Garlic confit is incredibly easy to make, uses just two ingredients and leaves you with super soft, spreadable, rich and delicious garlic cloves to use in endless ways. And the best part? This two-in-one recipe gives you confit garlic cloves AND beautiful garlic olive oil.
Confit is a French technique of slow-cooking something in its own fat (traditionally seen in duck confit). Here, we’re using the technique to make the most gloriously intense, sweet and rich garlic cloves, slow-cooked in olive oil.
Much like roasted garlic, confit garlic results in a richer, more subtle flavour than raw garlic and is about to become your most used condiment. This really is an easy recipe to make – the most time-consuming part is peeling the garlic cloves and then just waiting for them to cook. I prefer cooking this on the stovetop so I can watch what’s going on with the garlic, so that’s the technique we’re going with here.
You can quite literally use confit garlic for (basically) anything. It’s super convenient when you’re wanting to add garlic to a dish (which for me a is daily occurrence!) It’s also great to spread onto toast for quick garlic bread, blitzed into hummus or any dip, mixed into butter, spooned onto steak, or tossed through pasta, drizzled onto flatbreads, naan or dinner rolls, roasted veggies or salads. You can also use the oil in place of regular olive oil to add a subtle, lovely garlicky flavour.
Only TWO ingredients go into this recipe.
- Garlic. I recommend using at least 3 whole heads of garlic if you’re making this recipe – even if you don’t think you’ll use it all up in two weeks, it freezes well. You could use pre-peeled cloves if you like, but freshly peeled will have a better flavour.
- Olive oil. I like to use good quality extra virgin olive oil, but you could use regular olive oil, or an oil with a more neutral flavour, like avocado oil or another vegetable oil. Or go in the other direction and use butter.
Optional extras: Add a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme or oregano, peppercorns, fennel or cumin seeds, a whole fresh or dried chilli (or chilli flakes), star anise or a cinnamon stick.
How to make it
Peel your garlic cloves, then place them in a saucepan. Pour enough olive oil on top to cover the cloves completely, then place over low heat. Bring it to a simmer, then turn your heat RIGHT down. Throughout cooking, you don’t want the oil simmering or boiling at all, you should just see a few bubbles occasionally in the oil.
Leave for about 1 hour, until the garlic has changed colours (it’ll look more colour and a little transparent) and it’s super soft when you press a spoon up against it.
PRO TIP: For a quicker way to peel your cloves, give the whole garlic heads a whack with the palm of your hand to loosen them up, then add them to a plastic container or a bowl with a lid. Give it a VERY good shake for a minute or two. The skins should have loosened up enough for you to easily slide them off the cloves if they haven’t come off with the shaking.
Let the confit garlic cool, then transfer it to a sterilised glass jar and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
How to use garlic confit
There are truly ENDLESS ways to use this. You can use it in place of garlic in any recipe (it saves time as you don’t have to chop or crush the cloves individually), or add it to anything for a lovely kick of garlic. Here are just some ideas to get you thinking:
- Smash onto bread to make quick and instant garlic bread – it’s lovely on this chilli cheese focaccia, Vogel’s style seed bread or rosemary parmesan bread.
- Use in place of raw garlic in your favourite dips – try it in creamy hummus, bread dipping oil, roasted carrot dip or spooned onto labneh.
- Toss through your favourite pasta sauces – like this creamy gochujang pasta, green rigatoni, mushroom Alfredo, baked burrata pasta or one pot gnocchi alla sorrentina.
- Spoon onto pizza, flatbreads, garlic naan or garlic butter dinner rolls.
- Stir through roasted vegetables, mashed potato and salads.
- Use it to make the most unreal garlic butter.
Got a question?
It’s important that you store your confit garlic in the fridge and use it within two weeks. With any method of preserving a low-acid ingredient like garlic in oil, there is a risk of botulism if it’s not stored correctly. This risk is very low – but it’s better to be safe and store this oil properly and not at room temperature. You can find out more about botulism here if you’re curious (but don’t freak out!)
When you store oil in the fridge, it can solidify. But it’s easy enough to scoop out the garlic cloves you want, and the oil will melt very quickly when you take it out to use it.
Yes, you can. It will keep well for 3 months – a good hack is to store it in ice cube trays so you can easily get a portion out.
You sure can! This is a fab bonus of making this recipe – you get two delicious results. Replace regular olive oil with your garlic oil in any recipe that calls for olive oil for a subtle garlic hit.
Like this recipe? You might enjoy these garlicky ideas too
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.Print