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Knowing How to Roast Garlic is a magical skill in the culinary world! Add roasted garlic to anything and your cooking becomes everything.

How to roast garlic in a pan in the oven

One of the most rewarding parts of cooking is seeing raw ingredients transform.

It’s hard to find one whose transformation is more spectacular than roasted garlic (it’s even more wondrous than Oven Roasted Vegetables and similar Roasted Onions!).

I do not mean to belittle raw garlic or sautéed garlic.

In any form, garlic is an essential aromatic for everything from Garlic Shrimp Pasta, to soups and stir fries, to Feta Dip, and well beyond.

The best roasted garlic

Why You’ll Love Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic is its own supreme being.

  • Whereas raw garlic tastes strong and pungent, roasting garlic makes it taste sweet and mild.

Slow roasted garlic gives you the essential flavor of garlic, in a caramelized, spreadable form. For those in search of the most complex taste, roasting is the best way to cook garlic.

  • In the oven, the individual cloves soften and sweeten into a magnificent substance that one of my friends once compared to “happy unicorn tears.”
  • The prep takes minutes. You don’t even need to separate or peel the cloves!

Once you’ve mastered how to roast garlic, prepare it in big batches, then squeeze the nectar from the roasted garlic cloves and use it to suit your fancy

Read on for how to roast garlic without burning it and tasty, creative ways to use roasted garlic.

Four garlic vegetables in a baking dish

How to Roast Garlic

Roasting whole heads of garlic in foil is virtually hands-free and the easiest way to make roasted garlic in the oven.

You can roast garlic without foil too. Create parchment paper packets if you prefer not to roast garlic in foil.

Or, see this Garlic Pasta for how to roast garlic fast.

The Ingredients

  • Garlic. Roasted garlic is pure magic! A simple head of garlic becomes a caramelized masterpiece that can be used in many ways. Plus, roasted garlic is still healthy, as it’s low in calories and packed with vitamins.
  • Olive Oil. Helps make sure the garlic doesn’t burn and adds flavor. A few teaspoons of olive oil go a long way!
  • Salt + Pepper. Simple, neutral seasonings that allow you to use your roasted garlic in any way you choose.

The Directions

Four cut vegetables on a cutting board
  1. Peel some of the papery outer layers off of the garlic bulbs, leaving the garlic whole. Trim and slice the tops of the heads.
A whole roasted garlic bulb
  1. Top each head with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Four balls of aluminum foil wrapped around garlic in a baking dish
  1. Seal aluminum foil around the heads. Place each sealed foil packet in the baking dish. Roast garlic at 400 degrees F for 35 to 45 minutes.
A bulb of roasted garlic with spices
  1. Let each bulb of garlic cool, then gently squeeze out the cloves. Use as desired and ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftover garlic in an airtight storage container for up to 1 week. See “Meal Prep Tip” below for longer storage.
  • To Freeze. Place garlic cloves on a baking sheet, freeze until solid, then transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 1 month. Or, squeeze out the garlic cloves and combine them to create a paste that you can freeze. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

Submerge roasted garlic in oil and refrigerate it in an airtight storage container for up to 2 weeks.

Roasted garlic spread onto a piece of toast

Ways to Use Roasted Garlic

Easy roasted garlic with butter

Pop a pan of roasted garlic into the oven this week.

I can smell the deliciousness from here!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should I Store Roasted Garlic in Oil?

As with Roasted Red Peppers, storing the garlic in oil helps preserve the garlic cloves for longer (up to 2 weeks). Bonus: you can use the oil to make yummy salad dressing or roast vegetables. Make sure you refrigerate your roasted garlic oil, however, as storing it at room temperature can allow harmful bacteria (botulism) to grow.

How Do I Know if My Roasted Garlic is Bad?

If your garlic has gone bad, it will likely have a foul odor, yellow or brown-colored spots, mold, or be mushy.

Can I Roast Peeled Garlic Cloves?

If you only have peeled individual cloves of garlic on hand instead of a whole bulb, you can still roast them. Wrap them up in an aluminum foil or parchment paper packet and top with oil, salt, and pepper as directed. Place the packets into a baking dish, roast as directed, and enjoy!

Can I Add Fresh Herbs to Roasted Garlic?

YES! Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary for an additional layer of flavor and aroma!

How to Roast Garlic

5 from 2 votes
How to roast garlic in the oven that's sweet and soft. Plus, a myriad of delicious ways to use roasted garlic to elevate your cooking!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 40 minutes

Servings: 8 servings, 2 heads of garlic (or as many as you like)


  • 2 whole heads of garlic or as many as you like
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (a toaster oven with a bake setting works as well). Remove layers of extra skin from the outsides of the garlic, leaving enough to hold the cloves together.
  • With a sharp knife, trim off 1/4 to 1/2-inch from the top of the garlic head so that you expose the tops of the cloves inside of it (you may need to trim the outer ones separately from the top-most ones so that all tips are exposed with minimal waste). You can save the trimmed tips for raw garlic later on, or discard them.
  • Tear off squares of aluminum foil or parchment large enough to create a packet around each head of garlic.
  • Place each head in the center of a square so that the trimmed cloves are facing upwards. Drizzle the exposed cloves with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil per head, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Close the foil or parchment around the garlic to cover it completely (with parchment, fold or twist it up and around the garlic, then secure with kitchen string if needed).
  • Stand the garlic packets cloves-side up in a small baking dish (if your garlic won’t stand on its own, place it in a ramekin to hold it, then set the ramekin on the baking dish). Alternatively, you can use a muffin tin, standing each packet up inside one of the wells.
  • Roast the garlic at 400 degrees F for 35 to 45 minutes, until the cloves are light golden brown and give easily when pressed (be very careful when opening the packet to check). If using a toaster oven, rotate the pan 180 degrees F halfway through.
  • Remove the garlic from the hot oven and let rest. As soon as it is cool enough to safely handle, use a small knife to trim the skin a little around each clove. With a tiny fork or your fingers, pull or squeeze the garlic out of the skins. Use immediately (spread roasted garlic on toast, mix with Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, mix into plain Greek yogurt to top an Air Fryer Baked Potato, add it to Chicken Pesto Pasta, add it to Grilled Naan Pizza with Strawberry Chicken and Avocado—see blog post above for even more ideas), or store for later use.



  • TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover garlic in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • TO FREEZE: Place garlic cloves on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer frozen cloves to an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • TO MAKE AHEAD: Submerge roasted garlic in oil and refrigerate it in an airtight storage container for up to 2 weeks.


Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 15kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gPotassium: 28mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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