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How to make garlic confit, the pantry staple you didn’t know you needed

(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post/Food styling by Gina Nistico for The Washington Post)

Garlic confit is one of those kitchen staples that, once you make it, you may never want to be without it again.

Besides being ideal for amping flavor in dressings and marinades, the soft garlic as well as its oil can be spread on toast, whirred into a bean dip or hummus, stirred into a sauce, or slathered onto meat or poultry.

You also can use garlic confit wherever raw or roasted garlic is suggested, such as Triple Garlic Bread, Toum, Ina Garten’s Arrabbiata Sauce, Speedy Homemade Hummus and the recipe that inspired us to add this condiment to our Recipe Finder, Shredded Kale Tri-Color Salad With Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette. If subbing garlic confit for raw garlic, note the flavor may be gentler and not as punchy though just as flavorful.

Storage Notes: Garlic confit can be refrigerated for up to 1 week and frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure the cloves are submerged in the oil by at least 1 inch. Use a clean spoon to scoop the cloves out. (You can also freeze individually portioned confit and oil an ice cube tray.)


  • Peeled cloves from 2 heads garlic (about 24 cloves, see NOTE)
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Step 1

In a small saucepan, combine the garlic and oil. Set over very low heat and cook until the garlic is golden and soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (The heat should be low enough so that the oil doesn’t bubble much; remove it from the burner periodically as needed, depending on how low your stove settings go.)

Step 2

Once the garlic is golden and soft, remove from the heat and let cool in the pan to room temperature. Transfer to a clean, lidded jar. The garlic is ready to use, refrigerate until needed.

NOTE: Here are a couple of tricks for quickly peeling a large amount of garlic.

Place a handful of garlic cloves, about 8 or so, on a microwave safe dish and microwave on HIGH for 8 seconds. The garlic may be hot, so let it cool for a minute, if needed. The skins should easily peel off when you press on the stem end of the garlic. If not, microwave 1 to 2 seconds more. Repeat with the remaining cloves.

Alternatively, separate the cloves from the head and place a large batch of cloves in a lidded jar, such as a Mason jar. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds or until the skins fall off the cloves. You may still have to peel one or two.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 128; Total Fat: 14 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 1 mg; Carbohydrates: 2 g; Dietary Fiber: 0 g; Sugar: 0 g; Protein: 0 g.

Recipe adapted from “Chasing Flavor” by Dan Kluger and Nick Fauchald (HMH, 2020).

Tested by Ellie Krieger and Olga Massov; email questions to

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More pantry staples from Voraciously:

Creamy Fresh Ricotta

Homemade Yogurt

Everything Spice