How to Prep Ahead Frozen Garlic Cubes + 4 Other Garlic Hacks!

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Skip the time-consuming step of peeling and mincing garlic. Try this smart frozen garlic ice cubes hack to prep ahead and save time in the kitchen.

frozen garlic cubes in hand

Love using fresh garlic in your cooking? Make your life easier with these hacks! 🧄

Garlic contributes so much flavor to the recipes and foods I love. I use fresh garlic just about every day, but having to stop and peel cloves of garlic happens to be one of my least favorite kitchen recipe duties. The great news is that garlic freezes very well!

woman with whole garlic cloves in a food processor

Here’s a brilliant way to prep ahead a bunch of garlic to use in recipes that involve using your food processor and an ice cube tray.

bowl of whole garlic cloves

This is such a smart and easy method everyone who cooks should know about! I’ll also be sharing a few bonus hacks in the kitchen that actually do work involving garlic as well. I hope this can be helpful to all my fellow GARLIC LOVERS.

1.) Purée a bunch of fresh garlic cloves to make garlic frozen cubes.

tray of frozen garlic ice cubes

Consider puréeing a bunch of garlic at once in your food processor and then freezing the mixture in ice cube trays. Store the garlic ice cubes in the freezer for up to 12 months and pop in recipes when needed.

To make things even easier I used a bag of peeled whole garlic cloves you can pick up at your local grocery or grocery warehouse like Costco.

These mini ice cube trays I used have smaller cubes that pop out easily and come with a lid so your freezer won’t smell like garlic. They are very nice quality and work great!

whole cubes of garlic in an ice cube tray

pureed garlic whole cloves to freeze

tray of frozen garlic cubes

Once frozen, these frozen garlic cubes will be a time-saver later on when you want to grab a cube or two to make dinner! You can easily add them to sauces or sauté them in a skillet and will be a great addition to your cooking routine.

Freezing other recipe odds end ends like minced ginger or homemade pesto would also be great!

cooking with frozen garlic cubes

2.) Prep ahead your own mini jars of minced garlic.

jars of minced garlic and olive oil - garlic hack

Instead of ice cube purée, here is another version using small jars. I pretty much used the same method as the cubes but gave it a quick chop in the food processor instead of purée. You can add olive oil to the jars too and the idea is that it will last longer in the fridge with the oil.

According to the USDA, these jars will keep for about a week in the fridge and can be stored for up to 12 months in the freezer. Don’t store at room temperature.

3. Use a garlic peeler to make peeling garlic a breeze.

using a garlic peeler

Have you seen these silicone garlic tubes that remove garlic skins? Turns out they are pretty handy and work well. At first, I wasn’t using enough pressure and thought it wasn’t working great.

After a few tries, you’ll get used to rolling a clove back and forth. You’ll actually feel the skin removed, and then reveal a peel garlic clove without even touching it. No more garlic fingers! 😂

4.) Soak a garlic bulb in hot water first, then peel it.

soaking garlic in water

I was skeptical of this advice initially after watching various TikTok videos on easy ways to peel garlic, but then was excited to see how easy garlic came out of the peel after it was soaked.

soaking garlic in water and then peeling it

For this method, I microwaved my garlic in water for just 30 seconds. Then I let it cool off and the skin slides right off. It did change the texture of the clove to more of a spongy feel. If you are heating up your garlic already I don’t see why this hack wouldn’t work!

5.) Forgo peeling altogether and roast whole garlic bulbs using your air fryer.

air frying an entire bulb of garlic

Roasting garlic has never been so quick! Simply cut the top off of a head of garlic, and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place inside foil and set the timer for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees until golden.

Your garlic cloves will easily slide out and are ready to be used in lots of recipes like garlic bread, Alfredo sauce, and (of course) with your veggies or fries! Even just spreading roasted garlic cloves on a cracker or bread is delicious! 🤤

Have any garlic hacks of your own? I’d love to hear them!

Use your minced garlic in my delicious sheet pan shrimp boil recipe!

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 16

  1. Michele

    These are great ideas – thank you! I am having a little bit of a face palm moment – I usually buy the prefilled trays of pureed garlic at Trader Joe’s, and it never occurred to me to make these myself. Less expensive, and less waste as the silicone trays are reusable.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Michele! Yes, I have used the TJ’s version too. This is a great way to DIY. ☺️

  2. A.B.

    Hi Lina!!! I LOVE this idea, thank you so much! Would you mind to tell me how long you’ve owned your food processor, and if you’d recommend it? I have been reading reviews, and trying to make a decision for a few months now, and just can’t commit! I trust your opinion, and would really appreciate any feedback 💕

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh yay yes! I love my cuisinart. It was my first big purchase for cooking maybe 17 years ago, and it’s been amazing. My mom always had one and they last forever! Hope that helps!

  3. SuzyHomemakerGoneBad

    Hi! Thank you! I love doing this so much that I need to buy more trays to tackle the Costco-sized bags! Can you please tell me the approximate volume of each cube in the tray? My current trays hold about 1 tsp or about 1-2 large cloves of garlic 🙂. Thank you!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      It’s a tiny bit smaller than a teaspoon. Like a couple of drops less. Hope that helps!

      • SuzyHomemakerGoneBad

        Yes, thank you so much!

  4. Marci

    WARNING: garlic stored in oil can grow botulism

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Hi there Marci. You are correct, but only if left at room temperature. According to the website you can store in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for longer. Hope that helps!

  5. cristinimartini

    Just in case someone didn’t want to buy an ice cube tray…I put my puréed/minced garlic into a resealable plastic bag. Flatten it out and freeze it flat. You can crack off what you need and it defrosts in a minute. I do the same with ginger. No need for the added oil, either.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Great idea on the freezer bag idea! Thanks for sharing your method. 🙌

  6. Mary

    Can you also store onion this way? I’m trying to figure out how to make cooking easier for my daughter who’s living in a dorm and has little time for cooking. I’m definitely going to do the garlic in the tray idea for myself as well but was wondering if the same could be done with onion. Thank you for this great idea!

  7. Tonita84

    Target sells frozen garlic just like this for less than $3. Maybe not as cost efficient, but definitely time saving!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yes those are great too. I have used the ones from Trader Joe’s and Walmart also. 🙌

  8. Teah

    To peel large quantities of garlic, (like to make jars of pickled garlic) I break the bulbs apart and put the cloves into a large metal bowl. I then cover it with a metal bowl of the same size and shake shake shake it until the peels slip off. it is surprising how well it works.

    • Nicole (Hip Sidekick)

      Great tip, Teah! I will have to try that next time I chop garlic!

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