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.
DIY Garlic Aïoli
This quick and easy D.I.Y. pantry staple makes a great spread for sandwiches or dip for frites.
Lao Tomato Dip
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.
Garlic and Herb Sausage
“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.
Hand-Chopped Garlic Herb Salt
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.
Carbone’s Garlic Bread
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.
Garlic Scape and Cannellini Bean Hummus
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.
Roasted Garlic Ice Cream
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.
Lahsun ki Chutney
Garlic is briefly cooked in hot oil to bring out its aroma and temper its heat for this Rajasthani chutney.
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.
Roasted Garlic Focaccia
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.
Mole Verde Zacatecano
Lighter and simpler than the nut-enriched moles of Puebla and Oaxaca, this Zacatecan version is made with fresh tomatillos, cilantro, jalapeños, and 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 »
Triple Garlic Linguine
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.