How to Freeze Garlic

5 from 416 votes

Learn how to freeze garlic to use in your recipes. This easy tutorial walks you through the steps for freezing garlic to save time and money for meal prepping!

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Can you freeze garlic?

Yes, absolutely! You can freeze garlic. And if you cook with garlic as much as I do, you’ll realize that freezing garlic can be such a life saver. I use garlic in a majority of my dinner recipes, especially the Lebanese dishes. Doing it in bulk saves you so much time and I’m going to share with you my easy tutorial!

Plastic bags with garlic paste
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It can be so tedious to peel a garlic clove or two, chop, mince or press it on a daily basis. Freezing garlic in bulk every 3-4 months makes it easy to have on hand to throw in recipes when you’re in a pinch. Yes, frozen garlic won’t have the crunchy texture of fresh garlic. But the flavor definitely stays strong and robust, and it’s way better than the jarred garlic you would find at the grocery store.

But wait, can you just refrigerate garlic? Yes, but it’s not recommended for more than 4-5 days because the flavor and texture worsen and can actually become toxic. If you find yourself with extra garlic, or if you’re trying to save time for meal prep, freezing garlic is the way to go!

How to freeze garlic

Garlic is very easy and forgiving when it comes to freezing. There are many ways to freeze garlic:

  • Whole unpeeled garlic bulbs
  • Individual unpeeled garlic cloves
  • Individual peeled garlic cloves
  • Minced garlic
  • Garlic paste

Depending on your cooking needs and garlic usage, any of those methods for freezing garlic are great. The one I use mostly that I’m going to share with you is how to freeze garlic paste. But first we have to make the garlic paste.

How to make garlic paste

Peel the garlic

First, if you’re starting with fresh garlic, peel the garlic completely and remove any large green sprouts. I go to the prepared foods section of my local health store and they usually give me a large tub of freshly peeled garlic.

Tub of garlic

Remove brown stems

The garlic I buy in bulk is peeled using a machine, which is so much easier than peeling it myself. But this method leaves the brown stems on them, so I recommend using a paring knife to remove them. It should take 10-15 minutes for 5 cups of garlic.

Peeled garlic ready for processing and freezing

Chop or blend in food processor

  1. Use a knife to chop finely repeatedly. You make garlic paste with just a really sharp knife and flakey course salt. The salt helps speed up the chopping by breaking it down further and softening it as you chop. This method is excellent if you are preparing a small amount or don’t have a food processor.
  2. Use a food processor to pulse the garlic. When preparing multiple cups of garlic like I do in bulk, I always use a food processor. There’s no need to add salt or oil, but you can if you wish. If adding salt, add 1 teaspoon for 4-5 cups of garlic cloves. If adding oil, you can use as much as ½ cup oil.
Food processor to make garlic paste and freeze

Just a minute of pulsing in the blender, and we’re in business – garlic paste! You can stop when it’s minced or continue until it looks more like a paste like I did here.

Garlic paste in food processor about to get frozen

Transfer garlic to freezer safe bags

Transfer the garlic paste into small freezer safe storage bags. You can use a knife to draw lines to partition small 1 inch squares, which will be equivalent to about 1 teaspoon of garlic paste.

How to freeze garlic for meal prep

How to store garlic

I prefer to use ziplock storage bags for garlic because I can lay them flat in the freezer. It’s easy to peel off a chunk of what I need without having to thaw any part of it. I know a lot of people prefer not to use plastic though.

Here are some container options

  • Freezer safe tupperware
  • Freezer plastic bags
  • Break resistant plastic containers
  • Glass containers
  • Well folded aluminum foil
  • Ice trays

Guidelines for freezing containers

Whatever container you use, just make sure you’re freezing garlic in an air tight and moisture resistant package so that the garlic stays fresh. Some sources say you can store garlic in the freezer for up to 6 months. But I try to limit mine to 3 months for best flavor, like with anything else I freeze. Here are my suggested container guidelines.

  • Air tight and moisture resistant
  • Freezer safe so it doesn’t crack
  • Can be written on to indicate date frozen
Plastic storage bags of garlic paste - how to freeze garlic

Tips for freezing garlic

  1. Select the highest quality organic garlic you can find in the store. The more fresh and high quality the garlic is, the better flavor after freezing it. You’ll know it’s fresh because the garlic will feel firm. Make sure there are no wet spots, no green sprouts and definitely no mold anywhere.
  2. Dry the garlic after peeling it and removing any sprouts or stems. Controlling the moisture helps to keep a fresh a robust flavor after frozen.
  3. Use freezer safe airtight containers as mentioned above that work for you. This not only helps maintain fresh flavor and reduce any risk of freezer burn.

