Calling all garlic lovers! This easy oven roasted garlic recipe is the best way to roast whole heads of garlic. Once roasted, you can squeeze the pulp from the individual garlic cloves right out and use in all your favorite recipes.
This post was updated from the original published October 11, 2016.
Even though I’m a garlic lover, sometimes raw garlic gives me heartburn. The roasting process makes the garlic easier to digest while the roast garlic has an even deeper garlic flavor. Win. Win.
This easy method takes a whole bulb of raw garlic and roasts it in the oven in a small baking dish to lock in the delicious flavor.
Roasting in the papery skin leaves the roasted cloves protected and moist. Now your roasted garlic cloves will have a creamy texture and a caramelized buttery flavor.
How to buy fresh garlic
- Buy fresh garlic with dry and unblemished papery skins.
- Individual cloves should be tightly packed together and the overall bulb should feel firm when gently pressed.
- Look for lighter colored cloves. Fresher garlic is closer to a white color than yellow.
- Green shoots coming out of the ends of the cloves indicate garlic that is older, and that it has been exposed to heat, light or moisture. Once garlic has green shoots it tastes bitter.
- Dry or soft garlic indicates the garlic is old or hasn’t been stored properly.
How to store fresh garlic
Fresh garlic keeps best in a cool, dry place, whole bulb left intact. Storing fresh whole bulbs of garlic in the refrigerator won’t prolong its shelf life. Refrigerated garlic tends to get moist, which will spoil it more quickly. Store refrigerated garlic outside of the crisper drawer with a paper towel in the container to soak up any moisture.
You can store peeled raw garlic cloves in a jar in the refrigerator for no longer than one week, or the freezer for 6 months.
Chopped fresh garlic can be stored, covered in oil in the fridge for 3 days. Chopped fresh garlic, covered in oil will last in the freezer for up to 6 months, but the flavor will start to diminish after 3 months.
Benefits of Roasted Garlic
Some of the health benefits of garlic are diminished when garlic is roasted. However, the chemical properties of garlic change when it’s roasted, making it easier to digest than raw garlic. This means more people can eat it and they can eat more at one sitting, making the health benefits more available.
- Antioxidants: help control blood pressure, boost immunity and protect us from infections.
- Vitamin C: Roasting garlic has a minimal effect on the Vitamin C. And, vitamin C helps support the immune system and protect against heart disease and stroke.
- Minerals: manganese, copper, selenium are all bioavailable in garlic.
Foil Packet Oven Roasted Garlic
If you’re going to make a foil packet to roast your garlic heads on a baking sheet, make sure to first wrap the whole garlic bulbs in parchment paper so the aluminum doesn’t leach into your garlic. Then you can take a piece of aluminum foil and wrap it around the outside of the parchment packet to seal in the entire thing. You definitely don’t want the tops of the cloves to come in direct contact with the aluminum foil.
How to Roast Garlic
Trust me, this is the easiest way to roast whole heads of garlic. I’ve tried roasted garlic in the air fryer and, even though it’s quicker, it’s also easy to burn your garlic cloves giving off a bitter taste, chewy texture and overall lousy experience.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Make a thin slice off the top of the bulb…not at the root end. This is the easiest way to expose the individual cloves of garlic, and make a flat surface for the bulb to rest on while cooking. Loosen the outer layers of papery skins and then place the bulbs in a small baking dish.
Next, drizzle the exposed garlic flesh with a little bit of olive oil and then sprinkle the tops of the garlic with sea salt and black pepper.
Now, flip the garlic bulbs over so the cut side is face down in your baking pan. This is my tried and true method for keeping the garlic flesh moist while roasting. If you didn’t already put in your fresh herbs, do it now. Fresh rosemary is my favorite herb to use with garlic, but oregano or thyme sprigs will also infuse your roasted garlic with great flavor.
Seal the baking dish tightly with foil and then place in your preheated oven for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven, take off the foil and allow to come to room temperature before handling. Hold the bottom, root end of the whole bulb and squeeze out the flesh, straight into a container. Or, use the tines of a fork or a small paring knife to pull out whole roast garlic cloves.
How to store roasted garlic
- Whole roasted garlic will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Once cooled to room temperature, transfer whole to an airtight container.
- Pull roasted garlic straight from the papery skins and transfer the pulp to an airtight container then cover with olive oil to prolong freshness. Roast garlic pulp stored this way will last up to a month.
- You can also transfer roasted garlic pulp in into ice cube trays, then cover with olive oil. Freeze until firm and then transfer to zip top bags and store for 6 months.
Debra’s Pro Tips
- If your oven is already on (like maybe you’re making vegan meatloaf or a roasted whole head of cauliflower), it’s a good idea to throw in baking dish with whole heads of garlic to roast.
- Use a baking dish that is deep enough to hold your whole heads of garlic so the top of the cloves don’t touch the aluminum foil. Alternately, cover first with unbleached parchment paper and then use the foil on top to create a tight seal.
- Super hot garlic is sticky and will burn your fingers. Handle with care when hot and allow to come to room temperature before handling with bare hands.
- You can squeeze out the garlic pulp and add it to your favorite recipes that call for raw garlic, spread it on some crusty bread, or add to pasta dishes.
- Use a toothpick to pull out whole cloves of roasted garlic to store in sealed container for future use.
Recipes that use roasted garlic:
- Roasted garlic hummus recipes. You can use this roasted garlic in basic healthy hummus or roasted cauliflower hummus.
- Adding roasted garlic to pureed soups is a fantastic way to boost their flavor. My favorite creamy vegan soups to infuse with roasted garlic are cauliflower leek soup, creamy asparagus soup, carrot ginger soup and creamy vegan zucchini soup.
- Baba Ganoush: Already roasted garlic is terrific pureed into baba ghanoush.
- Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing: A delicious salad dressing, loaded with great flavor.
- Add a couple cloves to your vegan sour cream or vegan ricotta recipes.
- Puree your vegan gravy with a few cloves of roasted garlic…absolutely delish!
- Vegan Pesto Recipes are greatly enhanced by the addition of roasted garlic. Add this to your carrot top pesto, arugula spinach pesto or your fresh basil pesto recipes.
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- 3 heads garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Pinch black pepper
- 3-4 Fresh sprigs rosemary*
- Preheat oven to 375
- Slice off about ¼” from the ends of the garlic heads (not the root end) to expose inner cloves.
- Place in small baking dish and drizzle with a couple teaspoons of olive oil then sprinkle with kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
- Turn garlic heads upside down, add fresh herbs to the pan and tightly cover with a piece of foil.
- Place covered dish in the hot oven and roast for 45 minutes. A bit longer if your heads and cloves are on the large side.
- Carefully remove foil and wait until garlic heads are cool enough to handle. Gently squeeze garlic pulp out of skins (or use a toothpick to “pull” the pulp out) to use in recipe, OR leave whole heads intact and plate to serve with small spreader.