There is nothing like the taste of perfectly roasted garlic. It's a wonderful addition to so many different recipes. The flavor is milder than minced garlic and subtly sweet, making it perfect for dipping sauces, spread for crusty bread, or as an addition to salad dressings.
I always like to have roasted garlic on hand to add to salad dressings or to make a quick garlic spread for bread. Roasted garlic has so much flavor, but none of the bitterness of raw garlic, so it's perfect for recipes that won't be cooked! I also add it to many of my savory meal recipes in addition to or in place of minced garlic.
There are so many different ways to make roasted garlic: in the oven, in the Ninja Foodi on bake/roast and, of course, in your air fryer. I actually find the air fryer one of the quickest ways to make roasted garlic. If you haven't made roasted garlic before, give it a try. It will change the way you use garlic!
Frequently Asked Questions
Roasted Garlic will last 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator depending on how it is stored. If I'm going to use it up within a week, I simply store it in an airtight container or sealable bag in the fridge. If I think I might need to keep it 2 weeks, I will submerge it in olive oil in a glass jar that is covered, like a canning jar. The only reason I do this is to prevent it from drying out during the extra week of storage. It's also very easy to pop the jar into the freezer if you don't use it all before the 2 weeks.
When properly stored, roasted garlic will last many months in the freezer. There are several ways to store your garlic and I will go over that in the next section.
I get this question a lot because I use so much roasted garlic in my recipes, and the answer is: it depends. The smell of garlic roasting is a pleasant and mild aroma to me, so I don't think of it as a stink. However, if you are very sensitive to smells, it may bother you.
It isn't the same as sautéing garlic, though. The aroma is much milder and almost sweet smelling. The most important thing when cooking with or roasting garlic is to not allow it to burn. Burnt garlic is not a pleasant smell or taste.
No, each bulb of garlic will cook at the same time. So, you can roast 1 bulb (also called a head of garlic) or 20 and the time will be the same AS LONG AS the bulbs are about the same size.
The size of your garlic bulbs may affect the cooking time, though.
If you have very large garlic bulbs and much smaller ones, the smaller ones will cook faster. So, keep an eye on them as they cook and, once they are golden brown and soft to touch, remove the small heads of garlic and let them cool while the larger bulbs continue to roast.
Uses for Roasted Garlic
There are so many uses for Roasted Garlic that you will want to make several bulbs at a time and try them all out! Roasted Garlic has a mellow flavor that is different from sautéed garlic and that lends itself to be used in addition to minced garlic in many recipes, especially pasta dishes.
Here are some of my favorite uses and recipes!
If you enjoy a nice loaf of crusty bread served with a dipping oil, then you will love this! Simply make a paste from the roasted garlic and mix it in with a good quality olive oil. Add a touch of salt and whatever other herbs you like. I enjoy adding some red pepper flakes and sometimes rosemary. Then, dip the bread and enjoy!
Making garlic bread with roasted garlic is a game changer! If you have ever minced raw garlic and spread it on bread with butter and then either baked it, air fried it, you may not have been thrilled with the result.
Often times the garlic doesn't cook enough and stays bitter; or worse, it burns and becomes really bitter! Roasting it first eliminates that and the flavor is AMAZING!
Make a paste with your roasted garlic cloves and mix with melted butter. Brush over your bread, sprinkle a bit of salt and maybe some parsley or Italian seasoning and broil until toasted. Enjoy! You can even make the bread up ahead of time and freeze it for cooking later.
- Ninja Foodi Spaghetti Recipe
- Lemon Garlic Chicken (Low Carb with Spaghetti Squash)
- One-Pot Sausage Peppers & Pasta ~ Pressure Cooker Recipe
- One-Pot Pasta Primavera ~ Ninja Foodi Recipe
- Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot Cauliflower Mash
- Focaccia Bread in the Ninja Foodi
- Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Wings
- Loaded Potato Soup with Crispy Potato Skins
How to Store Roasted Garlic
Please note that Garlic submerged in oil cannot be left at room temperature. This is because of potential botulism spores that thrive in anaerobic environments (oxygen depleted) which the olive oil creates. There are several ways to store your roasted garlic in the refrigerator or in the freezer. When making Roasted Garlic, I always suggest making several bulbs at a time.
