In small doses, garlic appears in a million dishes. Its flavor ranges from pungent and spicy when raw to sweet and nutty when cooked. A little of it goes a long way, but sometimes a little just isn’t enough. From time to time, we like to go all in on the garlic flavor. From chicken with 40 cloves of garlic and garlicky wok-fried shrimp to creamy aïoli and garlic butter, we’ve rounded up our favorite garlic recipes.
We like our condiments assertive, so garlic is a natural choice. Make homemade mayonnaise with garlic and you have aïoli, a tangy sauce that’s perfect as a sandwich spread or French fry dip. Simpler is the combination of garlic and butter. Mixing mashed garlic into butter gets you a luxurious condiment that begs to be melted onto a steak.
Garlic is great for adding a little kick to seafood. For a super easy weeknight dinner, stir-fry minced garlic and head-on shrimp in a hot wok. Next time you cook lobster forget the boiling water and use the grill—split the crustaceans in half and slather with garlic-parsley butter, which will melt down and poach the meat it its shell.
Find all of these recipes and many more in our collection of garlic recipes.
Head-on shrimp, quickly stir-fried with garlic, are sweet, spicy and succulent. Serve over rice for an easy weeknight dinner.
Get the recipe for Wok-Fried Shrimp with Garlic »
Egyptians love tart flavors like the bracing, floral herb sumac, which is rubbed all over this juicy chicken.
Get the recipe for Sumac Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic »
This quick and easy D.I.Y. pantry staple makes a great spread for sandwiches or dip for frites.
Penn Hongthong, the author of Simple Laotian Cooking (Hippocrene, 2003), taught us that charring the vegetables for this dip is the secret to its smoky flavor.
Braised Beef Stew with Garlic Cream
When buying leeks for this dish, cookbook author
Amy Thielen says to look for ones that have all or most of their dark green tops still attached. If trimmed leeks are all you can find, use the dark and light green parts only. Get the recipe for Grilled Greens and Leek Tops with Chile-Garlic Sauce »
Grilled Lobster with Garlic-Parsley Butter
“Lovage has a mysterious quality,” says chef Russell Moore (
Camino; Oakland, California) of the underused herb, which “tastes like celery mixed with Middle Eastern spices.” It’s an unusual, delectable addition to this classic sausage mix.
“Eating this dish makes me feel like I’m at home. It’s my mom’s specialty, and I remember helping her prep this as a child. It is served at every party [my family throws] and is eaten on its own for
merianda, the Filipino equivalent of British Tea.” – Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao Get the recipe for Philippine Noodle Stir-Fry (Pancit Bihon) »
Spaghetti with Anchovy Garlic Sauce
If your mother or grandmother is still using dried and granulated garlic instead of fresh, make them a batch of this hand-chopped garlic herb salt. It’s the perfect gateway to the good stuff and will elevate their cooking immediately. Thanks to Sally Schneider and A Splendid Table for the introduction to this lovely seasoning.
Sweet and savory, crunchy and creamy come together on little toasts, which pair cubes of sweet potato with a flavorful spread featuring lemon zest, capers and sour cream.
Get the recipe for Roasted Garlic and Sweet Potato Crostini »
These shrimp are cooked in a hot cast iron pan with tons of garlic and red Thai chiles.
In a breadbasket at Manhattan’s Carbone, we discovered the Platonic ideal of garlic bread. With roasted garlic butter made from freshly chopped cloves that are by turns sharp and mellow, heat from red chile flakes, and a bit of funk from parmesan, each crunchy bite of baguette, scattered with parsley and chives and bathed in olive oil, is fiercely flavorful and craveworthy.
Crushed garlic cloves and red Thai chiles lend depth and heat to sweet, nutty clarified butter.
Get the recipe for Clarified Butter with Garlic and Chiles »
The recipe for this garlicky bread soup comes from Rosa Filipe of O Barro restaurant in Redondo, Portugal, who claims it is nicknamed “beggar’s soup” because it contains no meat or fish.
Get the recipe for Bread and Garlic Soup with Cilantro »
A rich soup heavy with garlic and shallots makes a hearty first course or light main dish. Serve it with plenty of crusty bread.
Get the recipe for Creamy Garlic Soup »
Copious amounts of lightly caramelized onions are piled atop pasta and served with yogurt and herbs in this recipe inspired by Claudia Roden’s
. The New Book of Middle Eastern Food Get the recipe for Tagliatelle with Yogurt and Fried Onions (Rishta bi Laban wa Bassal) »
With a bright, fresh garlic flavor that’s like a cross between scallions and bulb garlic, garlic scapes add a pungent bite to this hearty hummus made with cannellini beans.
For this sweet-tart Persian pickle, whole heads of garlic are fermented in a vinegar solution until the cloves are very soft.
Simmering garlic in fat turns them into a spreadable condiment perfect for crusty bread.
