Garlic Bread


Here's how to make the best homemade garlic bread you've ever had.

Southern Living Garlic Bread on serving board

Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Active Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
15 mins

Garlic bread is the perfect way to finish off a big plate of spaghetti, or a square of lasagna, or even stuffed pasta like chicken cannelloni. We would love a piece of garlic bread with pot roast, too. Which is why it's great that this bread side is very easy to make—and can even be made and frozen for future meals.

The Best Garlic Bread for Your Favorite Meals

There are several methods for making homemade garlic bread. We've seen and tried them all, but at the end of the day, you don't need intricate cuts and slicing to slow down your meal. You need garlic bread, rich, toasty, and warm, and you need it quickly. That's what we're serving up with this garlic bread recipe.

Our recipe uses French bread, which is a type of slender bread that's similar to a baguette. However, French bread is typically a bit thicker than baguette, and it usually has a higher ratio of soft middle to crunchy crust.

The good news about this recipe for garlic bread is that you can use any type of bread you want. The flavor is in the garlic-butter spread—and of course how long you toast the bread to get the wedges a bit crispy but still soft and fluffy. So grab a rustic Sourdough, a light and airy Italian loaf, or even a basic white sandwich loaf. They'll all work.

Southern Living Garlic Bread baked on baking sheet

Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

What You Need To Make Garlic Bread

To make homemade garlic bread, you'll need just seven ingredients, most of which are in your pantry or fridge right now. The only thing you might need to grab is the bread. More on that below.

To make homemade garlic bread, grab:

  • French bread: The type of bread you use for homemade garlic bread will affect the final result. After toasting, a typical baguette may be far too hard to be enjoyable, especially if you really love soft bread. We prefer French bread, which is slightly larger than a baguette and offers the just-right ratio of soft interior and crispy crust.
  • Butter: Once warmed to room temperature, butter is the perfect vehicle for all the ingredients you'll need to make garlic bread. We also prefer it over oil because it doesn't make the bread as soggy during cooking.
  • Garlic: You can't have garlic bread without garlic. We strongly encourage you to mince fresh garlic instead of using the jarred kind. The flavor is unmatched.
  • Parsley: Add a bit of freshness and a hint of grassy herb with fresh parsley. You can skip it if you really want, but we encourage you to use it if you have it for the best flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese: If you prefer straightforward garlic bread, skip this ingredient. The bread will still be delicious. But we like adding grated Parmesan for a hint of nutty flavor. It doesn't turn super melty either when it's cooked, which keeps it easy to slice and eat.
  • Salt and pepper: If you use salted butter, scale back a bit on the salt.
Southern Living Garlic Bread ingredients

Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Storing and Freezing Garlic Bread

Homemade garlic bread is best right out of the oven. Leftovers are often not as appealing as the fresh slices. But don't let that fact cause you to toss any slices you don't eat.

Instead, reheat garlic bread in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through. If the bread is already well toasted, cover the loaf or slices loosely with aluminum foil to reduce additional browning.

The great thing about this recipe for garlic bread is that it creates two halves, so if you only need one for your meal, you can freeze the other for a future meal.

To do this, follow the recipe's directions up until you put the bread in the oven. Instead, wrap it in aluminum foil, and freeze it. It will be good up to three months in the freezer.

When you're ready to eat the frozen garlic bread, remove the aluminum foil, and follow the baking directions of this recipe. You may just need to add an additional three to five minutes to get it heated through.

What To Serve With Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is the perfect side dish for a variety of meals, including:

Editorial contributions by Kimberly Holland.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced (about 2 Tbsp.)

  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh or freeze-dried parsley

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

  • 1 (16 oz.) loaf French bread


  1. Prepare pan and oven:

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  2. Mix garlic and butter:

    In a bowl, use a fork to mix together the butter, garlic, parsley and Parmesan until it is thoroughly combined.

    Southern Living Garlic Bread butter mixed in bowl

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

  3. Slice bread, spread butter:

    Cut bread in half horizontally.

    Southern Living Garlic Bread loaf cut in half horizontally

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

    Spread garlic butter on both halves of bread and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    Southern Living Garlic Bread loaf cut in half and spread with butter

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

  4. Bake garlic bread:

    Place bread on a baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, until butter is melted and bread is lightly browned. Slice and serve warm.

    Southern Living Garlic Bread sliced on serving board

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Additional reporting by
Kimberly Holland
Kimberly Holland
Kimberly Holland is a writer and editor with 15 years of experience in food, lifestyle, health, and nutrition content. She has been published in Southern Living, Real Simple, Allrecipes, EatingWell, Cooking Light, and other publications.
Related Articles