Learn how to mince garlic, the easy way! There are several methods to make minced garlic fresh in your home kitchen, with no special tools required.

Once you know how to do this, you’ll never go back to the store bought version. There’s just something about it that adds a depth of flavor to your dishes that is truly unforgettable!

We’ve shown you how to peel garlic, and how to make garlic paste. Today, we’re focusing on the most popular version of this fabulous ingredient: minced garlic!

A small white bowl of minced garlic, with a copper teaspoon full of minced garlic next to it.
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I love providing these cooking and baking guides for you! Our hope is that these little deep dives into various cooking methods will help both the most experienced of home chefs, and the novices among us, too.

Today, we’re going to learn how to mince garlic. It’s one of my very favorite ingredients, and minced garlic can go a long way in your cooking.

Once you’ve mastered your favorite technique, you’re going to be turning out dishes that are sizzling with flavor. No more store bought minced garlic, my friends!

These easy minced garlic techniques are going to turn you into a professional, showing off for friends and family. Choose your favorite new method by experimenting… or perhaps you’ve already got a couple of these in your back pocket.

A close up of minced garlic in a white bowl.

What is Minced Garlic?

Garlic adds depth to so many dishes, and is used throughout the world for its pungent, deeply aromatic fragrance and unique flavor. There’s nothing else quite like it!

Minced garlic is referring to peeled garlic cloves that have been finely minced tiny pieces (so tiny that it can be difficult to accomplish by hand without experience).

No worries, we’re going to show you several different ways to get this fresh and fabulous ingredient into all your favorite foods.

A head of fresh garlic will store in a cool, dark place for a few months, so it is really easy to always have some of hand.

A copper teaspoon full of minced garlic on a marble surface
A variety of gold cake pans, loaf pans and muffin baking pan sizes laid out on a marble surface.

Tools to Use

  • Chef’s Knife
  • Garlic Press
  • Food Processor
  • Microplane Grater

How to Mince Garlic

Once the paper skin is gone, you can prepare the garlic for your recipe. Most recipes ask for this ingredient to be minced, chopped, or made into a paste.

This helps distribute the flavor throughout a dish and the small-sized pieces of garlic are more pleasant to bite into than a huge piece.

For all these methods, you’ll first want to peel your garlic, separating the cloves.

Peeled garlic cloves in a white bowl

With a Knife

  1. If you use the knife method that we discuss in our How to Peel Garlic guide, the garlic clove is already a little smashed. That basically started the mincing process for you.
  2. To finish up, use your knife blade to rock back and forth across the garlic, moving the knife the length of the garlic.
  3. Go the other direction to make the pieces smaller.
A close up of minced garlic

Much like mincing, you can also use your chef’s knife to chop and slice the garlic in larger pieces.

Slicing is done just with a knife and makes little garlic discs. Slices are relative large pieces of garlic and work well in dishes that will be cooking for a while so the flavor can meld into the rest of the ingredients.

Chopped garlic is virtually the same as mincing, you just don’t make the pieces so small. Use your knife to cut pieces that are chunky. This could also be accomplished with a food chopper if you have one.

Three garlic bulbs laid out on a marble countertop

With a Garlic Press

You can also use a tool called a garlic press.

  1. First, place a clove or two of garlic (check your product instructions to see if you have to peel first) into the press and squeeze the handles together. A hand holding a garlic press, mincing garlic over a white plate full of garlic cloves. A hand holding a garlic press, mincing garlic over a white plate full of garlic cloves.
  2. The garlic is forced through little holes that mince it. This method makes it more pulpy than mincing by hand.A hand holding a garlic press, mincing garlic over a white plate full of garlic cloves.
A hand holding a garlic press, mincing garlic over a white plate full of garlic cloves.

