If you’re a garlic lover like me, you’re in for a treat! Roasting garlic cloves in the oven is not only an incredibly easy method and pretty fool-proof but also my absolute favourite way to transform this pungent bulb into a rich, buttery, and aromatic delight that yields a mild, smoky taste. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to roast garlic cloves in the oven, point you to some ways and recipes for using it and how to store it too.
What Makes This Recipe Great!
- Exceptional Flavour: Oven-roasted garlic offers a sweet, nutty, and savoury flavour that transforms the harshness of raw garlic.
- Simple Preparation: With minimal ingredients and easy steps, it’s a hassle-free recipe that anyone can master, adding a gourmet touch to your cooking and taking your dishes to the next level.
- Made Ahead: Roasted garlic freezes well, so you can roast a big batch of garlic and use it from the freezer as you please.
About This Recipe – In More Detail
If you’re a fan of garlic flavours, roasting garlic in the oven will take your love of garlic to another level. What’s more, is that it can be used in so many different ways. Oven-roasted garlic, with its caramelised cloves and deep, smoky flavours, can be used to flavour easy bread, add it to a focaccia, make a yummy herby dip, create salad dressings and so much more.
You can even enjoy the roasted cloves spread over some crusty bread for a simple yet delicious roasted garlic recipe.
Plump whole bulbs of garlic wrapped in foil slowly turn into something completely different during the roasting process inside a warm oven. As they roast, the pungent and sometimes overpowering bite of raw garlic mellows into a sweet, nutty, and almost buttery essence. The aroma that wafts through your kitchen as the garlic bulbs roast, is nothing short of intoxicating, and the best part is that you can say goodbye to garlic breath too since the garlic taste is much milder in comparison to raw garlic.
What makes it even better is that it’s incredibly easy to make with just a few simple ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen.
- Oven: You’ll need a preheated oven for roasting a bulb of garlic. However, I don’t recommend turning the oven on solely to roast garlic, since the bulb of garlic doesn’t take up too much room, wait for a time to roast it when you are cooking something else. Oven-roasted garlic freezes well and therefore, can be made ahead.
- Baking Sheet: A flat, rectangular pan with raised edges used to hold the garlic bulbs during roasting. You can also use a muffin tin and sit each bulb inside the compartments.
- Aluminium Foil: A piece of foil is used to wrap the garlic bulbs for roasting, creating a packet to trap moisture.
- Baking Paper/Parchment Paper: Ideally, you should line the inside of the foil with baking paper to prevent the roasted garlic from sticking to the foil, making it difficult to remove.
- Oven Mitts or Heat-Resistant Gloves: Essential for safely handling the hot baking sheet and garlic bulbs.
- Knife: A sharp knife is needed for preparing the garlic bulbs by cutting off the top of the bulb.
- Cooling Rack (Optional): Can be used to allow the roasted garlic bulbs to cool after roasting, allowing air circulation.
- Fresh Garlic: Whole garlic bulbs are the primary ingredient for this recipe. They consist of multiple individual cloves encased in a papery skin. Roasting them transforms their flavour from pungent and sharp to sweet and nutty. You can use regular garlic or Elephant garlic, just be aware that the bigger the bulb, the longer the roasting time.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is used to coat the garlic bulbs before roasting. It infuses moisture and rich flavour into the cloves, contributing to the caramelisation process. It adds a savoury note and helps prevent the garlic from drying out. Alternatively, try using melted butter instead.
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper: Salt and pepper are optional seasonings used to enhance the flavour of the roasted garlic. A pinch of salt and a sprinkle of pepper can be added according to your personal taste preferences, though they are not strictly necessary. They can enhance the overall taste of the dish.
Roasting Garlic Without Foil
You can easily roast whole heads of garlic or individual cloves of garlic in the oven without the use of foil.
Instead, you can use an oven proof dish with an oven-safe lid. Prepare the garlic in the same way by removing the top from the whole head of garlic, drizzling it with oil and seasoning before covering the dish with the lid and placing it inside a preheated oven.
You can also use only Parchment/baking paper with some bakers twine to tie each parcel up.
Step-By-Step Guide – How To Roast Garlic In The Oven
Step 1: Preheating and Preparing Garlic
- Preheat your oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Prepare Garlic Bulbs: Cut the tops off the garlic bulbs to expose the cloves. Remove any loose or flaky outer skin from the bulbs.
Step 2: Creating Garlic Parcels
- Assemble Parcels: Place each garlic bulb individually on a sheet of parchment paper, then onto a piece of foil large enough to fully enclose it.
- Season and Seal: Drizzle one teaspoon of olive oil over each garlic bulb and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Wrap each garlic bulb securely in the foil to create a tightly sealed parcel.
