5 Creative and Delicious Ways to Use Up Extra Garlic Cloves

Are you constantly finding yourself with an abundance of garlic cloves and wondering what to do with them? Look no further! In this article, we will explore 5 creative and delicious ways to put those extra garlic cloves to good use. Garlic is a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can elevate any dish, and with these inventive ideas, you’ll never let a single clove go to waste again.

Whether you love the bold flavor of garlic or are simply looking for new ways to incorporate it into your cooking, these unique recipes and uses will inspire you to make the most of this versatile kitchen staple. From savory spreads to aromatic oils, these inventive ideas are sure to excite your taste buds and make the most of your surplus garlic supply.

Quick Summary
You can use extra garlic cloves to make garlic-infused oil or vinegar, pickle them for a tangy addition to salads or sandwiches, roast them for a milder flavor to spread on bread, or finely mince and freeze them for later use in cooking. Garlic can also be used in homemade salad dressings, marinades, soups, and stews to add flavor and depth to your dishes. Additionally, you can gift the extra cloves to friends or neighbors who enjoy cooking.

Garlic-Infused Oils And Vinegars

Garlic-infused oils and vinegars are a fantastic way to utilize extra garlic cloves, as they add depth and flavor to a wide variety of dishes. To make garlic-infused oil, simply add peeled garlic cloves to a clean, dry bottle and fill it with your choice of oil (such as olive or avocado oil). Let the mixture sit for a few days to a week, allowing the garlic to infuse the oil with its rich flavor. This infused oil can then be used as a base for salad dressings, marinades, or drizzled over roasted vegetables for a burst of garlicky goodness.

Similarly, garlic-infused vinegar can be created by placing peeled garlic cloves in a clean glass jar and filling it with your desired vinegar (such as white wine or apple cider vinegar). Let the mixture steep for at least a week to infuse the vinegar with the pungent aroma and taste of garlic. This flavorful vinegar can elevate homemade pickles, be added to sauces and marinades, or used to brighten up dressings and vinaigrettes. Garlic-infused oils and vinegars not only reduce food waste by using up excess garlic cloves but also provide a versatile and delicious way to enhance your culinary creations.

Roasted Garlic Spread

Roasted garlic spread is a versatile and flavorful way to make the most of extra garlic cloves. By roasting garlic, you can mellow its pungent taste and bring out a sweet and caramelized flavor. To make the spread, simply drizzle whole garlic cloves with olive oil, wrap them in foil, and roast in the oven until soft and golden brown.

Once the roasted garlic is cooled, squeeze the cloves out of their skins and mash them into a paste. Mix the roasted garlic with cream cheese, Greek yogurt, or mayonnaise for a creamy spread that can be used on sandwiches, crackers, or as a dip for vegetables. You can also add fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or thyme for an extra burst of flavor. The spread can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, making it a convenient and delicious condiment to have on hand.

Roasted garlic spread adds depth and richness to dishes and is a delicious way to use up extra garlic cloves, transforming them into a creamy and savory condiment that enhances a variety of dishes. Whether used as a spread, dip, or flavor booster, roasted garlic spread is a creative and delicious way to make the most of your surplus garlic.

Pickled Garlic

Pickled garlic is a versatile and tasty way to use up extra garlic cloves. The process involves soaking peeled garlic cloves in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and spices. The result is a tangy and flavorful condiment that can be enjoyed on its own or used to add a zesty kick to salads, sandwiches, and charcuterie boards.

To make pickled garlic, simply peel the cloves and place them in a sterilized jar. In a saucepan, combine equal parts vinegar and water with sugar, salt, and your choice of spices such as bay leaves, peppercorns, or red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then pour it over the garlic cloves in the jar. Once cooled, seal the jar and refrigerate for at least a week before enjoying the pickled garlic. The longer it sits, the more the flavors will develop, making it a delicious addition to your culinary creations.

Pickled garlic not only adds a unique flavor to dishes but also provides potential health benefits, as garlic is known for its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. This preservation method allows you to enjoy your extra garlic cloves for an extended period, ensuring that none of this flavorful ingredient goes to waste.