With a Food Processor

For this version of minced garlic, you’ll just need prepared garlic cloves, and a little Extra Virgin olive oil. Full directions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

A small bowl of garlic cloves next to a bottle of olive oil for a tutorial on how to mince garlic
  1. Add peeled garlic cloves and olive oil to the bowl of a mini food processor. Garlic cloves in a food processor.
  2. Attach the lid, then pulse until the cloves are minced as desired, scraping down the sides as needed.
Minced garlic in a food processor.

With a Microplane or Grater

  1. Rub your garlic cloves against the holes of your microplane or grater.
  2. This creates a finely minced garlic, although it will leave a chunk of the clove that can’t be passed through safely.
A small white bowl of minced garlic, with a copper teaspoon full of minced garlic next to it.

Mortar and Pestle

  1. Place garlic cloves into your shallow bowl (the mortar).
  2. With your pestle, work your way around the cloves, smashing as you turn, until the garlic is the minced consistency you’re after. This also works to create a garlic paste.
A close up of minced garlic in a white bowl.

Tips

  • Don’t forget to trim off the hard ends of each clove with a knife before you begin mincing. The ends won’t soften like the rest of the garlic, no matter which peeling method you choose.
  • One garlic clove equals approximately ½ teaspoon of garlic paste and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
  • If you’re adding frozen minced garlic to a recipe, it can be directly added to your recipe without thawing!
  • Top your minced garlic with a thin layer of olive oil before refrigerating, which helps preserve it for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a blender to mince garlic?

Yes you can! Follow the steps listed here to accomplish this simple task in the food processor. This method works best when you’re mincing larger quantities of garlic cloves.

What knife is best for mincing garlic?

A very sharp chef’s knife is the best tool you can have in your kitchen, especially when it comes to a very finely made finish.

A close up of minced garlic

How to Store Minced Garlic

  • Room Temperature – This can sit out at room temperature for a couple hours. After two hours, you should refrigerate it.
  • Refrigerator – If you end up with extra, you can always store it in the refrigerator. Place it in a container for up to a week once it has been minced. Adding a layer of olive oil on top of it will keep it fresh for a little longer.
  • Freezer – Add your minced garlic to an ice cube tray, freezing in small portions that you can then pop out to use for any recipe you’d like.

You can store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. You will want to double bag it and keep it away from ice cream and other foods that might not taste good if a little garlic aroma seeps through.

Minced garlic in a small white bowl, with a copper measuring spoon inside

More Garlic Guides

A small white bowl of minced garlic, with a copper teaspoon full of minced garlic next to it.
5 from 2 votes

How to Mince Garlic

Learn how to mince garlic, the easy way! There are several methods to make minced garlic fresh in your home kitchen, with no specials tools required.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 8
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Ingredients  

  • 4 heads of garlic fresh
  • 2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions 

  • For all these methods, you’ll first want to peel your garlic, separating the cloves.

With a Knife

  • Use your knife blade to rock back and forth across the garlic, moving the knife the length of the garlic.
  • Go the other direction to make the pieces smaller.

With a Garlic Press

  • First, place a clove or two of garlic (check your product instructions to see if you have to peel first) into the press and squeeze the handles together.
  • The garlic is forced through little holes that mince it. This method makes it more pulpy than mincing by hand.

Food Processor

  • Add peeled garlic cloves and olive oil to the bowl of a mini food processor.
  • Attach the lid, then pulse until the cloves are minced as desired, scraping down the sides as needed.

Tips

  • Don’t forget to trim off the hard ends of each clove with a knife before you begin mincing. The ends won’t soften like the rest of the garlic, no matter which peeling method you choose.
  • One garlic clove equals approximately ½ teaspoon of garlic paste and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
  • If you’re adding frozen minced garlic to a recipe, it can be directly added to your recipe without thawing!
  • Top your minced garlic with a thin layer of olive oil before refrigerating, which helps preserve it for longer.
Calories: 11kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.5g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 0.3mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 0.03g | Sugar: 0.01g | Vitamin A: 0.1IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.03mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

Equipment

Garlic Press optional
Chef's Knife

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