Roasted garlic is easy to make, great for adding flavor to recipes, and delicious on it’s own. Follow my easy step-by-step tutorial to learn how to roast garlic.
I’m a big fan of roasted garlic! I’ve posted a few years that include roasted garlic over the years, including my vegan fettuccine Alfredo, garlic bread, and potato soup…and I’ve got more on the way. So I thought right now would be a good time for a deep dive into the world of roasted garlic.
Why Roast Garlic?
The first time I posted a recipe that included roasted garlic, I had a few people question my sanity. Usually, when you see a recipe that includes roasted garlic, the garlic is measured not in cloves, but in entire bulbs.
No really, stay with me. Roasting garlic mellows the flavor. You can totally eat (and love) an entire bulb of roasted garlic. You so can’t do that with raw garlic.
After roasting, garlic totally loses its bite. The flavor is mellow, and even a bit sweet. It’s also much easier to digest. And it won’t give you anywhere near the level of garlic breath that you’d get from the raw stuff. To me it tastes like garlic butter…only, like the best garlic butter ever. And it’s vegan!
How to Roast Garlic
Okay, let’s get down to the method! Start by preheating your oven. Gather your ingredients, of which there are only two:
- Olive oil
I recommend using a big bulb of garlic with nice big cloves if you can get one. It’ll make it easier to remove the garlic from the bulb after roasting.
Turn your garlic bulb on it’s side and cut off the top. I usually cut mine at a level about 25% of the way down from the very tip of the bulb. The goal here is to expose as many cloves as you can, while cutting off as little of each one as you can. I’ll sometimes take my knife and make a little nick into the side to expose any cloves that I missed with the initial cut.
Now drizzle your bulb with olive oil. I use a tablespoon for smaller bulbs, two for larger ones.
Wrap your garlic loosely in foil. If you prefer to avoid the use of foil, use a garlic roaster instead.
Pop your garlic into the oven, placing it right on the rack. Let it roast away! After a while your house will start to smell wonderful.
I usually start checking on my garlic after about 30 minutes. It’s done when the cloves are browned and caramelized.
Roasting can take anywhere from 30 minutes for a smaller bulb, to 60 minutes for a larger one.
Open up the foil (or roaster) and let your garlic cool for a few minutes before you try to handle it.
To extract your garlic, simply squeeze the bulb. The garlic will be super soft and spreadable — don’t expect the cloves to hold their shape.
How to Use Roasted Garlic
- Blend it into sauces. This stuff is great in pasta sauce!
- Add it to hummus, guacamole, or any kind of dip that you might normally use raw garlic in, for a mellower flavor.
- Add it to soup! I love roasted garlic in pureed veggie soups.
- Spread it on crackers or bread.
Roasted Garlic FAQ & Tips
- This works best with large bulbs of garlic with nice big cloves! I find that with smaller bulbs and cloves it can be tough to squeeze all of the garlic out after roasting.
- Roasted garlic will keep in the fridge in a sealed container or bag or about 3 days.
- Roasted garlic is also freezer friendly! I like to roast a bunch of garlic at once and freeze whatever I don’t need right away. Simply place your bulbs in a sealed container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Can I roast garlic without oil? I don’t recommend it. I haven’t tried it, but my guess is that it would burn.
- 1 garlic bulb
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus up to 1 additional tablespoon, as needed
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place your garlic bulb on a cutting board and turn it on it’s side. Use a sharp knife to cut the top off of the bulb, cutting off about 25% of the height of the bulb to expose as many of the cloves as possible.
- Drizzle the bulb with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil (depending on the size of the bulb), coating each of the exposed garlic cloves with oil.
- Loosely wrap the garlic in foil, or place it in a garlic roaster. Place it in the oven, directly on the rack.
- Roast the garlic for 30 minutes, then check it for doneness. Carefully unwrap the foil or remove the lid from the garlic roaster. The garlic is finished roasting when the cloves are browned and caramelized.
- If the garlic has not finished roasting, re-cover it and roast it for up to an additional 30 minutes, as needed.
- Remove the garlic from the oven when finished roasting. Uncover it and allow it to cool for a few minutes before attempting to handle it.
- Gently squeeze the garlic bulb to extract the roasted garlic cloves.