Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread – French bread that’s been brushed with melted garlic butter and Italian seasoning, then topped with mounds of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and baked to perfection is what this EASY appetizer, snack, or side is all about! Garlic bread with cheese is a family favorite that no one can resist and ready in just 15 minutes!
Table of Contents
- Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe
- Ingredients in Garlic Bread with Cheese
- How to Make Garlic Cheese Bread
- Serving Suggestions for Homemade Garlic Cheese Bread
- Serve With These Easy Recipes
- Storage, Make Ahead & Reheating Info
- Tips for the Best Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Recipe FAQs
- Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe
- More Easy Cheesy Bread and Pizza Recipes:
Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe
Everyone’s favorite snack, appetizer, or family friendly side dish is coming in hot and fresh!
That’s right, this easy 15-minute recipe for easy cheesy garlic bread is a guaranteed family favorite. And it’s a total cinch to make using just a handful of ingredients. You’ll wonder why you haven’t always been making it!
Using a loaf of French bread from your local grocery store bakery that’s doctored up with Italian-seasoned and garlic-infused melted butter, ooey-gooey mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan for extra flavor, I promise this fantastic garlic bread with all that melted cheese is going to disappear in no time.
You can just dive right in, maybe dunking it in some marinara sauce, ranch, or blue cheese dressing.
Or you can make this as a side to accompany your favorite pasta or Italian recipe, make this semi homemade cheesy garlic bread recipe to dunk into a bowl of soup or chili, as an afterschool snack for the kiddos or grandkids. Or whip it up for hungry game day fans – Super Bowl and March Madness, I’m looking at you – this is a hit, always!
Ingredients in Garlic Bread with Cheese
Just a handful of extremely common and easy-to-find ingredients are needed for this quick garlic cheese bread recipe including:
- French bread
- Unsalted butter (salted butter is fine if you want a saltier flavor)
- Garlic cloves
- Italian seasoning
- Parmesan cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Fresh parsley, basil, oregano; optional for garnishing
- Pinch of salt, optional if desired
- Red pepper flakes, optional if desired
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Garlic Cheese Bread
With only 5 minutes of prep time, and less than 15 minutes of cook time, this is a perfect side dish or appetizer recipe! Here’s an overview of how the french bread garlic cheese bread is made:
Step 1: Slice the bread vertically and place it on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet
Step 2: In a small bowl, combine melted butter, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and brush the garlic butter mixture evenly over the inside or interior cut sides of the bread.
Step 3: Evenly sprinkle the Parm and mozzarella over the top and bake for about 12 mins.
Step 4: Optionally, but recommended, broil for about 2-3 minutes until golden grown, keeping a VERY watchful eye on it so it doesn’t burn!
Step 5: Optionally garnish with fresh parsley or your favorite herbs, and optional salt and red pepper flakes, and serve!
Serving Suggestions for Homemade Garlic Cheese Bread
Name a meal, this easy side dish recipe goes perfectly with it!
From main dishes and pasta friendly recipes such as Spaghetti and Meatballs to Steak and Potatoes to your favorite Lasagna Soup or Beef Chili, no one can turn down a piece of warm, cheesy garlic bread.
Or if you’re having a game day party or celebration, event, or gathering and are doing lots of appetizers, side dishes, or a salad, the cheese and garlic bread will fit right in. Set it alongside everything else, and I promise it’ll be one of the first to go!
In the photos, the cheesy garlic bread is shown with a side of marinara sauce. You can use store bought marinara or make your own homemade marinara sauce if you have a favorite recipe.
Storage, Make Ahead & Reheating Info
In the Refrigerator: This recipe will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
In the Freezer: This recipe (unbaked) will keep airtight in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Make Ahead: Prep it, wrap it well, freeze it, and then bake it off like you would a frozen pizza when you’re ready to enjoy it. You’ll probably need to add a few extra minutes to the bake time.
To Reheat: I use my microwave for quickness and ease and reheat my leftovers for about 30 seconds, or as needed. But you can use your oven if preferred. It will reheat more “nicely” and evenly in the oven, but truthfully the microwave is ‘good enough’ for me when it comes to rewarming leftovers.
Tips for the Best Cheesy Garlic Bread
Cheese: Use a combo of mozzarella and Parmesan for best results. See the FAQs below for more info on this. I don’t like cheddar cheese or provolone as much in this recipe but you can use use a bit of each if you have them on hand.
Freshly Grated Cheese: If you want to grate a 12-ounce block of mozzarella, be my guest. It will taste and melt a bit better than anything in a bag already grated, but if you’re pressed for time, use 3 cups from a bag of shredded cheese for convenience.
For the Parmesan, because it’s only 1/3 cup, you can grate that from a block in no time, or use it from a container already grated like Trader Joe’s or most supermarkets have in their gourmet cheese area.
Fresh Garlic: Being that garlic is a key ingredient in Cheesy Garlic Bread, I suggest finely mincing fresh garlic rather than using pre-minced garlic from a jar or bottle. Use 3 to 5 cloves, depending on how garlicky you want your garlic cheese bread.
Garlic Powder: If you’re a super-fan of garlic, you an also add a bit of garlic powder to the melted butter mixture to really amp up the garlic flavor.
