How to Make, Store, and Use Roasted Garlic

How to Make, Store, and Use Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic has a massive ROI (return on investment) in the kitchen. It takes 2-3 minutes to prep and pop into the oven (to cook for 45 minutes or so) and then it’s ready to use however you please. This simple process can add so much flavor to pretty much any savory dish. Enhance sauces, soups, dips, and more by roasting the garlic first.

Your grocery list:


  • Fresh garlic
  • Fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme (optional)

Pantry Items

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper (optional)

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Parchment paper (and kitchen twine to secure the parchment paper)
  • A shallow roasting dish with a top

If you want to roast several heads of garlic, try using a cupcake pan to roast them. Each head of garlic should fit nicely in each cupcake well. Cut the tops off so each clove is exposed a little (instead of in half, as instructed below) then follow the same steps as roasting in foil, parchment paper, or a shallow roasting dish.

How to roast garlic (in the oven)

A whole bulb

  1. Preheat the oven to 400º F.
  2. Cut the entire head of garlic in half and place both halves in a dish with the exposed garlic side up.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Add herbs like rosemary or thyme.
  5. Cover the dish (or seal parchment paper or foil, if using.)
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

Individual cloves

  1. Preheat the oven to 400º F.
  2. Place cloves in dish/parchment paper/foil and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Add herbs like rosemary or thyme.
  4. Cover the dish/seal parchment paper or foil.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

How to pan-roast garlic

  1. Heat a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the individual garlic cloves (skin on) to the skillet and roast for 7 to 8 minutes, turning the cloves over every 2 minutes.
  3. The garlic cloves should turn a nice golden brown, even charred on some parts. Remove from pan and let them cool before using. The skins should come right off.

Storing roasted garlic

  • Freezing roasted garlic: Once the garlic has cooled, peel off the skins. Arrange the garlic cloves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze. Once frozen, you can transfer the cloves to a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze them. It will freeze well for 2 to 3 months. You can take out as many cloves as you need at a time. Leave at room temperature briefly to thaw before using.
  • Storing roasted garlic in the refrigerator: Place cooled, peeled roasted garlic cloves in a clean canning jar. Pour extra virgin olive oil over the cloves. They should be completely covered and submerged. Cover tightly with a lid and store in your fridge. It will keep for up to 2 weeks (no longer) in the refrigerator if submerged in oil.  Olive oil is a natural preservative. It prevents the garlic from spoiling by isolating it from the air. Think of it as a way to seal the roasted garlic. This way, it delays oxidation, deterioration, or molding.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT store roasted garlic in olive oil at room temperature. This provides perfect conditions for producing botulism toxins.

Using roasted garlic

  • Add it to sauces, dips, and salad dressings (mash first or use a food processor or immersion blender to fully incorporate)
  • Make mayo
  • Spread on toast or sandwiches
  • Mash and add to mashed potatoes, rice, hummus, beans, etc.
  • Add to your next soup (mash first or use a food processor or immersion blender to fully incorporate)
  • Add it to your next pesto or guacamole
  • Spread it on pizza crust before adding sauce, cheese, and toppings
  • Mix it into softened butter then use it for grilled cheese or on roasted vegetables
  • Add it to gravy for a richer, deeper flavor
  • Mash and rub it under and into the skin of a raw chicken before baking


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