What is Garlic Pepper?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Head of garlic.
Head of garlic.

Unlike garlic salt or garlic powder, garlic pepper can feature a variety of ingredients. The simplest version is a combination of ground black pepper and finely ground dried garlic. Many like this type as a great substitute for salt, because you get the wonderful seasoning of pepper added to the spiciness of garlic. You really do have to read the labels carefully, since this seasoning can have many more ingredients.

Spaghetti made with garlic pepper.
Spaghetti made with garlic pepper.

Sometimes garlic pepper is a combination of salt, ground garlic, pepper, and even brown sugar. It may also contain humectants to keep the ingredients from sticking together. People may enjoy this type of seasoning for use on the grill, or just as a basic combination of ingredients you might use in things like spaghetti sauce. If you like your garlic bread on the spicy side, garlic pepper can provide an extra bit of heat, though the sugar may mellow out the flavor slightly.

Garlic pepper can include parsley.
Garlic pepper can include parsley.

In general, this condiment that contains salt is still much lower in sodium than garlic salt. You should read the label to check sodium content per serving. The number of garlic pepper spice mixes, which generally indicate the addition of other seasonings, also may confuse you. For instance, you might find parsley, onion, celery or bell pepper flakes in the condiment. These differences can really change the taste and should be considered when you’re seasoning a dish.

Sometimes garlic pepper is a combination of salt, ground garlic, pepper and brown sugar.
Sometimes garlic pepper is a combination of salt, ground garlic, pepper and brown sugar.

You can expect garlic pepper to be much spicier than powdered garlic or garlic salt, and it may not always appeal if you don’t want to add additional flavors to a dish. For instance, fresh or powdered garlic tends to be a better choice for garlic bread than a garlic and pepper spice mix, if you want the bread to remain authentic. On the other hand, garlic pepper can be a superlative meat rub or grill seasoning, and may be just the right choice for meats that cook for a long period of time.

Slow roasting with these two flavors can impart tons of taste to a dish that might otherwise seem plain. Garlic peppers with other seasonings may be terrific in salad dressings, in marinades, and to season soups or stews that are lacking in flavor. You’ll find various types near the other spices in your local grocery store, and it’s worth trying a few to see which ones work best with the dishes you enjoy cooking.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent DelightedCooking contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent DelightedCooking contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments

CoolWish

@RockBlock – I would suggest you try basil and paprika or perhaps onion and a fine-grained salt.

RockBlock

@CoolWish – What other seasonings would you suggest to go with the garlic and pepper of garlic pepper to season a roast chicken?

CoolWish

As the article says, there are no set components for garlic pepper – other than the ground garlic and pepper, of course.

In any event, I have found that garlic pepper in all its forms can make a great addition to otherwise unseasoned meat. I particularly enjoy sprinkling some on chicken or other poultry.

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    • Head of garlic.
      By: tospark
      Head of garlic.
    • Spaghetti made with garlic pepper.
      By: teine
      Spaghetti made with garlic pepper.
    • Garlic pepper can include parsley.
      By: Barbara Pheby
      Garlic pepper can include parsley.
    • Sometimes garlic pepper is a combination of salt, ground garlic, pepper and brown sugar.
      By: kellyschulz
      Sometimes garlic pepper is a combination of salt, ground garlic, pepper and brown sugar.