How to Fix too Much Garlic - Here's How to Tone it Down (2023)

How to fix too much garlic. Here are few tips to help out when you’ve had a garlic attack. I couldn’t survive in my kitchen without garlic powder. It means not having to use whole cloves of garlic if you are pushed for time, and it has a great shelf life. There are times; you will have an accident with one of your dried herbs and spices when the lid comes off the container. It happens to the best of us.

I know it is said that less is more. But when the lid comes undone and you accidentally pour a heap full of herb or spice into your dish, that saying goes out the window. Or does it?

How to Fix too Much Garlic - Here's How to Tone it Down (1)

Garlic is a wonderful flavoring. At least for those who like it. But even for garlic lovers, but too much of the herb in a dish, it will overpower it. But all it is not lost. If you have an accident when adding garlic powder to a dish, I can tell you about some great ways of getting around it and recovering so that no one is the wiser.

Jump to:
  • Benefits of garlic
  • What You Need to counteract too much garlic
  • How to Fix Too Much Garlic: Step-by-Step Guide
  • Related garlic recipes

Benefits of garlic

If you know the legend of Count Dracula, you will be only too well aware that his arch-foes, the Van Helsings, often used bulbs of garlic in an attempt to ward off vampires. That is but one of its many benefits. However, garlic dates back to the Greek philosopher Hippocrates, who advocated its use in medicine in all seriousness. It’s valid credentials include:

Garlic is low in calories. If you are on a weight-watching diet, it is a handy ingredient in many recipes. Whatever it lacks in terms of calories, it more than makes up for with its nutrient content.

Garlic can be used against illnesses like the common cold. Garlic a useful food additive if you are dieting; it also contains certain elements that can boost your immune system.

According to the Healthline website, garlic can reduce the risk of catching a common cold by an average of 63% and reduce a cold duration by as much as 70%.

Garlic can reduce hypertension and lower levels of cholesterol. There is also solid medical evidence to indicate that garlic can lower blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension and that it also helps to regulate serum cholesterol.

(Video) How to Offset Too Much Garlic : Understanding Taste for Better Cooking

There is also evidence to show that garlic is a well-recognized agent for preventing and treating cardiovascular disease. If you don’t already use it, perhaps it’s about time you added it into your diet.

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What You Need to counteract too much garlic

#1 Onion

The first ingredient we are going to look at is the onion. It is another concentrated flavor you can use to balance a garlic-rich taste. Luckily, onion is also an excellent seasoning.

#2 Aromatic Herbs

Aromatic herbs are just what they sound like. Derived from natural, healthy plants, these herbs can add specific spicy aroma and taste notes to any preparation dishes. However, take care not to overdo it as if you do, you can make your dishes taste a little bitter.

#3 Acidic ingredient

Acidic ingredients add a little tartness to any dishes you might be preparing. The most common sources are lemon juice, lime juice, and vinegar. Click here for an interesting article on balancing flavors with an acidic element.

#4 Creamy ingredient

Another good way of balancing the flavor of a “too garlicky” dish is to add ingredients with a creamy texture. These include things like dairy products and coconut milk.

#5 Sweeteners

Using sweetening agents such as honey and sugar is another useful way of balancing out an intense garlic flavor.

However, you must take care when adding some sweetener as if you overdo it; it can easily overpower the entire dish.

How to Fix Too Much Garlic: Step-by-Step Guide

Okay, so now you are aware that there, in theory, several ways you can go about counterbalancing a dish that is too heavily flavored with garlic. The next step is to show you exactly how to go about it.

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1 Adding Onion, a Concentrated Flavor, to the dish

Our first balancing act involves using onion. Remember, we are dealing with a dish in which the garlic has become the dominant flavor, and not in a good way.

Like garlic, onion is another strong flavor but used in the right proportions. It can counteract too much garlic. The great thing about the taste of onion is that it complements garlic exceptionally well.

But if adding the strong taste of onion to that of the garlic doesn’t work for you, then you can choose from some of the other options I list below.

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2 Dilute by making another batch

One of the simplest ways you can lessen the influence of garlic’s flavor is to make another dish without any garlic in it at all. Then, by adding the two batches together, you reduce the garlic flavor by 50%.

