How to Roast Garlic

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Learn how to Roast Garlic with just foil and a drizzle of olive oil (or make it in on the stove). Stir mellow roasted garlic into soups, mash it into potatoes, or mix it into soft butter to slather on bread.

Bulbs of roasted garlic on foil.


 

The simple oven method for roasting garlic works for individually peeled cloves or whole bulbs. In fact, if you’re blessed with a bumper crop of garlic, you can roast the bulbs in bulk and freeze it to enjoy year round.

You can also toast individual cloves, still in their paper skins, in a dry skillet on the stove top. It’s much faster and my go-to for Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

Unlike raw garlic, which has a sharpness some people can’t tolerate in large amounts, roasted garlic is mellow but still deeply flavorful. You might even find yourself eating a few cloves all by themselves.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for roasting garlic.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Garlic: There are two main types of garlic: softneck and hardneck. Softneck garlic is common at grocery stores and has thin papery skins and small cloves. It’s harder to peel but has an extremely long shelf life (up to 8 months). Hardneck garlic is stronger in flavor and has larger cloves, and it produces a scape (a strong stem rising out of the bulb) which is visible if you cut a cross-section through the bulb. The shelf-life is shorter, 3 to 5 months after harvest.

Step-by-step instructions

To roast whole garlic bulbs:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove outer papery layers of garlic bulb, leaving the skins in tact and cloves attached. Using a sharp knife, trim about ¼ inch to a ½ inch off the top of the bulb to expose the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil (I like about 2 tablespoons olive oil per head of garlic). 
3 bulbs of raw garlic in an open foil packet.
  1. Wrap the individual heads of garlic tightly in foil and place on a baking sheet. Or, place the individual heads in a muffin tin and wrap tightly in foil. Roast for 30 to 60 minutes depending on your preference, checking the cloves at 30 minutes. The roasted garlic is done when it caramelized in color and the cloves are very soft and can be pieced easily with a knife.
3 bulbs of roasted garlic in an open foil packet.

To roast peeled individual garlic cloves:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a small baking dish or pie plate with foil. Arrange peeled garlic cloves in the middle of the foil and drizzle completely with olive oil. 
Raw cloves of garlic drizzled with oil in a foil packet.
  1. Wrap the foil tightly to make a packet and roast 30 to 40 minutes, until golden in color and completely softened.
Roasted cloves of garlic drizzled with oil in a foil packet.

To roasted unpeeled individual garlic cloves:

  1. In a dry medium skillet over medium-low heat, toast garlic cloves until spotty, dark brown, and slightly softened, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand until garlic is completely soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
Cloves of garlic toasting in a skillet.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: 1 bulb of garlic has about 10-12 cloves garlic per bulb, but your results may vary and your yield depends on how many bulbs and/or cloves you start with.
  • Storage: Store roasted garlic cloves in an airtight container in the refrigerator, completely submerged in oil, for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: Freeze whole cloves individually on a plate or baking sheet until solid. Or, mash the roasted garlic and portion it into teaspoons or tablespoons, or pack it in an ice cube tray and make tiny cubes of roasted garlic. Transfer the individual cloves or frozen portions to a freezer-safe container, then label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw as needed.
  • Roast longer for more flavor: The longer you roast the garlic, the darker and deeper it gets.
  • Ways to use it: Mix roasted garlic into mustard or mayonnaise and spread it on a sandwich or add whole cloves to a cheese board. Rub a roasted garlic paste under the skin of a chicken before roasting, or add it to your mashed potatoes.
3 bulbs of roasted garlic in an open foil packet.

Recipe FAQs

Can you eat straight roasted garlic?

Yes, roasted garlic cloves have a mellow flavor and soft texture, and they are excellent plain or slathered on bread.

Put your roasted garlic to work

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Bulbs of roasted garlic on foil.

