Knowing How to Roast Garlic is a magical skill in the culinary world! Add roasted garlic to anything and your cooking becomes everything.
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!).
I do not mean to belittle raw garlic or sautéed 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.
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.
- 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.
- Peel some of the papery outer layers off of the garlic bulbs, leaving the garlic whole. Trim and slice the tops of the heads.
- Top each head with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- 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.
- Let each bulb of garlic cool, then gently squeeze out the cloves. Use as desired and ENJOY!
- 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.
Ways to Use Roasted Garlic
- Bread. Simply spread the garlic onto a piece of toasted bread, such as Rosemary Olive Oil Bread. For garlic cheesy bread, butter the toast, smear it with roasted garlic, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Warm the oven for a few minutes.
- Pasta. Elevate your favorite pasta dishes and pasta sauce with roasted garlic. It would be tasty with this Cauliflower Pasta, Salmon Pasta, or Avocado Pasta.
- Pizza. Nothing makes a pizza taste more special than roasted garlic. Try it on this Burrata Pizza, shortcut Naan Pizza, or use this Whole Wheat Pizza Dough to create your own homemade pizza.
- Potatoes. Mix the garlic into a bowl of Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes or Crockpot Mashed Potatoes for an instant crowd-pleaser. (For a low carb version, mix with Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes.)
- Dips and Sauces. Combine mashed garlic with mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt for a delicious garlic aioli that would pair well with Zucchini Fries, Baked French Fries, or Air Fryer French Fries. Use it to make hummus!
- Burger. Mix the garlic into the ground meat while prepping your favorite burgers (like these Air Fryer Hamburgers).
- Steak. Knowing how to roast garlic for steak is a wonderful skill. Add it to Air Fryer Steak for a true treat.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Sharp Chef’s Knife. A must-have kitchen tool.
- Small Glass Jars. Refrigerate your garlic in oil using these cute little jars.
- Parchment Paper. Since we are talking about how to roast garlic in a pan, the parchment paper will help make cleanup easier. You can use parchment paper or aluminum foil to bake your garlic.
Pop a pan of roasted garlic into the oven this week.
I can smell the deliciousness from here!
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
If your garlic has gone bad, it will likely have a foul odor, yellow or brown-colored spots, mold, or be mushy.
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!
YES! Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary for an additional layer of flavor and aroma!
How to Roast Garlic
- 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.
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