Elephant garlic, also known as Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum, is a type of garlic that’s known for its large size and mild flavor. Despite its name, it’s not actually a true garlic, but rather a type of leek. Elephant garlic is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to roasted vegetables and sauces. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at elephant garlic, its health benefits, and how to use it in your cooking.

What is Elephant Garlic?

As mentioned earlier, elephant garlic is actually a type of leek, not a true garlic. However, it’s often referred to as garlic due to its similar appearance and taste. Elephant garlic bulbs can grow to be several inches in diameter and can weigh up to a pound each. The cloves are large and easy to peel, making them a great choice for recipes that call for garlic.

Health Benefits of Elephant Garlic

Elephant garlic is not only a delicious ingredient, but it also offers a number of health benefits. It contains compounds that have been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties, which can help to boost your immune system and prevent illness. Additionally, elephant garlic is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium. It’s also low in calories and high in fiber, making it a great choice for anyone who is watching their weight or trying to maintain a healthy diet.

How to Use Elephant Garlic in Your Cooking

Elephant garlic can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to roasted vegetables and sauces. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Roasted Elephant Garlic: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Slice the top off of a head of elephant garlic to expose the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic in foil and roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the cloves are soft and golden brown.
  2. Elephant Garlic Soup: In a large pot, sauté chopped elephant garlic with onions and celery until softened. Add chicken or vegetable broth and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth, then stir in heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grilled Elephant Garlic: Cut elephant garlic into large slices and grill over high heat until softened and lightly charred. Serve as a side dish or chop and use in a salsa or relish.
  4. Elephant Garlic Aioli: Blend roasted elephant garlic with mayonnaise, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard until smooth. Use as a dip for vegetables, a spread for sandwiches, or a topping for grilled meats.


Elephant garlic is a versatile ingredient that offers a range of health benefits and can be used in a variety of dishes. Whether you’re roasting it, simmering it in a soup, or using it to make a flavorful aioli, elephant garlic is sure to add a delicious and unique flavor to your cooking. So the next time you’re at the grocery store or farmer’s market, be sure to pick up a few bulbs of elephant garlic and try it out in your favorite recipes.