Soft, spreadable garlic is slow-roasted in olive oil and herbs. Oven-roasted garlic confit is ideal for spreading on toasted bread or adding to your favorite recipes. The flavor is rich, earthy and much milder than raw fresh garlic. This easy recipe is a garlic lovers dream and a great way to give garlic flavor to other food.
I have always loved the rich, earthy flavor of roasted garlic, but oven roasted garlic confit has become my new obsession. I love that with a small amount of work I get two incredible products to use in my kitchen. Not only can we enjoy the soft, spreadable cloves but the garlic oil that results is also out of this world.
Garlic confit sounds fancy; as if it would take a lot of work. While it does take time to roast (over an hour), it couldn't be easier to make and prep is done in just a few minutes.
Remove the the whole garlic cloves from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving it on a crusty baguette. The rich flavor of the roasted garlic confit is a perfect complement to fresh bread. The garlic oil can be used in dressings or for cooking to add an extra boost of flavor to your favorite recipes.
If you would rather not make the confit with oil, try my recipe for roasted garlic.
What is Garlic Confit?
"Confit" is a French word that means "to preserve." It's an age-old cooking process that preserved meats by cooking them in their own fat on low heat. Nowadays, the term simply refers to foods slow cooked in any liquid and isn't always a method of long-term preservation.
- Garlic – You want full heads of garlic (or garlic bulbs) rather than individual cloves of raw garlic.
- Olive Oil – This recipe requires a lot of oil so I use regular olive oil. You can boost the flavor by using extra virgin olive oil, but since EVOO is so expensive, I don't usually make this switch.
- Fresh Thyme – Lemon thyme or German thyme will both work well. Use fresh thyme for the best flavor.
- Salt and Pepper – Optionally season to taste with kosher salt or sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Use a sharp knife to remove the top third of the whole garlic bulbs.
2. Place garlic into a baking dish and pour over the oil making sure to get the top of each bulb. Lay the thyme around the oven-safe dish and season with salt and pepper.
3. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 275 degrees fahrenheit until garlic is golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes then remove garlic heads with a slotted spoon. .
4. Squeeze out the garlic from the cloves into a small bowl. Store both the oil and the garlic in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Hint: Don't discard the infused oil. The garlic-flavored oil is perfect for salad dressings, sauces, bread dip or to add a bit of garlicky goodness to your favorite recipes. But keep it refrigerated as it can spoil.
- EVOO - Boost the flavor by using extra-virgin olive oil in place of regular olive oil.
- Herbs - Use a selection of your favorite fresh herbs such as oregano, rosemary, bay leaf and sage.
- Spicy – Add crushed red pepper flakes to make the garlic and oil have a hint of spice.
Store leftover homemade garlic confit and the garlic oil in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
For longer storage, roasted garlic confit can be frozen for up to 3 months. I like to store it in covered ice cube trays then pop out a few when I need them.
- Use a really sharp knife to cut the tops off the garlic.
- Use fresh herbs for more flavor.
- You can use either regular olive oil or EVOO.
- Roast for at least 1 hour 15 minutes. If the cloves aren't super soft, extend the cooking time up to 2 hours.
- Always store the garlic and the oil in the fridge. If the oil solidifies, set it on the counter for 10-15 minutes before using.
- Allow the garlic bulbs to cool then gently squeeze to release the soft garlic cloves.
The uses for the garlic cloves and the garlic oil are practically endless. Spread the garlic cloves on Italian bread or use it in a sandwich. Add it to soups, stews, sauces, pasta dishes or on vegetables. The oil can be used anywhere you would use olive oil and with add mild garlic undertones. I love adding the softened garlic to these recipes:
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Homemade Garlic Dipping Sauce
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- 25-Minute Marinara Sauce
Garlic confit and roasted garlic are very similar in that both methods yield soft, spreadable garlic cloves. In garlic confit, the flavor is mild while roasted garlic has a richer, caramelized flavor.
Just like other foods, proper storage is the key to food safety. The garlic confit and the garlic oil should both be kept in the fridge in airtight containers. Never store them at room temperature.
If you like this Roasted Confit Garlic recipe, please leave a 5-star rating.
Oven Roasted Garlic Confit
- 8-10 garlic bulbs
- 2-3 cups olive oil
- 10-12 sprigs fresh thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut and remove the top third of the garlic bulbs.
- Place the garlic in a casserole pan or glass ovenproof dish and add the olive oil to it. Pour enough olive oil on top of the garlic so that all the bulbs are covered. Add the sprigs of thyme between the garlic bulbs.
- Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.
- Squeeze out the garlic from the cloves into a small bowl. Store both the oil and the garlic in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to two weeks.
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