Step 3: Roasting and Cooling
- Roast Garlic: Transfer the garlic parcels to the preheated oven and roast for approximately 45 minutes. They are ready when each clove is golden brown and soft.
- Cool Slightly: Once roasted, carefully remove the garlic parcels from the oven and let them cool slightly.
- Unwrap and Cool Completely: Open the parcels cautiously and allow the roasted garlic cloves to cool on a wire rack. You can use them immediately as an ingredient or let them cool completely to room temperature before storing.
- Garlic Spread: Mash the roasted garlic cloves and mix them with softened butter or cream cheese to create a delicious spread for bread, crackers, or bagels.
- Mashed Potatoes: Stir roasted garlic into mashed potatoes for a unique twist on this classic side dish. It adds a rich, savoury flavour.
- Pizza: Top your homemade or store-bought pizza with roasted garlic cloves for an extra burst of flavour. It pairs well with various toppings like mushrooms, spinach, and caramelised onions.
- Roasted Vegetable Medley: Mix roasted garlic with roasted vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini for a tasty side dish.
- Sauces: Add roasted garlic to sauces like tomato sauce, pesto, or chimichurri for a nuanced depth of flavour.
- Grilled Meats: Serve roasted garlic as a side with grilled meats, such as steak, chicken, or lamb.
- Bruschetta: Top toasted baguette slices with roasted garlic, diced tomatoes, fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil for a tasty bruschetta appetizer.
The flavour of roasted garlic is milder and more sweet and the amount you use is dependent on how much roasted garlic taste you want to impart. You can happily double or even triple the amount without overwhelming most dishes.
Look for firm, plump garlic bulbs with unblemished skin. Avoid bulbs that feel soft or have green shoots emerging from the cloves, as these may be overripe.
Roasting garlic transforms its harsh, pungent flavour into a sweeter, milder, and more mellow profile. It improves its digestibility too.
Pro Tips and Guidance
- Use A Cocktail Stick – Picking out the cloves with a cocktail stick is the easiest way to remove the individual cloves of garlic from their skin with ease.
- Trim the Tops of Bulbs Evenly: When preparing the garlic bulbs for roasting, trim the tops evenly to expose the cloves. This ensures even cooking.
- Don’t Overcook: Avoid overcooking the garlic, as it can become bitter. Remove it from the oven as soon as it reaches the desired level of caramelization.
- Use Roasted Garlic Oil: Don’t discard the oil left from roasting garlic. It’s packed with flavour and can be used in salad dressings, as a bread dip, or for sautéing vegetables.
- If you plan to use the roasted garlic within a few days, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Make sure the cloves are completely cooled before sealing them in the container.
Longer Storage – Freezing:
- To extend the shelf life of roasted garlic, you can freeze it. Here’s how:
- Separate the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and place them on a baking sheet in portions lined with parchment paper or wax paper. Alternatively, separate portions in an ice cube tray and use this to freeze it.
- Freeze the roasted garlic until the portions are firm, typically for a few hours.
- Transfer the frozen cloves into an airtight container or resealable freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
- Label the container or bag with the date to keep track of freshness.
- Store in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.
Check Out These Roasted Garlic Recipes
A delicious dip that goes well with so many things, from fries to gilled meats.
A bread made without yeast that doesn’t have to be kneaded or risen. It’s flavoured with roasted garlic and parmesan for some true Italian flavours.
An aromatic Italian loaf that can be used in lots of different ways, from a meal accompaniment, to sandwiches or the base to a bruschetta.
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How to Roast Garlic Cloves in the Oven – Easy Recipe
- 6 Bulbs Garlic
- 6 tsp Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper , to taste
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Cut the tops from the garlic bulbs to expose the cloves.
- Remove any loose or flaky outer skin from the bulbs.
- Place each garlic bulb on an individual sheet of parchment paper and then onto a piece of foil that is large enough to wrap it completely.
- Drizzle one teaspoon of olive oil over each garlic bulb and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Wrap each garlic bulb tightly in the foil creating a sealed parcel.
- Put the garlic parcels in the preheated oven and roast for about 45 minutes until golden brown and soft.
- Remove the garlic parcels from the oven and allow them to cool slightly.
- Open the parcels carefully and allow them to cool on a wire rack. You can use them straight away as an ingredient or allow them to cool completely before storing.
- Cocktail Stick Trick: Use a cocktail stick to easily remove garlic cloves from their skin.
- Trim Evenly: Trim garlic bulb tops evenly for even cooking.
- Avoid Overcooking: Remove garlic from the oven when it reaches the desired caramelisation to prevent bitterness.
- Save Garlic Oil: Keep the flavourful roasted garlic oil for salad dressings, dips, or sautéing veggies.