How to Roast Garlic

Learn how to Roast Garlic with just foil and a drizzle of olive oil (or make it in on the stove). Stir mellow roasted garlic into soups, mash it into potatoes, or mix it into soft butter to slather on bread.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings (2 cloves each)
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Calories 21
5 from 40 votes

Equipment

  • Chef knife (This Global knife slices through easily)

Ingredients 

Instructions 

To roast whole garlic bulbs:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove outer papery layers of garlic bulb, leaving the skins in tact and cloves attached.
  • Using a sharp knife, trim about ¼ inch to a ½ inch off the top of the bulb to expose the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil (I like about 2 tablespoons olive oil per head of garlic). 
  • Wrap the individual heads of garlic tightly in foil and place on a baking sheet. Or, place the individual heads in a muffin tin and wrap tightly in foil.
  • Roast for 30 to 60 minutes depending on your preference, checking the cloves at 30 minutes. The roasted garlic is done when it caramelized in color and the cloves are very soft and can be pieced easily with a knife.

To roast peeled individual garlic cloves:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a small baking dish or pie plate with foil. Arrange peeled garlic cloves in the middle of the foil and drizzle completely with olive oil. 
  • Wrap the foil tightly to make a packet and roast 30 to 40 minutes, until golden in color and completely softened.

To roasted unpeeled individual garlic cloves:

  • In a dry medium skillet over medium-low heat, toast garlic cloves until spotty, dark brown, and slightly softened, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand until garlic is completely soft, 10 to 15 minutes.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Garlic: There are two main types of garlic: softneck and hardneck. Softneck garlic is common at grocery stores and has thin papery skins and small cloves. It’s harder to peel but has an extremely long shelf life (up to 8 months). Hardneck garlic is stronger in flavor and has larger cloves, and it produces a scape (a strong stem rising out of the bulb) which is visible if you cut a cross-section through the bulb. The shelf-life is shorter, 3 to 5 months after harvest.
  2. Yield: 1 bulb of garlic has about 10-12 cloves garlic per bulb, but your results may vary and your yield depends on how many bulbs and/or cloves you start with.
  3. Storage: Store roasted garlic cloves in an airtight container in the refrigerator, completely submerged in oil, for up to 4 days.
  4. Freezer: Freeze whole cloves individually on a plate or baking sheet until solid. Or, mash the roasted garlic and portion it into teaspoons or tablespoons, or pack it in an ice cube tray and make tiny cubes of roasted garlic. Transfer the individual cloves or frozen portions to a freezer-safe container, then label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 2clovesCalories: 21kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgSugar: 1g
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. My family introduced me to roasted garlic when I moved home from CA. It has a beautiful, mellow flavor and we served it with warm bread & brie cheese. I couldn’t remember the temperature to roast them & now all my family are gone, so thank you for your no nonsense directions.5 stars

  2. Yum!! Simple and easy-to-follow recipe for making an extremely versatile ingredient! I used one of those 5-count, the kind that usually have smaller inferior bulbs. The resulting roasted garlic is ten times better than the starting product!5 stars

    1. Thank you for writing, Arthur! I’m so glad you found this easy and the garlic delicious! Take care! – Meggan

  3. This was so easy! The only difference that I did was put the bulbs in a cast iron skillet and covered tightly with foil… after about 35 minutes, I loosened the foil and roasted another 30 or so minutes till I got the color I wanted.5 stars

    1. Thank you for your comment, Lorraine! I’m glad you found it so easy! – Meggan

    1. Hi Joan! YES! I need to add this info to the post. You can freeze whole cloves individually on a plate or baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. You can also mash the roasted garlic and portion it out into teaspoons or tablespoons, or even pack it in an ice cube tray and make little cubes of roasted garlic. These little frozen portions can also be transferred to a freezer-safe plastic bag or other container. I hope that helps! Thanks a lot! -Meggan

  4. good afternoon,
    Yes I do like roasting garlic and I would like to know if after I have roasted them can I freeze the leftovers that we did not eat? Cause we have a lot of garlic that we will roast? thanks again have a great afternoon.
    Sylvie

  5. I did this and I love it! My recipes that require garlic are so much richer in taste. I still use some garlic raw but oh my!! Fantastic process for garlic!!5 stars