Garlic salt has a distinctively garlicky flavor that's much different from that of fresh garlic or garlic powder. If your recipe calls for garlic salt and you're out of this tasty spice mixture, it's easy to make your own as long as you have kosher salt and garlic powder in your pantry.
A homemade mixture of garlic powder and kosher salt will do just fine as a substitute for garlic salt. To substitute garlic powder for garlic salt, use the proper ratio of garlic to salt. This is generally 3:1, salt to powder, though you can always alter these quantities if you'd prefer.
How to Substitute Garlic Powder for Garlic Salt
It’s very simple to substitute garlic powder for garlic salt, provided you have kosher salt on hand. Substitute three parts salt mixed with one part garlic powder, and this is virtually the same thing as garlic salt. This mixture makes an excellent addition to grilled fish, meats and veggies, but keep in mind that a little bit goes a long away; in fact, it’s always a good idea to add a small amount, do a taste test and add more if desired.
Differences Between Garlic Powder and Garlic Salt
Garlic salt versus powder: What’s the difference? Garlic powder is dehydrated ground garlic; whereas, garlic salt is simply a mixture of salt and garlic powder. The flavors of the two are very similar, but one is diluted with salt, and the other isn’t.
Garlic powder (with salt) makes the perfect substitute for garlic salt, but garlic salt is not quite as versatile. If you try to use garlic salt in place of powder, you may end up with a dish that’s much too salty to eat; and, keep in mind that high salt intake can increase your blood pressure and lead to health problems. Garlic salt can only work as a substitute for garlic powder if you use it carefully and in very small amounts.
Other Substitutes for Garlic Salt
Garlic salt, with its pungent, distinctive flavor and pleasant kick, is a great all-purpose seasoning for many types of recipes. But when you’re fresh out of garlic salt, or you’d simply prefer to use something else, there are plenty of substitutes for garlic salt (other than garlic powder) that you likely already have stocked in your kitchen.
In the absence of garlic salt, a mixture of minced garlic and kosher salt works wonderfully. In terms of quantities, 1 teaspoon of garlic salt is equal to roughly 1 teaspoon of minced garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. This substitution is best for dishes that are roasted or sauteed.
Alternately, if you’re preparing a marinade, soup or homemade salad dressing, garlic juice and salt make a workable substitute for garlic salt. To extract the juice, use a garlic press to make garlic puree; then place the puree in a strainer, and strain the juice into a bowl. The general rule is that 1 teaspoon of garlic juice and 3/4 teaspoon of salt will work in place of 1 teaspoon of garlic salt.
Finally, you could make your own batch of fresh garlic salt, provided that you have a food processor, salt and a couple of heads of garlic. Peel the garlic cloves, smash them up a bit with a knife and add them to your food processor. Next, add roughly 1 cup of salt (it should be kosher salt, not table salt). Then, process the salt and garlic mixture until it reaches a smooth consistency and spread the mixture on a baking sheet (don’t forget to use parchment paper, or the garlic will stick to the sheet); bake in the oven for about an hour in 180 degrees Fahrenheit heat. Yum!
Justine Harrington is a travel, food & culture journalist based in Austin. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Fodor's, Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, USA Today, and dozens of other print and online publications.