Frequently asked questions

What is frozen garlic good for?

This method of freezing garlic is super convenient for having ready-minced garlic or garlic paste for busy weeknight meals. But it’s also a money saver since you’re buying garlic in bulbs and prepping it in advance. It’s so much cheaper than buying the jarred garlic at the store, and the taste is so much better!

How much garlic do I do need for 1 teaspoon minced or chopped?

One garlic clove will usually yield ½ teaspoon of minced garlic or garlic paste. One garlic clove will usually yield about 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic.

Should I add oil or salt when freezing garlic?

There is no need to add oil or salt when freezing garlic. The oil dilutes the taste and makes it difficult to tell the amount of garlic needed for a recipe. However, you can add oil if it makes it easier for cooking with the frozen garlic. Add up to ½ cup oil and up to 1 teaspoon salt for 4-5 cups of peel garlic cloves.

Do I need to thaw the garlic before using?

There’s no need to thaw the garlic beforehand. Just take what you need from the frozen container and drop it into whatever dish you’re making.

You can use frozen garlic as you would fresh garlic . The garlic won’t have the same texture (it’s softer). But the flavor will still be strong. It’s a great solution for recipes when the texture of the garlic isn’t important.

I especially love using it when the garlic will be cooked, like in soups, sauces, stir-frys and stews, but you can still use in a fresh salad if you wanted.

More tutorials with garlic

Recipes with garlic

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How to Freeze Garlic

Learn how to freeze garlic to use in your recipes. This easy tutorial walks you through the steps for freezing garlic to save time and money for meal prepping!
5 from 416 votes
Servings 20 servings
Course Condiments
Calories 1
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
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  • 5 bulbs garlic clove


  • If garlic isn’t peeled, peel it by hand, or by using a peeler tube or by using the shaking method inside a mason jar. Just place unpeeled garlic cloves inside a clear mason jar, screw on the lid and shake vigorously until all the peel is removed.
  • Using a paring knife, remove any green sprouts or brown stems from the individual peeled garlic cloves.
  • Add the garlic cloves to a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process in short pulses until the garlic is evenly minced. Be sure to stop and scrape down the sides as needed. You can stop when its just minced or continue until it becomes a paste. I prefer the paste.
  • Transfer the garlic paste into small freezer safe storage bags. You can use a knife to draw lines to partition small 1 inch squares, which will be equivalent to about 1 teaspoon of garlic paste.


Storage: Store the garlic paste in freezer-safe storage bags. They will last up to 3 months in the freezer
Equipment: I use the Kitchen Aid food processor to make the garlic paste. You can use any other food processor you have or even just use a sharp knife along with course salt to help soften the garlic as you chop.


Calories: 1kcal, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Condiments

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Recipe Rating


  1. Stephen says:

    I’m fortunate to have a friend who grows large amounts of vegetables. I have been given 15 large bulbs of garlic and there is no way I can use it all before it spoils. I will definitely be using your process to freeze it. I love the idea of creating squares that break off easily to portion properly and only wish I had realised this before I froze a similar quantity of ginger paste.

    1. Yumna says:

      Wow! so glad this is helpful. You will be prepared with garlic ready to go for a while!

  2. Ricky says:

    Hi Yumna! Thanks for sharing this tip!! I’m wondering if the frozen garlic can also be used in zaziki or salads? Thanks!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Hi Ricky, frozen garlic is better suited for use in recipes that do require some cooking. I am not sure how it would taste in salads, after being thawed.

  3. RITA says:

    I’m so glad to know about freezing garlic for future use. Thanks for the detailed step-by-step instructions

    1. Yumna J. says:

      You’re welcome! Happy freezing!

  4. RITA says:

    I’m excited about freezing garlic for future use. Here’s a tip that works, if your readers can’t find small freezer bags – they are really tough to find, use regular small storage bags, place them in a freezer quart zip lock and freeze.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Hi Rita, thank you so much for sharing such a great tip!

  5. Sue D says:

    Looking forward to trying this, sounds pretty cut and dry!
    Thanks for the clear explanations!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Hi Sue! I am so happy that you found it helpful!

  6. Lesley Bakes says:

    Great for my newly home grown garlic

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      This will be perfect!

  7. Connie Robinson says:

    Did you know you can put unpeeled garlic in a plastic container with lid or use a pot with lid. shake it and voila, peeled garlic!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      That’s such a good hack! Thanks for sharing!

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