Our easy garlic bread recipe has crispy edges and a soft, buttery center. Not only is it easy to make, but you can also prepare it in advance.
Related: We also love this garlic bread made with roasted garlic.
Buttery Garlic Bread From Scratch
After seeing how easy it is to make garlic bread from scratch, you will never buy store-bought or frozen garlic bread again. This recipe is so easy, plus you can prepare it in advance. The ingredients are simple. Here’s what you will need:
- Bread — We love to use a French or Italian loaf of bread. Bread that’s not too crusty on the outside and that has a nice soft center is best. Think ciabatta bread or a simple French bread loaf.
- Butter — For the best results, we need softened butter. If you’re like us and always forget to take the butter out of the fridge in advance, we have a quick trick to soften butter. Cut the butter up into small cubes, then set them aside to soften. The smaller cubes of butter will soften much quicker than the whole stick.
- Fresh garlic — The amount of garlic can be increased or decreased depending on how garlicky you want things. No matter how much you use, mince it finely (or use a garlic press) to make sure that no one bites into a big chunk of garlic. If you love roasted garlic, we have this roasted garlic bread recipe, too.
- Parsley or basil — You can make this without fresh herbs, but for the prettiest and tastiest bread, we like to add a handful of chopped fresh parsley to the garlic-butter mixture. Basil is also lovely.
- Cheese — For the most decadent garlic bread, we love to add shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese to garlic butter mixture. If you don’t have cheese on hand, you can always leave it out.
- Salt and pepper — For the best garlic bread, you need to season well. We add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to the butter before slathering it over the bread.
How to Make Garlic Bread
The trick for soft, buttery garlic bread is to wrap your bread in foil or parchment paper. This way, the bread stays soft in the middle and becomes crispy around the edges. I love how this garlic bread recipe creates a soft, warm, buttery center. It’s divine.
To make garlic bread, slice a bread loaf in half, lengthwise. Then, make your garlic butter with softened butter, minced garlic, chopped fresh parsley, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper. If you love roasted garlic, try using a couple of heads of roasted garlic in place of the minced garlic.
Now spread the butter all over both bread halves. Be generous. Then wrap in foil and bake in a hot oven until the butter melts into the bread.
Unwrap the bread and place the bread with the cut sides facing up. Scatter cheese on top and bake, uncovered, until the cheese melts and the edges crisp up a little. Or, leave the cheese off and bake until the edges are crispy.
Do I Need to Wrap Garlic Bread in Foil?
As I mentioned above, we love when garlic bread is soft and buttery in the middle. Wrapping the loaf in foil (or parchment paper) ensures this result. For a crispier garlic bread that’s more toasted on top, don’t wrap and bake for a shorter period (10 to 15 minutes). For another slightly more crisp take on garlic bread, see our basil and cheese garlic bread.
Here are two ways to make garlic bread in advance:
- The garlic butter mixture can be made well in advance and kept in the fridge — think of it as a flavored butter. It keeps in the refrigerator for a week, if not more. When you are ready to make the bread, let the garlic butter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or so before spreading it onto the bread and baking.
- The bread can be spread with garlic butter 8 hours ahead of time. Wrap it in foil and keep in the fridge until about 30 minutes before you are ready to bake.
What to Eat With Garlic Bread
This bread is so delicious. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to serve it with:
- I love dipping cheesy garlic bread into a bowl of soup. Try this creamy vegetable soup, our three-ingredient tomato soup or this ham and cabbage soup.
- Instead of pasta, we love serving these tender turkey meatballs with garlic bread. The tomato basil sauce is made from scratch (it’s so easy).
- Swapping pasta for garlic bread is also an excellent plan when making our quick and easy shrimp scampi. This combination has my mouth watering.
- And speaking of pasta, this garlic bread would be incredible next to our easy buttered noodles, this meaty lasagna, or this sausage and spinach fettuccine alfredo.
Easy Garlic Bread
For the best garlic bread, use softened butter and a generous amount of fresh garlic. We bake the bread wrapped in foil and turn the bread once during baking so that the bottom crust of the loaf does become too hard.
You Will Need
1 loaf French or Italian bread (1 pound)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, see notes for using salted butter
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (3 to 4 cloves)
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley or basil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, optional
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, optional
1Set the oven rack to the center position. Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2Combine the softened butter, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Use a fork to mix the ingredients together.
3Slice the loaf of bread in half, lengthwise. Face the bread halves cut-side-up, and then divide the garlic butter mixture between each half. Spread into an even layer all the way to the edges. Put the bread halves back together and wrap with foil.
4Place the wrapped garlic bread onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip the bread and bake another 5 to 10 minutes or until the butter has melted into the middle of the loaf.
5Unwrap the foil then position the bread halves so that the cut-side is facing up. Scatter cheese over the bread then bake, uncovered, until the cheese melts and the edges of the bread crisp up a little, about 5 minutes.
6Slice the bread and serve warm. Keep garlic bread warm by wrapping in foil. Or wrap in foil and keep in a warm oven (170 to 200 degrees F).
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Using salted butter is fine in this recipe. You may want to reduce the amount of additional salt you add to the garlic butter mixture.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.