Use This Shortcut for Minced Garlic | Cooking Tips

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I use a lot of minced garlic when I cook – and I love to use it fresh. But peeling a garlic clove is the worst. So, I started using this shortcut to have a good supply at the ready whenever I need it.

If you want the tl;dr on this cooking tip this is it:

  • buy peeled garlic in bulk
  • mince it in the food processor
  • flatten it in a freezer bag
  • place in the freezer
  • break off a piece when you need garlic in a recipe.
quart sized Ziploc bag with minced garlic inside

The Problem With Fresh Garlic

Fresh garlic tastes amazing. But using it in a recipe, especially when you are in a rush, can be tedious.

Sometimes it is really hard to get the skins off. Then you have to crush it – which I typically do with the flat side of a broad kitchen knife – and then mince it up.

It seems like such a small thing, but your fingers get all sticky from the juice and it’s one more knife to wash as well as a garlic-y cutting board.

Not to mention that I often don’t get through the whole bulb before it starts to dry out – at which point I have to toss it.

Pros and Cons of Pre-Peeled Cloves

When I saw a bag of pre-peeled fresh garlic cloves at the grocery store, I was pretty excited.

It took the step of peeling out of the equation. The downside is that you still had to mince it up when you needed to use garlic in a recipe. And the bag contains a lot of garlic! More than I could use before it went bad.

Enter My Shortcut

So I decided to try a little shortcut – and now I use it every time I buy a bag of pre-peeled garlic cloves.

Mince Garlic in Food Processor

food processor with a bag of peeled garlic cloves in front

Within a day or two after purchase I find the time to mince them in my food processor and freeze the results in a flat format so that I can break a piece off whenever I need it.

I simply dump the entire bag into the bowl of my Ninja food processor.

whole garlic cloves in bowl of food processor

Then I pulse the contents 10 to 15 times to get the consistency that I like.

minced garlic in the bowl of a food processor

Store in a Zip Top Bag and Flatten

Then I scoop the minced cloves into a either a quart size zip top freezer bag or a food storage bag (if I don’t have freezer bags on hand) – or you could even use reusable zip top bags like these.

Once I seal the bag shut, I spread the contents out into a thin, flat, layer and lie the flattened bag on a shelf in my freezer.

The thing to remember is that a flat bag works best. Don’t use one that has a gusseted bottom also referred to as a “stand up design” or “stay open” style.

Once Frozen, Break Off Small Pieces To Use

Once the garlic is frozen, all you have to do is break off a small chunk to use it in your recipes.

I don’t worry too much about measuring – I just estimate how big of a piece would be equal to one garlic clove. After all, nature makes the cloves all different sizes anyway.

There is usually is no need to thaw the chunk of garlic before you use it in a recipe – but you can if you would like.

And that is it – it is so easy!

This Shortcut Saves You Time

Mincing garlic ahead of time and popping it into the freezer for future use saves me so much time and makes my cooking process much more organized.

I no longer avoid making recipes that call for fresh garlic (like this yummy chicken tikka masala recipe) on busy evenings.

Have you tried this shortcut? Tell me what you think in the comments below.

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