Tried different temperatures and times for roasted garlic just to see which gives the best results. Use it in almost every recipe or even slather it on toast like a spread!
Roasted garlic is the best way to transform a raw head of garlic into something magical.
Once you see how easy it is to make roasted garlic in the oven you'll be making it all the time!
The best time to make it is when you're baking something else, like this beef stew with orzo pasta (Youvetsi) or this Pastitsio (Greek pasta bake). Just put the garlic in the corner of your oven!
Once roasted, the garlic cloves inside the bulb are transformed into soft, sweet, melt-in-your mouth, fragrant, caramelized chunks.
What is the difference between garlic and roasted garlic?
Raw garlic has an intense, pungent taste and smell. It can be added to sauces like tzatziki, salad dressings and many other recipes.
When garlic is cooked, it mellows and becomes less intense.
However, when garlic is roasted it almost gets transformed into something else. It still tastes like garlic, but it's sweeter, with a more complex, almost smoky flavor because it gets caramelized by the heat of the oven.
How long to roast garlic
Keep in mind that the size of the garlic bulb, the freshness and maybe the variety can affect the roasting time in order to get the creamiest, most caramelized aromatic roasted garlic.
The good thing about this recipe is that you can check the garlic at any time and if you decide you want it more caramelized you can return it in the oven and continue baking it until it reaches your desired softness level.
For this recipe, I tried to experiment with different temperatures and roasting times, just to see how different the outcome would be.
At first, I roasted 3 garlic heads at 400°F (205°C) for 40, 60 and 90 minutes each. Then I figured to lower the temperature to 350°F (175°C) and see if the results were better (to my surprise they were not).
Below you can see the results for each temperature and roasting time combination:
At 400° F (205° C) for 40 minutes: Not very soft garlic and light caramelization. The taste of raw garlic can still be detected. Not what I was looking for.
At 400° F (205° C) for 60 minutes: Very soft and squishable garlic cloves with caramelized taste and slightly smoky. Very good!
At 400° F (205° C) for 90 minutes: Very soft and squishable garlic cloves with caramelized taste and a bit smokier. Darker color. Probably the best.
At 350° F (175° C) for 90 minutes: Not soft yet. Still smelled almost like raw garlic. Not good.
At 350° F (175° C) for 120 minutes: Soft garlic cloves but the caramelized taste was not very strong. Not ideal.
At 350°F (175° C) for 150 minutes: Soft garlic cloves with smokey taste and some bitterness. The bitter notes may be unpleasant to some people. The result was not bad but not great either.
The verdict? The best garlic heads were those which roasted at 400 F for 60 and 90 minutes.
This is one of the easiest things you'll ever do. Just follow these simple steps and you're done:
1. Peel off the outer layers (skins) of the garlic bulb. The recipe will still work even if you don't do that, but when squeezing out the roasted garlic cloves, things will be cleaner.
2. Cut about half an inch from the top. This will help you to squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves.
3. Place the garlic heads on a piece of foil, cut-side up. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap them tightly.
4. Bake at 400°F (205°C) for 1 hour to 1,5 hours (60 to 90 minutes), until the garlic is browned and feels soft when lightly pressed with your fingers.
Where to use roasted garlic
You can use it in all recipes asking for raw garlic or black garlic. Some ideas are:
Healthy Turkey chili (Mediterranean style)
Beef patties and meatballs like soutzoukakia
Greek brown lentil soup (fakes)
How to make roasted garlic paste/spread
Once you've roasted the garlic heads in the oven you can carefully peel them and store the garlic cloves in the refrigerator, inside a jar with oil.
However, the easiest thing is to squeeze out the garlic cloves by pressing the garlic heads with your hands. Then, transfer them to a bowl and mash them with a fork or transfer them to the bowl of your food processor and process until you get a creamy paste.
You can spread this roasted garlic paste on toast or use it in all your recipes asking for garlic.
The best way to store roasted garlic is to make it into a paste by mashing the cloves like described in the previous paragraph.
Then, transfer it to an airtight jar and cover the surface with a thin layer of oil. The oil will help preserve it better.
This way you can keep the roasted garlic refrigerated up to 2 weeks.
You can also store it in the freezer for a few months.
Roasted garlic cloves in oil are called garlic confit.
Olive oil is not recommended for making confit because it can make the garlic taste bitter. A neutral tasting vegetable oil like corn oil or sunflower oil works best.
When roasting individual cloves transfer them to a small baking pan and completely cover them with oil. Then, coven the pan with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 250°F (120°C) for 2 hours.
You can watch this garlic confit YouTube video from Chef Studio.
How to roast garlic in the oven
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 head of garlic
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C)
- Peel off the papery outer layers (skins) of the garlic bulb and cut about half an inch from the top (it will help you to squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves).
- Place the garlic heads on a piece of foil, cut-side up. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap them well.
- Bake at 400°F (205°C) for 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the cloves are browned and feel soft when pressed.
- Let the garlic cool until easy to handle and squeeze out the garlic cloves into a jar (you can leave the garlic cloves whole or you can mash them with a fork). Cover with oil and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- If you're only roasting garlic in the oven and not baking anything else at the same time, I suggest roasting more than one heads of garlic. Wrap each head of garlic separately or all the garlic heads together.
- The good thing about this recipe is that you can check the garlic heads at any time and if you decide you want them more roasted you can return them in the oven and continue baking them until they reach your desired stage.
- You can use foil or parchment paper to roast garlic. If using parchment paper, you will need to use 2 layers and secure the packets with kitchen twine.
Thanks for the detailed article!
Thanks for the feedback!