This cheesy, toasty homemade garlic bread is a classic side dish that goes well with just about any pasta dish, or really just about any meal. And it's super easy to make too!
I've been making this garlic bread for years. It's so easy and you really can't beat buttery, toasted garlic bread fresh out of the oven. Recently, a friend asked why the recipe wasn't on the blog and I figured it was time to share it!
Garlic bread is one of those things that's incredibly easy to make from scratch. It only requires a few ingredients and the hands-on time needed to prepare it is very limited.
What makes this recipe so great
Whether you’re looking for an easy way to impress dinner guests, or just a treat for your next weeknight dinner, this cheesy garlic bread recipe is just the thing. Here’s why it works so well:
- Well, first, let's start with buttery, garlicy, cheesy slices of bread. Do I even have to say anything else??
- It takes less than 25 minutes to make. Even less if you make the compound butter ahead of time. Then all you really need to do is let the butter come to room temperature, slice the bread and bake it. It doesn't get much easier than that!
- Homemade garlic bread is the best side dish to just about everything!
The full list of ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
This recipe really only has six ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
Ciabatta bread: Ciabatta bread is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside - the perfect texture to absorb the garlicky butter mixture. I prefer it over french bread for this recipe but you could substitute a loaf of french bread. You'll need about half of a loaf for the recipe so I recommend freezing the other half to use later.
Butter: You'll want unsalted butter for this recipe.
Garlic: You'll need 2-3 cloves for this recipe. Make sure it's pretty finely minced.
Grated parmesan: Some garlic bread recipes don't call for cheese, but I think it's a key ingredient. The salty paremsan gives it extra flavor and texture. I recommend using freshly grated for the best results.
Spices: sea salt, dried parsley
How to make garlic bread from scratch
A few notes and tips before you get started:
Soften the butter. This is a key step because without softened butter it's really difficult to incorporate the garlic! Leave some unsalted butter out to soften for about an hour before you are going to make the garlic bread.
Make the compound butter. Compound butter is butter with other ingredients mixed in. In this case, those other ingredients are garlic, salt, parmesan cheese, and parsley.
Prepare the bread. Place the slices of bread on a sheet pan and slather one side of each slice with the compound butter mixture. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on each slice.
Bake the bread. Pop the sheet pan in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown and toasty. This is a recipe where you want to watch the cooking time closely. If your oven runs cool, you may need to bake the bread for closer to 15 minutes.
Make-ahead tip: You can make the compound butter a couple of days in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to make the bread. Just remember to take it out and let it soften for about an hour. Also, see the section about freezing this bread if you want to prep everything beforehand.
Frequently asked questions
- Why sliced bread instead of the whole loaf? Given the shape of a ciabatta loaf, prefer to slice the loaf crosswise, like you see in the photo above, before slathering on the butter. If you prefer, you can slice the entire loaf in half lengthwise to create to large slabs, then slice into smaller pieces after baking
- Fresh parsley or dried? Since you are mixing this into the butter and then baking it, dried parsley works well. You can use fresh as well, I'd recommend finely chopped Italian parsely if you do.
- What do I do with leftovers? You can wrap any leftover slices in aluminum foil and store them in the refrigerator for a day or two, then reheat in a toaster over, however, this bread is really best straight out of the oven. If you don't think you'll eat all six slices you can save some of the butter and cook the remaing slices the next day.
Can I freeze garlic bread?
Yes, you can. If you want to freeze it before baking I'd recommend you slice the bread in half lengthwise to make two large slabs. Spread the butter mixture on the bread, place it on a sheet pan, and freeze for 25-30 minutes until the butter mixture is solid. Then wrap the bread with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and place in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to heat, unwrap, and place the frozen bread on a sheet pan. Bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes or golden brown.
Tools you'll want for this recipe
Sheet pan – You'll want a half sheet pan so you have enough room for all the slices. A sheet pan is the best option for this recipe to ensure the bread doesn't slide off when you remove it from the oven.
Microplane Zester – I consider this to be an essential kitchen tool. It's great for grating hard cheese, and zesting all kinds of citrus.
Just add a simple green salad and you've got yourself an easy yet elegant weeknight meal.
More unique side dish reicpes
If you are looking for more ideas for interesting side dish recipes check out these reader favorites:
Homemade Ciabatta Garlic Bread
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softenend
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons grated parmsan cheese, divided
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ load ciabatta bread, sliced
- Heat oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F
- Make the compound butter. Add the butter, salt, garlic, parsley, and 1 tablespoon of parmesan to a small bowl. Mix well.
- Prepare the bread. Place the slices of bread on a sheet pan. Spread the butter mixture on one side of each slice, making sure to coat the entire slice.
- Bake the bread. Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
- You should be able to get six slices of bread out of half of a loaf.
- If you slice the loaf longways, you may need to increase the baking time slightly.