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a bulb of garlic with the top sliced off covered in a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper sits in the middle of a crumpled sheet of aluminum foil

how to roast a whole garlic bulb

Rebecca Eisenberg
Roasting a bulb of garlic makes the cloves mellower and sweeter. They also become soft and slightly tender, easy to mash and incorporate into mashed potatoes, skillet dinners, or even spread directly on a slice of toasty bread.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Technique
Cuisine American
Servings 1 bulb


  • aluminum foil


  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • any other herbs or seasonings (thyme, tarragon, fennel seeds, cumin, bay leaves, cayenne, crushed red pepper flakes, paprika, etc.)


  • Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Cut the top off a bulb of garlic, exposing the tops of all the cloves. Peel the exterior papery skin off the bulb, leaving the thin papery layers that surround each clove.
  • Place the bulb of garlic on top of a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 2-3 tablespoon of olive oil, gently pressing the cloves apart to get oil between them. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you want. Gather the foil around the bulb and pinch closed at the top.
  • Place the foil-wrapped bulb of garlic in the center of the oven and roast for 40-45 minutes.
  • Carefully remove foil packet from oven and unwrap to let garlic cool. When garlic is cool enough to handle, use your fingers or a small spatula to press at the base of each clove to slide them out of their papery skins.
  • Use immediately OR store in container with enough olive oil to cover the cloves for up to 2 weeks OR freeze cloves individually on a sheet tray and transfer to a freezer-safe container. Defrost frozen garlic cloves slightly before use.


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