It’s no secret that fresh garlic is a VIP ingredient around here. And taking an entire bulb and roasting it in the oven (or air fryer!) makes magic happen! It turns pungent, bold, hard raw garlic cloves into creamy, sweet, spreadable cloves of perfection.

white plate with roasted garlic next to fresh chives and rosemary and lemon

Enjoying it in roasted garlic aioli sauce is one of our favorite condiments. Add whole roasted cloves to a herby roasted garlic olive oil dip the next time you need an easy appetizer. Or make roasted garlic hummus for easy lunches.

There are endless ways to enjoy roasted garlic, so let’s learn how to roast a head of garlic to transform recipes!

Simple Ingredients

The best part about roasting garlic in the oven is that it requires just two simple ingredients: a whole garlic bulb and oil. And just a very little bit of oil.

Garlic bulbs in black bowl.

I also like to add a pinch of salt, depending on how I’ll be using the roasted garlic cloves. You could also try freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, or dried herbs.

Keep in mind, the magic of roasted garlic is truly in the way the cloves turn soft, caramelized, and absolutely delectable – so they don’t need much added to them!

How to Roast Garlic

Roasting garlic in the oven is so easy to do, especially when you already have the oven on. While I typically roast garlic at 400°F, you can roast it at a lower temperature or even a higher temperature and adjust the cooking time if you have other things goin’ on.

The flexibility of this means that you don’t have to worry if you are roasting vegetables or baking a casserole, the roasted garlic can still hang out and do its thing!

1. Cut the Top off of a Whole Bulb

The first step in roasted garlic is to remove any excess paper that’s hanging off. You don’t need to get too particular, simply remove any papery bits that are already hanging off of the bulb. There’s no need to peel any cloves though!

Then, cut the top end of the bulb off so that the individual bulbs are exposed, yet the bulb remains intact. The best place to start cutting is just below the pointed tip. It’s important to not go too far down so that we keep as much garlic as possible.

Are garlic cloves hiding even after you’ve cut off the top? Gently use a pairing knife to cut off the top of those cloves that are further down on the sides of the bulbs so you don’t miss them!

raw garlic bulb with top 1/2 inch cut off

2. Wrap in Foil

Discard the top part you’ve cut off (because there shouldn’t be much to it anyway). Then, place the exposed bulb on a piece of foil. Alternatively, you could use a parchment paper packet and secure it closed with twine.

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top of the bulb. This helps the cloves caramelize and prevents any drying out through the roasting process. If you’d like, add a pinch of salt or other spices like dried or fresh herbs.

Wrap the foil around the bulb so it’s securely closed.

Olive oil drizzling on garlic bulb.

3. How Long to Roast Garlic in the Oven

To roast garlic in the oven, place the foil packet in the hot oven for about 25-30 minutes until the cloves are tender.

The amount of time it takes to roast does depend on the size of your bulb. If it’s larger, it will take longer to roast, sometimes up to 40 to 45 minutes.

You’ll know the garlic bulb is roasted when the cloves are soft and “squeezable”.

To make the process go more quickly, you can increase the oven temperature to 425°F or 450°F. Be sure to check on the bulb as you near 20 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Roasted Garlic on foil

How Long to Roast in the Air Fryer

When you don’t want to preheat an oven for a bulb of roasted garlic, try the air fryer! Air frying garlic also takes less time, so it’s perfect for when you need a faster option.

Follow the steps above until you have the foil packet of garlic. Then, place it in the air fryer at 390°F for around 18-23 minutes, depending on the size of the bulb.

Keep in mind the make and model of your air fryer may require adjusting the time.

Roasting Individual Garlic Cloves

If you have whole garlic cloves that are already peeled, you can roast them too! Simply make sure they’re tossed in olive oil and roast them on a sheet pan, being careful to watch so they don’t burn.

The exterior of the cloves gets extra caramelized this way. I use this method when making roasted tomato carrot ginger soup and when I’m roasting a bunch of root vegetables.

Roasting Without Foil

Can you roast garlic without the foil packet? Sure thing!

Follow the same steps as above, cutting off the top of the garlic bulb and drizzling it with oil. Then, place the bulb cut side down on a sheet pan and bake until the cloves are tender.

In the air fryer, you’ll want to reduce the heat to 300°F. I recommend using a ramekin or oven-safe container to place the garlic cut side down in. This helps ensure the exposed garlic doesn’t burn.

Ways to Use Roasted Garlic

Once the garlic is roasted and soft, it’s super easy to get the individual cloves out of their paper lining.

Let the bulb cool enough so that you can safely handle it. Then, over a bowl, invert the bulb and squeeze out the cloves. If they’re small or super roasted, they’ll squeeze out like a paste, and larger bulbs may keep their shape.

hand squeezing garlic cloves into bowl of mayonnaise

Then, it’s time to use roasted garlic! Enjoy the cloves on their own, or in a variety of your favorite recipes.

Roasted Garlic Recipes

How to Store Roasted Garlic

Remove the garlic cloves from the bulb and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

You can also freeze roasted garlic! Transfer whole cloves to a freezer-safe bag, or mash and freeze in a small ice cube tray or silicone tray for easy, individual use.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

white plate with roasted garlic next to fresh chives and rosemary and lemon
5 (3 ratings)

Get the Recipe How to Roast a Whole Bulb of Garlic (Oven or Air Fryer)

Follow these simple steps at home to quickly roast a whole head (or bulb) of garlic in less than 30 minutes. Roasting brings out garlic's rich, sweet, savory, and luxurious flavor to complement many recipes. Enjoy a whole roasted garlic bulb in mashed potatoes, dips, spread on toasted bread, in pasta, and much more!

Ingredients

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Cut the top off of the garlic bulb, approximately ½ inch down, so that the top of each garlic clove is exposed.
  • Place the bulb in a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle olive oil on top. Wrap the foil around the bulb and bake for 25-30 minutes, until cloves are tender and golden brown. If the bulb is larger, it will likely take longer to roast.
  • Let the garlic bulb cool slightly until you're able to handle it; turn it upside down and squeeze out the garlic cloves. Use as desired in a recipe.
  • Air Fryer: Place the foil packet of garlic in the air fryer at 390°F for around 18-23 minutes, depending on the size of the bulb.

Notes

  • Roast as many garlic bulbs as needed following the same directions above – just wrap each bulb individually.
  • Store roasted cloves in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
Serving: 2TBSP, Calories: 4kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 0.2g, Fat: 0.01g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 12mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.03g, Vitamin A: 0.3IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 0.1mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!