How to Roast Garlic

Garlic is a vital ingredient in Jewish cooking; both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews use it to flavor countless dishes. While garlic is incredibly healthy, for some it can be difficult to digest. I happen to be one of those people—too much raw garlic makes me ill. I use it when I cook for others, but I can’t eat too much of it myself. It’s a shame, because I really love the flavor of garlic.

I discovered that if I roast the garlic prior to adding it to my dishes, it mellows the potency of the garlic and makes it easier to digest. I also love the smoky flavor roasting creates. For those of you who are garlic lovers, the soft smoky cloves can be spread straight onto bread as a condiment (it’s especially yummy paired with goat cheese on toasted french bread). It can also be substituted for raw garlic in many dishes to give a milder, more delicate flavor.

Today I’m sharing my preferred method for roasting garlic. It’s so simple, and the results are super yummy– no special equipment needed!

How to Roast Garlic


  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • Olive oil

You will also need

  • Aluminum foil, small baking sheet
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Servings: 1 head of roasted garlic cloves
Kosher Key: Pareve, Kosher for Passover
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the outer skin from the garlic head, leaving the cloves intact in their casings.
  • Slice the top part of the garlic head off, leaving the cloves exposed.
  • Put the garlic head onto a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Wrap the garlic up in the foil. Put it on a small baking sheet and place it in the hot oven for 45 minutes.
  • Remove garlic from the oven and unfold carefully-- there will be hot steam inside. You may wish to let it cool for several minutes before unwrapping.
  • After you take the garlic out of the foil, you will see your garlic is nicely roasted. It should look similar to this:
  • Squeeze the cloves out from their casings. They will be soft, caramelized, and easy to spread on toast or crackers.
  • Now the roasted garlic cloves are ready to use in your favorite recipe, or as an appetizer. Enjoy!

Comments (18)Post a Comment

  1. Thank you so much for this! I’m not a fan of raw garlic myself, so this is perfect. One question: how would you store any leftover cloves?

    1. Hi Krista, happy to help! I usually squeeze the extra cloves from their casings into a small Tupperware or glass jar, cover them with extra virgin olive oil, and refrigerate. It will keep this way for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

  2. Wow, never tried this before, didn’t realize it’s so easy. Will try it next time I make my famous homemade pesto sauce! What’s the recipe tomorrow???

  3. If you need longer storage, you can freeze them! Make sure to start by freezing them in individual cloves or you might not be able to break them apart if you want just one. After they are frozen, you can put them into a freezable canning jar for easy access and all of the savory aroma will be kept where they should be. 😉

  4. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    This is wonderful. I refuse to use my oven this summer, but I’m going to try this tomorrow on the grill. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Will probably have it as a condiment at my cook-out on the forth.

  5. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    The roast garlic and roast eggplant looks great but I don’t have a stove where I am at the moment.

    We have a little electic griller oven and a micro wave oven. Do you have any suggestions for these appliances, eg can I just wrap them in the foil and leave them in the griller oven for 45 mins. I realise that I can’t put foil on them in the micro…but is there a simple way of doing them in it ?

    1. Hey Barbara, great question. When you say griller oven, do you mean a toaster oven? Knowing specifically what equipment you have will help me to give you the right advice. :)

    1. Okay, this is totally do-able. Do you have a small tray (cookie sheet style) that fits into the oven? If you do, you can use the cut in half method of roasting the eggplants featured on my How to Roast Eggplant blog. Make sure you use small eggplants (Japanese will work well), and you probably only have room to roast one or two at a time. If you don’t have the little tray, keep the eggplants whole and pierce them with a fork to vent. Wrap them in 2 layers of foil and let them roast inside the oven (again, probably one or at most two at a time). They may not get the same smokey flavor as they would on a stovetop, but they will caramelize if you let them roast long enough.

      For the garlic, the method is the same as you would use for a big oven… just drizzle the garlic head with olive oil, wrap it up in foil, and roast it in the toaster oven. Make sure you put a piece of foil below to catch any oil drippings. If you have degree temp control, use the same temp as in the blog. If you don’t, roast it on high and keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. Good luck!

  6. I’ve been roasting whole garlic heads with my roast chicken and potatoes. There’s almost a fight over them. I love them. My son loves them. My daughter loves them and now my 14 year old granddaughter loves them. Superb. Oh and ashkenasis also love baba ganouche.

  7. Hi

    Can we also fry them in a pan with some oil? Does it do the job if i want to use it in hummus? This method looks a bit time consuming for me!

    1. Hi Gopi, yes you can but the process will also take some time– you can’t really rush roasted garlic! You don’t need oil, though. Try placing cloves in their casings in a skillet and cooking them over low heat for a long period of time, stirring from time to time and making sure that every edge of every clove gets an even amount of heat. It can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on the size of the cloves and how conductive your pan is. The cloves are done when they are soft and tender inside their casings. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of each casing before using. You can also saute garlic in oil, but the roasted flavor won’t be the same (not quite as sweet or deep) as when you roast the cloves in their casings. Also keep in mind that you can roast a whole head in the oven, cover it with garlic in a jar, and freeze it for up to a month, then defrost cloves as needed. Good luck!

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