11 Garlic Paste Substitutes [Chili, Ginger & More]

Garlic may be one of the most powerful, delicious ingredients in the world. It is also extremely versatile.

Garlic is a common ingredient in all different types of cuisines from Italian to Indian. It is definitely an ingredient I use almost daily!

Using garlic paste is a wonderful and easy way to add the flavor of garlic to your favorite foods. Garlic paste and ginger garlic paste are most common in Indian cuisine but they can really be used in almost any dish that requires garlic. 

Not all grocery stores carry garlic paste so it can be hard to find. You may also need a garlic paste substitute if you are looking for a more mild flavor. Garlic paste can be quite strong!

The best overall substitute for garlic paste is finely minced fresh garlic. Dried garlic powder is another good substitute that will blend right into your recipes. Use Sriracha hot sauce to replace chili garlic paste in any recipe. Minced green ginger, also known as baby ginger, is a good substitute for ginger garlic paste. 

Take a look at the whole list before deciding which substitute to try. Each one is unique!

Garlic Paste Substitutes

1)Minced Garlic

Fresh minced garlic cloves are the best substitute for garlic paste. Add fresh chopped garlic in place of garlic paste and you will get the exact same flavor. Fresh minced garlic and garlic paste are essentially the same ingredient, just in a different form.

Minced garlic will be slightly chunkier than garlic paste. You may want to use a tiny bit of extra minced garlic to replace garlic paste.

I recommend using 1 ½ tablespoon minced garlic for every tablespoon of garlic paste. 

Minced garlic has fewer calories than garlic paste since there is no oil in the mix. Minced garlic has about 13 calories per tablespoon and zero grams of fat. This makes it a healthier alternative to garlic paste.

Minced Garlic

2)Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is made by dehydrating crushed garlic cloves. It is pure garlic that has simply been dried. You can find garlic powder in the grocery store spice aisle. 

Garlic powder dissolves easily as it cooks. The powder will disappear into your recipes but still add a rich garlic flavor.

Use 1 ½ teaspoon of garlic powder for every teaspoon of garlic paste. 

Garlic powder has about 28 calories per tablespoon but no fat. It has essentially the same nutritional value as garlic paste. 

Garlic powder

3)Dried Garlic

Dried garlic flakes are made by dehydrating minced garlic. Garlic flakes are larger than garlic powder and will not dissolve into foods. It is a convenient way to add nice pieces of garlic to your recipes. 

Dried garlic flakes are best in foods that are cooked or heated. The dried flakes soften as they cook with an oil or liquid.

I recommend using about 2 teaspoons of dried garlic flakes to replace every one teaspoon of garlic paste to get the same, strong taste. 

Dried garlic is nutritionally the same as garlic powder and garlic paste. Exchanging one for the other will not alter your recipes nutritional content!

Dried Garlic

4)Garlic Scapes

Fresh garlic scapes are a fantastic substitute for garlic paste. Garlic scapes are the skinny shoots that pop out of the garlic plant to form a flower.

They look similar to chives or scallions. They are also called garlic sprouts.

Garlic scapes have a light garlicky taste. Since the flavor is so subtle, you may want to use three tablespoons of chopped garlic scapes to replace every one tablespoon of garlic paste. 

Fresh garlic scapes only have about 5 calories per tablespoon. They are lower in calories and carbs than garlic paste but you will need to use more to get that same garlic flavor. 

Garlic scapes are fantastic tossed into salads, used to make pesto, or sautéed in place of garlic in a recipe.

Garlic Scapes

5)Homemade Garlic Paste

If you can’t find garlic paste in your local grocery store try making your own garlic paste! It is actually very easy to do. 

Use homemade garlic paste and store-bought garlic paste interchangeably in any recipe. Check out our garlic paste recipe below to find out how easy it is to make this delicious, useful ingredient. 

Garlic Paste


Sriracha sauce is a spicy blend of red chili peppers and garlic. It is a little thinner than chili garlic paste which has a chunky, thick consistency. However, the flavor is very similar.

Use 1 tablespoon of sriracha sauce to replace every 2 tablespoons of chili garlic paste. This will give you the same heat and flavor in your recipes. 

Sriracha is very popular so you can find it in almost any grocery store. It has about 10 calories per teaspoon and 2 grams of carbs.


7)Chili Powder

Chili powder is made from dried, ground pepper flakes. It is spicy and strong. It will add lots of flavor to your meal in place of chili garlic paste.

Chili powder dissolves well into foods. It is mostly used as a spice rather than a spread. Sprinkle it onto foods at the end of a recipe to add the spice you are looking for. 

Half a teaspoon of chili powder can replace chili garlic paste. Too much will make your food almost too spicy!

One tablespoon of chili powder has about 21 calories and only one gram of fat. It is much leaner than chili garlic paste.


Ketchup can be used in a pinch to replace chili garlic paste. It has a smooth consistency that blends into recipes easily. Many of us already have ketchup in our closets!

To replace chili garlic sauce with ketchup, you may want to add some chili powder flakes or some garlic powder to your recipe as well to enhance the flavor. 

One tablespoon of ketchup mixed with ¼ tsp chili powder and ⅓ tsp minced garlic will make a fantastic chili garlic place substitute. Use this in place of one tablespoon of chili garlic paste. 

