By Chef Alli

Making Roasted Garlic Step-By-Step

Roasted Garlic


Roasted Garlic Heads

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Begin with a few large heads of garlic that have clean, dry papery skins and fat, plump cloves – each head should almost look like it’s bulging!
  3. Pull off a few layers of the outer paper skins, leaving the inner skins that hold the cloves. Using your sharpest chef knife, cut off the top of the garlic heads, exposing the cloves inside. 
  4. Transfer the open garlic heads to a greased, shallow baking dish or to a greased sheet of heavy duty foil placed onto a baking sheet.  Drizzle each garlic head with a bit of olive oil, covering the top of the garlic cloves with a thin layer.  Use a silicone pastry brush, if desired. 
  5. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and bake for 40-45 minutes on the center rack, or until the cloves inside the heads of garlic are nicely softened and squishy to the touch and golden brown. If you are using foil on the baking sheet, pull the foil up around the heads of garlic and crimp it shut at the top. 
  6. Let the heads of garlic cool just enough that they can be handled.  While still warm, pick up each head of garlic and gently squeeze the soft, caramelized cloves out of the head, into a flat bowl.  Use a fork to smash all the cloves, then store your roasted garlic paste in a jar in the fridge, using it for any recipe that calls for minced garlic.  Delicious!

Roasted Loose, Naked Garlic Cloves

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Begin with a few large heads of garlic that have clean, dry papery skins and fat, plump cloves – each head should almost look like it’s bulging!
  3. Pull all the garlic cloves apart, then place them onto a very large cutting board.  Use the wide, flat side of your chef’s knife to press down onto each clove, crushing it just enough that the skin cracks and will easily pull off.  (There are many ways to remove garlic skins, this is just the way that I prefer to do so – use your favorite method.)
  4. Place all the cloves onto a foil-lined greased baking sheet, then toss them with a generous drizzle or two of good olive oil, tossing with two spatulas to coat each clove well.
  5. Place the baking sheet of garlic cloves into the preheated oven on the center rack, roasting the cloves for 15-20 minutes, tossing often.  When the cloves are nicely caramelized and softened, remove the baking sheet from the oven to a cooling rack. 
  6. While the cloves are still warm, pop them into the bowl of a food processor; pulse to process until the desired consistency you’d like.  Place the garlic paste into a glass jar or bowl and store in your fridge to use in any recipe that calls for minced garlic.


Having roasted garlic on hand is absolutely liberating.  No more having to stop and grab a head of garlic, popping off a few cloves to peel, then mincing away on your cutting board. Aaaaarrrrggghhh.  Instead, you do all the work ahead, then reach into your fridge for that big jar of roasted heaven, spooning out whatever your recipe says you need. 

Oh, and don’t make the mistake of thinking that one of those jars of minced garlic in the produce section at your grocer is the same thing …. because it’s just NOT. (Not even close!)  How will you know?  Make some roasted garlic as directed below and you’ll soon “taste and see”.  Roasting brings out the natural sugars in the garlic and that’s what caramelizes it… totally the bomb.

  • Chef Alli

    Chef Alli is a wife, mom and chef. She's been stirring up a love of farm fresh cooking for more than a decade.  To see more of Alli's recipes, go to