Ziplock Bag or Airtight Container
Once your garlic has cooled down, it's time to decide on a storage method. Many times I will simply put the whole head of garlic in a ziplock bag and throw it in the fridge. This is a quick and easy method for storing the garlic for up to 1 week in the fridge. I do find that the garlic does start to dry up a little bit after about 1 week even if it is in an airtight container. You can also remove each clove from the bulb and put the cloves in an airtight container for up to a week.
In Olive Oil
Another way to store roasted garlic that you plan to use within 2 weeks, is to submerge it in olive oil. I squeeze the roasted cloves out and place them in a small jar (a 4-8 ounce canning jar works great), then cover the roasted garlic cloves with extra virgin olive oil. If you don't use all of the garlic within 2 weeks, you can pop the jar into the freezer for longer storage.
Ice Cube Trays in Oil
You can put the individual garlic cloves into an ice cube tray and cover with olive oil or avocado oil. Once they are frozen, pop the cubes out into a bag. When you want to use the garlic, simply thaw and remove from the olive oil or, if the recipe calls for olive oil, just throw the cube in the pan to thaw.
You can also freeze the whole garlic cloves on a parchment lined tray and once frozen, put them into a freezer bag. Then, simply grab as many cloves as you need for the recipe.
Freezing Garlic Paste
One of my favorite ways to freeze roasted garlic is to make a paste and this can be done in several ways. If you only want the garlic flavor and no added fat, then remove the individual cloves from the bulb and put them on your cutting board. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt or kosher salt and use the back of a spoon or a butter knife to press the roasted garlic into a paste. The salt helps to create the paste, but it can be done without it. Then measure out either teaspoons or Tablespoons, whichever you prefer, and place them on a parchment-lined tray. Freeze until frozen solid and then place them in a freezer bag. Anytime you want roasted garlic for a recipe, take as little or as much as you need and return the bag to the freezer.
Another way to do it, especially if you love garlic toast is to make the past as instructed above, but mix it in melted butter. Pour the garlic and butter mixture into ice cube trays and freeze. When frozen solid, remove the cubes of garlic butter and place into a freezer bag. Anytime you want some garlic butter for spreading on bread or to use in a recipe like these Garlic Parmesan Wings, you have it ready to go. You can thaw it or melt it in a pan. This works great for making delicious garlic bread. Simply spread the paste over your bread and toast it in the oven or in your air fryer.
How to Make Roasted Garlic without an Air Fryer
No matter how you want to roast your garlic, the prep is basically the same. Cut the stem end, the part that has the paper point, off with a sharp knife. Try to make sure that you cut enough off so that all the cloves are exposed. Drizzle with oil of your choice and then roast it in the oven.
If you don't have an air fryer and want to make roasted garlic, you can use a traditional oven, convection oven, or even a toaster oven! All you need is a dry heat source and it's super easy. Some people like to roast garlic at high temperatures and that works just fine, but you may want to wrap the bulbs in aluminum foil so they don't get too brown before they soften and caramelize.
The size of your oven will determine the temperature and this is due to concentration of heat and heat loss. In regular ovens, I roast my garlic wrapped in foil at 400°F for 30-40 minutes. You know when it's done by the aroma and also by feeling the bulbs. They will soften as they cook and you should be able to squeeze the sides and feel some give. You can roast multiple heads of garlic in a baking dish or baking sheet and cover for part of the roasting process and then uncover if you want more browning. You can also place the bulb of garlic in the center of a piece of aluminum foil and close ends of foil to make a pouch, this is what I do in my recipe for Ninja Foodi Roasted Garlic.
If your oven is smaller, like a countertop oven or toaster oven, set your temperature at about 325°F-350°F and roast for 30-40 minutes.
Do All Air Fryers Cook the Same?
No, all air fryers aren't the same. There are basket style air fryers, oven air fryers, and multipurpose appliances that have an air fry function.
While the basic function is the same, a fan circulates hot air around the food and cooks it, the efficiency is different on different air fryers. Therefore, you may have to adjust your temperature or timing or sometimes both to achieve the desired result.
I used the Ninja Foodi Dual Basket Air Fryer in this recipe, but any air fryer will work, you might just have to adjust your times and temperatures a little bit.
For the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper using air crisp/ air fry or the Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill using the air fry function, I'd keep the time and temperature the same. If you are using the air fryer function in the Ninja Foodi flip oven, I'd increase the temperature to 350°F and the time should be about the same. For the NInja Foodi XL oven, I'd go up to 375°F and the time should be about the same.
