How to Pickle Garlic in Olive Oil (Easy Pickled Garlic & Herbs)

How to Pickle Garlic in Olive Oil |

I loooved my refrigerator pickles this summer. They were so fresh and tasty and crunchy and flavorful, and more times than I could count I found myself snacking on them straight out of the fridge. I didn’t know that pickling could be so easy, and I loved the simplicity and immediacy of those delicious pickles.

Well, it seems that I’ve been hearing a lot lately of people pickling garlic. And garlic is my favorite seasoning/herb, so of course I needed to try it! The most interesting variation I’ve heard of is pickling garlic in honey, but I’m not feeling that adventurous yet so I figured I’d try a more simple and traditional pickle of garlic in olive oil.

This delicious condiment (can it be called a condiment? Seasoning? Flavor …thing…?) was so easy to make. These adorable garlic pickles were done in less than 10 minutes!

How to Pickle Garlic in Olive Oil |

The garlic gets infused with the olive oil and the herbs and the olive oil gets infused with the garlic and the herbs, and happy flavor blending occurs all up in those little jars. The garlic mellows out to lose the spicy zing that fresh garlic often has, and instead boasts a creamy, savory, herby garlic flavor that made me pop more than a few into my mouth like candy.

The happy herb marriage going on in this jar has made this easy pickled garlic quickly become one of my favorite things to add to soups, stews, and roasts.

How to Pickle Garlic in Olive Oil |

I love these adorable little glass jars for storing my garlic pickles. The cute jars not only make the pickles look great and fit easily anywhere, but it also makes them easy to pack up for great holiday gifts!

10 minutes is all that stands between you and delicious pickled garlic, and a wonderful, easy, tasty gift for (yourself or) any cook or food lover on your gift list!

How to Pickle Garlic in Olive Oil |

How to Pickle Garlic in Olive Oil (Easy Refrigerator Pickled Garlic & Herbs)

Total Time: 8 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 half pint jars


  • 5 heads of garlic, peeled (see an easy way to peel an entire head of garlic here)
  • 1 cup pickling liquid
  • 6-8 stalks of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • about 1 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Bring the pickling liquid to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves to the boiling liquid and "cook" for 30-45 seconds. Do this in two batches, if necessary. Remove the garlic cloves from the pickling liquid and let them dry on a few layers of paper towels.
  2. Divide the garlic cloves between two sealable half pint jars (like this). Nestle 3-4 stalks of thyme and one bay leaf among the cloves of each jar.
  3. Add enough olive oil to the jars to cover the garlic cloves and herbs. Seal the jars and place them in the refrigerator. The garlic is ready to use after 48 hours. Pickles last up to 3 months.

How to Pickle Garlic in Olive Oil |


  1. marla says

    Step 1 is not optional. Botulism is a deadly anaerobic bacteria that loves to multiply in this type of garlic and oil environment. A heat infusion will help to protect from bacteria that may breed in the oil; I don’t know if the 30 – 45 seconds is long enough to be sufficient for this purpose though. The salt and vinegar might aid in the destruction of the bacteria, but I haven’t done enough research to know.

    • says

      Hi Marla! Thanks for your comment! While there is only a potential risk of bacteria if you skip Step 1, I agree that this post should reflect more information about safe food handling and storage! I’ll be doing some research to update it accordingly. Thank you 🙂

  2. says

    Hey Lina!
    Here’s a dumb question for you: do you think you could pickle minced garlic? I accidentally bought…well, let’s just say a Costco-sized amount of way too much garlic and I am looking for something to do with it 🙂

    • says

      You bought a lot of minced garlic? What a great problem to have! Storebought minced garlic is already preserved in its liquid, but if you’re talking about mincing a ton of fresh garlic yourself and preserving it I’d do that in an olive oil/vinegar mixture! Or just add a little olive oil the the minced garlic and freeze it in teasooon sized lumps!

      Does that answer your question at all?

      • says

        Hey! Yes, that’s awesome! I think that I could definitely freeze it (maybe in ice cube trays!?) I like the idea of pickling some because it would give it a different flavor. But you’re right that it’s already preserved so it might be good to go for awhile in the fridge!

        • says

          Both of those ideas sound great! If youre looking for that flavor I’d recommend marinating some chicken overnight in the garlic with some salt and ACV or lemon juice! It will change the flavor of the garlic like you want, and also give the chicken a great dose of those “pickling flavors!”