How to Roast Garlic in the Oven (Whole Roasted Garlic + Cloves)

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How to roast garlic in the oven whole and as individual cloves – for a caramelized, sweet, nutty, buttery smooth treat to spread over bread, add to soups and stews, mix into dips, and more! List of uses and several tips and FAQs below!

Roasted garlic in foil

If you’ve never learned how to roast garlic, then you are in for a real treat. While raw garlic is known for its pungent flavor, once roasted, this aromatic ingredient mellows out into a wonderfully sweet and caramelized, soft, buttery ingredient to mix and spread. You might even find yourself eating it straight from the oven (I won’t blame you!).

I’ve made no secret for my love of garlic. This is made more evident with my various posts on how to peel garlic, make garlic paste, freeze it, and dry it into garlic flakes or garlic powder. Then, even more recently, I’ve shared a method for the ultimate garlic-lovers sauce in the form of Lebanese toum and pickled garlic, which you can eat straight from the jar, raw!

Now, though, it’s time to turn to roasting methods. I’ve already shared a technique for slow-roasting garlic confit, which roasts garlic cloves in a bath of oil for truly buttery results. However, whole roasted garlic (and roast garlic cloves) require far less oil and an even simpler and shorter method to caramelized, buttery goodness!

Roasted garlic cloves on top of toast

Not to mention that the smell of the roasting garlic is heavenly (for any garlic fans, anyway!). More so, the roasting process helps to make the garlic easier to digest, too – especially for those who are sensitive to raw garlic. So really, it’s a win, win, win situation all around!

Once roasted, you’ll want to eat the buttery roasted garlic directly from the head. However, it also spreads wonderfully over bread and is the perfect addition to all sorts of dishes (tons of recommendations below!).

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The Ingredients

Garlic and olive oil
  • Garlic: make sure to choose garlic with a firm head that feels heavy for its size. Avoid any bulbs that have soft spots, mold, or seem to have dried out. For the best flavor, I recommend using organic young garlic if you can.
  • Oil: any neutral cooking oil will work. I prefer to use olive oil, though!

Optional Add-Ins and Recipe Variations

  • Butter: you can add a little butter in with the oil or use butter alone.
  • Salt & Pepper: adding a little can help enhance the flavor while remaining neutral enough for various uses.
  • Herbs/Spices: I usually only use olive oil when roasting garlic, so it stays neutral enough for various dishes. However, you can easily add fresh herbs to the foil package (rosemary works particularly well or thyme, sage). You could also use red pepper flakes.

How to Roast Garlic in the Oven

Method 1: Whole Roasted Garlic

First, preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC.

Then slice the garlic head in half across the middle and place both halves onto a large piece of foil (large enough to wrap around both parts).

A garlic head cut in two

Drizzle the raw garlic with olive oil and lightly brush/rub it into the garlic cloves. Then seal the tin foil around the pieces to create a little “parcel.”

It’s best to loosely wrap the garlic to avoid the cloves touching the foil; otherwise, it can stick.

Steps for wrapping garlic in foil

Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes (30-40 is the standard for most ovens). At this point, the garlic should be a golden color and super-soft to touch. You can try and piece and then continue roasting if it isn’t quite at your preferred level.

You can optionally unwrap the foil for the final five minutes to allow it to darken and caramelize further as the “packet” will essentially steam it. For even more caramelized results, reduce the heat to 350ºF/175ºC and roast for longer. I recommend checking every 10 minutes or so until it reaches your desired color/flavor.

Alternative whole roasted garlic method: Rather than slicing the garlic head in half, you can peel the outer, papery layers of the bulb (you should be able to see some individual cloves in their papery skin) then cut just about ½ inch from the top of the cloves, cutting away the papery ends, so the cloves are exposed. Then drizzle with oil and bake.

To remove the roasted garlic cloves from the head, allow it to cool enough to touch, and simply squeeze them out.

Taking out roasted garlic cloves

Method 2: How to roast garlic cloves

When roasting individual cloves, I use a similar method. Place the unpeeled cloves in a tin foil packet, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, then roast until tender. This will take less time – I recommend checking at the 15-minute mark, returning to the oven if needed, and checking every few minutes until ready.

