Adding oven roasted garlic into mashed potatoes, soups, or pasta dishes will infuse a rich, nutty flavor that will elevate your meal to the next level. If you’ve never tried to roast garlic before, you’ll be shocked at how easy it is!

Cloves of smashed roasted garlic on a piece of aluminum foil.

Roasting garlic in the oven fills your kitchen with the most amazing savory scent. It’s the kind of mouthwatering aroma that is guaranteed to make you hungry, even if you just finished eating a large meal. And for me, the smell alone should be enough reason to learn how to roast these decadent little bulbs!

I vividly remember the first time my mom made roasted garlic mashed potatoes. I had absolutely no idea what she was making in that little foil packet in the toaster oven but the whole house smelled incredible and the mashed potatoes she served with the roast she made that Sunday made me weak in the knees.

But putting the amazing smell aside, the real reason to learn how to roast garlic is the taste. When you roast garlic long enough, it transforms. Those powerful, pungent flavors of raw garlic alter and become sweet with rich and nutty undertones. The cloves soften, becoming incredibly tender, creamy, and – believe it or not! – spreadable.

A bulb of fresh garlic sliced open at the top to reveal the inside of the cloves.

And no matter what you add these little caramelized gems too, one thing is for sure, they will instantly elevate your dish, making it more flavorful, complex, and utterly delicious. I can almost never turn down any dish with roasted garlic in it!


This is the stupid simple shopping list for what you’ll need in order to roast garlic. Can you even believe how easy this is to make?

  • Head of fresh garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil

How To Roast Garlic

Below are the quick steps on how to roast garlic at home. The full instructions are listed below in the recipe card, so be sure to keep scrolling down!

A bulb of fresh garlic on a wooden cutting board..

STEP 1: Preheat oven to 400° F. Remove the first few layers of the outer skin on the garlic but not too many as you need to keep the head intact.

STEP 2: Cut off the top of the garlic head, exposing the inside of the cloves.

STEP 3: Place the garlic, cut side up, on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle olive oil over the garlic. Loosely wrap foil around the garlic, pinching it closed tightly at the top.

A bulb of fresh garlic sliced open at the top to reveal the inside of the cloves. Olive oil is being drizzled on top of the cut garlic bulb before it is roasted.

STEP 4: Roast for 45 to 50 minutes in the oven.

STEP 5: Remove garlic from the oven and carefully open the packet.

STEP 6: Allow garlic to completely cool before squeezing out the cloves and using as desired!

How To Store

Store any unused roasted cloves in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Why Is Garlic Roasted Unpeeled?

The cloves of garlic are left unpeeled as this keeps the head intact and reduces the risk of burning. Also, peeling unroasted cloves is an extremely time-consuming process so it’s easier to cook them unpeeled.

And as they roast, the cloves become extremely soft, making them easy to squeeze out of the skin when you’re ready to use them in a recipe.

A bulb of fresh garlic sliced open at the top to reveal the inside of the cloves.

How Is Roasted Garlic Different From Raw Garlic?

Raw garlic is known to have a “bite” to it, which is often described as powerful, pungent, and sometimes, spicy. When slow-roasted, the cloves become caramelized and turn much more mellow in flavor; almost sweet with nutty undertones.

Think of what happens to onions when you caramelize them. This is exactly what happens to garlic!

Tips And Tricks

  • Roast the whole head versus individual cloves. This will prevent the cloves from burning.
  • When removing outer layers, be sure to not remove too many as the cloves need to stay intact on the bulb head.
  • If roasting multiple heads at once, try to find bulbs that are similar in size and shape so they cook in the same amount of time.
  • If you would prefer to not have the aluminium foil touch the heads, feel free to slip a piece of parchment paper in between the garlic and the foil.
  • Garlic burns easily so be sure to check in on the packets after they’ve been in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes.
A bulb of roasted garlic cut open to see the roasted cloves inside the papery skins.

Recipes That Call For Roasted Garlic

Now that we’ve discussed how incredible roasted garlic is and how easy it is to make, let’s chat a bit about how you can use it! These are a few of our favorite recipes made with roasted garlic.

Harvest Farro Salad is a deliciously light yet hearty meal. Made with classic fall-inspired ingredients this simple salad is topped off with a drizzle of roasted garlic dressing!

Roasted Garlic Butter Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes is the ultimate comfort food dish. Tender pasta is tossed in a rich butter sauce full of sweet roasted garlic and tomatoes for a seriously indulgent bowl of pasta.

This hearty Winter Roasted Veggies and Chicken Chopped Salad is the quintessential winter salad full of roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. The whole salad is tied together with one highly addictive lemon vinaigrette that complements every component perfectly. To up the flavor, toss a few garlic cloves with the veggies before roasting them.

Roasted Garlic Butter Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

Mashed potatoes and roasted garlic are a match made in heaven. Kyle’s incredible Cream Cheese Garlic Mashed Potatoes are usually made with fresh garlic but you could easily swap in roasted garlic for fresh in this recipe.

Herb Roasted Onions are incredibly easy to make and pair extremely well with a simple roast chicken. Simply add a few cloves of roasted garlic to the bowl of onions before serving.

A large white bowl of garlic mashed potatoes garnished with chives and butter

This Roast Chicken in a Dutch Oven is a simple one-pan dinner that requires a few pantry staples for an elegant and cozy weeknight or weekend dinner! You’ll drop a few garlic cloves in the pot with the vegetables and reap the benefits when the garlic roasts along with the chicken.

Cloves of smashed roasted garlic on a piece of aluminum foil.

How to Roast Garlic

Yield: 1 head
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Roasting Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Roasted garlic is one of the most incredible ingredients you can use to elevate any type of dish. Soft, nutty, caramelized, and spreadable, roasted garlic is so easy to make! Let me show you how to roast garlic in just a couple simple steps!


  • 1 medium or large head of fresh garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F with a rack in the center.
  2. Peel off a couple layers of the outer skin but not too many so that the cloves start falling off the head.
  3. Slice off the top ¼ to ⅓ of the garlic head so the inside of the cloves are exposed. Because all garlic heads and cloves vary in size, it's possible you might have to cut a little extra to open up the cloves.
  4. Place the garlic head on an 8-inch long piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle the olive oil over the garlic to lightly coat it, taking some extra time to allow the oil to seep in between the cloves. Wrap the foil loosely around the garlic and pinch it closed tightly at the top.
  5. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes in the center of the oven, rotating it front to back halfway through with a pair of tongs.
  6. Remove the garlic from the oven and carefully open the packet up (there might be some steam inside). If the cloves are a deep golden brown, the roasted garlic is finished. If the cloves are still a little pale in color, wrap the garlic back up and continue roasting for another 7 to 10 minutes.
  7. Allow the garlic to cool in the opened foil packet for 10 minutes before squeezing the cloves out and using as desired.

STORAGE: The roasted garlic will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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