This delightful recipe for roasted garlic olive oil is infused with tons of flavor from mashed garlic and fresh rosemary. It’s the perfect dipping oil for bread and can be used as a spread or sauce too. Make it as an appetizer for dinner parties, date nights, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. The opportunities are endless!
I initially posted this recipe after returning from a family vacation to Italy 6 years ago. In the original text, I was gushing over the food we enjoyed and eager to replicate a dipping oil for bread like the ones we had in Italy! I’m happy to report that I still love this recipe just as much as I did back then, so much so that I wanted to update it with better photos and tips.
This Italian-inspired roasted garlic olive oil is as basic as it sounds. It’s simply a combo of garlic that’s been roasted until it gets perfectly tender and mashable, extra virgin olive oil, fresh rosemary, salt, and pepper. I like to add a little onion powder too, but that part’s optional!
Although the ingredients are simple, the oil is absolutely dripping in flavor. I love drenching a piece of bread in it to soak up every last drop. I urge you to make it ASAP so you can experience the deliciousness yourself! For a similar recipe, check out the Roasted Garlic Butter too.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Extra virgin olive oil: Use a good olive oil for this recipe! It makes all the difference. My brand of choice is Partanna.
- Garlic: You’ll use a whole head of garlic, kept intact in its skin and roasted in a foil packet. This is the best way to make creamy, mashable garlic in my opinion. If you don’t have a head of garlic and instead have pre-peeled garlic cloves, you can still make roasted garlic olive oil. Keep in mind that they take less time to bake than a whole head. Toss the cloves in olive oil, spread them out on a lined baking sheet, and roast for 20 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees F. You can also substitute roasted minced garlic in a jar or roasted garlic paste from a tube in a pinch.
- Rosemary: I like to add fresh rosemary, but you can use dried if that’s what you have or substitute another herb like thyme, basil, or parsley.
- Salt and pepper: I love to use freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt or flaky sea salt.
- Onion powder: This is totally optional, but I add a little bit for extra flavor.
The full recipe card for roasted garlic olive oil, including ingredient quantities and instructions, is at the bottom of the post. Here’s a preview of the steps with photos to guide you in the kitchen.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Trim a little bit off the top of a head of garlic, just enough so the tops of the cloves are exposed. Place it on a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil.
Wrap the prepared head of garlic in the foil to form a packet.
Roast for 30 to 40 minutes until the garlic is caramelized and tender.
In a bowl, combine the olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper, onion powder, and roasted garlic cloves. Use a fork to gently mash the garlic in the oil.
Roasted garlic olive oil should be enjoyed immediately. If you have any left over after serving, it’s best to discard instead of saving, especially if it’s been sitting out for a while. This is because garlic and oil preparations that are kept at room temperature can increase the risk of dangerous bacteria growth that may lead to food-borne illness (specifically botulism) if ingested.
If you want to make your dipping oil in advance, put it in an airtight container in the refrigerator immediately after preparing and use within 4 days. Another option is to prepare the roasted garlic ahead of time, keep it sealed in its foil packet in the fridge, and then prepare the oil right before serving.
Pairing roasted garlic olive oil with bread is a must! I like to serve it with sourdough bread or a baguette, either fresh or lightly toasted. I’ll usually put a small spoon or knife next to the bowl so it’s easier for guests to spread some of the roasted garlic on their bread, in case they aren’t able to pick up any just by dipping the bread.
Besides using it for dipping, you can also drizzle this oil over pasta, sliced tomatoes, or roasted vegetables. I’d love to hear what you do with it in the comments section!
More Garlic Recipes
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Roasted Garlic Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare the garlic bulb by trimming a little off the top to expose the tops of the cloves. I like to remove some of the excess papery skin from the cloves at this point, but don't remove too much. You want the cloves to still be covered in skin for the roasting process.
- Place the bulb on a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle a little olive oil on top of the trimmed bulb, allowing some to seep through the crevices. Rub the oil over the tops of the cloves with your fingers. Wrap the bulb up in the foil to form a sealed packet.
- Place the foil packet on the center rack of the oven, or on a baking sheet on the center rack. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the garlic is caramelized and the cloves can be easily mashed. Carefully open the packet, using oven mitts, to check the garlic for doneness. If it needs more time, just wrap it back up and put it back in the oven. If it's finished, keep the packet open to allow the cloves to cool.
- Pour the olive oil into a bowl. Stir in the fresh rosemary, salt, pepper, and onion powder (if using). When the garlic is cool enough to touch, squeeze the cloves into the bowl. Use a fork to gently mash some of them.
- Serve the oil with bread for dipping. Enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- This oil should be enjoyed immediately. Leftovers that have been sitting out for a while should be discarded instead of saved, due to food safety concerns.
- If you want to make the oil in advance, put it in the refrigerator in an airtight container immediately after preparing and use within 4 days. A better option is to prepare the roasted garlic in advance, keep it in its foil packet or an airtight container in the fridge, and prepare the oil right before serving.
This post was originally published in November 2017. It was updated with new photos and slight adjustments to the recipe in August 2023.