Can You Freeze Garlic?

Last Updated on June 12, 2024 | 0 Comments
Home cooks may question: "Can you freeze garlic?"

You can chop, mince, slice and roast garlic, but can you freeze garlic? Garlic is a beloved and key ingredient in numerous recipes, yet it can be challenging to get through a whole head of garlic before it sprouts, dries out or turns bitter.

However, once you learn how to freeze garlic properly, you’ll never have to worry about not having it when you need it. Knowing how to freeze garlic also means you're less likely to have to throw away ingredients, reducing food waste and your grocery bill. To discover everything you need to know about freezing garlic, plus how to defrost it and use frozen garlic in recipes, read on for our comprehensive guide.


 Jump to Section

Book a Gourmet Cooking Class Now
Kick-start your culinary confidence with help from a world-class chef. See what's cooking in your city today.
Book Now

Can Garlic Be Frozen?

Most of us will grab a whole head of garlic from the produce section at the supermarket, but how often do you find that you actually use up the entire bulb before it dries out or goes rancid? Luckily, you can freeze garlic to use it later in all your favorite recipes. Additionally, if you only use garlic occasionally, freezing garlic is an excellent way to ensure you always have some on hand. 

One thing you may be wondering, however, is: “Does frozen garlic taste the same as fresh?” Yes! You can freeze garlic and it will taste pretty much the same as if it were fresh. The texture will be somewhat less crisp because the garlic will have some water content after freezing, but in the majority of applications, you’ll never notice the difference. 

Bulbs of garlic
via Canva

Can You Freeze Garlic Cloves?

If you have a loose clove of garlic hanging around, you can freeze it instead of losing it at the bottom of your produce drawer. This is useful if you’re short on time, as there is no need to peel, chop or mince the garlic. When freezing garlic cloves, place them in a freezer-safe bag instead of directly into the freezer to prevent freezer burn. 

via Canva

Can You Freeze Peeled Garlic?

What if your cloves of garlic are already peeled? You can freeze peeled garlic cloves just as you would cloves that still have the skin on. In fact, it’s better to take the skin off before freezing to reduce mess in the freezer. When it comes time to use the garlic cloves, you'll also save time and reduce mess if they have already been peeled. Again, store the garlic in a freezer-safe bag to prevent freezer burn and stop the odor from affecting other items in your freezer. 

A bowl with peeled cloves of garlic
via Canva

Can You Freeze Garlic Bulbs?

Did you grab a whole head of garlic and then realize you already had one at home? If so, you may be wondering: "Can you freeze garlic whole?" Yes, you can freeze garlic bulbs by simply popping them in the freezer. That said, you might want to separate the cloves first so that it’s easier to grab one or two when you need them versus defrosting the entire bulb. If you want to freeze the whole head of garlic, wrap it in plastic wrap or tin foil to prevent freezer burn and keep the papery skin from making a mess.

Bulbs of garlic
via Canva

Book an Online Cooking Class Today
Five-star chefs. Step-by-step coaching. Flexible menus. Come see what's cooking in a live online cooking class.
Book Now

Can You Freeze Minced Garlic?

You can freeze minced garlic, but recognize that the entire lot will freeze into a block, making it difficult to access later if you only need a teaspoon or two. If you have minced garlic, consider blending it into a paste first. Once you have a garlic purée, you can freeze it by using mini ice cube trays as your container. Add the garlic cubes into a freezer bag once frozen solid to prevent burn or odor contamination.

Frozen garlic in an ice cube tray next to fresh garlic
via Canva

Can You Freeze Chopped Garlic?

You can freeze garlic that is chopped just as you would with minced garlic. In fact, it’s a good idea to chop garlic before freezing it because it cuts down on meal prep time later. Simply chop your garlic, add it to a freezer-safe container and freeze. 

Chopped garlic on a board
via Canva

Can You Freeze Roasted Garlic?

Another question you may have is: “Can you freeze roasted garlic?” This answer is generally a matter of personal preference. Technically you can freeze garlic that has been roasted, but freezing will change the texture and make it more watery which dilutes some of that wonderful roasted flavor. If possible, use your roasted garlic as soon as you can instead of freezing it, but if you have a lot left over, it can be frozen for later use and to avoid food waste.

A bulb of roasted garlic
via Canva

How To Freeze Garlic

You can freeze garlic, but as with any produce item, it’s a good idea to ensure you package the ingredient properly not only to preserve the flavor but also to prevent garlic odor from affecting other foods. The best way to freeze garlic is to peel the cloves and chop them before adding to a freezer-safe container to freeze the garlic.

This method cuts down on defrosting time and means you have ready-to-use garlic in the freezer at all times. However, you can also freeze garlic cloves, bulbs and purée by placing them in freezer-safe containers and then storing in the freezer for three to six months.

