Roasting garlic transforms the pungent, punchy flavors of raw garlic into a totally new flavor profile that’s mild and sweet through the magic of caramelization. Think: caramelized onion vs raw onion. You can use roasted garlic to elevate foods like mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, make sauces and dips, or eat it directly on warm bread or crackers.
Roasted garlic is a powerful ingredient that doesn’t get used enough, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the extra prep time? If that’s the case, this recipe should change that. Because air fryer roasted garlic is about as quick and easy as it gets. And even more good news—roasting garlic alleviates the need for peeling individual garlic cloves!
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How to Make Roasted Garlic in an Air Fryer
I used an Instant Pot Duo Crisp for air frying. Different air fryer models and the size of the garlic bulbs you use may affect cook times, but you should be able to easily adjust using the tips in the post below.
1. Cut the top off of a bulb of garlic and partially peel away the outer layers. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
If you’re choosing garlic specifically for roasted, looks for bulbs with a flat root side so they’ll easily stay upright.
And feel free to experiment with the type of oil you use or how you season your air fryer roasted garlic. I like using chili flakes for general use, but you might try something like chili oil and ground ginger for your Asian-inspired recipes.
Do I have to use oil when roasting garlic?
Using a fat like olive oil assists in the browning process needed to create the roasted garlic flavors we’re after. Like Sasha Marx said in his article on roasted garlic, you’re basically just steaming garlic if you don’t use any oil.
2. Seal the foil and place in an air fryer basket. Air fry at 400ºF for 40-50 minutes.
I like to use a large enough piece of foil to create a tent-like enclosure, leaving room between the top of the garlic and the foil. That way as the garlic caramelizes, it doesn’t grab onto the foil and need to be scraped off after roasting.
Want to make a larger batch of roasted garlic in your air fryer? Most recipes for bulk roasted garlic call for individually wrapping the bulbs, but I’ve always had luck with roasting bulbs wrapped together. I say wrap as many as you can fit in a tightly sealed foil pack.
3. Cool for a few minutes before squeezing the roasted garlic cloves away from the base.
You can also use a fork to poke and pull any reluctant cloves. Once you have the cloves free, you can smash it up or throw it in a blender for putting it straight to good use. Or you can also refrigerate and even freeze it for later. If you’re not planning to use your roasted garlic within a few days, I’d freeze it.
How to Use Air Fryer Roasted Garlic
Like I mentioned in the intro, you can use roasted garlic in just about anything. As far as in-house, Kinda Healthy Recipes go, here are the first recipes that came to mind for working in roasted garlic:
- air fryer twice baked potatoes (you could throw the foil-wrapped garlic in while the potatoes bake in the air fryer)
- mixed in with the garlic butter for my air fryer steak bites
- Instant Pot buffalo chicken dip
- air fryer cheesy garlic bread
- healthy whipped feta
- mixed into the mixture for bbq chicken meatballs or sweet chili air fryer meatballs
- swapped for the crushed raw garlic in my air fryer carrot fries
For more ideas, check out The Wicked Noodle’s post: 25 things to do with roasted garlic
- 4 Garlic Bulbs
- 1-2 tsp Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Cut the tops off the garlic bulbs/heads and peel most of the outer layer away. (You want some peel remaining on the outer cloves.) Place the garlic on a large sheet of aluminum foil.
- Slowly drizzle the olive oil over the garlic bulbs, letting it seep in between the individual cloves. Sprinkle the top of the garlic bulbs with kosher salt and black pepper. (I like to add red pepper flakes as well.)
- Tightly seal the foil around the garlic and place in an air fryer basket. Try to create some space between the top of the garlic bulbs and the foil.
- Air fry for 40-50 minutes at 400ºF until the cloves begin to brown and are soft and jam-like. The size of garlic bulb may affect cook time so extend as necessary.
- Let the garlic cool before unwrapping. You can squeeze the bulbs from the bottom to dislodge the cloves. Use a fork to smash the roasted garlic for spreads and dips or incorporate into your favorite garlic-heavy recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 Bulb of Roasted Garlic
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 25Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 74mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g