Garlic-infused olive oil is flavorful and heart healthy

Garlic-Infused Olive Oil: A Flavorful Addition to Your Kitchen

By: Jasmine Shea, MS

Scientifically Reviewed By: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a staple in many kitchens, beloved for its health benefits and rich, golden consistency. Ready to give that EVOO an upgrade? Elevate the flavors of your favorite foods by switching to garlic-infused olive oil. This combo of olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs adds flavor to almost any dish. Infused oil is perfect whether you drizzle it on a dish or use it as a dip for bread.

And let's not forget: garlic-infused olive oil delivers not just the flavor, but also the heart health support of olive oil and garlic. Plus, because of how simple and versatile garlic-infused olive oil is to create, homemade garlic oil makes for a great DIY gift as well!

What is garlic-infused olive oil?

For starters, olive oil is a fat created by harvesting olives and then grinding them to extract the oil. Thus, it's actually a type of "fruit juice" that can be consumed directly or in many other forms! Olive oil has many uses in cooking and baking.

Garlic-infused olive oil is made by cooking garlic cloves at low heat with olive oil. The garlic is then strained from the oil so you're left with the flavors of garlic and oil. There are also methods to prepare garlic-infused oil without a stove top. Some prefer cold infusion to help preserve the beneficial polyphenols in olive oil, but the total time using this method is longer—about one week vs. a few hours using heat to infuse the oil.

Is garlic-infused olive oil healthy?

Both garlic and olive oil are powerhouses for our health. Garlic has been studied for its immune health and cardiovascular health support, while olive oil may promote heart and brain health. Studies suggest that consumption of extra virgin olive oil may help support digestive health and help relieve bloating as well.

Although garlic is listed as a vegetable to avoid on a low FODMAP diet, garlic and olive oil are both foundations of the MIND diet and the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet relies on plenty of healthy fats, whole grains, nuts and produce to help people reach their health goals, including support for heart health, cognitive function, bone strength and overall longevity.

In addition to the apparent cardiovascular health and brain health benefits of olive oil and garlic, olives (and their oil) can help curb salty cravings. Just a handful of olives can be very satisfying alongside some avocado toast and hardboiled eggs.

With research supporting the immense beneficial health aspects of garlic and antioxidant-rich olive oil, infusing garlic into oil makes sense. Garlic oil is an easy way to add both flavor and beneficial health support to your nutritional intake.

Why should I try garlic-infused olive oil?

If you enjoy garlic and use olive oil, garlic-infused oil may be the perfect pairing for you. If olive oil isn't something you're frequently incorporating into your diet, infusing garlic into your oil may be worth trying for the additional flavor, health benefits and versatility.

This infused olive oil can be used in a variety of ways:

  • Pasta with homemade pesto
  • Salad with fresh lemon
  • Chilled salad with fruit and basil
  • Savory baked bread

An added bonus to garlic-infused oil is the convenience: once you make this garlic oil recipe, it can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.

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Garlic-infused olive oil recipe


  • 6 oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • Fresh thyme


  1. Peel garlic cloves and smash with a spoon.
  2. Pour oil into small saucepan.
  3. Add garlic cloves and half of the fresh thyme to the saucepan.
  4. Over low heat, bring to just below a boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Caution: Do not allow the oil to get hot enough to reach its smoke point, as that will change the taste of the oil.
  5. Let the oil cool.
  6. Prepare a glass jar for your oil by adding a sprig of fresh thyme. (You can also add a peeled clove of garlic to the jar, if desired.)
  7. Strain cloves and herbs from the cooled oil.
  8. Using a funnel, carefully pour garlic-infused oil into glass jar.
  9. Add lid and store in a dark area at room temperature.

Nutritional Values

Each 6 oz jar makes 12 servings
Nutrition facts per 1 tbsp serving:
Calories: 142
Protein: 0 grams
Carbohydrates: 0 grams
Fat: 14 grams

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes.

How to store garlic-infused olive oil

Garlic-infused oil is easy to store and keep on hand, but it is important to protect your garlic oil from heat and light. Storing it in a closed kitchen cupboard or pantry will safely keep your garlic oil at room temperature, which is the optimal storage temperature. While some prefer to refrigerate olive oil, keep in mind that taking your garlic-infused oil in and out of the refrigerator may cause condensation in the bottle, which can throw off the flavor.

Are you getting enough garlic in your diet?

Garlic has long been used for its health benefits as well as its flavor in cooking, but supplementing with garlic is the best way to enjoy optimal health benefits. Garlic supplements deliver scientifically studied amounts of standardized extracts to support immune health and cellular detoxification and to promote the body's response to oxidative stress.

Choosing an extra virgin olive oil that is unfiltered and cold-pressed is another way to optimize your health benefits. Life Extension's oil comes from olives hand-picked in California at the peak of ripeness and milled within hours of harvest. This process provides over 600 mg/kg of naturally occurring olive polyphenols, which are the compounds that help maintain already-healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels to support your heart health.

Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and circulatory system health is key to cardiovascular health. To determine which nutrients might be best for your heart, take a health needs quiz and get a recommendation that's personalized to you.

About the Author: Jasmine Shea, MS, is the author of over a dozen e-cookbooks and the founder of Your Dinner Is Planned: the fastest and most affordable way to prepare dinners. With Jasmine's passion for sharing cooking tips, she generates over one million impressions weekly with recipe and lifestyle content to show others that eating delicious food can be easy and fun!