Homemade Garlic Powder

Homemade garlic powder is a versatile and delicious way to use up extra garlic cloves. To make your own garlic powder, start by peeling and thinly slicing the garlic cloves. Then, place the slices on a baking sheet and bake them in a low-temperature oven until they are completely dried out. Once dried, grind the slices into a fine powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

Homemade garlic powder has a more robust and intense flavor compared to store-bought versions, making it a great addition to various dishes. You can use it to season meats, vegetables, and soups, or mix it with other herbs and spices to create your own custom seasoning blends. Additionally, homemade garlic powder is free from any additives or preservatives, giving you full control over the quality and freshness of the final product. With just a little effort, you can turn your leftover garlic cloves into a flavorful and aromatic ingredient that will enhance your cooking in numerous ways.

Garlic Butter

Garlic butter is a simple yet versatile way to make the most of extra garlic cloves. This delicious spread can be whipped up in minutes and serves as a flavorful addition to a wide range of dishes. To make garlic butter, begin by finely mincing or pressing garlic cloves and combining them with softened butter. This can be used immediately or refrigerated for later use.

Garlic butter can be spread on bread for a tasty garlic bread, added to mashed potatoes, or used to sauté vegetables for an extra burst of flavor. Additionally, it can be used to enhance the flavor of grilled or roasted meats, or incorporated into pasta dishes for a rich and savory finish. With its various applications, garlic butter is a go-to option for adding a burst of garlicky goodness to countless meals.

Garlic And Herb Marinade

Garlic and herb marinade is a versatile and flavorful way to use up extra garlic cloves. This aromatic concoction adds depth and richness to various dishes, making it a delicious and creative solution for those surplus garlic cloves. To prepare the marinade, finely mince the extra garlic cloves and combine them with a mixture of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Add in some tangy balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil to create a well-balanced and savory marinade.

Once prepared, the garlic and herb marinade can be used to marinate meats such as chicken, beef, or fish, enhancing their flavor with a delicious blend of garlic and herbs. It can also be used to infuse grilled vegetables with a bold and aromatic taste. Additionally, the marinade can be used as a flavor booster for roasted potatoes or as a dressing for salads, providing a delightful and zesty kick to simple dishes. This versatile marinade is a delightful way to showcase the wonderful flavor of garlic while creating a scrumptious meal.

Garlic Soup

Garlic soup is a delightful way to use up extra garlic cloves while creating a comforting and nutritious dish. This aromatic soup is easy to prepare and offers a unique blend of flavors that will satisfy your taste buds. To make garlic soup, start by sautéing chopped garlic in olive oil until it turns golden brown, releasing its rich and pungent aroma. Then, add vegetable or chicken broth and let the mixture simmer until the flavors are well-incorporated.

Garlic soup can be customized to fit your preferences by adding ingredients such as potatoes, carrots, onions, or fresh herbs like thyme and parsley. The result is a hearty and warming soup that is perfect for chilly evenings or when you’re feeling under the weather. Additionally, garlic is known for its immune-boosting properties, making garlic soup a great choice to support your overall well-being. Whether enjoyed as a main course or a satisfying side dish, garlic soup is a delicious and creative way to make the most of your surplus garlic cloves.

Garlic-Roasted Vegetables

Garlic-roasted vegetables are a delightful way to use up extra garlic cloves while creating a flavorful and healthy dish. Start by chopping a variety of your favorite vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, and broccoli, into bite-sized pieces. Toss the veggies in a mixture of olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread them out on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until they are tender and caramelized.

The roasted vegetables will acquire a deep, savory flavor from the garlic, enhancing their natural sweetness. This versatile dish can be enjoyed as a side dish, served over a bed of quinoa or couscous, or even added to a salad. The garlic-roasted vegetables make a beautiful and colorful addition to any meal, providing a burst of flavor and a dose of nutritious goodness. This simple and creative way of using up extra garlic cloves will impress your taste buds and elevate your dining experience.


Incorporating extra garlic cloves into your culinary creations offers a myriad of innovative and mouthwatering possibilities. From tangy garlic-infused salad dressings to savory garlic butter for bread, the versatility of this humble ingredient knows no bounds. Whether you’re whipping up a hearty pasta dish, sizzling up succulent roasted vegetables, or simply enhancing the flavor profile of your favorite dishes, garlic cloves add depth and complexity to any meal.

So, next time you find yourself with surplus garlic cloves, think beyond traditional recipes and experiment with these creative and delicious ways to make the most of this aromatic powerhouse. By infusing your dishes with the robust flavor of garlic, you not only elevate the taste and appeal of your meals but also unlock a world of culinary exploration that is sure to leave your taste buds craving more. Embrace the endless possibilities that extra garlic cloves bring, and elevate your cooking to new heights with these delectably inventive uses for this beloved kitchen staple.

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