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Recipes tend to call for one clove of garlic (or more!) but what does that mean? Garlic cloves come in many different sizes so how much garlic are you actually supposed to use? Here’s everything you need to know about garlic cloves for cooking!

What is one clove of garlic?

One clove of garlic compared to a bulb of garlic.


Fresh garlic is sold in bulbs, this is an entire head of garlic that is covered in a paper like coating. The entire bulb is made up of separate pieces, each with its own paper-like coating. Each of those individual wedges or pieces is a clove of garlic.

How many cloves in one head of garlic?

The amount of cloves in a bulb can vary, however, most bulbs will have between 10-12 cloves. When you start to peel your garlic apart you will also notice that some cloves are large, others are small.

How many Teaspoons of minced garlic in one clove?

Since cloves come in all different sizes, what are you supposed to use when a recipe calls for 1 clove of garlic?

A general rule of thumb is that 1 clove of garlic = 1 tsp of minced garlic.

Again, some cloves are large some are small. So this is a general rule. Fresh garlic cloves pack a powerful punch of flavor for how small they are, so it’s up to you if you want to use a small clove or large clove. Or if you love the flavoring garlic gives, you may decide to use 3 cloves even if only 1 clove is called for.

Garlic Cloves to Powder

If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, can you use garlic powder instead? Yes! Garlic powder is made of ground up dehydrated garlic. Keep in mind that garlic powder is much more concentrated in flavoring that fresh garlic so only a fraction of the amount is used.

1 clove of garlic = 1/4 tsp of garlic powder

How to substitute one garlic clove for 1 tsp minced garlic and 1/4 tsp of garlic powder.

How to Mince Garlic

Garlic minced with a knife and with a garlic press on a black cutting board.

There are two easy ways to mince a garlic clove.

  1. Knife: First is to use a sharp knife. Peel the garlic, cut off the root end and then mince using the knife.
  2. Garlic press: this is useful, because it makes it quick and easy and it minces the garlic plus the pressing motion squeezes it so that there’s almost a juice that comes out. This melts into your food seamlessly.

Recipes Featuring Garlic

Minced Garlic

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 0 minutes
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Servings: 1
Author: Serene
How to use garlic cloves in cooking!
Measuring spoon with minced garlic.



  • Remove the peel from the bulb of garlic to expose the individual cloves.
  • Separate the clove from the bulb and remove the peel from the clove.
  • Cut off the root end of the clove of garlic.
  • Mince using a knife or garlic press.


1 clove garlic = 1 tsp minced garlic
1 clove garlic= 1/4 tsp garlic powder

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

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Welcome to my kitchen!

Welcome to the House of Yumm!! My name is Serene. I’m the food photographer, recipe developer, and official taste tester around these parts.

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