This cheesy garlic bread blends buttery garlic, a melody of melted cheese, and herbs atop crispy French bread. Perfect side dish or appetizer for any occasion.
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Table of Contents
- About Cheesy Garlic Bread
- What’s in cheesy garlic bread?
- What type of bread should you use?
- Can you use fresh herbs instead?
- Should you shred your own cheese?
- What to serve with cheesy garlic bread
- What else can you add?
- Can you make this in advance?
- How long is it good for?
- Can you freeze it?
- How to reheat garlic bread
- Notes & tips for cheesy bread
- More great appetizers
- Other delicious side dishes
- How to make cheesy garlic bread
- Recipe Details
About Cheesy Garlic Bread
No matter if you’re searching for a fits-everything side dish or an easy appetizer, cheesy garlic bread boasts a combination that’s hard to resist: the rich aroma of garlic melding seamlessly with gooey melted cheese on a perfect slice of bread.
It’s the best kind of comfort food for any occasion, whether that be a casual family dinner, a gathering with friends, or even a solitary evening in front of the TV.
What’s in cheesy garlic bread?
To whip up this deliciously easy recipe for cheesy garlic bread, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:
- Salted butter, fresh garlic, garlic powder, dried thyme, and dried oregano – Mixed together and used to coat the bread with buttery garlic-and-herb-infused flavor.
- French bread – The star of the show! Because you can’t have garlic bread without the bread.
- Mozzarella cheese, Colby cheese, and Parmesan cheese – The delicious blend of cheeses that are baked on top of the garlic and butter bread.
- Parsley – Used as a garnish after baking (and totally optional), a little dash of herb gives the cheesy bread an appetizing pop of color.
What type of bread should you use?
In most cases, French bread is the “classic” choice when making garlic bread. With its crispy, flaky crust and soft middle, French bread holds up well (and tastes amazing with) the buttery and cheesy goodness of prepared garlic bread.
But if you’re on the hunt for some other alternatives that will get the job done just as well, check out the following:
- Ciabatta – Ciabatta closely resembles French bread. But ciabatta is made with extra moisture in the dough, giving the soft inside more of those dreamy airy pockets once it’s baked.
- Sourdough – Sourdough and French bread share some structural vibes, but sourdough brings its trademark tangy flavor to the table. When crafting that perfect cheesy delight with sourdough, think about mixing in cheeses like cheddar, Swiss, or Monterey Jack to truly harmonize with its tang.
- White bread – Simple and easy to find, classic white bread can be a respectable base for your garlic bread fix. However, using white bread in this way technically means you’re making cheesy Texas toast, as the main difference between the two is using baked loaves versus commercial sliced bread. But what’s in a name? They’re all still part of the buttered cheesy bread family at the end of the day (and on your plate).
Can you use fresh herbs instead?
Like most recipes, whipping up the best cheesy garlic bread is all about the ingredients you choose. And while this recipe suggests dried thyme and oregano for convenience, don’t hesitate to swap them out if you’ve got fresh herbs on hand. Embracing the freshness can elevate this already delightful side dish to true perfection!
As a general rule, dried herbs are three times as potent as fresh ones, so to substitute, use the following guidelines:
- To convert dried to fresh, multiply the dried herb amount by three.
- To convert fresh to dried, divide the fresh herb amount by three.
In the case of this particular recipe, that means you’ll need one tablespoon each (1 teaspoon x 3 = 1 tablespoon) of fresh chopped thyme and oregano to substitute for the dried herbs.
Should you shred your own cheese?
Using pre-grated cheese is extremely convenient, but it often contains some preservatives (such as potato starch) that help keep the grated cheese separated in the bag. And while this is great for grabbing a quick pinch of cheese, it will also cause the melted cheese to appear lumpy or harden faster than it normally should.
So if you’re a cheese lover like me and want the creamiest experience possible for your cheesy bread, I highly recommend shredding as much of the cheese as you can (Parmesan, mozzarella, and Colby). It’s a bit more work, but the improved consistency is worth the effort.
What to serve with cheesy garlic bread
When it comes to garlic bread, the easier question might be what can’t you serve with it – because really, what dish couldn’t be improved with a side serving of buttery cheese-covered bread, amirite?
So while I can’t list all of the dishes that pair well with a side of crisp buttered bread, I can list a few of my absolute favorites:
- Soups, especially tomato, creamy, or hearty varieties, such as tomato bisque, hamburger soup, Cincinnati chili, or chicken lemon rice soup.
