How to Preserve Garlic Scapes from the Garden

Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by Ellen Christian

Did you know that you can preserve garlic scapes? Learn how to store garlic scapes and find out what to do with your harvest today.

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How to preserve garlic scapes

How do you Preserve Garlic Scapes?

The last time I visited the farmer’s market, they had big bunches of garlic scapes for one dollar. I cannot resist a price that low so I got a big bunch to bring home and preserve.

I’ve been cooking with them all week, but I wanted to make some infused oil to cook with too. And, I learned a bit about freezing garlic scapes while I was there.

For those that aren’t familiar with garlic scapes, they are the flower bud of a garlic plant. Garlic scapes are often removed in late spring to encourage the garlic bulb to grow larger.

You can use garlic scapes in much the same way that you can use green onions.  If you’re looking for a garlic scapes recipe, you can add them to stir-fry, potato salad, stews, etc.

I often add them to our fried rice instead of onion. In the late spring/early summer, people that grow garlic often have a lot of extra garlic scapes to use.

If you find that you have more than you can realistically cook with, it’s relatively easy to preserve garlic scapes to use later in the season. Here are a few ideas for storing garlic scapes.

garlic scapes on a cutting board

Can you dry garlic scapes?

Yes, you can place these in your dehydrator for 6 to 8 hours. Just chop them to the size you want and be sure they are completely dry when you add them.

Once, they’re dry, I love adding them to our pizza dough.

Can I pickle or ferment these?

You can lacto-ferment garlic scapes to use in the future. Lacto-fermentation is a process of preserving food that uses probiotics.

Lactic acid is a natural preservative that limits harmful bacteria growth. Try this garlic scapes recipe.

bottles of vinegar

Garlic scape vinegar is a delicious dressing for garden fresh salads. I’ve made this with chives as well, and I love the way it tastes.  

Just take a small bottle of rice vinegar and add one or two garlic scapes. You should sterilize the glass bottle and wash and dry the garlic scapes first.

Store in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 months. I’ve done this with chives and it’s delicious.

Garlic scape infused olive oil is one of my favorites to sautee in.  So, I’m sharing my recipe below because I hope you’ll try it! If you want to try storing garlic scapes, it really is easy.

How to preserve garlic scapes - Garlic scape infused olive oil

Garlic Scape Infused Olive Oil

This is one of the easiest ways to preserve garlic scapes. You can use the garlic scape infused olive oil to saute meats and vegetables, to fry eggs, to drizzle on a fresh salad, etc.

If you’re looking for a recipe to make for dinner, try this Garlic Scallops Recipe!

How to cut garlic scapes

If you’re wondering how to cut garlic scapes, it’s very simple. just wait until the center stalk of the scape grows above the plant and starts to curl. Then, cut the stalk as far down as possible without cutting any of the leaves because the plant will need the leaves to overwinter.

What part of garlic scapes do you use?

The entire plant is edible. But, the bulb toward the end can be a bit tough. It’s up to you if you want to eat it or not.

How to store garlic scapes

If you’re wondering how to store garlic scapes, it couldn’t be easier. Simply fill a glass jar about halfway full of tap water and insert the garlic scapes into it with the cut end down.

Make sure that the thick end of the garlic scape is in the water and the thin end is toward the top. Then place the garlic scapes in the jar in a cool spot in your home.

Storing garlic scapes this way is the easiest method.

pouring water into a glass

Be sure that you do not leave the glass in the sun because that will make the garlic scapes go bad quicker. Change the water every day to keep them fresh.

This should help the cut garlic scapes to laster longer for you before you cook with them. This method will give you an added two or three days to use up your garlic scapes.

This is one of the easiest ways to preserve garlic scapes.

If you love to cook, check out this article for my top 10 recipes for overworked moms.

How to freeze garlic scapes

So, if you have too many garlic scapes to use up in a few days, you can freeze garlic scapes for long term storage. Simply rinse them under cool water and pat them dry using a kitchen towel or paper towel.

Then, chop them using a sharp knife to fit into whatever plastic container you want to use. Then, lay them flat in the plastic container and put them in the freezer. You can cut them as thinly or thickly as you want.

Do you have to blanch garlic scapes before freezing?

No, you don’t. Just chop them and freeze them. 

cutting the garlic scapes

They should stay good for up to 6 months provided they don’t get freezer burn. When you’re ready to use them, just place them frozen in the pan and saute.

So, I wouldn’t recommend you eat them fresh after freezing them as they lose some of their crispness. Learn more about cooking garlic scapes.

Related Reading

Yield: 1 jar

Garlic Scape Infused Olive Oil

Garlic Scape Infused Olive Oil

You will love this easy way to preserve garlic scapes. Storing garlic scapes couldn't be easier.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • Farm fresh garlic scapes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt


  1. Wash the garlic scapes and cut off the blossom. Slice the garlic scapes into about 1/4 inch pieces.How to preserve garlic scapes
  2. Bruise them slightly using a wooden spoon to help release the flavor.wooden spoon
  3. Add a small handful of garlic scapes to a glass Mason jar.garlic scapes
  4. Add 1/4 cup olive oil. Add a pinch of sea salt.olive oil
  5. Repeat until the jar is full. Put the lid on and tighten.Cooking Garlic Scapes: 10 Ways to Use Them Up
  6. Store in the refrigerator for seven days. Strain out the garlic scapes and use the remaining oil within 30 days.Cooking Garlic Scapes: 10 Ways to Use Them Up

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 15Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

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28 thoughts on “How to Preserve Garlic Scapes from the Garden”

  1. I’ve been thinking of placing scapes, lemon zest + some juice, & olive oil in the food processor to make a paste….& temporarily freeze in ice cube trays, & place in ziplock bags. Do you foresee any issues with this?
  2. So easy to preserve, used up all my bottles of organic evoo including a new bottle of Chipotle evoo. Can't wait 'till it's infused for use.
  3. Made this and love it! What do you do with the scapes after straining? Was wondering if they could be used again to make another batch? Is there another use for the ? Hoping there is! Thank you!
  4. First time garlic scape user. Love them. To strain the oil after the week in the fridge. What’s the best way to liquify the oil again, in order to strain it? And then leaving it in the fridge while using I guess you can use it like butter, scoop out what you need? I made some last week and just pulled it out of the fridge, hence the questions. Thanks
    • Hi - What type of oil did you use? if you use olive oil, it should be liquid even in the refrigerator. I would not leave it at room temperature in case bacteria grow. You could certainly scoop out what you need as a solid.
  5. Garlic scapes are also low FODMAP which I was thrilled to learn. People with IBS can typically enjoy the flavour of garlic and onions, without their symptoms flaring up. YAY!!
  6. Generally only hardneck garlic produces scapes. Hardneck is more common in northetn states. In the south, softneck garlic is more common. Hence, no scapes.
  7. Ahhhhh..... And I thought I knew it all. Ha! I'm not familiar with garlic scapes but I'm certainly pinning this for future reference.
  8. Okay, don't judge, but I had no idea what these were... ha! I haven't seen these before, but will surely keep my eye opened for them. Thanks for the info
  9. Thanks so much for sharing this! I've always wondered what I could do with the tops of my garlic. I had no idea it could be used like green onions.
  10. This is awesome! I've always wanted to know what to do with those - we get them in our farm share and I hate to let them go to waste.

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