How To: Roast Garlic

CATEGORIES: How To..., Sara

Mmmm…Roasted Garlic. It’s pretty much culinary gold, and considering how incredibly easy it is, I’m surprised more people don’t do it. When you roast garlic it becomes caramelized, sweeter, more mild, and dare I say – more mouthwatering than garlic already is.

The fab thing about roasting garlic is that it’s flexible. Chances are you use your oven at least once a week, right? Tossing a ball of foil-wrapped garlic in there won’t take up any more space than you already have available and you’re using your oven anyway- why not get something extra out of it?! You can roast it anywhere between 300-400 degrees, so if you’re cooking a casserole, or a roast, or whatever, just toss it in there. It will get more caramelized or less caramelized depending on the oven temp and the amount of time it’s in there, but it’s super easy to eyeball. And seriously, a 3 year old could do this. Well, maybe not. 3 year olds probably shouldn’t be putting things in hot ovens. But they could totally do it in an Easy Bake.

How to Roast Garlic

You need:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

1. Take a whole head of garlic. It’s even okay if you’ve used some of the cloves already. You just want the remaining cloves to still be attached to the base. Peel off any excess paper around the edges. You’ll want the cloves themselves to still be in their papers but if you’ve got a lot of excess around the edges just pull them off.

2. Cut the top part off like in the picture below. Just enough to expose the cloves- like a little less than 1/3 of the head. Place the cut head on a piece of foil.

3. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and drizzle with a couple teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil. I drizzle some on and wait for it to soak down into the garlic and then pour on some more.

4. Then grab the edges of the foil and just pull them up, sealing tightly.


5. Toss that bad boy in the oven, directly on the rack. If it’s the only thing in your oven, bake at 400 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. But like I said, if your cooking something else at a lower temp, that’s cool too, it may just take a little longer.The foil ball should feel soft when it’s done. (I shouldn’t have to write this next sentence but I will.) Use a towel or a potholder to check the softness. And don’t sue me if you forget.

When it’s done, take out of the oven and let cool for a minute. When you open up your cute little package you’ll have this glorious, soft, caramelized, yummy stuff.


The soft cloves will just pop right out of there. You can either squeeze them out, or use a little fork to pop them out.

Mmm..see that? They have awesome color and you can tell my looking at them that they will just melt the minute I press my fork on them.


Just use a fork to mash up the cloves into a paste. It adds a mild garlic flavor to so many things. It will keep for a week or more in your fridge in an air-tight container. You can also freeze it and just grab a spoonful as you need it. 

One of my favorite ways to eat roasted garlic is fresh out of the oven,
rubbed onto warm crusty bread.
Sprinkled with fresh Parmesan? Even better.

When I roasted that particular batch of garlic, I took the entire head and popped it in my food processor with a whole pan of roasted tomatoes, a handful of Parmesan, a little extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkling of sugar.
We just ate it on toasted baquette slices and it was heavenly.

So. What else can you do with roasted garlic? Just off the top of my head:

-Spread on crostini before topping with Bruschetta
-Add to mashed potatoes
-Spread on bread (makes a great appetizer)
-Add to pasta dishes
-Add to mayo
-Use in salad dressings
-Add to bread dough just before kneading
-Use in egg dishes

Seriously so many things.


I know you guys have ideas already-


  1. Is that a bite taken out of the first slice of bread?? Haha can’t say I blame you. This is good stuff! I would eat it on pretty much anything… bread, noodles, a spoon…

  2. The first thing I thought when I saw the title was “Mmmm, roasted garlic.” Then I noticed that was the first sentence in the post!

    Anyway, I always put a little freshly ground pepper on my garlic before I put it in the oven (and olive oil, too). My favorite is putting the entire head in mashed potatoes, and using a little bit of cream cheese too. YUM!

  3. You’re making my mouth water. I’ll have to admit, for as much as I cook, I’ve never attempted roasted garlic. I think I will have to. I have eaten it, however, and want to go eat some right now.

  4. I’ve never been one for cooking, though I’ve tolerated baking. Since I’ve found your blog I look for excuses to cook. We have the elder’s over weekly just so I can justify making one of your desserts.
    I love you guys, and so does my husband.

  5. How amazing!! I did tomatoes this morning and threw in four heads of garlic. A couple of the heads I didn’t let get too done but they still popped right out.. I put them in a jar with some olive oil and put in the fridge. I much prefer using roasted garlic to raw garlic when cooking. It is such a nicer deeper flavor..

  6. I love roasted garlic. Your pics of each step are great. I bought a huge back of Gilroy Garlic from Costco last week and roasted 10-12 per foil packet. I had a giant container of roasted garlic to use all week. What was leftover, I put in ice cube trays and froze. Now when I’m craving the smooth, nutty flavor of roasted garlic, and I don’t feel like cooking, I just pop out a cube and add to a sauce, or pasta or mashed potatoes. I also let it thaw to spread on hot, toasty french bread. Thanks for highlighting this yummy way to cook garlic!

  7. I finally tried this and now I wish I hadn't waited so long! I mixed it with some mayo for some fish burgers we were having and it was amazing!

  8. How about putting the roasted garlic into hummus? I am trying it today. Just thought it would be a nice way to kick up the flavor of a very easy dish. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes and tips.

  9. In culinary school, we place a large amount (2cups, or more) of peeled garlic cloves in a pan, fill the pan with olive oil, cover the pan with foil, then bake for about 40 minutes or until soft. Oven temp doesn’t necessarily matter, we just put them in whatever oven has space. Let them cool at least enough to handle carefully… then separate the oil from the cloves. We save the oil to use for various cooking needs (who doesn’t love garlic oil?!), and then use the garlic for whatever we need it for… one of my favorite things is pureeing it with a touch of cream and using it as a sauce for our thin crust pizza. InCrEdIbLe! Top with sauteed mushrooms, roasted asparagus, cheese, caramelized onions…whatever you wish. It’s devine!

  10. I’d been meaning to try this for an entire year. Today I can finally say that I’m doing it yay! My garlic is roasting right now and I can’t wait till it’s done. I’m thinking of adding it to mayonnaise and using it as a sandwich spread.

  11. I used to roast garlic, but I decided to poach it instead. the garlic is a little different, but still delicious, and you can keep the left over oil as some wonderfully infused garlic oil! You can make delicious salad dressings and marinades with it. And lots of people ask for it as gifts!

  12. MMM can’t wait to try this. Almost ever Saturday my daughter and I go to our neighborhood Farmers Market and willingly pay $6.00 for a Chinese takeout container of Parmesan, rosemary and garlic french fries. The rosemary and garlic are deep fried. And the cheese is grated over it all, we almost every time get a stalk of rosemary. Oh no now I’m hungry! 🙂

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