Crisp, buttery and full of garlic flavor! This post shows you how to make the best garlic bread recipe at home in just minutes. It’s the perfect side dish to serve with spaghetti, chicken, or a bowl of tomato soup – and you only need 4 ingredients!
Easy Garlic Bread Recipe
Homemade garlic bread toast is so easy to make on your own! While there’s nothing wrong with the frozen slices of garlic Texas Toast or those foil-wrapped loaves that you can grab in the deli section, one bite of this garlic bread recipe will convince you that there’s just no comparison. You can control the type and quality of the bread, you can control the flavors and amount of your spread, and you can decide just how toasty (or soft) you like it!
Which Type of Bread is Best?
Look for a 1-lb. loaf of soft Italian or French bread in the bakery section at your grocery store. You can also use a baguette, but I find that the baguette can almost get too crunchy when toasted. The softer Italian bread has a larger surface area for the garlic butter spread, and stays soft and chewy in the center while getting crisp and toasty on the edges.
How to Make Garlic Bread with Regular Bread
Sometimes you just don’t want to make an extra trip to the grocery store! In that case, you can make homemade garlic toast with regular sandwich bread or even with split hamburger and hotdog buns. Just prepare the butter mixture as instructed in the recipe, spread on your bread of choice, and toast it until golden brown.
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If you like cheesy garlic bread, try sprinkling the top with grated Parmesan cheese. You can also use cheddar cheese, or try a combination of multiple cheeses. Anything goes when you make it at home!
This is just a quick overview of the four basic ingredients that you’ll need for the best garlic bread recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.
- Bread: the best kind of bread for garlic bread is a 1-lb. loaf of soft Italian bread or French bread, which you can find in the bakery section of most grocery stores.
- Salted butter: softened so that it’s easy to spread. The salt in the butter gives the garlic bread much more flavor. If using unsalted butter, you’ll want to season your spread with a dash of extra salt.
- Garlic: finely minced or pressed, so that you don’t end up with any big chunks of garlic on your bread. You can even keep a jar of minced fresh garlic in your fridge for those nights when you need a shortcut (and you don’t want to fuss with peeling cloves)!
- Parsley: fresh herbs add a touch of bright flavor and a little bit of extra color. I prefer fresh parsley, but about 1 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes will also work in a pinch.
How to Make Garlic Bread at Home
Of all of the dishes and meal ideas that I’ve shared on this site, my easy garlic bread recipe is by far one of my family’s favorites. I make it at least once a week to serve whenever we have an Italian-inspired dinner. Best of all, you can make it ahead of time and freeze the bread so that it’s ready to bake whenever you need it!
- Slice Bread. Cut the loaf of bread in half lengthwise. A long serrated bread knife makes this task very quick and easy.
- Make Garlic Bread Spread. In a small bowl, stir together the softened butter, garlic, and parsley.
- Place Bread on Baking Sheet. Arrange the bread halves, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Spread Butter. Spread the garlic butter all over the tops of the bread, making sure to cover from edge-to-edge. The more, the merrier!
- Bake. Toast the garlic bread in a 400°F preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Depending on your bread, this may take even longer.
- Slice and Serve. Cut the bread into individual slices and serve warm!
What to Serve with Garlic Bread
This classic Italian side dish isn’t just reserved for spaghetti night! It’s delicious as an appetizer when dipped in marinara sauce, and it works well as a side dish with any of these meals:
- Easy Bolognese Sauce or The Best Spaghetti Sauce
- Spaghetti Carbonara
- Lasagna Soup
- Baked Meatballs
- Homemade Lasagna
- Crock Pot Italian Beef
- Chicken Cacciatore
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Zuppa Toscana
- Chicken Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Brown Butter
- Italian Sausage Pasta
- Eggplant Caponata
- Crock Pot Vegetable Soup
- Baked Penne
- Pesto Pasta
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Chicken Caesar Salad
- Shrimp and Sausage Pasta
- Baked Ziti
- Ravioli Lasagna with Ricotta and Spinach
- Minestrone Soup
- Lemon Chicken Piccata
- Eggplant Parmesan
- Chicken Parmesan
- Stuffed Shells
- Chicken Tortellini Soup
- Pasta Fagioli Soup
This is a nice make ahead side dish. You can assemble the bread in advance and freeze before baking. Then you’ve got some bread stashed away to enjoy whenever the craving strikes!
How to Freeze
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Spread the garlic butter on your bread, according to the recipe instructions. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and then place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes to allow the butter to firm up. Once firm, transfer the garlic bread to a large freezer bag for longer storage. The bread will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the frozen garlic bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Wrapped tightly, leftover bread will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
How to Reheat
Wrap the leftover bread in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until warmed through – about 5-8 minutes.
Garlic Bread Recipe Variations
- If you don’t have a loaf of soft Italian bread, you can use hamburger or hotdog buns. If you prefer, you can make garlic toast with thick slices of crusty bread, spread both sides of each slice with the garlic butter, and toast in the oven flipping halfway through.
- Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe: top the buttered garlic bread with grated Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, or cheddar cheese before toasting.
- Garlic Powder: if you don’t have fresh cloves of garlic, substitute with about ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder. You can also add some Italian seasoning for extra flavor.
- Soft or Crunchy: This recipe yields bread that’s soft and chewy on the inside, but toasted and crisp on the edges. If you prefer soft garlic bread, wrap the loaf in foil before baking.
- Broil the bread during the final 1-2 minutes if you like the top an even deeper, darker brown.
- Make it spicy by sprinkling crushed red pepper flakes on top of the bread while it’s warm.
Tips for the Best Garlic Bread Recipe
- Use a large, soft loaf of Italian bread or a soft loaf of French bread. I find that a baguette gets too crunchy when toasted.
- Use a microplane to grate the garlic cloves (or press to a fine mince). This helps evenly distribute the garlic throughout the spread so that you don’t bite into a large chunk of garlic on your toast.
- Herbs: The parsley here is optional. If you don’t have fresh parsley, substitute with 1 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes, or omit the parsley altogether. You can also try adding other herbs that you enjoy, such as thyme, oregano, chives, or basil.
- Bake half of a loaf now, and save the other half in the freezer for another meal. It’s like two for the price of one! You don’t even have to thaw the frozen bread before baking it.
More Bread Recipes to Try
- Garlic Breadsticks
- Jalapeno Cheddar Bread
- Mexican Cornbread
- Dutch Oven Bread
- No-Knead Bread
- English Muffin Bread
- Oatmeal Bread
- Classic Skillet Cornbread
- Honey Cornbread
- Banana Nut Bread
- Easy Homemade White Bread
- Honey Wheat Bread
- Beer Bread or Cheddar Chive Beer Bread
- Irish Soda Bread
This recipe was originally published in September, 2020. The photos were updated in January, 2022.
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