If you’re looking for the essential homemade garlic bread recipe, this is it! With just 5 simple ingredients, 5-minutes of prep, and no chopping; this garlicky, buttery, cheesy bread is made from scratch and comes together with almost no effort. Be warned, though, you’ll need to make enough for seconds!

Closeup shot of two halves of a loaf of bread made into garlic bread. One of the halves is sliced.

Recipe Testing Notes

Homemade garlic bread is one of those recipes that feel both retro and modern in the best possible ways.

It represents the ultimate in simplicity, yet packs a punch in the flavor department via classic ingredients like butter, garlic, and just the right amount of cheese.

What’s more, it makes the perfect side dish for so many recipes. 

Spaghetti and meatballs? Check. Baked shells? Of course. Ground turkey and shells? Check, check, and check.

When I set out to create the Essential garlic bread, I wanted to accomplish two things: 1) ease of prep, and 2) classic, cravable flavors that will cause people to demand seconds.

Especially when store bought garlic bread is so easy to come by, I knew I needed to make this homemade version so effortless that you can skip the premade stuff in favor of making it from scratch.

I did this by using garlic powder (so you don’t need to cut or mince a thing), pre-grated cheese (again, no prep work), and dry Italian seasoning (ditto, no chopping or sourcing fresh herbs).

The fantastic thing is that these 4 ingredients combine to create the classic garlic bread flavor, and my testers (ahem, my family) liked the version with garlic powder and dried herbs even better than the version with minced fresh garlic and chopped fresh herbs.

All in all, this recipe saves you time but doesn’t sacrifice on taste and flavor.

And when I tell you to make enough for seconds, believe me.

People will be going back for more, and then demanding (in the nicest possible way) that you make this one all the time. 

Step-by-Step Visual Guide: How to Make Garlic Bread

Jump to Recipe Instructions

Make it Ahead and Freezing Notes for Garlic Bread

You have two options when it comes to making this garlic bread ahead.

First, you can make the garlic butter mixture, then cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

When ready to make the bread, allow the butter to come to room temperature, then proceed with the recipe.

You can also make the garlic bread as written, then sandwich the two pieces together, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 3 months.

You can cook directly from frozen, just add an additional 10-15 minutes for the bread to come to temperature.

Overhead image of a serving dish with garlic bread slices. A hand is reaching in to grab one of the pieces.

Ingredients and Elaborations

French bread: Look for a 1-pound French bread loaf or Italian bread loaf (not a baguette) near the prepared garlic bread at your local grocery store. You can use any wide, soft, bakery-style bread in this recipe, but avoid anything with a super hard crust, as it will be too hard to bite into after cooking in the oven. See the step-by-step photo section for an example of the ideal loaf for this recipe.

Butter: Allow the butter to come to room temperature for best spreadability. If you need to speed the process, place the butter in the microwave and heat in 15 second increments until the desired consistency is reached. I used unsalted butter, but if you salted butter will also work.

Garlic powder: Feel free to add additional garlic powder if you love a strong garlic flavor, or less if you are very sensitive to garlic. You can use fresh minced garlic as well (use 1-3 cloves), but I found fresh garlic to be a little too strong and overpowered the other ingredients. Again, it’s personal preference so feel free to adjust to taste.

Italian seasoning: I always have a good quality Italian seasoning on hand, as it’s so versatile and adds ease to many recipes. You can swap in freshly minced parsley if you prefer, or add a handful of fresh chopped herbs along with the dried herbs if you like.

Overhead shot of slices of garlic bread on parchment paper.

The Side that Goes with Everything

Seriously, The Essential garlic bread goes with everything, but a few of my favorites ways to serve it is with juicy marinara meatballs, ground turkey spaghetti, classic baked shells with meat, slow cooker soups, and ground turkey with shells.

Overhead shot of two halves of a loaf of bread made into garlic bread. One of the halves is sliced.
5 stars (3 ratings)

Time-Saving Garlic Bread (5-Ingredients!)

If you're looking for the essential homemade garlic bread recipe, you've found it! With just 5 simple ingredients, 5-minutes of prep, and no chopping; this garlicky, buttery, cheesy bread is made from scratch and comes together with almost no effort.

Ingredients

  • 1 (1-pound) soft French or Italian bread loaf, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) softened butter, salted or unsalted
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons no-salt added Italian seasoning

Optional

  • chopped fresh parsley

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • To a medium bowl, add the butter, parmesan, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated and the butter mixture is smooth.
  • Place the bread pieces cut side up, then spread the butter mixture evenly on both pieces. Sandwich the bread halves together, then wrap tightly in foil.
  • Bake the foil wrapped bread for 10-18 minutes, or until the butter inside has melted, then unwrap and place both the slices of bread, cut-side up, on the foil or on a baking sheet. Bake for an additional 5 more minutes, or until the butter is golden and the bread is slightly crisp. Slice and serve.

Notes

See blog post, above, for specific details on ingredients including make ahead, substitutions, and notes.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 (of 12) pieces, Calories: 193kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 239mg, Potassium: 92mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 26IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 3mg
Nutrition disclaimer
Did you make this recipe?If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

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