The only difficulty with this is that you are, perhaps, going to have more of the prepared dish than you originally anticipated. However, it’s not the worst-case scenario. You can always donate some to your friends or guests, or whatever is leftover can be frozen for use another day.

3 Add a sweetener

If the dish is a casserole, chili, a curry, or a stew, you can always add a little sweetness using brown sugar. Gently does it. Add a smidgen at a time and taste. Again, you don’t want to overdo it. You want to get it to the stage where it counterbalances the heat of the garlic.

Don’t forget that sweet flavors often intensify when they cool. So, stay on the safe side. Don’t add too much. You can always add more a little later if necessary.

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4 Add some salt

Salt is another flavoring that can be used to lessen the heat of the garlic. Similarly, garlic and sugar can quickly take over any dish’s flavor, so too can salt. So, when you’re testing the taste of your garlic-heavy dish, check to see how much saltiness it already has. Add too much, and the dish will be inedible. As before, add a little at a time and test the taste.

5 Add an acidic ingredient

Like everything we talked about so far, less is more. It’s all about adding just the right amount to balance the flavor. Lemon or lime juice is preferable, and depending on the dish, even orange juice. If you don’t have any of these to hand, you can always add a small quantity of vinegar, but dare I say again? A little time and taste after each addition.

6 Add aromatic herbs and spices

There are many different herbs you can use to try and disguise the flavor of garlic. But be careful as these herbs won’t absorb the taste of the garlic. It’s all about reaching a nice balance. Overdo it, and your dish could end up tasting entirely different.

To my mind, using fresh parsley is an excellent place to start. It is quite a subtle flavor, and you can therefore add a decent quantity. If that doesn’t do it for you, you could try adding cilantro, which works very well with chili and curry. Don’t discard the stems. Cut everything up into small shreds, and add everything.

You can try adding other herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme. Just be a little careful because these have a stronger flavor, and again, if you add too much, you might end up changing the taste of the dish, but not in a good way.

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7 Simmer the dish on low heat

The alternative idea is to continue to cook the dish, but on a low heat setting. The more you cook garlic, the sweeter it tends to get, and the less harsh.

The thing to beware of is that you don’t burn it; if you do, you will get a horrible acrid taste.

8 Rest the dish overnight

It’s a well-known fact that casserole-type dishes always taste better when they have been rested overnight. It is not an old wife’s tale.

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What happens is that the flavors of everything, including the garlic, will mellow overnight. The same goes if you leave it in the fridge for two nights. Time is, they say, is a great healer.

9 Dilute by adding more liquid ingredients

Most casserole-type dishes have ingredients like broth, tomato purée or sauce, and of course, water. Adding more of these liquid elements will help dial down the garlic flavor, but the flavor can become a little bland or taste too much of tomato if you add too much.

If you find you have a too watery dish, you can always remove some of the sauce and either freeze it, refrigerate it, and use it in another dish, another day.

10 Add a creamy ingredient

Adding a creamy element can be an excellent way of reducing the garlic flavor of dishes like Alfredo Sauce, i.e., recipes with milky ingredients. The things you can use include:

  • Coconut Cream
  • Coconut Milk
  • Cow’s Milk
  • Half and Half Cream
  • Full Heavy Cream

11 Add more dressing

If you have made a dressing or have even bought one that tastes too garlicky, you can always damp down the garlic flavor by putting in more of the dressing’s base ingredients. These include things like:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Mayo
  • Mustard
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt

12 Add a potato

Many grannies pass down to their children and grandchildren to add a potato when a dish is too salty. The truth of the matter is that potatoes can work their magic with things other than salt.

They can bring down any intense flavors, and that includes the taste of too much garlic powder. Dice the potato, cook it in the dish and then remove before serving. It works.

Important Tips

Saving a dish that has had too much garlic added is not rocket science. Below, you will see a few tips to help out when you’ve had an overzealous garlic attack.

