How to Roast Garlic

Garlic is one of my favorite ingredients, and makes its way into most of my savory dishes. Raw garlic tastes sharp and pungent with it's bold flavor, but have you ever had it roasted? It is my favorite way to eat garlic, and is out of this world good!

4 heads of roasted garlic on a cutting board

Roasting garlic caramelizes its sugars to make it less pungent and slightly sweet with a rich savory flavor. It is so good in pasta sauces, dressings, with chicken, steak, pork, or smeared on crusty bread. You will find so many ways to use this delicious ingredient, it's the perfect way to kick up a boring dish!

Quick Tips

  • Make a few heads of garlic at a time and save the rest for later.
  • Use a small baking dish with a fitting lid to roast garlic if you don't want to use aluminum foil.

Equipment

  • oven
  • aluminum foil or small baking dish with lid
  • baking sheet, baking dish, or muffin tin
  • Latex or nitrile gloves (optional)

Ingredient Notes

This is another non-recipe recipe (like how to caramelize onions), meaning the exact amounts of ingredients are up to you! Here is what you will need.

  • Whole bulb of garlic - You will need a whole head of garlic that is unpeeled for this recipe. Roast multiple bulbs to save some for later!
  • Olive oil - You will need about 1 tablespoon of olive oil per bulb of garlic. Always check the label to make sure the ingredient is "extra virgin olive oil."
  • Salt - A sprinkle of salt helps bring out the flavors.

Looking for other kitchen how to articles? Here are some of my favs: How to cook perfect juicy chicken breasts every time, How to Make Caramelized Onions, How to make homemade marinara sauce

How to make roasted garlic in the oven

Calling all garlic lovers! Let's learn how to make this roasted garlic recipe.

Roasting garlic is a fairly easy process, but it does take some time. The good news is, unlike making caramelized onions, the oven will do most of the work. That's great for a busy home cook, since you can use that time to work on other dishes!

First peel back some of the papery skins from the garlic bulbs, leaving enough to keep the bulb intact.

Next, cut the top ¼ off the bulb of garlic with a sharp knife, exposing the cloves. Put each bulb of garlic in a piece of aluminum foil, cut side up. Wrap the foil around the bulb making a foil packet, leaving the top open. If you prefer not to have the aluminum touch your food, you can first wrap the garlic in parchment paper, then wrap in foil.

Add a drizzle of olive oil over the cloves to coat, and sprinkle with salt.

Seal the foil packet by squeezing the foil at the top.

Add the foil packets to a baking sheet lined with foil, a baking dish, or into a muffin tin. Bake at 425°F (218°C) for 45-75 minutes.

Exact roasting time will depend on the oven, baking dish, and size of cloves. Check the garlic cloves at around 30 minutes to see their progress. Garlic is done roasting when cloves are golden brown and softened.

When garlic is finished, remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from the outer skin. Use gloves for this, as the roasted garlic can be sticky.

Save the oil from the roasted garlic! That garlic oil is now infused with delicious roasted garlic flavor. I like to use it for salad dressing or to cook chicken with.

roasted garlic with some cloves squeezed out

Other methods of roasting garlic

Roasting garlic in the oven is the most common way, but there are also some different methods you can try.

How to roast garlic without foil

To roast garlic without foil, you will need a small baking dish with a fitted lid. Peel and cut garlic according to the above directions. Add the garlic to the baking dish, coat with oil, and sprinkle with salt. Roast as directed.

You can also buy a garlic roaster, which is a specialized dish for roasting garlic. It is usually made from ceramic or terra cotta.

How to roast garlic without oil

You can also roast garlic without oil if you prefer. Do all the same steps as above, except skip adding the oil!

Garlic Confit

"Confit" means to preserve in French. In the culinary world, to confit something means to slowly cook it in a liquid to help preserve it.

In this case garlic confit is garlic that has been slowly poached in oil over low heat until it has caramelized. It is similar to roasted garlic in taste and texture, but the method is different.

When to confit garlic over roasting - Garlic confit comes in handy if you have individual whole cloves of garlic rather than whole heads of garlic.

To confit garlic, add peeled whole garlic cloves to a small pot and cover with olive oil. Heat up slowly until barely simmering, and gently simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garlic is done when it is fork tender, but still holds its shape. It should be golden in color but not browned.

The great thing about garlic confit is it will have the same caramelized nutty flavor as roasted garlic, but you end up with whole individual cloves of garlic, instead of a garlic paste.