Once you have answered
via Canva

How To Freeze Garlic Cloves

You can freeze garlic cloves peeled or unpeeled (though it’s worth taking a minute to peel them to prevent a mess in your freezer). Just toss the garlic cloves into a freezer-safe bag or container for easy access.

Bulbs of garlic and chopped garlic on a board
via Canva

How To Freeze Garlic Bulbs

You can freeze garlic as a bulb, but it usually makes more sense to separate the cloves first since you’ll probably only need a couple at any one time. As with freezing a clove of garlic, make sure you wrap the bulb in freezer-safe plastic or tin foil first. It's also a good idea to place the wrapped garlic into a bag or container to avoid the odor affecting other food in your freezer and to minimize the chance of garlic skin being left in the freezer.

Bulbs of garlic
via Canva

How To Freeze Minced Garlic

The best way to freeze minced garlic is to process it into a paste first or you’ll have a big clump of frozen minced garlic that is hard to deal with. If you process your minced garlic into a paste, you can use mini ice cube trays to store it in the freezer. Just pop a frozen cube of garlic purée out when you need one. It thaws in just a few minutes on the counter or can defrost directly in your dish on the stove.

Another method is to add the puréed garlic to a freezer-safe plastic bag and push it down with a skewer-like stick to create a grid pattern. Once frozen, you’ll be able to break off cubes of garlic for use in recipes without ruining an ice cube tray. 

via Canva

Gourmet Cooking Classes Near You
Take your culinary skills to new levels with guidance from five-star chefs.
Book Now

How To Store Garlic in the Freezer

In general, you can freeze garlic just as you would freeze anything — by packaging it to protect against freezer burn and labeling it so you know how old it is. With garlic, you do have to keep in mind its strong scent as well. Ensure you fully seal the containers it is placed in to avoid odors leaking out. You may even want to place the garlic in a freezer-safe bag and then into a container for freezing. However, using containers over bags will take up more space in your freezer. 

Garlic cloves in a bowl next to bulbs of garlic
via Canva

How Long Can You Freeze Garlic?

The general rule when freezing anything is to use it within three months. However, garlic is hearty and should be fine for up to six months in the freezer, but why wait? There are so many delicious recipes like garlic butter shrimp pasta just waiting for you to use that zesty garlic.

Once you know the answer to
via Canva

How To Use Frozen Garlic

Now that you know you can freeze garlic, how do you unfreeze it for use? It’s super easy to work with frozen garlic by adding it straight to dishes on the stove, but if you need to thaw it first, it only takes a few minutes.

The best type of garlic to use without defrosting is frozen garlic purée, which can be added straight to the pan when you’re ready to start cooking. However, you can also quickly defrost minced garlic, cloves and even bulbs for use in your recipes. Whether you’re whipping up a garlicky Chinese eggplant dish or want to learn how to make garlic bread using your frozen garlic, the recipe options are almost endless! 

To boost your garlic recipes even more, consider signing up for cooking classes near you or taking some convenient online cooking classes. In these sessions, professional chefs will teach you how to work with this versatile ingredient. You'll get the chance to create an array of dishes where garlic is either the star of the dish or an important seasoning to bring out the flavor of another primary ingredient. 

Garlic bread on a board next to garlic
via Canva

How To Thaw Frozen Garlic

Now you have answered the question: “Can you freeze garlic?”, how do you defrost it? Defrosting garlic is easy and quick. Simply grab your frozen garlic from the freezer and place it in a dish on the counter. By the time you’ve prepped your other ingredients, your cloves of garlic or minced garlic will be thawed enough to use. 

Option two is to transfer a few cloves at a time from the freezer to the refrigerator. That way you’ll always have one ready when you need it. You can also add chopped or purée garlic straight to a hot dish where it will defrost almost instantly.

Bulbs of garlic will take the longest to defrost. Leave them on the counter to thaw in around 30 minutes or place them in the refrigerator to defrost in a few hours. 

Minced garlic in a dish
via Canva

Garlic is a staple ingredient that greatly improves the flavor of many dishes. There are also many health benefits to eating garlic, so if you haven’t experimented with it, it’s time to start. Garlic can spoil if left out, so it might seem easier to skip the garlic than to risk keeping it on hand. However, now that you know you can freeze garlic, there’s no excuse not to use more of it in your cooking.

For even more ways to explore your favorite foods, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.

About Cozymeal

Discover the best in culinary experiences and products on Cozymeal: From in-person cooking classes to virtual cooking & mixology classes to private chef meals and top-rated cookware — from world-class chefs, mixologists & more.

View All Experiences & Cookware on Cozymeal