How to Store Roasted Garlic?

Store: once roasted, I recommend removing the cloves from the head and storing them in an airtight container (or tightly wrapped – otherwise, they will become dry) for 3-5 days.

Freeze: either freeze the roasted cloves as larger pieces or mash the roasted garlic first. Then transfer to a freezer-safe bag/container and freeze for up to 3 months. When freezing the mashed garlic, spread it in a thin layer in your bag and freeze flat. That way, you can simply snap off pieces as needed. Alternatively, freeze into a small ice-cube tray or teaspoon/tablespoon blobs. For the larger clove pieces, you can allow them 10-15 minutes at room temperature to thaw.

Reheat: if you’d like to reheat/soften the garlic once more, you can place it back in the oven at a low temperature for 10-15 minutes.

Roasted garlic in foil

How to Use?

And the list goes on – let me know in the comments how you best enjoy this roasted garlic! And remember, since roasted garlic has a more mellow flavor, you’ll likely want more in any recipe where you’re replacing raw garlic!

Recipe Tips and FAQs

  • Using a garlic roaster: there are dishes called garlic roasters that you can use in place of foil. It may be worth the investment if you plan on roasting garlic often.
  • Can you substitute the foil? Yes, you should be able to use parchment paper (trim the excess and wrap with twine to seal). Alternatively, you could place the garlic heads in a muffin tip and cover with another tin (or another muffin tray) or use a garlic roasting pot.
  • Can I roast elephant garlic? You sure can, though the time will change. I recommend using the same method and roasting for around 1 hour, or until tender. Then, for more caramelized flavor without burning, reduce the oven to 360ºF/180ºC and roast for a further 20-30 minutes.
  • Why is my garlic bitter? This may be down to the age of your garlic or the fact that it’s under/overcooked. I know that garlic can be sensitive to higher heat. So if you find that your garlic is always bitter, you could try reducing the oven temperature to 350ºF/175ºC next time and roasting for longer (between 40-50 minutes), which may help.
  • Roast in bulk: for any garlic lover, I recommend roasting the garlic heads in bulk and then freezing to save time in the long run.
  • How long to roast garlic? The time needed to roast the garlic will depend on the size and age of the garlic, the amount of oil used, and your preferred results. I recommend starting to check on it at 25 minutes and increasing it in 5-minute increments.
  • To roast garlic in air fryer: I haven’t tried this method (yet). However, I recommend using the same wrapped method and cooking at 370ºF/190ºC for 22-25 minutes.

More Ways to Enjoy Garlic

Also, check out these delicious Simple Roasted Onions!

If you try this simple method on how to roast garlic, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

How to Roast Garlic in the Oven (Whole Roasted Garlic + Cloves)

4.97 from 56 votes
By: Samira
How to roast garlic in the oven whole and as individual cloves – for a caramelized, sweet, nutty, buttery smooth treat to spread over bread, add to soups and stews, mix into dips, and more.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Instructions 

Method 1: Whole Roasted Garlic

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC.
  • Slice the garlic head in half across the middle and place both halves onto a large piece of foil (large enough to wrap around both parts).
  • Drizzle the raw garlic with olive oil and lightly brush/rub it into the garlic cloves.
  • Seal the tin foil around the pieces to create a little "parcel."
    It's best to loosely wrap the garlic to avoid the cloves touching the foil; otherwise, it can stick.
  • Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes (30-40 is the standard for most ovens). At this point, the garlic should be a golden color and super-soft to touch. You can try and piece and then continue roasting if it isn't quite at your preferred level.
    You can optionally unwrap the foil for the final five minutes to allow it to darken and caramelize further as the "packet" will essentially steam it. For even more caramelized results, reduce the heat to 350ºF/175ºC and roast for longer. I recommend checking every 10-or so minutes until it reaches your desired color/flavor.
  • Alternative whole roasted garlic method: Rather than slicing the garlic head in half, you can peel the outer, papery layers of the bulb (you should be able to see some individual cloves in their papery skin) then cut just about ½ inch from the top of the cloves, cutting away the papery ends, so the cloves are exposed. Then drizzle with oil and bake.
    To remove the roasted garlic cloves from the head, allow it to cool enough to touch, and simply squeeze them out.

