How to Roast Whole Artichokes

Roasted Artichokes

I grew up in central California where I certainly ate my fair share of artichokes over the years.  And during those four years I spent in Sicily, I probably ate way more than my fair share.  Sorry, it couldn’t be helped.

My standard way of cooking/eating artichokes is to steam them whole then peel off the leaves one by one, dipping each into mayo before scraping off the tiny bits of artichoke “meat” with my teeth.  I continue to do this until I have ingested way more mayonnaise than any person needs to consume in one sitting (as evidenced by the huge pile of artichoke leaves towering in front of me by the time I’m done) and I have made my way to the heart, which I carefully trim and clean before eating it with even more mayo.  Don’t judge.

In Sicily it was different.  There, I mostly ate smaller artichokes that were drizzled with fruity olive oil and grilled over an open flame.  Delicious.

Of course I eat artichokes in lots of other ways, too.  I love stuffing them with a mixture of bread crumbs, garlic, Pecorino, and fresh herbs.  I love artichoke hearts prepared just about any way you can imagine (especially breaded, fried, and drizzled with tart lemon-butter).  I love cheesy, bubbling artichoke dips.  I love artichoke soups.

While I do enjoy eating artichokes in a variety of ways, I haven’t branched out much when cooking whole artichokes.  I’ve steamed them and boiled them and occasionally finish partially steamed or boiled artichokes on the grill – but that’s about it.  So when I ran across this method for Simple Roasted Artichokes yesterday, I knew I had to give it a try.

Artichokes in Wooden Bowl

I started with these gorgeous artichokes that I picked up at a fruit stand in Gilroy the other day.  I love living in California.

Cut top from Artichoke

First, I sliced off the top third of the artichoke with a sharp knife.  All of that is inedible, so you aren’t wasting anything by doing this.  Plus, it looks so pretty!

Cut Stem from Artichoke

Next, I cut off the stem right at the base of the artichoke.  The stem is edible if peeled, so you can save it if you want.  Mine didn’t come with much of a stem anyway, so I didn’t bother saving it.

Trimmed Artichokes Rubbed with Lemon

With the stems cut this way the artichokes will sit up nicely on their own.  Aren’t they cute?

Artichokes Stuffed with Garlic

Now tear off a large square of heavy duty aluminum foil, drizzle it with a few drops of olive oil, and smear it around a bit.  Place one artichoke in the middle of the foil and open up the leaves a bit with your fingers.  Tuck a few peeled garlic cloves into the artichoke.  Sprinkle kosher salt all over it then squeeze lemon juice and drizzle olive oil over the top.  I used half a lemon per artichoke and probably drizzled a tablespoon or so of oil (maybe more).

Artichokes Wrapped in Foil

Once you’ve seasoned it, wrap the foil up around the artichoke, sealing it well.  If you don’t have heavy duty aluminum foil, wrap it with an extra sheet of the regular kind.  Repeat with as many artichokes as you want.  Place wrapped artichokes in a pan and roast in a preheated 425 degree oven for one hour and 15 minutes.  If you are using small artichokes, one hour is good.  Jumbo artichokes might take an hour and a half.

Unwrapped Roasted Artichoke

After removing them from the oven, let artichokes sit until cool enough to handle, then unwrap.  The garlic will be soft and sweet and delicious – you’ll probably want to eat that first.

Artichoke Heart

Next, start peeling off the leaves one by one, and enjoy the garlicky, lemony, salty olive oil as you scrape each one with your teeth.  I didn’t even need mayonnaise!

Down to the Artichoke Heart

If you’ve never dealt with a whole artichoke before, you might be a little confused/intimidated when it comes to finding the heart.  I’m here to help.  Remove all the leaves until it looks something like this.

Pull off remaining small leaves all at once

Grab the remaining leaves with your fingers, grasp the bottom of the artichoke with your other hand, and pull.

Fuzzy Choke Revealed

The whole thing should pop right off like a cap, leaving some furry-looking stuff behind.

Scoop out the furry part

Take a spoon and gently scrape out the fur (no, it’s not actually fur).

The Heart Remains

What you have left is what I call the heart, but might be more accurately described as the artichoke bottom.  Whatever you want to call it, it’s my favorite part!

Ready to Eat

The fork is only there for show – I always eat the entire artichoke with my hands (licking my fingers along the way).

The End

While they did take a long time to roast, these artichokes were definitely worth the wait!  They were simple to prepare and simply delicious.  Next time I’ll probably add even more garlic cloves because the roasted garlic was one of the best parts.

In case my photos weren’t enough to illustrate the process, here’s a video that shows you the exact same method.  Give it a try!

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119 Comments
  1. Simple, Simple, Simple

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    2:54 pm  Apr 16th, 2014
  2. Joyce

    This is the BEST way to cook artichokes period. OMG, my husband and I are both original Californian artichoke lovers and thought the steamed way was the only way. Now we will never go back to the steam method. Great job on sharing this recipe – our family and friends love it, too!

    5:24 am  Apr 22nd, 2014
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  4. Lynette

    Can these be made a few hours ahead and kept warm in a warming drawer?

    11:13 am  May 17th, 2014
  5. Megan

    This artichoke recipe is incredible! I’ve always thought I loved artichokes and then I tried this recipe! So glad I found this recipe, thanks!

    5:50 pm  May 29th, 2014
  6. Cinthai

    im going to go try this right now!! lets see how it goes. (:

    3:01 pm  Jul 6th, 2014
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  8. Christine

    Thanks for this recipe. I definitely did not need any mayo with the artichokes! Very simple to make yet delicious.

    1:10 am  Aug 4th, 2014
  9. Heather Adams

    Did you find that roasting them for such a long time made them dry? I’m just wondering if I should add 1/4 cup chicken stock to the foil packets.

    5:55 am  Sep 7th, 2014
  10. Nicole

    Heather- I really don’t have any problems with them being dry. Enjoy!

    8:17 am  Sep 8th, 2014
  11. AwesomeSauce101

    I love how she did this, it is soooo neat :) 😉

    2:10 pm  Nov 4th, 2014
  12. toni

    I can’t wait to try this! I’m an Italian American and I have enjoyed stuffed artichokes for ages. I never heard of eating them with mayo.

    12:04 pm  Nov 11th, 2014
  13. Juan

    Hi, I stumbled upon this recipe in desparate search for an easy recipe with some artichokes I recently purchased out of sheer curiosity. I want to thank this site for this recipe. It worked wonderfully! I have now lost my fear of cooking and eating an artichoke.

    10:24 am  Nov 13th, 2014
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  15. Katie Brigstock

    This was such a useful post! thank you! I was about to cook some artichokes and had no idea what to do with them so this was perfect! xx

    2:24 am  Apr 25th, 2015
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