Cheesy Garlic Bread (aka Cheezy Garlic Crack Bread) is the best garlic bread you'll ever taste, oozing with gooey cheese and seasoned with a perfect blend of fresh garlic and herbs. This family favorite only takes about 15-20 minutes to make and is the perfect side dish for any Italian meal, or appetizer for a party.
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Looking for something to round out your menu? This cheesy garlic bread is always devoured by our family and is an at-home version of one of our Italian restaurant favorites. No one can resist that buttery garlic bread with a toasted stretchy cheese pull!
The origins of cheesy mozzarella garlic bread lie in the rustic culinary traditions of Italy, where minced garlic cloves, fresh herbs, and artisan bread have long been staples of Italian recipes. But it was American influences that added melted cheese, elevating the classic garlic bread to the beloved garlic cheese bread we adore today.
With the bread toasted to golden brown perfection and layered with mouth-watering melted cheese, this delicious side dish is the best cheesy garlic bread you'll ever taste.
If you love delicious garlic bread, check out my recipes for Grilled Garlic Bread, Homemade Garlic Naan Bread, Roasted Garlic & Rosemary No-Knead Artisan Bread, Soft Garlic Parmesan Homemade Breadsticks, and Better Than Papa John's Garlic Knots!
Why We Love This Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe
- The best part of this great recipe is its versatility. Choosing a different kind of cheese or bread loaf can easily transform this homemade garlic bread recipe.
- You can create a cheesy bread that looks and tastes gourmet with just a few high-quality ingredients. A soft loaf of French bread, a mix of mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and fresh garlic cloves are all you need to impress your guests.
- This easy cheesy garlic bread is the perfect simple recipe for a last-minute addition to any meal or when you need a quick, easy recipe for a satisfying treat.
What You'll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Bread - For best results, choose a delicious loaf of bread with a crispy crust and soft interior.
- Butter - The butter melts as it bakes, adding richness deep into the bread. The melted butter also helps the garlic and herb flavors to soak into the bread.
- Garlic - Garlic is the star of the show, adding that distinct aroma and flavor.
- Italian Seasoning - This blend of herbs adds depth and complements the garlic.
- Salt & Pepper - Enhances overall flavor, and you can adjust the amount according to your taste.
- Cheese - Mozzarella is a good melting cheese that adds stringy gooeyness and a mild, creamy flavor which contrasts with the sharp, saltiness of the parmesan.
- Fresh Parsley - Adds a fresh, herbal note and vibrant color as a garnish.
How to Make Homemade Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Create garlic butter. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy clean-up. Combine softened butter, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and mix well.
- Slice bread. Using a serrated knife, slice the bread in half lengthwise and place each slice onto the prepared baking tray.
- Add butter and cheese. Spread the garlic mixture onto the cut side of the bread, then sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Bake and garnish. Bake for 12–14 minutes until hot and the cheese has melted. Broil during the last 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
- Slice and serve. Use a sharp knife to cut the bread slices into smaller pieces if desired, and serve immediately.
To cook this garlic bread in an air fryer, simply prepare it as usual and set it in the basket. Cook for 5-7 minutes at 350°F, or until the cheese melts and the bread turns golden brown.
Yes, simply replace the Italian or French bread with your favorite gluten-free bread, and ensure that any toppings you use are also gluten-free.
Yes, this recipe is really adaptable, and adding cooked and crumbled bacon or thinly sliced pepperoni can add an extra layer of flavor. I recommend adding it before the cheese so that the cheese melts over it when baking. Yum!
You can prepare the garlic butter mixture and spread it over the bread ahead of time. Wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate where it will keep well for 2-3 days. For the best texture, bake it just before serving.
Wrap tightly with aluminum foil and store it in the fridge for 2-3 days. You will want to reheat covered with foil in the oven until hot before enjoying.
I would not recommend freezing any leftovers, but you can freeze as a make-ahead option. Spread the softened butter and garlic mixture over the bread and wrap with aluminum foil, then wrap tightly with two layers of plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can bake the bread from frozen by adding 10 minutes to the baking time, or thaw it overnight in the fridge.
Tips for Success
- Avoid overly dense or hard breads, as they might not absorb the garlic butter well and could become too tough after baking. A good quality Italian or French bread with a crispy crust and soft interior works best.
- Pre-shredded cheeses often contain grainy or floury anti-caking agents that can affect how the cheese melts and tastes, so use freshly shredded mozzarella for the best melting quality. For parmesan, opt for freshly grated off-the-block for a richer flavor.
- Keep an eye on the bread so that it doesn't overbake, especially during the last few minutes in the oven. If you prefer a crunchier top, broil the bread for the last 1-2 minutes, but it can burn easily so watch it closely.
Getting the Garlic Flavor Just Right
For the most garlic flavor, use fresh garlic cloves for a more pungent taste or garlic powder for a more evenly distributed and milder flavor.
If you are a garlic enthusiast, don't shy away from adding an extra clove or two, or even using garlic and herb butter instead of salted butter.
Remember, the key is to balance the garlic with the other flavors.
Substitutions and Variations
- While I think mozzarella and parmesan make the best cheese mix for this recipe, feel free to experiment with other cheeses like cheddar, Monterey Jack, or even a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses for a sharper flavor that still has gooeyness. Parmigiano Reggiano is a more refined (and more expensive) version of Parmesan and using it will likely earn you brownie points from any cheese aficionados you may know.
- Try different types of bread to find the best bread for you. The perfect bread for cheese garlic bread is one where the outside of the bread has a good crust while the inside is soft and fluffy, so anything like crusty sourdough bread, a pull-apart bread like a ciabatta loaf or challah bread, or any variety of Italian bread would all work well.
- You can go wild with the toppings on this one! Add some meats like cooked and crumbled bacon, or slices of pepperoni, chorizo, and salami, and try using traditional Italian flavors such as olives, sundried tomatoes, and a little drizzle of olive oil. Using other herbs like rosemary or thyme would be wonderful, and you can also add a bit of surprise heat with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes as a secret ingredient underneath the melted cheese!
- Make your bread loaded with flavor by using extra garlic cloves, and even garlic and herb butter instead of salted butter.
More Italian-Inspired Appetizer Recipes
- Easy Bruschetta Recipe
- Easy Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- St. Louis Toasted Ravioli
- Grilled Caprese Panini
- Easy Chicken Parmesan Sliders
- Homemade Mozzarella Sticks
- Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing
- Caprese Salad
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Cheesy Garlic Bread
- 1 loaf Italian bread or French bread
- ½ cup salted butter, softened
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped or 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy clean-up. Combine softened butter, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and mix well.
- Using a serrated knife, slice the bread in half lengthwise and place each slice onto the prepared baking tray.
- Spread the garlic mixture onto the cut side of the bread, then sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 12–14 minutes until hot and the cheese has melted. Broil during the last 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the bread slices into smaller pieces if desired, and serve immediately.
- Make Ahead: Spread the sliced bread with the garlic butter mixture, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2-3 days. Bake before serving.
- Store: Wrap tightly with aluminum foil and store on the countertop, where it will last for 2-3 days. Avoid refrigerating as this can dry the bread out and make it stale.
- Freeze: I would not freeze leftovers, but you can freeze as a make-ahead option. Spread the softened butter and garlic mixture over the bread and wrap with aluminum foil, then wrap tightly with two layers of plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can bake the bread from frozen by adding 10 minutes to the baking time, or thaw it overnight in the fridge.