How to Eat Pickled Garlic

Pickled garlic may sound like an acquired taste, but you might find yourself repeatedly reaching for the jar. Unlike raw garlic, which has a spicy, sharp flavor, garlic that’s pickled in vinegar becomes mellow and even slightly sweet. You can eat it raw or add it to meals for a burst of unique flavor. Try it with whatever you’re eating—you might be pleasantly surprised with an original flavor combination!


[Edit]Eat the pickled garlic straight out of the jar.

  1. Pop it right into your mouth whenever you need a burst of flavor. If you’re like most people who enjoy pickled garlic, you might like snacking on it straight out of the jar.[1]
    Eat Pickled Garlic Step 1.jpg
    • There’s no need to heat or cook it since it’s already soft and flavorful.

[Edit]Toss it with sautéed vegetables for a bold acidic kick.

  1. Stir chopped pickled garlic into veggies like peppers, broccoli, or onions. Instead of cooking vegetables with freshly minced garlic, give them a deeper, rich flavor with pickled garlic. Just chop up a few pickled garlic cloves and add it to vegetables like:[2]
    • Green beans
    • Bell peppers
    • Broccoli or Brussels sprouts
    • Cauliflower
    • Onions

[Edit]Add pickled garlic to a charcuterie board.

  1. Place it on cheese or snack boards, too. If you’re serving a charcuterie or snack board to guests, set out a variety of flavors so people can find taste combinations they enjoy. Put out a small bowl of pickled garlic to complement the sausage, cheese, or crackers.[3]
    Eat Pickled Garlic Step 3.jpg
    • Want to make the garlic even fancier? Drizzle a little high-quality extra-virgin olive oil over the cloves to bring out the slightly sweet flavor of the garlic.

[Edit]Mix it into pasta salads or stir-fries.

  1. Chop pickled garlic and stir it into cooked noodles or steamed rice. The garlic gives a boost of flavor to ingredients that are usually pretty bland on their own and it tastes great in a variety of cuisines.[4]
    • For example, stir pickled garlic into stir-fried rice, a vegetable curry, or a creamy alfredo sauce.

[Edit]Try pickled garlic on sandwiches, hot dog, and hamburgers.

  1. Lay slices of pickled garlic onto a sandwich to give it a slightly tangy taste. Pickled garlic is a great topping for paninis, hamburgers, or your favorite sandwich. They’re not as sharp as onions, but they give a zippy flavor.[5]
    • Pickled garlic is wonderful on pizza, too!

[Edit]Serve pickled garlic with grilled meat and seafood.

  1. Set out pickled garlic to add flavor to smoky meats or mild seafood. The next time you toss steaks or pork chops on the grill set out a bowl of pickled garlic. The tangy flavor complements smoky meat and adds a little kick of garlic. This also makes it great for mild seafood dishes like cod, halibut, or rockfish.[6]
    • If you’re adding barbecue sauce to your grilled meat, stir a few chopped cloves of garlic into it before basting the meat.

[Edit]Mash the garlic and spread it on toast.

  1. Make your own garlic bread that has a smooth, mild flavor. Garlic bread made with fresh garlic cloves, herbs, and salt, can be really sharp—especially if you’re using raw garlic that’s started to sprout. If you prefer a mellow flavor, mash a few pickled garlic cloves and spread it on toast instead of using fresh garlic.[7]
    • Serve your garlic toast with a fresh garden salad that you’ve garnished with pickled garlic cloves.

[Edit]Stir it into spaghetti sauce to add a slightly zippy flavor.

  1. Customize homemade or jarred pasta sauce with a little pickled garlic. Chop the garlic cloves and simmer it in your spaghetti sauce until the sauce absorbs the flavor. Don’t be afraid to add lots of garlic since this is the base for a lot of Italian dishes.[8]
    • Use your garlic-flavored spaghetti sauce to make lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs, for instance.

[Edit]Garnish cocktails with a few cloves of pickled garlic.

  1. Use pickled garlic cloves instead of pickled onions to garnish your drink. Try it in your next martini or Bloody Mary, for instance. You can even substitute garlic brine for the olive brine in a dirty martini.[9]
    Eat Pickled Garlic Step 9.jpg
    • If you like a spicy Bloody Mary, use garlic cloves that were pickled with hot peppers.

[Edit]Make a pickled garlic salad dressing.

  1. Whisk the brine from the pickled garlic with oil for a quick, salad dressing. Start by vigorously whisking about 3 parts of extra-virgin olive oil with 1 part of brine from the pickled garlic jar. Then, taste the dressing and add as much salt and pepper as you like before you toss it with salad greens.[10]
    • You don’t have to add the pickled garlic itself unless you want an even stronger garlic flavor.


  • Did your pickled garlic turn blue? Don’t worry—this is a natural reaction from the pickling process. Your garlic is safe to eat.[11]


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