Here are all the best garlic recipes to use up a head! This little bulb is small but mighty: it adds a savory pop to garlic bread, aioli, veggies, and more.
Hello, garlic lovers! There’s nothing we love more than this small and mighty bulb: because its flavor is truly extraordinary. Intoxicating, pungent, and savory, there’s really nothing else like it in the realm of food. Perhaps we cook with it too much? If you’re a fellow garlic lover, though: you’ll know that there’s absolutely no such thing!
Here are all our top garlic recipes that feature this ingredient front and center! Of course there’s classic crunchy and savory garlic bread at the top of the list: and who wouldn’t want shrimp bathed in garlic butter? There are also some more unique offerings like soup with 20 cloves of garlic. (Yep, it’s real!) And scroll below the list to find a few more recipe ideas that wouldn’t be the same without it.
For the most stunning garlic recipe, try roasted garlic! The aroma of it baking in the oven is unparalleled. It’s immediately irresistible to anyone, including self-avowed garlic haters (like some in my family. Yes, that’s possible!). Roasting garlic until it’s soft and golden mellows the flavor into a sweet, caramelized version of its former self. There’s nothing spicy or garlic-breathy about it. Spread it onto a piece of crusty bread, add it to dips or sauces, or stir it into mashed potatoes. This stuff is truly pure gold.
There are mashed potatoes, and then there are roasted garlic mashed potatoes. These creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes are scented with the sweet aromatic flavor of roasted garlic. It’s milder and more luxurious than the typical pungent bite of the raw stuff. Or, we have a quick shortcut with fresh garlic too! Mix it together with creamy Yukon gold potatoes and a bit of Parmesan cheese, and it’s truly something magical.
The best garlic recipe? This classic garlic bread! This delectable side dish is a treat food around here. It’s got the perfect savory, garlicky flavor. It’s tender on the inside and crunchy on top from broiling it with Parmesan cheese. And somehow, it’s only got 4 tablespoons of butter, less than most garlic bread recipes! So it’s a lighter spin on the classic. But most of all: it’s darn delicious.
Here's a garlic recipe that turns into a full dinner: garlic butter shrimp! The shrimp come out impossibly juicy with the best garlic flavor. The sauce it just the right amount of buttery: deliciously savory but moderate enough to be a healthy dinner idea. The best part? It takes under 10 minutes to make. Yep, that’s pretty unheard of in dinnertime territory. Serve with pasta, rice or quinoa.
Another incredible garlic recipe? Roasted garlic broccoli. This way to cook it makes the florets as irresistible as french fries (maybe more so!). Roasting broccoli makes it come out tender and charred, with a mild , almost sweet flavor. Combine that with minced garlic and a few spritzes of fresh lemon juice, and wow! The flavor pops in a way you’d never imagine possible with this humble vegetable.
Another great garlic recipe: white bean dip! Move over hummus: white bean dip is the new thing! This one is flavored with garlic and fresh herbs. Rosemary adds just the right essence to the creamy white beans. It's great for dipping bread, carrot sticks, crostini, or crackers.
Here's a short-cut garlic bread recipe that's full of flavor! It’s pairs fresh garlic, dried garlic and olive oil for a huge burst of garlicky flavor on a crunchy toasted baguette. It’s vegan and full of flavor: great for if you eat plant-based or simply don’t have cheese in your fridge. And the flavor is so good, you’ll never miss it.
Here’s how to make aioli the shortcut way: garlic mayo! This tasty garlicky, tangy sauce is perfect for dipping French fries or slathering on a sandwich. You’ve probably had it at a restaurant, and there are lots of gourmet aiolis sold in stores. But want to make your own? It’s quick and easy: especially with this shortcut method! A traditional aioli has raw egg yolk, but this cheater garlic mayo skips that in favor of storebought mayonnaise.
Want to learn how to make garlic salt? We’ve gotcha. This homemade garlic salt not only tastes better than store bought, it’s fun to make at home. And it makes a great gift! It’s an easy process that requires a food processor (or high quality blender), salt, and garlic cloves.
What’s better alongside a steaming bowl of curry than warm garlic naan? This Indian skillet flatbread is always a crowd pleaser: it’s soft, supple, warm and garlic-scented. There’s not much better to sop up savory broth! There are all sorts of creative ways to turn naan into dinner too: like naan pizza! It’s easy to find this famous bread at the store, but the very best way to eat it: homemade, right off the skillet.
To close our garlic recipes: one for the books. This soup has a whopping 20 cloves of it, along with kale and savory shiitake mushrooms. This is good news for garlic lovers like ourselves! But don’t be dissuaded if you’re not a garlic lover. The flavor softens into a savory goodness. You won't even be left with garlic breath!
More ideas for using garlic
And those were just the top 10 garlic recipes that use garlic at the forefront. There are so many more recipes that wouldn’t be the same without garlic. Here are a few more runners up that you must try:
Easy Pizza Sauce This incredible pizza sauce is built on the beautiful flavor of garlic! It takes 5 minutes to make in a blender.
Best Basil Pesto What’s pesto without garlic? Just blended basil, really! Here’s the best basil pesto recipe that’s just like the Italians make it.
Roasted garlic is sweet and caramelized, and makes your kitchen smell irresistible! Here’s an easy method for how to roast garlic.
2 to 3 garlic heads*
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut off the top 1/4-inch of each head of garlic: try to have a cut edge on each clove so you can pop them out after roasting. Peel away the paper on the outside of the head (the bottom stem will keep the cloves together). Place the garlic heads on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Close up and seal the packet.
Roast the garlic about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a clove in the center is golden in color and soft when pierced with a sharp knife (and your kitchen smells incredible!). Cool until able to handle, or store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. To remove the garlic, squeeze the bottom of the clove so it pops out the top. Spread on crusty bread, use in sauces and salad dressings, or in mashed potatoes.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.