Garlic is used in many dishes but some of its bioactive compounds are lost when exposed to heat. This study evaluated bioactive compounds, antioxidant activity and Maillard reaction products of raw (RG), boiled (BG) and fried garlic (FG). Total phenolic compounds, flavonoids, allicin and phytosterol were quantified as well as dietary fibres and mineral content. Antioxidant activities of RG, BG and FG were evaluated by oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), oxidation of β-carotene/linoleic acid and Rancimat methods. The main results were the following: thermal processing of RG decreased both bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity, boiling was found to be less aggressive than frying, and strong correlations were obtained between total phenolic compounds and the antioxidant assays. However, phytosterol content was higher in FG than in RG and BG and higher temperatures increased the formation of Maillard reaction products. It was concluded that RG and BG should be preferred for human consumption as they present higher antioxidant capacity.