Method 2: How to roast garlic cloves

  • When roasting individual cloves, I use a similar method. Place the unpeeled cloves in a tin foil packet, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, then roast until tender. This will take less time – I recommend checking at the 15-minute mark, returning to the oven if needed, and checking every few minutes until ready.

How to Store Roasted Garlic?

  • Store: once roasted, I recommend removing the cloves from the head and storing them in an airtight container (or tightly wrapped- otherwise, they will become dry) for 3-5 days.
    Freeze: either freeze the roasted cloves as larger pieces or mash the roasted garlic first. Then transfer to a freezer-safe bag/container and freeze for up to 3 months. When freezing the mashed garlic, spread it in a thin layer in your bag and freeze flat. That way, you can simply snap off pieces as needed. Alternatively, freeze into a small ice-cube tray or teaspoon/tablespoon blobs. For the larger clove pieces, you can allow them 10-15 minutes at room temperature to thaw.
    Reheat: if you'd like to reheat/soften the garlic once more, you can place it back in the oven at a low temperature for 10-15 minutes.

Video

Notes

  • Using a garlic roaster: there are dishes called garlic roasters that you can use in place of foil. It may be worth the investment if you plan on roasting garlic often.
  • Can you substitute the foil? Yes, you should be able to use parchment paper (trim the excess and wrap with twine to seal). Alternatively, you could place the garlic heads in a muffin tip and cover with another tin (or another muffin tray) or use a garlic roasting pot.
  • Can I roast elephant garlic? You sure can, though the time will change. I recommend using the same method and roasting for around 1 hour, or until tender. Then, for more caramelized flavor without burning, reduce the oven to 360ºF/180ºC and roast for a further 20-30 minutes.
  • Why is my garlic bitter? This may be down to the age of your garlic or the fact that it’s under/overcooked. I know that garlic can be sensitive to higher heat. SO if you find that your garlic is always bitter, you could try reducing the oven temperature to 350ºF/175ºC next time and roasting for longer (between 40-50 minutes), which may help.
  • Roast in bulk: for any garlic lover, I recommend roasting the garlic heads in bulk and then freezing to save time in the long run.
  • How long to roast garlic? The time needed to roast the garlic will depend on the size and age of the garlic, the amount of oil used, and your preferred results. I recommend starting to check on it at 25 minutes and increasing it in 5-minute increments.
  • To roast garlic in an air fryer: I haven’t tried this method (yet). However, I recommend using the same wrapped method and cooking at 370ºF/190ºC for 22-25 minutes.
 
Optional Add-Ins and recipe variations:
  • Butter: you can add a little butter in with the oil or use butter alone.  
  • Salt & Pepper: adding a little can help enhance the flavor while remaining neutral enough for various uses.
  • Herbs/Spices: I usually only use olive oil when roasting garlic, so it stays neutral enough for various dishes. However, you can easily add fresh herbs to the foil package (rosemary works particularly well or thyme, sage). You could also use red pepper flakes.
 
Check the blog post for more tips and serving suggestions!
Course: Appetizer, Condiment, DIYs, Side
Cuisine: European
Freezer friendly: 3 Months
Shelf life: 3-5 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 20kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 6mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

4.97 from 56 votes (51 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. Nicholas E says:

    5 stars
    I have roasted garlic for years too ‘tho a bit hit-and-miss. My thanks for presenting this simple & more systematic approach

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you for your comment, Nicholas. Glad you gave this method a try.

    2. Judy K White says:

      5 stars
      Magnificent!!! This was awesome! Thank you!

      1. Samira @ Alphafoodie says:

        So glad to hear, thank you so much for your feedback 🙂

  2. Gena says:

    5 stars
    I’ve been roasting garlic for years and cutting the head in half is brilliant! I cannot wait to apply that method.

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      🙂

  3. Liz says:

    4 stars
    Nice site! Helpful guidance and great options for the roasted garlic! Thank you.

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you so much, Liz!

  4. #1ChefDad says:

    4 stars
    Great recipe with many ideas on variations to time and cooking methods. There is also a plethora of links to recipes for using your roasted garlic. Kudos.

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you for your comment 🙂