  • When the dish is a liquidy one, you can add more liquid to quieten or dilute the garlic’s strong taste. If you have a dish that tastes strongly of garlic, but you want to serve it, do so but with complementary sides such as bread, potatoes, or rice. All of these work well with garlic.
  • If you have a raw salad that tastes too much of garlic, the best thing to do is to add additional raw ingredients to try and balance out the flavors is a little more.
  • Benihana Garlic Butter
  • General Tso Chicken Recipe
  • Hibachi Chicken Benihana Recipe


What taste cancels out garlic? ›

The acid in lemon juice neutralizes alliinase, an enzyme produced by crushing garlic that causes our unfortunate odor situations.

What should I eat after eating too much garlic? ›

Drinking a glass of milk with or after a garlic-heavy meal may reduce the concentration of compounds in the mouth that contain sulfur and cause bad odor. Research has shown that full-fat milk is better at reducing odor than fat-free milk. Lemon juice may help to neutralize the odor of onions or garlic on the breath.

How long does it take for garlic to get out of your system? ›

Science Of Stink: Blame Sulfur Compounds For Your Garlic Breath : The Salt A sulfur compound in garlic can linger in the body for up to two days, stinking up your breath, sweat and pee.

What neutralizes garlic in the stomach? ›

Heat a small saucepan of milk until almost boiling. Peel the garlic and place the cloves into the milk for about 15-20 minutes before drying and continuing to use as you wish. The milk will neutralize any acridity making the taste much more mellow and pleasant for your tastebuds as well as aiding digestion.

How long does garlic stay in the digestive system? ›

The water-soluble compounds in garlic only remain in your body for 2-3 days, but the fat-soluble compounds in garlic may remain in your body for multiple weeks.

What happens to the body after eating garlic? ›

Raw garlic retains higher amounts of allicin, a beneficial sulfur-containing compound. Garlic has been shown to improve immunity, stabilize blood sugar levels, and support heart and brain health.

Can too much garlic cause internal bleeding? ›

Garlic acts like a blood thinner. Too much garlic can increase your risk for bleeding during or after surgery. It may also interact with blood-thinning medications. People with ulcers or thyroid problems should ask their doctors before taking garlic.

What does garlic do to the body? ›

Garlic contains antioxidants that support the body's protective mechanisms against oxidative damage ( 19 ). High doses of garlic supplements have been shown to increase antioxidant enzymes in humans, as well as significantly reduce oxidative stress in people with high blood pressure ( 7 , 9 , 20 ).

Does anything neutralize garlic? ›

There was some research on foods that, if eaten alongside the garlic, seemed to destroy the odour: some top performers included lettuce, chicory, celery, potato, parsley, mint leaves, peppermint, basil, and mushroom.

What herb neutralizes garlic? ›

The best way to get rid of garlic breath is to chew on parsley. Chewing on this herb – especially the stems – will neutralize the odor associated with garlic breath. The polyphenols in parsley act like antioxidants and break down the smelly sulfur compounds in garlic.

What enzymes break down garlic? ›

When raw garlic cloves are crushed, chopped, or chewed, an enzyme known as alliinase is released. Alliinase catalyzes the formation of sulfenic acids from L-cysteine sulfoxides (Figure 2). Sulfenic acids spontaneously react with each other to form unstable compounds called thiosulfinates.

Can garlic damage stomach? ›

Garlic has been used safely for up to 7 years. It can cause side effects such as bad breath, heartburn, gas, and diarrhea. These side effects are often worse with raw garlic. Garlic might also increase the risk of bleeding and cause allergic reactions in some people.

Should I drink water after eating garlic? ›

This combination of having raw garlic and water helps you detoxify your body. Garlic is a great alternative to detoxify your body. It clears your body of all the harmful toxins and prevents diseases like diabetes, depression, and different types of cancers too.

What happens if you eat too much garlic in one day? ›

Consumption of excessive amounts of raw garlic, especially on an empty stomach, can cause gastrointestinal upset, flatulence, and changes in the intestinal flora. There have been reports of allergic dermatitis, burns, and blisters from topical application of raw garlic.

Can we drink water after eating garlic? ›

You can also drink 2-3 sips of warm water with it if the flavour of garlic seems a bit overwhelming to you. You can also mix 10 cloves of chopped garlic in 5 tablespoons of honey and store it for everyday use.


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