Homemade Creamy Roasted Garlic Sauce (Without Cream)

Ditch the heavy cream and say hello to flavor heaven! This creamy roasted garlic sauce is my secret weapon for adding depth and richness to pasta, veggies, and protein, all while staying light and healthySmoky caramelized garlic, creamy cashews, and vibrant spices – all come together in about 30 minutes (because who has time for complicated?). Secret ingredient? Browned bits of garlic!

Roasted garlic pasta sauce being drizzled on pasta in a white plate.

Recipe Video

Why you’ll love this roasted garlic pasta sauce

This sauce recipe can turn everyone into garlic lovers! Here are some reasons why you’ll love this delicious roasted garlic sauce:

Flavorful without the guilt: No cream, all taste!

Effortless magic: Perfect for busy weeknights or quick meals.

Family-friendly favorite: Even picky eaters love this creamy sauce.

Creamy roasted garlic sauce in a bottle.

Versatile sauce: Dress up pasta, drizzle over veggies, or use it as a marinade for protein.

Packs a nutritional punch: Full of nutrients from loads of real garlic and healthy fats from cashews.

Simply delicious: You’ll be surprised how something so simple can have such a powerful flavor impact.

Roasted garlic adds amazing flavor to many of my recipes like roasted garlic pesto with cashews, roasted garlic tomato soup and roasted pumpkin soup without cream.

Ready to transform your meals? Let’s roast some garlic! 

Ingredients

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)

Labelled ingredients for roasted garlic pasta sauce.

This sauce is full of natural flavors from fresh ingredients:

  • Whole garlic bulbs: You don’t even have to peel them if you’re roasting in the oven.
  • Cashews: The key ingredient that makes this specialty sauce so creamy!
  • Spices: Cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and black pepper for that spicy kick.
  • Dijon mustard: For a perfect balance of flavors.
  • Honey: To add a hint of sweetness. You can substitute with maple syrup or sugar for a vegan recipe.
  • Fresh lemon juice: To balance the smoky and spicy flavors.
  • Olive oil: To emulsify the sauce. I use regular olive oil for roasting garlic and extra virgin olive oil to drizzle while processing. Feel free to use either. 
Creamy roasted garlic sauce with pasta on a white plate.

How to make roasted garlic sauce without cream

How to roast garlic in the oven

Preheat the oven to 210°C/410°F.

Rinse whole garlic bulbs and wipe them dry. Leave the skin on and the bulb intact. 

Using a sharp knife, cut off the tail ends (about ¼ inch) of the garlic bulbs. This exposes the individual cloves in the head of garlic.

Do not throw away the small bits. Peel and reserve them. They are going to make this the best sauce!

Cut out small sheets of aluminum foil. Place each garlic head on individual sheets with cut side facing up.

Sprinkle cayenne pepper, salt and olive oil on the exposed cloves.

A garlic head with ends cut off and drizzled with oil, cayenne and salt, and placed on aluminum foil.

Loosely wrap the foil around the garlic bulb. Do the same with the reserved tail ends you cut off from the bulb.

Pieces of garlic drizzled with cayenne, salt and oil on a piece of tin foil.

Place the tin foil ‘packets’ on a sheet pan. Place it in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Garlic heads wrapped in aluminum foil and placed on a sheet pan.

Remove from the oven and let them cool down.

Roasted garlic bulbs on aluminum foil on a sheet pan.

How to roast garlic on the stove

Peel the garlic cloves and add them to olive oil in a small pan. Bring it to a soft simmer. 

Continue cooking on low heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until garlic has softened and golden brown. 

Drain the garlic and reserve the garlic-infused olive oil.

Blend

Squeeze out the garlic cloves into a food processor. Also add the roasted brown bits of garlic tail ends.

Add cashews, red pepper flakes, sea salt, black pepper, Dijon mustard, honey and lemon juice.

Ingredients for roasted garlic sauce in a food processor jar.

While the processor is running, slowly drizzle olive oil. (Use the reserved oil if you roasted garlic in a pan.) 

Slowly add water (if you’re cooking pasta, use pasta water). Alternate between oil and water and process until the sauce becomes smooth and creamy.

Roasted garlic sauce in a food processor jar.

Expert tips

  • Use high-quality ingredients: As in all sauce and chutney recipes, use high-quality extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, and other ingredients to ensure the best flavor in your sauce.
  • Don’t have a food processor? You can use a high speed blender. (I use it when making small batches of the sauce, which don’t turn out smooth in a food processor.)
  • Trimming the garlic bulbs: It’s okay if you accidentally cut off cloves of garlic from the bulb. Proceed as per the recipe. They’ll turn out fine.
  • Charcoal kisses: Don’t be afraid of the browned bits of garlic – they contribute to the smoky, complex taste.
  • Oven-roasting: To save time, you can roast garlic while you roast something else like vegetables or protein. You only need a corner of the sheet pan to throw in the foil packets. That’s what we did in the recipe for roasted red pepper dressing.
  • Allow the flavors to meld: After preparing the sauce, let it sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. This will enhance the overall taste of the sauce.
  • Adjust consistency as needed: Depending on how you plan to use the sauce, you may need to adjust the consistency. If it’s too thick, you can thin it out with a little extra olive oil or a splash of water.
  • Personalize it with spices like cumin, herbs like parsley or others like lemon zest for a brighter flavor. It’s your canvas to create!
Roasted garlic dressing in a bottle.

Storage and make ahead tips

The beauty of this sauce is that you can make small batches for weeknight dinners or a large batch to entertain.