One tablespoon of ketchup only has 15 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates. It has more sugar than regular garlic paste but will give your food a nice sweetness!



Galangal is a root spice that originated in china. It looks very similar to ginger and has a similar spice. Galangal has a earthy, citrus-like flavor with a spicy finish. 

Grate or mince peeled galangal root and then use it to replace ginger garlic paste in any recipe.

One tablespoon of minced galangal can replace one tablespoon of ginger garlic paste. This is especially a great substitute for Thai Food. 

Galangal has a similar nutritional makeup as ginger and garlic. It has the same number of calories and fats so you don’t have to worry about the nutritional values of your meal changing.


10)Finger Root

Finger root is often called Chinese ginger. However, it has a much more powerful flavor than regular ginger root. Look for jarred finger root in your grocery store in the Asian cuisine section. 

Use 2 two teaspoons of minced finger root to replace a tablespoon of ginger garlic paste. You will get a nice strong flavor.

Finger root is nutritionally the same as ginger making it a perfect substitute.

Finger Root

11)Green Ginger

Green ginger is also called baby ginger. The tips of the ginger is pink and the skin is much thinner than regular ginger root. The skin can actually be left on rather than peeled. 

Green ginger has a very mild ginger taste. Use double the amount of minced green ginger to replace ginger garlic paste in any recipe. 

You can find green ginger in many Asian markets either fresh or in a jar. 

Green Ginger

What is Garlic Paste?

Garlic paste is simply pureed garlic mixed with a small amount of olive oil. It is essentially super smooth, spreadable garlic. 

Some garlic paste recipes have salt added in as well. Salt can act as a preservative, keeping the garlic paste fresh for longer. It also helps bring out the sweet flavor of the garlic. 

Some garlic paste may be labeled as roasted garlic paste. Roasted garlic paste is simply garlic paste made with cooked, roasted garlic. It has a sweeter, caramel flavor. 

Nutritional Breakdown of Garlic Paste

Garlic paste can be used as a condiment or as a main ingredient in a savory recipe. When adding garlic paste to your foods, it is important to know how healthy it really is.

Take a quick look at the nutritional breakdown for garlic paste. All of these quantities are based on one tablespoon of garlic paste. 

Protein 1 gram
Carbohydrates6 grams

In addition, garlic paste has about 6% of your daily recommended vitamin C as well as iron.

So what does all of this mean? Keep reading to find out more about the health benefits of garlic paste. 

Benefits of Garlic Paste

Garlic is known worldwide for it’s amazing health benefits. It is not only strong in flavor but it also has some seriously powerful nutritional benefits! Here are just a quick few. 

  • Improve blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Help cure a cold or flu
  • Improve bone strength
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Improve memory

How impressive is garlic! If you are using ginger garlic paste, the benefits go up even more. 

Ginger is known to help treat nausea. It can help with weight loss as well as lower blood sugar.

Ginger garlic paste is definitely a powerhouse ingredient. But don’t worry, we have many garlic paste substitutions that are just as beneficial. 

How to Use Garlic Paste

One teaspoon of garlic paste can replace one large garlic clove in any recipe. Add a scoop of garlic paste into a saute pan to start a sauce recipe or to begin making a soup.

Ginger garlic paste can be used in the same manner. It is great added to recipes at the beginning of the cooking process when the garlic and ginger have time to brown.

Many people love using chili garlic paste as a dip or condiment. Dip your fried chicken wings right into the chili garlic sauce and you will not be disappointed! 

How to Make Garlic Paste

Making your own homemade garlic paste is very simple. Take a look at this easy recipe and you will never run out of garlic paste again. You can just make more!


6 ounces fresh garlic cloves, peeled

⅓ cup olive oil

1 tsp salt



  1. Add the garlic cloves, olive oil and salt to a food processor. 
  2. Pulse to break up the garlic cloves and then run the food processor until the mix is completely smooth. 
  3. Add a tablespoon or two of water if needed to thin the paste out. This helps if the food processor gets stuck. However, you don’t want to add too much water or the garlic paste will be too thin. Use it only to enable the food processor to move smoothly. 
  4. Store in the fridge until you are ready to use the garlic paste.

If you want to make ginger garlic paste, use the same recipe just with 3 ounces of garlic cloves and 3 ounces of peeled ginger root. This makes a fantastic condiment and cooking ingredient especially for Indian cuisine. 

Make a substitute for roasted garlic paste by placing the garlic cloves and olive oil in a small dish, covering it with foil and roasting the garlic in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Use the cooked garlic and oil in this recipe. This is the perfect roasted garlic paste substitute. 

How to Keep Garlic Paste Fresh

Ginger garlic paste can be stored in the fridge for up to three months. Keep it in an airtight container. The salt helps preserve the garlic paste. 

You can also freeze ginger garlic paste. Freeze the ginger garlic paste in an ice cube tray.

Anytime you need garlic paste, pop out a frozen cube and it is ready to use! The ginger garlic paste will keep for up to six months in the freezer. 

Final Considerations

Garlic paste is such a fantastic ingredient to use in all different kinds of cooking. A scoop of garlic paste can bring a marinara sauce to life.

Ginger garlic paste can make a Thai dish taste authentic. Chili garlic paste can be used to make your chicken wings have a fantastic, powerful flavor. 

If you run out of garlic paste, these substitutes will definitely help you. They have certainly helped me on many occasions! 

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