Note: This is not an endorsement for specific diets prescribed to people with gastrointestinal problems, but rather an ode to enjoying garlic in a new way that I had to get accustomed to. May you find these recipes with garlic-infused olive oil delightful, whether you have no dietary restrictions or many!

I have a lot of dietary restrictions that make it hard for me to find takeout that I can eat, so I’ve grown accustomed to cooking almost all of my meals (and finding reasonably easy and inexpensive ways to get gluten-free and dairy-free ingredients). One of the hacks that I’ve had to figure out over the past few years as I’ve been on an IBS-specific diet is how to be able to eat garlic and onions without having garlic and onion solids, including powder.

You can imagine my dismay when I learned that this could be important for me, and my even greater annoyance when I realized that I actually did feel better physically when I avoided garlic and onion solids. (RUDE.) I’m the person who triples or even quadruples the garlic cloves in a recipe if the recipe doesn’t call for more than three. So I learned how to keep these flavors in my life by creating my own garlic-infused and onion-infused olive oils, putting them in my recipes, and even using them as cooking oil on the stovetop.

And you know what? They’re DELICIOUS. And you get to avoid the problem of realizing you’ve just eaten a chunk of pure garlic or onion. It’s incorporated smoothly into the food instead. It’s perfect for people with texture pickiness. I always have them on hand in my fridge for the next recipe. So here are a few of my favorite garlic-heavy meat and seafood recipes with my suggestions for how much oil to put in to act as a substitute the garlic and onion solids. (All of these can be done dairy-free, by the way, with vegan butter or vegetable oil spread!).

Braised Greek Lemon Chicken Thighs by Tasting Table

Calls for 3 tbsp olive oil: use 1 tbsp regular olive oil, 1 tbsp garlic-infused oil, and 1 tbsp onion-infused oil if not eating onion solids

Shrimp Scampi by Basics with Babish (I use the simple shrimp scampi recipe)

Calls for 2 tbsp olive oil: use just over 1 tbsp regular olive oil and just under 1 tbsp garlic-infused oil

Instant Pot Middle Eastern Lamb Stew by Feasting at Home

Calls for 2 tbsp olive oil: use 1/3 tbsp regular olive oil, 2/3 tbsp garlic-infused oil, and 1 tbsp onion-infused oil

5 Ingredient Chicken Sausage and Rainbow Chard Penne by Tipps in the Kitch

Calls for 2-3 tbsp olive oil: use at least 1 tbsp regular olive oil and 1 tbsp garlic-infused oil

Baked Chicken Drumsticks by The Salty Marshmallow

Calls for 1/3 cup olive oil for marinating, which is around 5 tbsp: use 4 tbsp regular olive oil, 2/3 tbsp garlic-infused oil, and 2/3 tbsp onion-infused oil

May you enjoy the infused oil and even find that it becomes a staple for you.

Emmie Arnold

Emmie Arnold (she/her/hers) is a palliative care and intensive care hospital chaplain at a children’s hospital in New York; a candidate for ordination in the PC(USA); avid cook; traveler (on hiatus); friend and family member to many; writer; and musician.

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