooth paste. This fresh garlic paste recipe will soon be one of your favorite because it’s the quickest and easiest way to have this aromatic on hand for any type of dish!

What is garlic paste?

Garlic paste is blended garlic with either water or olive oil. It can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer (here’s more on how to store garlic and how to freeze garlic). Garlic paste is one of the cornerstones in Asian and Indian cooking because of its stronger flavor, compared to other types of preparations.

Is garlic paste the same as other forms of garlic?

While still having the same fundamental flavor profile as other forms, garlic paste has an extra depth of flavor. Different preparations vary in how garlicky each of them taste. Pre-minced garlic in the jar, for example, won’t be as strong as freshly minced, sliced, or diced versions. On the extreme end of the spectrum, garlic paste presents a deep and prominent flavor.

If needed, all forms of garlic can be used interchangeably. You’ll get more or less a similar result using a teaspoon of garlic paste as you would a teaspoon of minced garlic. What you’ll miss with the minced version is the paste’s depth and complexity. It’s worth experimenting with different preparations to find what works for you!

Peeled garlic cloves on a countertop.

Why should I make garlic paste?

Having garlic paste on hand adds convenience to any recipe that calls for it. And it’s so easy to make at home! One batch will last a few months in the freezer and still taste fresh (here’s how to freeze garlic). Homemade garlic paste is also a cheaper alternative than the jarred stuff at the grocery store, and it doesn’t have any added preservatives or salts that manufactured versions typically have. 

Not only does garlic paste make cooking easier, it also offers great health benefits. Garlic paste is good for regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels, is a natural antioxidant, and helps defend against the flu and colds.

How to make garlic paste?

Making garlic paste is SO fast, it only takes 5 minutes. Below, you’ll find the best way, in 3 simple steps:

Remove Cloves from the Bulb

To make a big batch of garlic paste, you’ll want 5-6 whole heads of garlic.

First, place each head of garlic on a cutting board and apply pressure to the root end of the bulb with the palm of your hand to loosen up the cloves. Then, cut the root end off.

Smashing a whole, unpeeled garlic head/bulb.

Peel the Cloves

Next, peel the papery skin. There will be an outer layer that wraps the whole clove, and individual skins that hold each clove; all need to be removed.

There are a few ways to do this. You can crush the bulb with the palm of your hand, then smash the individual clove with the side of a knife, releasing the skin. Shaking the cloves in a metal bowl with a plate on top can help loosen the skins. Soaking them in water for a few minutes also helps.

Blend into a Paste

Put all the peeled cloves in a food processor or blender, along with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. (If you’re not a fan of olive oil, grapeseed, canola, vegetable, or avocado oils all work equally well.) Be careful about adding too much olive oil, or you’ll end up with a garlic purée. 

Blend for 30-60 seconds, scraping down the sides with a spatula every 10-15 seconds, or until a smoother paste forms.

PRO TIP: Don’t want garlic-smelling hands? Rub your fingers in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. You’ll thank me later!

Garlic paste in a food processor.

How to store garlic paste?

To store garlic paste, simply add it to an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

You can also learn How to Freeze Garlic and keep it for up to 6 months.

A handy method for quickly getting garlic paste from the freezer to your saucepan is to create individual portions using ice cube trays. Divide your batch of paste across 1 or 2 trays and place in the freezer. Once completely frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag. When ready to use, thaw a portion either at room temperature or directly in your pan as you cook.

Garlic paste in a glass bowl and a spoon.

How to Use Garlic Paste in Any Recipe

To use garlic paste in any recipe, all you need to know is that 1 teaspoon converts to 1 large or 2 small cloves. This conversion is the same whether you keep your paste in the fridge or freezer. You can add frozen cubes of garlic paste directly to your pan—they’ll thaw out in seconds!

How to spice up garlic paste?

You can spice up garlic paste by incorporating additional seasonings. For example, you can easily make ginger garlic paste by blending peeled fresh ginger or ginger powder with whole garlic cloves. For a Mexican spin, flavors like cilantro or taco seasoning complement garlic’s zestiness. The possibilities are endless!

The fun thing with garlic paste (and garlic in general), is that it’s an important ingredient in a crazy amount of recipes with all sorts of flavors! When you have such a convenient paste on hand, it’s easy to enjoy the many ways you can use this aromatic in different cultural cuisines.

Frozen garlic cloves in a plastic bag.

How to keep garlic paste fresher longer?

There are three ways to keep garlic paste fresh for longer: start with quality cloves, incorporate oil, and keep it refrigerated or frozen.

  • Quality of garlic: Find tightly closed bulbs with firm cloves. If using unpeeled garlic cloves, stay away from any that show forms of green streaks or bruises.
  • Top with oil: Oil is a natural preservative, so adding it to your garlic paste will extend its shelf life in your fridge. 
  • Storage: Only take out what you need and immediately place the rest back in the fridge or freezer. 
Herb butter log is sliced on the counter.

The BEST Garlic Recipes

With all this garlic paste on hand, you’re going to want to try out some recipes that use this amazing convenience. Reach for your frozen cubes or jar of paste for any of these:

There’s so much more to learn! Here’s how to mince garlic, as well as how to store garlic and how to freeze garlic.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Garlic Paste (How to Make and Store)

Making homemade garlic paste is a much healthier and affordable solution— and SO much easier to do when you follow the simple tricks below! It only takes five minutes to blend a whole bulb in a food processor with oil until it forms a smooth paste.
Garlic paste in a glass bowl and a spoon.
Yield 16 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Total 5 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. garlic about 40-50 cloves
  • 1-2 Tbsp. oil olive or avocado

Instructions 

  • Remove the garlic cloves from the bulb, or head. (Tip: Place the bulb on a flat surface and apply pressure to the root end of the bulb with the palm of your hand to loosen up the cloves.)
  • Cut the root end off of the clove. Peel and remove the papery skin.
  • Add the peeled garlic cloves to a large food processor along with the oil. Blend for 30-60 seconds, scraping down the sides every 10-15 seconds, or until a smooth paste forms.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or learn how to freeze garlic and store for up to 6 months.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Nutrition

Calories: 50kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.004g, Sodium: 5mg, Potassium: 114mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.3g, Vitamin A: 3IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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