Lacto-Fermented Garlic Recipe

A jar of lacto-fermented garlic.

The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Fermentation: 730 hrs
Total: 730 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 50 servings
Yield: 1 pint
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
4 Calories
0g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 50
Amount per serving
Calories 4
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 47mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 12mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Garlic is one of the most common flavorings used around the world, considered a dietary staple in many countries; it is also known as a potent herbal medicine. Garlic is a food that is mineral-rich. It is a good source of antioxidants, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, manganese, and selenium. It has well-documented antibacterial and antiviral properties and also helps to boost the immune system. But would you believe that garlic can get even more healthy? 

You can acquire garlic in many forms—fresh, dried, infused into oil, minced—but none of these quite have the same effect on the palate and the body as lacto-fermented garlic cloves. Fermenting garlic makes all of those minerals even more accessible to the body during digestion, and it also adds phenomenal probiotics to your diet.

Fermenting garlic might seem like alchemy, but it is quite easy. You'll simply make a brine with salt and water, then let it sit for a month or two and open the jar daily. The recipe fills a one-pint jar with garlic cloves, and you likely won't need all of the brine. By maintaining the 1/2 teaspoon of salt for each cup of non-chlorinated water in the brine, you can also scale it up or down for any size jar and make as much lacto-fermented garlic as you like.

You can use fermented garlic anywhere you would use fresh garlic. After fermentation, one clove almost works as well as two raw cloves.

"Garlic lovers are going to enjoy this recipe. Beyond remembering to burp the jar daily, it’s very easy. After one month, the pH tested at 4.0, and a pint makes a good amount of garlic to use. The smell never got too obnoxious in the kitchen, and the taste is pleasantly mellow." —Colleen Graham

Lacto-Fermented Garlic/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 5 to 8 whole garlic bulbs

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, or other non-iodized fine salt

  • 2 cups non-chlorinated water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make Lacto-fermented garlic.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  2. Peel as many garlic cloves as it takes to fill a 1-pint jar.

    Peeled raw garlic on a plate.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  3. In a small bowl, create a salt brine by dissolving the salt in the water.

    A bowl of water with a spoon.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  4. Add as much brine to the jar as needed to completely cover the garlic cloves. Don't fill the jar all the way to the top with brine.

    Pouring salt brine into a jar packed with raw garlic.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  5. Screw the lid loosely on the jar and set it on your kitchen counter.

    A glass jar filled with garlic and brine solution.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  6. Open the jar once a day to release the pressure created by fermentation. When you do this, your kitchen will smell very strongly of garlic, especially once the fermentation really gets going.

    Opening jar lid to release fermentation gas.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  7. It might take a few days to a week for fermentation to begin. You will see tiny bubbles in the brine. After a bit, the brine will take on a lovely golden-brown color.

    Open jar of lacto-fermented garlic.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  8. Let the garlic continue to ferment for at least 1 month for best results. Some of the best, most mellow flavors come from cloves fermented for at least 2 months. When you decide that it is done, screw the lid on firmly and place the jar in the fridge to store.

    Lacto-fermented garlic in a glass jar.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati


  • Remember to open your jar each day to release the pressure.
  • If you are testing the pH of the fermentation, it should reach a level below 4.6 when ready. Keeping the fermentation below 4.6 guarantees botulism will not occur.
  • When you finish the garlic, save the brine. Add a drop or two to savory cocktails like bloody Marys, sprinkle in dressings or marinades, or blend with melted butter for quick and easy garlic butter.

How to Store

The fermented garlic should stay in the brine and be refrigerated in a tightly sealed jar for no longer than two months.