Recipe Spotlight

Avoiding Alliums but Love Their Flavor? Make Garlic Oil

Bold flavor for a sensitive system. 

Published June 21, 2023.

Sharp, grassy, mellow, and a bit spicy: Alliums give recipes a remarkable flavor. But if you have GI concerns, you want the bold flavors of these aromatics without worrying about what happens after. 

Garlic is a known troublesome herb when it comes to digestion, and it’s present in so many recipes. If you have gut-health concerns and are following a Low-FODMAP Diet, you have probably been instructed to cut out garlic and other alliums from your diet.

Is there a way to enjoy that unmistakable tang with a sensitive diet?

There’s a scientific silver lining. Give garlic oil a try. 

Sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter

Our favorite tips and recipes, enjoyed by 2 million+ subscribers!

Garlic and other alliums are oligosaccharides (the “O” in FODMAP), fermentable sugars that cause varying degrees of discomfort for some. So whether you’re eliminating fructans through a low-FODMAP diet or have simply found that garlic and onions don’t sit well with you (as is common), you can solve almost all flavor fears with our all-purpose garlic oil.

Cooking in and using garlic-infused oil adds all of the aroma of garlic with none of the fructans, as these carbohydrates are water- but not oil-soluble.

170+ Good-for-your-gut recipes

Cook For Your Gut Health

Whether you struggle with a gut disorder or occasional digestive discomfort, or are simply looking to eat a more healthful diet, these recipes and resources can help you eat well and maintain a healthy digestive tract.

Avoiding certain ingredients doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy their flavors. Maximum garlicky goodness can be achieved in about 5 minutes, and this oil doubles as a drizzle-able finish for anything from hummus to haddock.

But that’s not all. Garlic oil adds flavor where plain canola or olive oil are used, such as a pesto or a vinaigrette

Here’s how to do it.

Garlic Oil

Makes about ½ cup

Note: Extra-virgin olive oil can be substituted for the canola oil. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. Note: It is not safe to store homemade garlic oil for more than 3 days.

  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

  1. Heat oil and garlic in small saucepan over medium-low heat until fragrant and starting to bubble, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool completely. 
  2. Strain oil through fine-mesh strainer into airtight container; discard solids. (Garlic oil can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

Garlic Oil Infusions

For an aromatic twist, add any one of the following ingredients along with the garlic and let the mixture sit at room temperature for 4 hours before straining.

  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary or thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dried porcini or shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon cracked fennel, caraway, mustard, coriander, dill, or cumin seeds
  • 2 (3-inch) strips lemon, lime, or orange zest
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed to bottom 6 inches, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds

This is a members' feature.