This garlic bread requires only a handful of ingredients—bread, garlic, butter, and salt—and only 15 minutes of your time yet tastes infinitely better than the store-bought stuff.
Skip those insipid grocery store garlic breads and try this easy homemade version…perhaps alongside your next dinner of pasta with red sauce. You (and everyone else at your table) will be grateful you did.–Angie Zoobkoff
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter room temperature
- Garlic (as much as you like and up to 1 head) minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
- 2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, or chives (optional)
- One (1-pound) loaf Italian bread (day old is fine)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- In a medium bowl, use a fork to mash the butter and as much garlic as you desire to create a paste. (It may appear to be up to equal parts garlic and butter. That’s okay!) Add the salt and herbs, if using, and mix again.
☞TESTER TIP: If you prefer more evenly dispersed hit of garlic or simply want to save yourself a little time (or avoid the lingering aroma of garlic on your hands), reach for your food processor to combine the butter and garlic.
- Use a bread knife to score the bread into deep, 1 1/4-inch (3-cm) thick slices, taking care to cut almost but not quite all the way through to the bottom crust of the loaf.
- Generously spread the garlic butter on each side of each slice, making sure to get it as close to the bottom of the loaf as possible. Use any remaining garlic butter to slather the exterior of the loaf—this is a game changer! Wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil.
- Bake until the garlic bread is fragrant and hot throughout, 20 to 35 minutes.
☞TESTER TIP: You can use the aroma of garlic bread in the kitchen as a guide to "doneness." If you prefer your garlic bread a more toasted and crisp at the edges, open the foil for the final 5 to 10 minutes of baking.
- Serve immediately.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
What’s not to love—garlic and butter makes everything taste good. Easy, can be made ahead, even frozen and then baked, and can be adjusted to reflect personal taste.
I didn’t use all the garlic butter. I placed the rest in plastic wrap and refrigerated it to use later.
I used 3 large cloves of minced garlic, 1 tsp basil and 1 tsp parsley, and 1/4 tsp salt. I baked it 20 minutes and the bread was hot and soft.
This garlic bread is delicious. It bakes up crisp on the outside and so tender it’s almost creamy on the inside with loads of great garlic flavor.
I added 1 tsp of kosher salt and some freshly minced flat-leaf parsley to the butter mixture prior to spreading in between the slices. Delicious!
After 20 minutes of baking, I pulled out the loaf and unwrapped it. It looked like it needed to bake longer so I returned to the oven still in the foil but not wrapped up. Baked for 4 more minutes and checked again. I tried a piece and the garlic was still a bit raw tasting so I put it back in the oven for 7 more minutes and then it seemed done.
The garlic still seemed a touch underdone but that could have been the flavor difference between pre-peeled cloves and the fresh garlic cloves I’m used to. I could have increased the amount of parsley to 3 tablespoons to see more on the finished bread. The bread was very tender and almost creamy in texture. I didn’t miss the outside being buttered but who knows, it could have possibly been even better!
This was a very simple and tasty way to make garlic bread.
I would buy day-old Italian loaf, as the fresh loaf was a bit too soft in the center and would roast a head of garlic in foil with olive oil before mixing with the butter to make it a bit milder and would probably use salted butter rather than trying to season the unsalted butter with salt.
I didn’t add fresh herbs this time round, but I do think that would really add to the recipe.
I have made a similar thing before, and would like to try seasoning the butter with garlic, onion powder, chili powder, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper and salt before spreading next time.
The 20 minutes of baking time was appropriate. I used the smell of garlic bread in the kitchen as the guide to “doneness,” then I removed it from the oven and removed the foil and the butter on the outside of the bread was melted and the crust a golden brown.
This garlic bread recipe is good and easy.
I used 1 garlic head. It was ready in 20 minutes but I think it could have gone longer without a problem. I also think you could take the aluminum foil off and let it brown a little on top.
My family loved this version of garlic bread.
I used 18 cloves of garlic. I initially started with 12 cloves but decided to add more to make the paste equal parts butter and garlic. I added 4 teaspoons of chopped fresh chives.
I would recommend the butter be left out to soften for at least 30 minutes. I removed my butter from the fridge and waited 15 minutes (my usual gauge for room temperature) and it required a bit more muscle power to soften it enough to easily blend with the garlic. I added 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and I might suggest cutting that back to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt as the bread was bordering on a titch salty. I did add 4 teaspoons of chopped chives. I used a mini spatula to incorporate the herbs into the paste.
I placed my loaf on 2 pieces of foil about 3 inches longer on either end than the loaf which I creased together to make 1 large piece of foil. In order to ensure equal placement of butter paste I first placed 1 to 2 teaspoons of the paste in between each slice depending on the size of the slice (the ends of loaf didn’t require as much butter. I had about 3 teaspoons remaining to “anoint” the exterior of the loaf, which means the butter was an appropriate amount for my loaf.
I initially baked the loaf for 20 minutes. At this point the butter was melted but I was looking for a more golden color and toastiness to the exterior. In the end I baked the loaf for a total of 35 minutes.
The majority of us loved everything about the bread and only one of us wished the bread was crisper, which would just require a bake time closer to 40 to 45 minutes.
We served this with homemade spaghetti sauce and pasta and the bread was a perfect match to dip in the sauce. Since we served this to a family of 4, we had half the loaf leftover. I wrapped the remaining half back into the foil to refrigerate for another meal. After 2 days I took the bread out, separated the slices, and placed them on an ungreased baking sheet in the oven at 475°F and baked for 20 minutes. The bread was as good as the first day, if not better with the additional crispness.
Originally published October 25, 2020