Few other applications reveal roasting’s power the way this garlic recipe does. Roasting turns garlic from intensely pungent to nutty, sweet, and spreadably soft with minimal work. The softened cloves are perfect for spreading onto bread; they also add rich flavor to simple condiments. This recipe can be adjusted for as many or as few garlic heads as you want. Serve the garlic with crusty bread or use in aioli or dressings.–America’s Test Kitchen


Roasted garlic can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 1 week.

4 bulbs of roasted garlic with the tops cut off, 3 lying on a sheet of aluminium foil.

Easy Roasted Garlic

5 from 1 vote
For this easy, foolproof method, we simply trimmed off the top of each head of garlic, exposing the tops of the cloves, and drizzled them with olive oil. Sealed tightly into an aluminum foil packet, the cloves turned buttery soft in a 425ºF oven; opening up the packet for the last 20 minutes allowed the tops of the cloves to caramelize.
David Leite
Servings8 tablespoons | 1/2 cup
Calories10 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes


  • 4 large (10 oz) garlic heads
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt


  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Cut 1/2 inch (12-mm) off the top of each garlic head to expose most of the tops of the garlic cloves. Place garlic heads, cut side up, in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle each with 1/2 teaspoon oil, season with salt, and gather foil tightly around the garlic to form a packet.
  • Place packet directly on oven rack and roast for 45 minutes. Carefully open just the top of the foil to expose garlic and continue to roast until garlic is soft and golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove garlic from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. When cool, squeeze garlic from skins into a bowl.
How To Roast Everything Cookbook

Adapted From

How to Roast Everything

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Serving: 1 tablespoonCalories: 10 kcalCarbohydrates: 1 gProtein: 1 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 1 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gSodium: 1 mgPotassium: 2 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 gVitamin A: 1 IUVitamin C: 1 mgCalcium: 1 mgIron: 1 mg

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2018 America’s Test Kitchen. Photo © 2018 Keller + Keller. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

If you can call garlic seductive, easy roasted garlic is just that. The scent as it is caramelizing is irresistible. Sweet and pungent, permeating every room, it invites you to dinner. The spicy raw fragrance from the cut garlic bulb transforms into a mellow, creamy, and sweet richness when taken out of the oven. 

This easy roasted garlic is simple, yet makes you seem like a chef with secret knowledge when you add this to your sauce, butter, or as a spread for toasted bread drizzled with olive oil. It also makes a luxurious substitute for butter on your pasta.

This easy roasted garlic is a product you must always have in your fridge. You can use it to spread on toasted bread, to stir in the juices of roast pork or lamb, on mashed potatoes, as a condiment to dressings, even in soups.

The cloves slip out very easily with one little squeeze and you get a soft and spreadable paste, that can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight jar, with its surface covered by a thin layer of olive oil, for one or two weeks. You can add thyme or bay leaf to increase flavor.

I am giving this easy roasted garlic a TC, based on the deliciousness of roasted garlic, and the countless things that you can do with it. I remember reading somewhere that Julia Child once said that if you can smell something, it is probably telling you that it is done. I am paraphrasing here, and may not be anywhere close to anything she actually said. It was soft and golden at the 45-minute mark.

The second time I made this, I made it in my toaster oven and baked it for 40 minutes, not 45. The head of garlic was soft and starting to brown. I put it back in the oven, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, after which I checked on it. It was, indeed, golden brown, and needed no more cooking. I let my roasted garlic cool, before squeezing the soft, unctuous cloves into a bowl.

Roasted garlic is fabulous. I have seen folks who don’t even like garlic because of the sharpness it can have, like roasted garlic because of how it mellows. I used some of my garlic smeared on a baked chicken, sausage, onion, and potato dish and some of it spread on a piece of focaccia. Both were excellent. This gave me the opportunity to remember just how much we like roasted garlic, and how much you can do with it. I think that having a jar of this in the refrigerator at all times might be the way to go.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I suddenly realized that I had lots of garlic in the pantry. Like lots and lots of garlic. Every week from the Farmer’s Market Garlic that was sitting in a basket waiting to become part of a tasty dish. So what tastier way to get that garlic into a recipe than to roast it all up and smear it on bread. Mashed Potatoes. Roast Beef with Red Wine. Roasted Carrots. I did indeed cut off the top of the garlic bulbs, drizzled with oil, sprinkled with sea salt and some freshly ground pepper then wrapped it all up in foil so it could be roasted following the directions. Now my roasted garlic is ready for all those Fall Recipes. Nothing is easier than following this recipe. I am so glad I found this recipe – just in time.

  2. Can anyone tell me–is there some reason I can’t use a pan with a tight-fitting lid instead of the foil?

    1. Sue, you definitely can roast it in a pan with a tight lid. There are even ceramic garlic roasting dishes on the market if you roast a lot of garlic. The foil method involves the least amount of cleanup, but if you are limiting foil use, go ahead and roast in a covered baking dish.