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Too Much Garlic in Food – How to Fix it?

It turns out that you have too much garlic in your food and are now asking yourself how can I fix it? Here are some tips to help you when you’ve suffered from a “toomuchgarlic oopsies” attack. I would not be able to survive in my kitchen without garlic or, when time is tight, garlic powder. The latter is a way to avoid having to cook whole cloves, and too, it has a usefully long shelf-life.

In addition, garlic is said to have a lot of health benefits due to the organosulfur compounds according to the Oregon State University.

The trouble is, if you are here reading this article, you might have had an unhappy accident with the garlic powder. Such accidents frequently occur when you take the lid off the powder’s container or pour the powder into your pot or onto your food.

The speed with which a hint of garlic becomes too much garlic is unbelievably fast. So is the onset of instant regret. First, let me offer you my sympathies while trying to reassure you with this fact: it happens, even to the best of us.

Too much garlic in food

Fix too much garlic in food by adding extra liquids to meals prepared with broths or sauces. Fix too much garlic in food by proportionately adding additional intensely flavored ingredients. Finally, fix too much garlic in food by offering your diners ground black pepper to add to their meals when served.

Too much garlic in food–how to fix it?
Too much garlic in food – how to fix it?

Too much garlic in food–general solutions

While there are specific spices and vegetables you can use to try and counteract too much garlic, there are also more generalized techniques that might help. Use one of the following methods to get out of your spicy situation.

Too much garlic in food–if your cooking involves a liquid

If your meal’s recipe involves cooking with vegetable or beef broth, tomato, or any other kind of sauce, change the proportions of all ingredients. You might need a bigger pot and more time, but even professionals do this, so it is a bit more than a hallelujah and a prayer. It is a solid technique that really works in the field.

One thing that absolutely won’t work is allowing yourself to panic, and doing things hurriedly can also contribute to the problem. So, first, reduce the heat under the pot to an absolute minimum, giving you more time to figure out what you will need to add to the ingredients. Also, take out any meats, flesh, or items you don’t want to go soggy. Next, do the calculations–carefully!

If you added twice as much garlic as you ought, you should consider adding nearly as much again of everything. I say “nearly enough” because, in these circumstances, it is okay for the garlic flavor to be a little bit stronger than it might otherwise have been.

Now, add the extra ingredients to the pot and boil down the sauce to the same volume you expected on the heat prescribed by the recipe, meaning this will take a while.

Once your sauce is back to its original level, add back your meats, flesh, and other items previously removed, and proceed to cook normally. If all goes well, you have a perfect meal indistinguishable from the one you planned initially.

Change the Proportions of All Ingredients
Change the Proportions of All Ingredients

Too much garlic in food–the “halving” technique

If you have plenty of time and, more importantly, a sufficiency of ingredients, you can cook another pot of the same meal using all the ingredients in the exact proportion demanded by the recipe bar one–the garlic. In this second pot, don’t add any garlic whatsoever. Once both pots are cooked, simply add one to the other and gently mix them thoroughly.

Some people have noted that another problem with the “halving” technique is that cooks end up with far more food than they wanted or needed. I agree. You might not want to use this method when cooking a one-off meal for guests, but if you are cooking a family favorite, no one will complain too much about having something delicious in the fridge for an ad hoc snack later.

Halving Technique Results with More Food Wanted/Needed
Halving Technique Results with More Food Wanted/Needed

Too much garlic in food–if you’re cooking with strong-flavored ingredients

It is possible to counteract the powerful taste of garlic by hiding it underneath other strong-flavored meal items. Done properly, it should lead to a balanced meal, but there is also the danger of making your food nearly inedible if done incorrectly–for example, by adding too many chilies–so you have to proceed carefully.

Counteracting Too Much Garlic with Strong-Flavored Ingredients
Counteracting Too Much Garlic with Strong-Flavored Ingredients

Counteracting too much garlic with onions and other strong-flavored items

Onions are excellent for seasoning and offer a strong enough flavor to compensate and balance out too much garlic. Try to work out the relative ratio of onions to garlic in the original recipe, then increase the number of onions in your meal proportionally.

Try this technique with other strong-flavored ingredients like herbs and spices, but for goodness sake, be careful!

The proportionality might not always be 1-to-1, unfortunately. Always err on the side of caution. Also, as I alluded to earlier, be especially careful with hot chili spices.

One happy exception to this is curry powder. Luckily, you can add curry powder or even curry paste to a curry with cheerful abandon, and in many cases, doing so will cure toomuchgarlic oopsies.

In this section, other items to consider are lemon, parsley, cilantro, thyme, basil, and oregano. I can’t overemphasize how strongly I recommend that you take it very easy when adding these ingredients, as going too gung-ho with any of them can easily wreck your entire meal.

It is odd but true that many people can tolerate too much garlic while being really intolerant of too much of virtually any other spice.

Counteracting Too Much Garlic with Onions
Counteracting Too Much Garlic with Onions

Too much garlic in food–a special word about black pepper

Spicing things up with black pepper post-cooking is a nifty little technique not just to help cure too much garlic in food but as a general method of counteracting other flavors that are having too strong an effect on your food.

The beauty of this technique is that each diner gets to add just the right amount of black pepper for their taste, so you can’t over-or underdo it with black pepper.

Too Much Garlic in Food–Black Pepper
Too Much Garlic in Food–Black Pepper

Frequently Asked Questions About Too Much Garlic in Food – How to Fix it?

Is too much garlic bad for me?

Eating a lot of garlic can lead to acid reflux or other unpleasant effects of overeating an acidic substance. It isn’t so much that eating too much garlic is bad for you, as it is that overeating garlic comes with unpleasant side effects. Anyway, eating too much garlic once shouldn’t do you any lasting damage. Overeating garlic all the time probably isn’t a great idea, and you might want to speak to a dietitian or other professionally trained person about its long-term effects.

Are there any drinks I offer my guests to lessen the taste of too much garlic?

Unfortunately, there aren’t any drinks that will lessen the taste of too much garlic, especially any drinks you can serve during the meal. First of all, a very keenly flavored drink such as bourbon will obliterate all the flavors from your wonderful meal. Secondly, when your guests burp, guess which unwelcome aftertaste will come bubbling up from intestinal depths like some kind of demonic gustatory presence?

Afterword: Too much garlic in food–how to fix it?

The no-nonsense news is that not everything in life is fixable; outcomes are not always guaranteed. As an adult, I expect you already know this, so the adult thing to do is to accept that despite your best efforts, it is entirely possible that, on occasion, you will be unable to resolve the too-much-garlic-in-food problem. If that is the case, what do you do? Allow me to suggest that you simply embrace the reality and enjoy your food anyway!