Flavor Variations: Adding a layer of pesto after you add the melted butter mixture is a great idea. I have seen people put mayonnaise on the bread before adding the garlic butter mixture. If you’re a mayo fan and this secret ingredient sounds good to you, be my guest!
Fresh herbs: Garnishing with fresh herbs of any kind is great – including parsley, basil, oregano, or your favorite herbs.
Watch Closely: If you choose to broil this bread, and I do recommend doing so in order to achieve that golden browed cheese flavor and appearance, make sure you DON’T walk away from your broiler. Don’t turn your back on it, get distracted, or all of a sudden decide it’s time to start multi-tasking.
You’re only going to be broiling for about 2 minutes so I recommend just standing in front of your oven, with the door ajar if you’d like, and WATCHING exactly just how golden brown things are getting. With a 500F+ degree broiler, things can go from golden to charred in a matter of seconds so use caution and keep a watchful eye!
I use shredded mozzarella and plenty of it – about 3 cups (12 ounces) – because it’s what gives you those ooey-gooey long, melted, cheese pulls. It’s “pizza cheese”, or in this case – it’s garlic cheese bread cheese! There’s really no substitute for it. Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, or Pepper Jack also melt nicely and you can sub about 1 cup of either for 1 cup of the mozzarella if you’d like.
I also use a much smaller amount of Parmesan, about 1/3 cup, for it’s extra sharp flavor. There really isn’t a substitute for Parm, other than perhaps a Pecorino-Parm blend. Make sure to use real Parmesan cheese, and nothing from a green can!
Use a 1-pound (16 ounce) loaf French bread. I use freshly baked French bread from the bakery section of my grocery store. You can also use Italian bread.
Don’t use a regular loaf of bread. You want bread with nice crusty exterior and a soft-yet-substantial-enough interior to hold up to all the cheese you’re going to pile on. French bread is the clear winner!
I have seen parmesan garlic cheese bread done before with Hawaiian rolls or refrigerated biscuit dough, although this recipe isn’t written that way. I have these awesome Stuffed Cheese Bomb Rolls though which fills that need and are similar to cheesy garlic pull apart bread.
No, you don’t have to broil it. However, the only sure-fire way to get those well-done golden spots on the cheese is with your broiler. And it only takes a couple minutes!
I am partial to butter in this recipe rather than olive oil but you can add a drizzle of olive oil, in addition to the butter, if you’d like. It’ll make it extra decadent but I wouldn’t try to swap oil for butter here.
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Cheesy Garlic Bread
- 1 pound fresh French bread, halved vertically
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted (salted butter may be substituted if preferred)
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided; plus more for garnishing if desired
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella Cheese, divided (use a 12-ounce block if grating it yourself)
- Fresh parsley, basil, oregano, or other herbs for garnishing, optional and to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easier cleanup if desired; set aside.
- Slice the French bread vertically, so you have two long pieces with an interior cut side. Tips – I buy my 1 pound (16 ounce) loaf of French bread from my grocery store's bakery section. You can also use Italian bread or anything hearty, crusty bread if that's what you have available. Don't use regular bread because it won't stand up to the weight of the butter and cheese.
- Place the bread with the interior cut side facing up. Tip – If the half that used to the the top of the bread is a little wobbly or won't sit flat on your baking sheet, using a knife shave off the offending area so it will lay flat. This is important so the cheese doesn't slide off while it bakes. Set aside.
- To a 2-cup glass measuring cup (easier) or small bowl microwave-safe bowl, add the butter, and heat on high for about 45-60 seconds to melt.
- Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and stir to combine. Tips – If you love garlic and want to make this more garlicky, you can add additional freshly minced garlic, or add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt. You can also add salt and/or pepper to the melted butter mixture if you want it saltier.
- Evenly pour the butter over the cut side of the bread. If you melted the butter in a small bowl, use a brush to brush it on. Make sure to use every last drop!
- Evenly sprinkle the 1/3 cup Parmesan divided over the two halves of bread and then evenly sprinkle the 3 cups of mozzarella divided over the two halves.
- Baking – Bake for about 12 minutes on the middle rack, or until the cheese has melted. Make sure to keep a close eye on it since all ovens bake differently, and all cheese melts at different rates, so bake until done and melted as desired in your oven. You can stop here although I recommend broiling it momentarily, see Step 9.
- Broiling (optional but recommended) – Turn your oven to high broil and allow the bread to broil for about 2-3 minutes. Tips – You don't have to move the baking sheet to the top oven rack, and it can just remain on the middle rack. This is safer since its farther away from the heat source, and while it may take an extra minute, you'll have more control over the heat output and it'll be less prone to accidentally burning. Make sure not to get distracted, nor start multitasking. I recommend standing at the oven door (closed or open, as you prefer) for the 2-3 minutes it will take to broil the bread, and simply watch it so that cheese becomes dotted with golden spots and neither the cheese nor the bread actually burns!
- Optionally garnish the baked bread with fresh herbs as desired, and optionally sprinkle a bit more Parmesan before serving. Serve immediately. Bread is best hot and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. I reheat carefully in my microwave, although you can reheat in your oven, if preferred. See Notes below for freezer and make-ahead instructions.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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