As a garlic lover, I'm a huge fan of garlic and soft, sweet cloves roasted in the oven is my favorite way of preparing it.
The roasting process brings out the natural sweetness and natural sugars in the garlic while completely removing any bitterness or sharp flavors in it.
- Garlic Bulbs vs Garlic Cloves
- How to Roast Garlic in Olive Oil
- Recipe Tips for Garlic Confit
- How Can I Use Roast Garlic in Olive Oil?
- Pasta Recipes to Enjoy with Roast Garlic
- FAQs and Substitutions
- More Delicious Recipes You'll Love
- Print the Recipe Card
- Roasted Garlic in Olive Oil (Homemade Garlic Confit)
There are a lot of different ways to make roasted garlic. One easy way is to cut off the top of the bulb, drizzle it with a bit of olive oil, and make an aluminum foil packet out of the bulb. You then roast it in a muffin tin or on a baking sheet until the garlic is soft and tender. And while I've made a LOT of roasted garlic this way, my favorite is roasted garlic confit.
Confit means that something has been cooked in the oven while being submerged in oil. When you cook garlic this way, you end up with roast garlic cloves that are soft and creamy, but maintain their shape and size. Unlike roasting garlic in foil which for me always turns out to be a delicious, smushed mess once it's out the foil packs.
Confit garlic spreads like butter and leaves behind a delicious dish of garlic olive oil, which is perfect to use in homemade salad dressings, toss with pasta, or brushed on your favorite homemade pizza crust.
Garlic Bulbs vs Garlic Cloves
A quick reminder of the different between garlic bulbs and garlic cloves and what garlic looks like as you break it down and peel it. For this recipe, you're using peeled garlic cloves (a lot of them).
How to Roast Garlic in Olive Oil
Break open each bulb of garlic. Pull out the individual garlic cloves.
Peel the cloves using a small paring knife.
Place peeled garlic cloves into a small, ovenproof baking dish.
Pour in enough olive oil to cover all of the garlic cloves. (Make sure no part of the cloves are sticking up above the oil line.)
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon or small mesh strainer, remove the cooked garlic cloves from the oil.
Use immediately or place garlic cloves in a glass airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Strain the remaining garlic-flavored oil through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lingering bits of garlic. (Be sure it has COMPLETELY cooled before doing this step.)
Store the garlic oil in a small glass bottle in the refrigerator. Use within 7 days.
Recipe Tips for Garlic Confit
- The oil in the garlic confit will be EXTREMELY hot when you remove it from the oven. Be very careful and let the roast garlic cool for at least 30 minutes (longer is fine!) before handling. Make sure the oil has cooled COMPLETELY before you store it.
- Garlic burns quickly. You want the garlic cloves to be fork tender but not at all brown in order to have the best texture and flavor.
- Don't smash the garlic cloves when peeling them! The more smashed the raw clove, the faster and less evenly they'll cook leading to the edges getting too dark and overcooked or burned. (See the photo below from one of my test batches.) Take the time to peel the cloves without smashing them into pieces.
How Can I Use Roast Garlic in Olive Oil?
There are so many delicious ways to use homemade garlic confit.
- Spread the cloves directly onto a slice of crusty bread with a pinch of salt and/or some parmesan cheese.
- Stir several cloves of smashed, roasted garlic into mashed potatoes and/or your favorite pasta dish.
- Add to the top of your homemade pizza.
- Mash roasted garlic cloves into butter (about 1 clove for every 1 tablespoon of butter) for a delicious spread. Use this compound butter on baked potatoes, to top a grilled steak, or to make amazing garlic bread.
Pasta Recipes to Enjoy with Roast Garlic
Add several cloves of smashed, roasted garlic into these pasta recipes:
FAQs and Substitutions
I have made this recipe using canola oil and vegetable oil in place of much-more expensive olive oil. Both work great and give you the same flavor results as olive oil.
Often yes. Many large grocery stores will have containers of raw, pre-peeled garlic available near the deli or prepared fresh food area.
The risk of botulism is from raw garlic cloves that have been stored in oil - especially if the mixture is left out at room temperature or saved for a long time. However, we’re cooking this garlic well beyond both the temperature and time the World Health Organization says is needed to kill off the toxin caused by the botulism bacteria. AND you’re going to store it in the fridge and enjoy it within 7 days, further preventing any issues. 🙂
Yes. Some garlic grows with a purple skin on it, making it look like the whole garlic cloves are wrapped in purple stripped skin. This is totally normal! Unwrap the individual cloves. As long as those are a solid, creamy, pale yellow color, you're good to go.