- Pasta, particularly marinara and cream-based, such as ricotta stuffed shells, shrimp scampi linguine, easy cheesy manicotti, or seafood gnocchi with white wine sauce.
- All sorts of meats and vegetable dishes, such as salmon patties, salt and pepper chicken wings, bacon wrapped cream cheese stuffed chicken, baked Parmesan shrimp, jerk chicken skewers, and crock pot ranch pork chops.
- Fresh salads for a crunchy contrast.
What else can you add?
The foundation of cheesy garlic bread offers a plethora of customization options:
- Spice it up with red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
- A thin layer of ricotta cheese for a creamier texture and flavor.
- Make it heartier with cooked and crumbled bacon or prosciutto.
- Add some veggies like sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, olives, onion, or sliced peppers.
Can you make this in advance?
Certainly! This is the type of side dish (or appetizer!) that’s ideal for whipping up in advance.
To do this, assemble the cheesy garlic bread completely, both by coating it in the garlic butter mixture and garnishing with cheese on top. Do not bake it between these two steps. Once done, wrap it up in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
When ready to make, let the garlic bread come to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes, then bake for 10-15 minutes.
How long is it good for?
Once prepared and cooled, this homemade garlic bread can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Can you freeze it?
Yes, you totally can! Garlic bread freezes well both before and after baking.
To freeze before baking:
- Assemble the garlic bread completely, both by coating it in the garlic butter mixture and garnishing with cheese on top. Do not bake it between these two steps.
- Wrap the assembled garlic bread in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Freeze for up to one to two months.
- When ready to bake, allow the garlic bread to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then let come to room temperature by allowing it to rest on the counter for 30 minutes before baking.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly.
To freeze after baking:
- Once prepared and cooled, wrap the cheesy garlic bread in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Freeze for up to one to two months.
How to reheat garlic bread
When you’re ready to enjoy your garlic bread leftovers, use the following guide for heating it back up to cheesy perfection:
NOTE: In almost all cases, cheesy garlic bread will reheat better if close to room temperature. Frozen garlic bread should first be thawed in the refrigerator overnight, and if the bread is still chilled (from being in the refrigerator) you can rest it on the counter for 30 minutes to bring up the temperature before baking.
- Oven method (preferred)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange bread on the baking sheet, cheesy side up.
- Bake bread for about 10 minutes. At this point, check the bread; it should be crisp and the cheese should be melted and bubbly. Baking time may vary due to the thickness of the bread and the amount of cheese. If needed, cook for another 2-5 minutes. The garlic bread is ready when the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Microwave method (quick method)
- For frozen bread, heat uncovered for 30-60 seconds.
- For bread chilled in the refrigerator, heat for 15 seconds.
Notes & tips for cheesy bread
- This recipe calls for a blend of three cheeses (Parmesan, mozzarella, and Colby) but feel free to use an equal portion of your own personal blend of cheeses if you’d like.
- If you’re concerned about controlling the seasoning, consider using unsalted butter as opposed to salted butter.
- Monitoring is key! Ovens vary, so watch closely to prevent over-toasting.
More great appetizers
Other delicious side dishes
How to make cheesy garlic bread
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 3 – Next, place the French bread on your prepped baking sheet, cut side looking up. Generously spread the garlic butter mixture over the cut sides of the bread.
Step 4 – Bake!
Step 5 – Layer on the mozzarella, Colby, and Parmesan cheese on top of the cut, buttered side of the bread for that gooey goodness.
Step 6 – Bake again!
Step 7 – Garnish the finished cheesy garlic bread with a touch of fresh parsley. Let it sit for a moment – around 2-5 minutes – then, if you’re in the mood, slice it into convenient one-inch sticks.
Step 8 – Serve and enjoy!
Cheesy Garlic Bread
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 loaf French bread, sliced horizontally
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded Colby cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- fresh chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together butter, garlic, garlic powder, thyme, and oregano.1/2 cup salted butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Arrange French bread halves on prepared baking sheet with cut sides facing up. Spread garlic butter mixture over cut sides of bread.1 loaf French bread
- Bake uncovered for 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top bread with mozzarella, Colby, and Parmesan cheese.1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 cup shredded Colby cheese, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and garnish with fresh parsley. Let rest for 2-5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch sticks (optional).fresh chopped parsley
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.