How to Slice Garlic Thin: A Simple Guide

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 05/11/21 •  5 min read

Garlic is not just good for your health; it is also one of the best natural flavoring agents ever made, that’s why it is used in a whole lot of cooking.

It is also great raw, propping up the flavors of other foods like in salad dressings, sandwich spreads, vinaigrettes, marinades, and so many more.

There are many ways to prep this aromatic vegetable – simply pressed under the blade’s face, rough chopped, minced, crushed…

But there is one way that looks beautiful and tastes amazing – thinly sliced.

The knife is the best tool for slicing garlic thinly. But this, admittedly, requires skill so practicing now would be a good idea if you want to perfect this.

Fortunately for most, other tools might help with this task: the mandolin and the food processor might be able to do the job fairly well. There are also numerous gadgets created in recent years invented specifically to slice garlic into thin sheets.


Use a Knife

• Remove the outermost husk of the bulb. Separate the individual cloves from each other.

• Slice the root end and carefully remove the peel with a paring knife.
The paper-like skin is quite easy to remove if the ends are cut off.

• Lay the peeled clove on its flattest side on a stable chopping board.
Hold it steady with your knuckles.

With a chef’s knife, slice this as thinly as you can.
If your blade has been sharpened and honed, this won’t be too difficult to do. Remember, a blunt knife will make your job hard.

Use a Razor or Cutter Blade

This hack grew popular thanks to a certain film but, to be honest, this isn’t the safest way to go.

But if you want to give this a try, the same instructions for using a knife should be followed.

Do wrap one end with tape so you don’t accidentally nick yourself.

A cutter blade – the thinnest variant – would be a better option though.

Try the Mandolin

It’s understandable if you’re a bit too wary around knives and cutter blades.

If you’ve got a mandolin, that will work quite well for this task.

• Segment and peel the cloves.

• Set the gadget to the thinnest slice.

• Stick several pieces on the holder so you can run all these over the mandolin at once.

• Never use your bare hand when slicing garlic on this gadget. You’re likely to nick your fingers when you reach the end of the clove.

You could also use cut-resistant gloves if you’re not too comfortable with the holder.

Set Up Your Food Processor

This is another great way to get slivers of garlic.

But it’s best to go for this option when you need several bulbs of this aromatic. Setting this up seems too much work for just a clove.

• Insert as many peeled cloves into the chute, making sure they’re flat and level.

• Cover the chute with the pusher.

• Turn the machine on and gently push the cloves down the blade with the pusher.

You may not get pretty, even slices with this machine. But it can do the job in seconds.

Have a Go at These Inventive Tools

Numerous garlic slicers are now available in the market.

One resembles a small mandolin. Another looks like a black pepper grinder except that it discharges garlic slivers when you twist the tops. There is another which looks like a microplane but acts as a peeler.

If you want a special tool for a specific job, go ahead and get one of these.

Recipes Which Require Thinly-Sliced Garlic

Rough chopping or putting in a press is the most common way to prep this aromatic because it’s the fastest way to do it.

But as aforementioned, if you want to taste its strong, nutty goodness on its own, slicing it into slivers is the best.

Raw, in Korean Samgyeopsal

One of the side dishes in this pork dish is shavings of this aromatic.

After frying the pork belly, it is wrapped in a lettuce leaf with rice, kimchi and then topped with this.

Dip the wrap in sesame oil and spicy bean paste and you’ve got an explosion of flavors in your mouth.

Steeped in Olive Oil for Aglio Olio

With at least three ingredients needed in the recipe, this is the simplest pasta dish ever made.

Sautee slivers of five or six cloves of this aromatic in half a cup of olive oil then mix in your cooked spaghetti.

Season with salt and pepper.

Pepper flakes and parmesan are optional.

Crispy Roasted or Fried Garlic

One of the best ways to eat this is to slice it thin, deep fry until slightly golden, let the oil drip on a paper towel until it’s golden brown and crispy.

An addictive snack, this can be eaten as is (if you don’t mind the strong garlicky breath on you) or mixed with fried peanuts or as a topping for soups and stews.

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.