When I roast garlic, I usually roast a few heads of garlic and store them. Once you have roasted garlic, this sauce comes together in minutes.

Leftover roasted garlic cloves are a goldmine! Spread them on toast, add them to mashed potatoes, or toss them into salads for an extra burst of flavor.

You can also use roasted garlic to make garlic butter and garlic bread. I use them in recipes like beet walnut feta salad dressing, spicy paprika hummus with roasted garlic and many more.

Store properly: Store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months for longer storage. You can freeze it in ice cube trays and transfer the cubes to a freezer bag once frozen.

Reheating: The texture and taste of the sauce might change if you heat it in the microwave or stove top. Place the container of sauce in warm water bath for about 30 minutes. The sauce will be ready by the time you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Making it for a crowd

This sauce recipe can be easily scaled up or down. Use the slider that will appear if you hover your mouse over the number of servings in the recipe card below.

Roasted garlic sauce with pasta in a white plate and the sauce in a bottle in the background.

What to serve with roasted garlic sauce

This versatile roasted garlic sauce can become the star of many dishes. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Pasta

  • Roasted garlic pasta sauce: The warm-roasted taste of garlic makes this creamy sauce perfect on pasta.
  • Spiralized vegetables: Zucchini, butternut squash, or sweet potato noodles add a healthy twist and soak up the flavor perfectly.
  • Protein additions: Shredded chicken, grilled shrimp or crumbled tofu add an extra layer of texture and protein.

Vegetables

Protein

Other ideas

  • Roasted garlic dip: Enjoy the sauce with crudités, breadsticks, or crackers for a flavorful appetizer.
  • Pizza topping: Spread a thin layer on homemade pizza for a unique and healthy twist.
  • Sandwich spread: Add a touch of creamy goodness to your favorite sandwich for extra flavor.
Roasted garlic pasta sauce being drizzled on pasta in a white plate.

Creamy Roasted Garlic Sauce Recipe

This creamy roasted garlic sauce is my secret weapon for adding depth and richness to pasta, veggies, and protein, all while staying light and healthy. Smoky caramelized garlic, creamy cashews, and vibrant spices – all come together in about 30 minutesSecret ingredient? Browned bits of garlic!
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course condiment, dip, dressing, sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 186.6 kcal

Ingredients
  

For roasting garlic

For the sauce

  • ¼ cup (30 grams) cashews
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey (sugar/maple syrup for a vegan recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin or regular)
  • 3 tablespoons water (or pasta water)

STEP BY STEP IMAGES

Scroll back to find detailed recipe photos!

Instructions
 

How to roast garlic in the oven

  • Preheat the oven to 210°C/410°F.
  • Rinse 2 whole heads of garlic and wipe them dry. Leave the skin on and the bulbs intact.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut off the tail ends (about ¼ inch) of the garlic bulbs. This exposes the individual cloves in the head of garlic.
  • (Do not throw away the small bits. Peel and reserve them.)
  • Cut out small sheets of aluminum foil.
    Place each garlic head on individual sheets with cut side facing up.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt on the exposed cloves.
  • Loosely wrap the foil around the garlic bulb.
    Do the same with the reserved tail ends you cut off from the bulb.
  • Place the tin foil packets on a sheet pan. Place it in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool down.

How to roast garlic in a pan on stove top

  • Peel the garlic cloves from 2 heads of garlic. Add them to 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small pan.
  • Bring it to a soft simmer. 
  • Continue cooking on low heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until garlic has softened and golden brown.
  • Drain the garlic and reserve the garlic-infused olive oil.

Blend

  • Squeeze out the garlic cloves into a food processor. Also add the roasted brown bits of garlic tail ends.
  • Add ¼ cup (30 grams) cashews, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon honey and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  • While the processor is running, slowly drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil.
    (Use the reserved oil if you had roasted garlic in a pan.)
  • Slowly add 3 tablespoons water (if you're cooking pasta, use pasta water).
  • Alternate between oil and water and process until the sauce becomes smooth and creamy.
  • Serve your favorite way: on pasta, with protein, or as a dip or dressing for chips and salads.

Video

Notes

  1. Use high-quality ingredients: Use high-quality extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, and other ingredients to ensure the best flavor in your sauce.
  2. Trimming the garlic bulbs: It’s okay if you accidentally cut off cloves of garlic from the bulb. They’ll turn out fine.
  3. Charcoal kisses: Don’t be afraid of the browned bits of garlic – they contribute to the smoky, complex taste.
  4. Adjust consistency as needed: Depending on how you plan to use the sauce, you may need to adjust the consistency. If it’s too thick, you can thin it out with a little extra olive oil or a splash of water.
  5. More tips and tricks in the post above.
Nutrition Facts
Creamy Roasted Garlic Sauce Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
186.6
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
17.2
g
26
%
Saturated Fat
 
2.6
g
16
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2.3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
11.3
g
Sodium
 
339
mg
15
%
Potassium
 
122.4
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
7.1
g
2
%
Fiber
 
0.8
g
3
%
Sugar
 
2.5
g
3
%
Protein
 
3
g
6
%
Vitamin A
 
78.5
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
2
mg
2
%
Calcium
 
13.4
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1.2
mg
7
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Author profile photo

Hi! I’m Sheeba, welcome to Go Healthy ever after!

I have a passion for cooking delicious nourishing food that’s easy to cook with fresh natural ingredients free from additives or preservatives. The easy healthy recipes you find here will inspire you to cook with creativity.

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