How to store roasted garlic

In the refrigerator:

To store roasted garlic in the refrigerator, you need an airtight container or small jar. Allow garlic to come to room temperature. Add the roasted cloves to a clean jar, and top with olive oil. Seal the jar tightly and store in the refrigerator. Some sources say it can last up to 2 weeks, but I recommend using within a few days. Unfortunately, the bacteria that release botulinum toxin can grow in the soil with garlic, so it is best to use quickly.

In the freezer:

You can also store garlic in the freezer for longer. Add the roasted and squeezed out garlic to an ice cube tray with olive oil and freeze for a few hours. Once frozen, pop out the frozen garlic and store in an airtight plastic bag or jar for a few months.

How to use roasted garlic

Roasted garlic is so dang good, you'll be finding ways to use it in everything. Here are some of my favorite ways to use it.

  • Add it to salad dressings or vinaigrettes
  • Use it to make a roasted garlic compound butter - perfect for steaks!
  • Mash it into a spread for bread
  • It is perfect in creamy or tomato pasta dishes
  • Use it for an elevated garlic bread
  • Add it to chicken breasts
  • Mix it into mashed potatoes
  • Add it to just about any soup or stew
  • Add some mushrooms for a steak, chicken, or pork topping
  • Use it for roasted garlic hummus
  • Combine it with mayo for a roasted garlic aioli for fries or sandwiches
  • Put it on top of pizza
  • Add it to baked brie
  • Make a roasted garlic sauce for chicken
  • Stir it into mushroom risotto
  • Toss it with roasted vegetables to jazz up a side dish

Ok, I hope you're convinced by now that roasting garlic is a kitchen skill you need to learn ASAP!

FAQs

How long to roast garlic for?

The roasting process for garlic takes anywhere from 45-75 minutes depending on oven temperature and size of garlic heads and individual garlic cloves. Garlic is done roasting when it is soft and golden brown.

Can you freeze roasted garlic?

Yes, you can freeze roasted garlic. I like to freeze it by mashing into a paste with olive oil, and adding to a silicone ice cube tray. Freeze until firm, then add the cubes to a freezer bag and squeeze out the air. Store for a few months.

How to roast garlic that is already peeled?

If you have garlic cloves that are already peeled, but still intact, you can use a roasting/confit hybrid method. Add whole peeled garlic cloves to a small baking dish with a fitting lid. Cover the top of the cloves with olive oil. Bake for about 2 hours at 250°F until cloves are tender and light golden brown.

How to roast garlic

Roasting garlic caramelizes its sugars to make it less pungent and slightly sweet with a rich savory flavor. It is so good in pasta sauces, dressings, with chicken, steak, pork, or smeared on crusty bread. You will find so many ways to use this delicious ingredient, it's the perfect way to kick up a boring dish!
Print Pin Rate
Course: topping
Cuisine: American
Keyword: garlic, how to, kitchen basics
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Calories: 265kcal

Ingredients

  • whole garlic heads
  • olive oil
  • salt

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel away some of the skin of the garlic bulb, leaving enough to keep the bulb intact. Cut the top ¼ off the bulb of garlic with a sharp knife, exposing the cloves.
  • WRAP: Put each bulb of garlic in a piece of aluminum foil, cut side up. Wrap the foil around the bulb making a foil packet, leaving the top open. Add a drizzle of olive oil over the cloves to coat, and sprinkle with salt. Seal the top of the foil packet.
  • ROAST: Add the foil packets to a baking sheet lined with foil, a baking dish, or into a muffin tin. Bake at 425°F (218°C) for 45-75 minutes. Check the garlic cloves at around 30 minutes to see their progress. Garlic is done roasting when cloves are golden brown and softened.
  • SQUEEZE: When garlic is finished, remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from the outer skin. Use gloves for this, as the roasted garlic can be sticky.
  • ENJOY: Use the garlic in vinaigrettes, compound butter, garlic bread, pasta sauce, chicken, steak, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes, soup, stew, hummus, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, sauces, etc.

Notes

Store in the refrigerator: Add squeezed cloves to a small jar with tight fitting lid. Cover with olive oil and keep for up to 1 week. 
Freeze: Mash cloves with olive oil and put into silicone ice cube trays. Freeze until firm then transfer to freezer bag and squeeze air out. Store for a few months. 

Nutrition

Serving: 4g | Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
 

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