Get the recipe for Simple Garlic Confit »
Garlic-Steamed Manila Clams
Boiling garlic with apples yields this mild, sweet British condiment. Its honeylike consistency makes it perfect for drizzling over roast lamb.
Cauliflower roasted until sweet with garlic and cumin gets tossed with toothsome gemelli pasta, golden raisins, and slivered almonds for crunch.
Get the recipe for Gemelli with Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower »
Roasting garlic brings out its sweetness, so the flavors meld beautifully in this simple vanilla ice cream inspired by one served at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.
Raw minced garlic combines with parsley and lemon zest in this vibrant garnish that cuts through the richness of grilled meats and fish, as well as osso buco, a specialty of its birthplace, Milan.
Steaming eggplant, as opposed to deep-frying it, lightens this fragrant stir-fry adapted from a recipe in Grace Young and Alan Richardson’s
The Breath of a Wok (Simon & Schuster, 2004). Get the recipe for Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi) »
This garlicky rice is a popular breakfast dish in the Philippines and is delicious served with fried eggs and a drizzle of vinegar sauce.
Get the recipe for Filipino Garlic Fried Rice with Vinegar Sauce (Sinangag) »
Garlic is briefly cooked in hot oil to bring out its aroma and temper its heat for this Rajasthani chutney.
Thirty cloves of garlic go into this creamy side dish.
Get the recipe for Julia Child’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes »
Garlic confit, a silky, spreadable condiment, relies on a French technique for gently poaching peeled whole cloves in oil or fat. The process caramelizes the cloves and draws out their sweetness, yielding a sumptuous spread. We love to use it in dishes like these skillet-cooked greens from Linton Hopkins, chef and owner of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta, which feature garlic confit and a piquant sorghum gastrique.
Get the recipe for Garlicky Skillet Greens with Ham »
This crisp-skinned bird is cooked in a generous amount of butter and served with a delectable pan sauce of garlic and cilantro. A small chicken can be substituted for the Cornish game hen.
Set atop a sizzling steak, this restaurant classic melts luxuriously onto the meat. The recipe is adapted from Alice Waters’
Chez Panisse Cooking (Random House, 1988). Get the recipe for Chez Panisse Garlic Butter »
For the recipe for this silky soup, store-bought stock can be used, but nothing matches the intense flavor of
homemade crab stock.
Pungent raw garlic shines in this no-cook soup adapted from Claudia Roden’s
(Ecco, 2011). The Food of Spain Get the recipe for Almond and Garlic Soup (Ajo Blanco) »
When garlic cloves are chopped, the sulfur compounds and an enzyme called allinase, usually held separate within the clove, come into contact with one another. The collision generates the compound allicin, which gives garlic its pungency, and pyruvic acid, which is responsible for its spicy heat. But left intact, so that its volatile compounds don’t interact, garlic offers an entirely different character; roasting the cloves whole draws out their sweetness, yielding the sumptuous confit that adorns this pretty focaccia. Cook the focaccia on a pizza stone, which will give the bottom crust a delicious crunch.
This handy aromatic dressing from Rachel Yang, co-chef at
Joule in Seattle, adds a sweet, bright bite to stir-fries and soups.
Asian Greens with Garlic Sauce
Simple roasted baby potatoes with whole garlic cloves are the perfect foil for a zesty lemon and olive oil emulsion.
Razor clams cook quick but look especially impressive, especially in this popular Spanish-style tapas preparation.
Stuffing sardines with fresh herbs, garlic, and lemon before grilling suffuses them with zesty flavor.
This light, Lebanese lentil salad is flavored with lemon juice, cumin, allspice, and parsley.
Lighter and simpler than the nut-enriched moles of Puebla and Oaxaca, this Zacatecan version is made with fresh tomatillos, cilantro, jalapeños, and garlic.
A marinade of red miso, ginger, and garlic gives this steak a crisp, flavorful crust and a juicy interior.
Get the recipe for Garlic and Red-Miso Porterhouse »
The famously smoky Middle Eastern eggplant puree reaches new heights of smoothness with the inclusion of white chocolate, which compliments the nutty flavor of tahini and the delicate spice of fresh garlic and paprika.
Get the recipe for White Chocolate Baba Ghannouj »
Roasted Garlic Chipotle Mayonnaise
Our version of this classic uses peeled garlic; after removing the chicken from the pan, keep cooking the garlic until the cloves have all but melted. Then, a quick spin with a whisk makes a smooth sauce well worth the effort of all that peeling.
Get the recipe for Chicken With 40 Cloves of Garlic »
This tangy, spicy curry from Goa, India, has roots in
vinh d’alho, a stew brought to the region by Portuguese colonists. Now an Indian restaurant staple, it comes in countless variations—some fiery, some mild—from the subcontinent to the British Isles. Get the recipe for Chicken Vindaloo »
The pasta for this potent and luxurious dish is cooked in chile-spiked chicken stock and bolstered by three preparations of garlic: roasted, fried, and sauteed.