My Favorite Time-Saving Kitchen Hack – Garlic Dots


I’m always looking for ways to save time in the kitchen, aren’t you?

And since so many of my recipes use minced garlic and garlic can be so darned frustrating to peel and mince, these garlic dots are my absolute favorite kitchen time saver.

Honestly, I thought I had it pretty good once I discovered that you can buy garlic already peeled. How did I miss this for years?? For as much as I love garlic, there were some nights where I would skip adding it to a recipe just because of the hassle of peeling and mincing it. Now that I know I can buy it peeled, I’ve been using it a lot more often, but not as often as these garlic dots!

If you use the same type of ice cube tray as me (pictured, affiliate link) one dot equals exactly two teaspoons of minced garlic, or about one large clove. Most of the time, I throw it directly into whatever I’m cooking, especially slow cooker and stir-fry meals. Sometimes I defrost the dots for 10 seconds in the microwave first, if I’m going to add it to vegetables before roasting, for example.
Check out one RD's favorite time-saving cooking hack. It's packed with health benefits, too! Click To Tweet
And yes, I know that you can buy jarred minced garlic but to me, the flavor just isn’t the same. I’m not convinced that the health benefits are, either. Did you know that if you allow minced garlic to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before cooking, a compound called allicin starts to develop? This compound is both antibacterial and antiviral and many of garlic’s health benefits are attributed to it. But you don’t get the same effect if you immediately add the garlic to a hot pan a minute after you mince it. So with my method, the compound has time to develop as you are processing and freezing it. Bonus!

And if you think this all sounds great but you still probably wouldn’t take the time to do it, check out a product called Dorot Crushed Garlic. I would definitely buy it if I came across it in my neck of the woods, but I don’t see it often. If it’s available near you, definitely take advantage of it!

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Garlic Dots


8 oz. peeled garlic

2 tbsp water (more as needed)


Pulse garlic and water in a food processor until fully chopped, pausing occasionally to scrape down sides or add more water as needed.

Divide chopped garlic into ice cube trays (I recommend these) and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Keep the tray in a gallon-sized zip-top bag in the freezer and remove dots as needed. They can be added directly to soups and stews or allowed for about 10 minutes to thaw before tossing into a dish such as a stir-fry.

How would these garlic dots speed up your weeknight cooking? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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