Can you freeze garlic? (Fresh Cloves, Peeled, or Minced)

If you have a Costco-sized garlic bag at home and need better ways to store it, then freezing garlic may be the answer! Now I know what you’re thinking, does freezing garlic ruin it? Not even a little. Garlic freezes very well and there are lots of ways to preserve them in the freezer.

frozen garlic in ice cube tray and sheet pan

How to store garlic

The most common way to preserve garlic is keeping it in a dark cabinet that’s well ventilated. I like to keep fresh garlic in wire baskets in a dark cabinet. Recently, I’ve started using the freezer to also store garlic and make it last longer.

While storing garlic in a cabinet can make it last for a couple weeks, you can also freeze the garlic to keep it fresh for up to one year in some cases. 

How to freeze garlic

You can freeze garlic in a lot of different ways depending on how much preparation you want to put in and how you might want to use garlic in the future. I.E. how lazy do you feel like being that day?

You can throw the whole bulb in (peels and all), peeled cloves, minced garlic, and oil-infused garlic cubes. Just keep in mind you should prepare garlic for freezing in a similar fashion that you use them fresh. For example, if you use minced garlic often, don’t freeze whole cloves because you’ll have to defrost them before mincing and cooking the garlic.

Can you freeze whole garlic bulbs?

If you are feeling ultra lazy, you can pop whole garlic bulbs in the freezer (in an airtight container or Ziplock to prevent freezer burn). The only caveat to this method is that you STILL have to peel the garlic when you want to use it, and it might be a little tricky to remove if the garlic is cold or is slightly soft when it defrosts. 

Can you freeze fresh garlic?

peeled garlic on sheet pan

Yes! The easiest way to store garlic is peeling garlic cloves and then putting them on a sheet or plate in the freezer. After about an hour, you can transfer them into an airtight container. Pre-freezing the cloves separated on a tray prevents them from sticking together compared to if you just threw all the fresh cloves into a bag and froze them. 

Can you freeze minced garlic?

minced garlic in food processor

Yes, you can definitely freeze minced garlic and it’s actually a preferable method to save garlic because you can add it straight to your saute pan. I like to use a food processor to mince them and then measure the garlic into tablespoon and teaspoon portions. Just like pre-freezing the cloves, you want to lay them out onto a sheet pan or plate and freeze for an hour before putting them in an airtight container. 

Another option for freezing minced garlic is also infusing it in oil and making garlic oil ice cubes. I like doing this method because the oil is infused with garlic flavor and you can add it onto a saute pan and not need additional oil. 

Mince your garlic oil and put them in ice cube trays, then top off with your preferred oil. I like to use olive oil for the flavor. Make sure to cover all the garlic with oil to prevent freezer burn. Freeze them overnight and then pop them in a Ziplock container to keep them fresh. 

How to use frozen garlic

frozen minced and whole garlic cloves

When you need garlic for a future recipe, you can pull out the garlic based on the measurements you need. For the pre-measured minced garlic, you don’t need to defrost the garlic before using it. I like to add it directly onto the pan. 

To use the garlic cloves, I like to leave them on the counter for about 10 minutes if I want to chop them up or slice them. You can also have the option of putting them directly onto the pan or soup without defrosting them if you want to keep the garlic whole. 

It’s important to note that you should use defrosted garlic as soon as possible because the texture will be a little softer than fresh garlic. You can also freeze other ingredients, like basil!

frozen garlic cubes and cloves
frozen garlic
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Can you freeze garlic?

Learn how to preserve your excess garlic in the freezer with three different methods.
Course Ingredient
Cuisine American, Asian, Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican
Keyword freezing garlic
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • Knife or food processor
  • Cutting board
  • Sheet pan or plate
  • Parchment paper
  • Ziplock bags


Whole bulb

  • 1 bulb garlic peel intact

Peeled cloves

  • 1 bulb garlic (or pack of pre-peeled garlic cloves)

Minced garlic

  • 1 bulb garlic (or pack of pre-peeled garlic cloves)

Minced garlic and oil cubes

  • 1 bulb garlic (or pack of pre-peeled garlic cloves)
  • neutral cooking oil olive oil preferred


  • Whole bulb: place a whole bulb of garlic into a Ziplock bag. Remove the excess air and place in the freezer. To use in the future, remove the bulb and let it sit at room temperature (about 10-20 minutes) until you can begin to peel the skin.
    whole garlic heads
  • Peeled cloves: Separate the cloves from a garlic bulb and peel the skin. Place parchment paper on a plate or sheet pan. Evenly line the pan with the cloves so none of the cloves stick together. Place in the freezer for 1 hour. Transfer the cloves into a Ziplock bag and freeze. Defrost the cloves for about 10 minutes on the counter if you want to chop or slice them. If you want to use them as a whole, add them into your recipe straight from the freezer.
    peeled garlic cloves
  • Minced garlic: Separate the cloves from the bulb and peel the skin. Add the cloves into a food processor and pulse until minced. Take a tablespoon and/or teaspoon and measure out the minced garlic. Place the scoops onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan or plate. Freeze for one hour, then transfer to an airtight Ziplock bag. Use the minced garlic straight from the freezer into your recipe. If you want to eat them raw, defrost them for about 10-20 minutes, or until they are soft.
    frozen minced and whole garlic cloves
  • Minced garlic and oil cubes: Separate the cloves from the bulb and peel the skin. Add the cloves in the food processor and pulse until it’s completely minced. Scoop the minced garlic into ice cube trays. Top off with a neutral cooking oil (olive oil preferred) and make sure no garlic peaks above the oil. Place it in the freezer overnight and then transfer the cubes into a Ziplock bag. Use the cubes directly into your pan when you’re sauteing.
    frozen garlic cubes and cloves