Fragrant and creamy, this easy Garlic Confit recipe adds a mellow sweetness to dips, soups, and practically anything else you can think of. When roasted long and slow with olive oil and fresh herbs, garlic turns super tender and spreadable – it’s like garlic butter without the butter.
Easy Garlic Confit Recipe
Garlic confit is the secret ingredient you didn’t know you needed. In an hour or less, you can make a creamy, garlic-infused spread that’s great tucked into soups and stews for extra flavor, spread on bread with some soft cheese, or served simply as a super pungent dip with slices of toasted baguette.
Our garlic confit recipe takes three heads of garlic – yes, three! This means you will use the whole clump of garlic you buy at the store, rather than just a clove, so you know you’re going to get tons of garlic flavor in every bite. But what’s so cool about garlic confit is that when you cook all that garlic on low heat in lots of good olive oil it becomes practically sweet. It’s so good smeared on crostini, whipped into aioli, and can add extra oomph to sandwiches.
What is Confit?
Confit is the process of cooking meat or a vegetable very slowly to release its flavor. A meat-based confit, like pork or duck confit, has the meat salted and cooked in its own fat which allows it to be stored that way for many months. A vegetable confit involves cooking a vegetable in oil since vegetables don’t have their own fat to release during cooking.
For this garlic confit recipe, you’ll cook garlic cloves slowly in olive oil until they become soft and melting. The resulting rich, fragrant, butter-like spread has a mellow garlicky sweetness with none of the sharpness of fresh garlic.
What You’ll Need
You need just 5 ingredients to make this flavor powerhouse.
- Garlic: You’ll need full heads of garlic for this recipe. Or to save time, you can purchase the pre-peeled garlic sold in the refrigerated produce section of most grocery stores.
- Fresh Herbs: Rosemary and thyme.
- Peppercorns and Salt: If you don’t have peppercorns, you can use ground black pepper. However, you will have flakes of pepper in your garlic then. Using peppercorns adds flavor while you cook, but you can easily remove them after roasting.
- Olive Oil: I like extra-virgin olive oil.
How to Make Garlic Confit
This confit recipe could hardly be simpler to make. Read on for the method to make it:
- Combine the ingredients. First, preheat the oven to 300°F. In a small baking dish, add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, peppercorns and salt.
- Add the olive oil. Pour the olive oil over the garlic and herbs, making sure to cover the garlic with the oil.
- Bake. Place the baking pan in the oven and cook for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and slightly browned.
- Cool garlic and remove the herbs. When the garlic is cooked, remove it from the oven and let cool. Then remove and discard the herbs.
Tips for Success
I have a few tips that will streamline the cooking process:
- Buy already-peeled garlic: To save time, you can buy garlic cloves that have already been peeled.
- Easy peel method: If you peel the garlic yourself, rub several cloves together between your palms, then place them on a cutting board. Give the clove a gentle tap with either the back of a knife or a garlic press. The paper should right peel off. Or you can place cloves of garlic in a large jar and shake vigorously to help remove the paper from the cloves.
- Roast at a low temperature: You don’t want to overcook your garlic! Cook it at a low temperature and check at 45 minutes for doneness, then check often after that if it’s not done.
- Check with a knife for doneness: To check for doneness, pierce a clove with a knife to see how soft it is. It should pierce very easily with the knife. If it doesn’t, it needs more cooking time. However, you don’t want to cook the garlic too long or it will dry out and become inedible.
Can I Make Garlic Confit on the Stove?
You can make garlic confit on the stove, but it will require a bit more work on your part to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn. Place all of the ingredients in a heavy saucepan and simmer on low heat until the garlic is very soft, lightly brown, and releases its fragrance. Watch and stir often so that the garlic is cooked evenly.
What Can I Use Garlic Confit For?
We think that most dishes would benefit from the addition of garlic confit! We love using it in:
- Mashed potatoes. Add a few tablespoons of garlic confit along with – or in place of – the butter when you’re making mashed potatoes. The confit will add an extra punch of flavor. For lighter mashed potatoes, you could swap the butter for the confit. Try my Best Mashed Potatoes recipe.
- Vegetable soup. Stir in a heaping spoonful or two of garlic confit to soup. It’s especially nice in pureed soups; you can add the confit to the soup before you blend it. Or try it in my Lentil Stew.
- On toast. For a simple yet very flavorful appetizer, spread garlic confit on toasted bread. We like it on slices of toasted baguette, or you could try sourdough bread. It would be nice topped with warm brie as well.
- To flavor meat. The next time you make roast beef spread some garlic confit on the meat when you take it out of the oven.
- In salad dressing. For a garlic-based salad dressing, try adding garlic confit to your favorite salad dressing recipe and whisk or blend to incorporate.
- As a dip. Simply place a bowl of garlic confit on the table with bread and fresh vegetables and dip away!
- In sauce. If you’re making a sauce that calls for roasted garlic, go ahead and add garlic confit. It’s also great in a classic tomato sauce in place of sautéed garlic. Try it in my Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce to make a savory roasted garlic marinara sauce.
- In aioli. Use garlic confit cloves in place of raw garlic in aioli (a garlic-infused mayonnaise). It would also be delicious whipped into this Cilantro Lime Crema!
How to Store
Store garlic confit in its oil in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (We like keeping it in a glass jar.) Serve at room temperature, or add to whatever dish you like.
More Recipes for Garlic Lovers
- Garlic Herb Butter
- Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Roasted Green Beans with Garlic
- Sheet Pan Cajun Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Garlic Basil Pesto
- Garlic Roasted Tomatoes
- 2 to 3 garlic heads, peeled and separated
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup olive oil, or more to cover garlic
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- In a small baking dish, add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, peppercorns and salt.
- Pour the olive oil over the garlic and herbs, making sure to cover the garlic with the oil.
- Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and slightly browned.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and let cool.
- Remove and discard the herbs. Store oil and garlic in a mason jar, or an airtight container, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Storage: Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
- To save time, you can buy garlic cloves that have already been peeled.
- If you are peeling yourself, rub several cloves together between your palms, then place on a cutting board. Give the clove a gentle tap with either the back of a knife or a garlic press. The paper should peel off with ease. Or you can place cloves of garlic in a large jar and shake vigorously shake to help remove the paper from the cloves.
- Serve the extremely delicious garlic infused olive oil with your favorite crusty bread, using the garlic like butter on the bread.
- It’s also great in dips, salad dressings or used as a sandwich spread. You can also add the garlic to sauces that call for roasted garlic.
- The goal here is to let the garlic roast at a low temperature so that it does not become overcooked. Check at 45 minutes for doneness. Pierce a clove with a knife to see how soft it is and how much more cooking time is needed.