If your air fryer is a basket style, I would use the instructions below and just check on the garlic as it's roasting.
If you air fryer is a large oven, increase the temp by 50 degrees. If it's a smaller toaster oven size, increase the temp by 25 degrees.
If you've used your air fryer for other recipes, then you probably already have an idea of the adjustments that you need to make. Always go by the look, smell, and feel of the food rather than set times and temperatures in a recipe. It's the results that matter, not how you got there!
How to Air Fry Roasted Garlic
This is my favorite way to make roasted garlic simply because it takes less time and the results are amazing. You can make as many or as few bulbs of garlic as you want and that can fit in your air fryer.
The prep for roasting garlic in your air fryer is slightly different from roasting in the oven. This is because of the fan speed and the effects it has on the paper skins of the garlic bulbs.
Cut off the top of the garlic bulb so that the individual cloves are exposed. Instead of drizzling with oil, you want to coat the entire bulb in garlic. This added oil protects the paper skin from becoming too dry and flying all around your air fryer.
Air Frying Garlic
Place each bulb of garlic into the air fryer basket or on a tray/rack in your air fryer. Set the temperature to 325°F and the time for 25 minutes.
Make sure to check on the garlic after about 15 minutes to make sure it is cooking. You can always make adjustments to the temperature. If your garlic is looking too brown, but is not soft when you squeeze it, lower your temperature or cover it with foil. If it isn't browning at all, increase your temperature.
Using Roasted Garlic in Recipes
Once the garlic has finished roasting, remove the bulbs and let them cool. If you are using them immediately in a recipe, simply squeeze from the bottom and the cloves will pop right out.
If you aren't using it right away, refer to the section on storing roasted garlic for different storage options.
Air Fryer Roasted Garlic Recipe
- Air Fryer
- 4 bulbs garlic you can make as few or as many as you like
- ¼ cup olive oil or any oil you like
- Cut the stem end off of the top of the garlic bulb, exposing the individual cloves.
- Dip the entire bulb of garlic in the oil and place in your air fryer basket or tray/trivet or rack.
- Set the temperature to 325°F/160°C and the time will be between 25-30 minutes. Smaller bulbs may take less time, so check on them after 15. The roasted garlic is done when the tops are golden brown and there is some give when squeezed on the sides.
- Allow the bulbs to cool and then use in your favorite recipes or see the notes for longer storage.
Garlic stored in oil it MUST BE refrigerated for food safety reasons
Ziplock Bag or Airtight ContainerOnce your garlic has cooled down, it's time to decide on a storage method. Many times I will simply put the whole head of garlic in a ziplock bag and throw it in the fridge. This is a quick and easy method for storing the garlic for up to 1 week in the fridge. I do find that the garlic does start to dry up a little bit after about 1 week even if it is in an airtight container. You can also remove each clove from the bulb and put the cloves in an airtight container for up to a week.
In Olive OilAnother way to store roasted garlic that you plan to use within 2 weeks, is to submerge it in olive oil. I squeeze the roasted cloves out and place them in a small jar (a 4-8 ounce canning jar works great), then cover the roasted garlic cloves with extra virgin olive oil. If you don't use all of the garlic within 2 weeks, you can pop the jar into the freezer for longer storage.
Ice Cube Trays in OilYou can put the individual garlic cloves into an ice cube tray and cover with olive oil or avocado oil. Once they are frozen, pop the cubes out into a bag. When you want to use the garlic, simply thaw and remove from the olive oil or if the recipe calls for olive oil, just throw the cube in the pan to thaw.
Freezer BagYou can also freeze the whole garlic cloves on a parchment lined tray and once frozen, put them into a freezer bag. Then, simply grab as many cloves as you need for the recipe.
Freezing Garlic PasteOne of my favorite ways to freeze roasted garlic is to make a paste and this can be done in several ways. If you only want the garlic flavor and no added fat, then remove the individual cloves from the bulb and put them on your cutting board. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt or kosher salt and use the back of a spoon or a butter knife to press the roasted garlic into a paste. The salt helps to create the paste, but it can be done without it. Then measure out either teaspoons or Tablespoons, whichever you prefer, and place them on a parchment lined tray. Freeze until frozen solid and then place them in a freezer bag. Anytime you want roasted garlic for a recipe, take as little or as much as you need and return the bag to the freezer.
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.
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