Skip to Content

Here Is How To Fix Too Much Garlic In A Dish

Here Is How To Fix Too Much Garlic In A Dish

Too much garlic can happen to the best of us. It’s a mistake that’s easy to make, especially if there are too many distractions in the kitchen or if you’re following a recipe that doesn’t call for enough other ingredients to balance out the garlic flavor.

Too much raw garlic can make a dish taste bitter, and too much cooked garlic, while often welcome, can overwhelm other ingredients in the recipe.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. There are a few things you can try to help fix a dish with too much garlic. 

How To Fix Too Much Garlic

  1. Identify the source of the garlic. Is it in the sauce? Is it in a marinade? Is it in a topping? Once you know where the garlic is coming from, you can start to address the problem.
  2. Add more ingredients to dilute the garlic flavor. This could include adding more of the other ingredients that are already in the dish, or adding new ingredients such as tomato paste, broth, cream, or strong-flavored dairy products like yogurt or parmesan cheese.
  3. Use acidic ingredients to balance out the garlic flavor. Lemon juice, lime juice, and vinegar are all good options. Additional tomatoes are particularly helpful in homemade salsas that have too much garlic.
  4. Add sweetness to the dish. A little bit of sugar or honey can help to mellow out the garlic flavor. Remember to start off with a light touch as you try to fix garlic in this dish because too sweet will be a whole different problem. 
  5. Add herbs and spices to add complexity to the dish. This can help to distract from the garlic flavor and make the dish more balanced. Use a little at a time and taste as you go so that you don’t swing too far in the other direction.
  6. Start over with a new batch. Set aside your super garlicky dish and repeat the recipe again with NO garlic. Then combine. You get double the amount, but you either get leftovers or plenty to freeze for future use.
  7. Special note for fixing too much raw garlic in Thanksgiving gravy: If the gravy has come together and you taste it and realize it’s garlic central, add it back to a sauce pot on warm. In a bowl, add ¼ c warm water and heat back up on medium until it reaches 140F, stirring so it doesn’t stick. Then add 3 T cream or milk, stir, keep on low for another two minutes. Use a meat thermometer to make sure it reaches and maintains this temperature for at least three minutes.
Spaghetti with meat sauce twirled on a fork.

As you go through these suggestions remember to try a little at a time, combine one or two ideas, stir well, and taste as you go. 

Here are some specific tips for fixing too much garlic in different types of dishes:

  • Sauces: If the garlic is in a sauce, try to dilute it by adding more of the other ingredients in the sauce, such as broth, cream, or dairy products like plain yogurt, ricotta or whipped cottage cheese. You can also add acidic ingredients such as lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar to balance out the garlic flavor.
  • Marinades: If the garlic is in a marinade, you can try to remove it by soaking the meat or seafood in a bowl of clean, cold water for 30 minutes to an hour in the refrigerator. You can also try to neutralize the garlic flavor by adding acidic ingredients such as lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar to the marinade.
  • Toppings: If the garlic is in a drizzle or garnish, such as pesto or chimichurri, you can simply leave it out. You can also try to balance out the garlic flavor by adding other toppings, such as fresh herbs, grated cheese, or nuts.
  • If you’ve added too much garlic to a mostly dry recipe, like in a bread dough or dredge, try adding a bit more salt, pepper, or sugar, starting with ⅛ teaspoon.

For foods that can be heated up, you can deactivate the alliinase (the source of the strong garlic taste) by heating up the food to a sustained 140F for about three minutes. This might work with a gravy or pasta sauce, but not as much with expensive meats.

Add side dishes as a distraction: While this may seem like it’s not really a “fix,” remember that a meal comes together as complementary flavors. So if your pork chops, for example, are truly souped-up on garlic, make a side of sour cream mashed potatoes, cilantro lime rice or buttered noodles (made without garlic, of course), and plate everything in the kitchen instead of letting your guests serve themselves. You may even want to nestle your garlicky chops directly on the starchy side to help dilute the garlic flavor in every delicious bite.

The bottom line

If you’ve tried all of these tips and the dish still has too much garlic, you may need to start over. But don’t worry, it’s a learning experience. Just remember to be more careful with the garlic next time!

More About Garlic

Garlic Overload? Here's How to Fix Too Much Garlic in Any Dish

Garlic Overload? Here's How to Fix Too Much Garlic in Any Dish

 Garlic is so good that it's easy to overdo it. If you've ever found yourself with a dish that's too garlicky, here are a few simple ideas and steps to help fix it. 

Ingredients

  • Your dish with too much raw or cooked garlic

Instructions

  1. Identify the source of the garlic. 
  2. Add more ingredients to dilute the garlic flavor. This could include adding more of the other ingredients that are already in the dish, or adding new ingredients such as tomato paste, broth, cream, or strong-flavored dairy products like yogurt or parmesan cheese.
  3. Use acidic ingredients to balance out the garlic flavor. Lemon juice, lime juice, and vinegar are all good options.
  4. Add sweetness to the dish. A little bit of sugar or honey can help to mellow out the garlic flavor. Remember to start off with a light touch as you try to fix garlic in this dish because too sweet will be a whole different problem. 
  5. Add herbs and spices to add complexity to the dish. This can help to distract from the garlic flavor and make the dish more balanced. Use a little at a time and taste as you go so that you don’t swing too far in the other direction.
  6. Start over with a new batch. Set aside your super garlicky dish and repeat the recipe again with NO garlic. Then combine. You get double the amount, but you either get leftovers or plenty to freeze for future use.

Notes

Special note for fixing too much raw garlic in Thanksgiving gravy: If the gravy has come together and you taste it and realize it’s garlic central, add it back to a sauce pot on warm. In a bowl, add ¼ c warm water and heat back up on medium until it reaches 140F, stirring so it doesn’t stick. Then add 3 T cream or milk, stir, keep on low for another two minutes. Use a meat thermometer to make sure it reaches and maintains this temperature for at least three minutes to help deactivate the chemical that gives garlic its taste.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Jessica

Sunday 12th of September 2021

I tripled the recipe and 12 cloves of garlic is too much. I would reduce.

Tips for Tito: How to fix too much garlic in a dish - AfricansLive

Monday 3rd of February 2020

[…] to Cookingchew, there are certainly numerous ways in which one can fix too much garlic and below are different […]

Skip to Recipe