Quick Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe (Vegan Garlic Bread Optional)

5 from 9 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

An easy cheesy garlic bread recipe (with vegan garlic bread version optional). All this quick ciabatta garlic bread needs is 7 ingredients and under 30 minutes for a delicious ooey-gooey, cheesy, garlicky side! This ciabatta garlic bread is enough to add that WOW factor to any meal! Air Fryer garlic bread method included!

A large piece of garlic bread being cut in two

If you’ve seen my recently posted roasted garlic bread, then you know how much of a fan I am of homemade garlic bread. But, where that version excels with the use of mellowed roasted garlic, this cheesy garlic bread recipe is packed with fresh, raw garlicky flavor and an ooey-gooey cheesy topping! However, I should also mention that below I’ve included options on how to adapt this recipe to vegan garlic bread (with or without cheese) and how to use an oven or air-fryer for this recipe!

What’s great about this homemade cheesy garlic bread recipe is that it’s as simple as removing the cheese to create delicious (and easy) garlic bread. Use dairy-free cheese (or omit it entirely) for naturally vegan garlic bread, too, since I’ve used olive oil rather than a buttery base. The results are packed with flavor! You’ll want to eat this cheesy bread with everything, especially to mop up creamy/cheesy pasta dishes like this vegan pasta bake and roasted tomato pasta. Or you can even serve it with warm marinara sauce – delicious!

Homemade cheese garlic bread

Best of all, this ciabatta garlic bread is super versatile; swap out the bread, swap the cheese, pump up the spice, etc. You can even prepare the garlic bread topping in advance and/or freeze it for later! Keep reading for my top tips and suggestions for the perfect cheesy garlic bread recipe (including an air fryer garlic bread method)!

Plus, if you want more ways to put your love of garlic to good use, you might also enjoy my posts on how to peel garlicmake garlic pastefreeze it, or even dry it into garlic flakes or garlic powder! I mean, you can never have too much garlic, right?!

Want to save this recipe?

Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from me every week!

The Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for cheesy garlic bread
  • Bread: Ciabatta garlic bread is one of my all-time favorites. However, you could also use a French baguette or any hearty bread loaf (like this no-knead Dutch oven loaf). Avoid soft white bread, as it will become mushy when baked.
  • Garlic: make sure to use fresh, firm garlic without any moldy or soft spots. Avoid any “lazy” garlic products here as the flavor varies wildly.
  • Herbs: I used a combination of fresh oregano and thyme, though dried would work too. Alternatively, you could also use dried Italian seasoning or fresh parsley or scallions.
  • Red pepper flakes: technically optional. However, red pepper flakes add a great pop of heat to the cheesy garlic bread recipe. Adjust the amount to personal taste. Alternatively, you could use finely diced jalapeño.
  • Oil: I used a light olive oil (nothing that’s too flavorful or it can take over). Alternatively, you could use a 75/25 combination of room temperature butter (dairy-free if necessary) and olive oil for extra buttery flavor. However, when adding cheese, this isn’t necessary. 
  • Cheese: I used a combination of freshly grated mozzarella shreds and parmesan for this recipe. Mozzarella helps to provide that ooey-gooey “cheese pull” texture. Meanwhile, the parmesan packs in tons of salty, tangy flavor. You could optionally add a third cheese like Monterey jack cheese. Keep reading for vegan alternatives.
  • Salt & pepper: you can use regular salt or salt flakes and adjust the amount to personal taste.

Optional Add-Ins and Recipe Variations

  • Vegan garlic bread: for a vegan version of this recipe, you can either omit the cheese altogether or use a combination of dairy-free mozzarella and parmesan or another melty “strong” cheese like cheddar.
  • Garlic powder: fresh raw garlic has a very robust flavor. If you’d prefer a slightly milder easy garlic bread, you could use a combination of reduced fresh garlic and either granulated garlic or garlic powder.
  • Spice: instead of red pepper flakes, you can add a little chili sauce into the garlic oil mixture.
  • Paprika: adding around ½-1 tsp smoked paprika tastes lovely when combined with garlic.
  • Pesto: spread a thin layer of pesto (like this classic Italian basil cheese pesto or vegan basil pistachio pesto) between the garlic oil and the cheese for a super tasty treat.
  • Truffle: shave a little truffle over the cheese or use a little truffle oil in the garlic mixture. Either way, your family (or guests) won’t know what hit them!

How to Make This Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe

Step 1: Prepare the garlic bread topping

First, grate or mince the garlic and combine it with the olive oil, spices, herbs, and mix. Then allow it to rest and “infuse” for several minutes. 

Oil and garlic mixture

Step 2: Prepare the bread

For ciabatta garlic bread or similar bread, slice the bread lengthwise. For a baguette, you can slice it similarly or make individual slices.

Alternatively, if using a loaf – like this no-knead Dutch oven bread, you can make slices into the bread every ¾-1 inch apart, slicing down to the crust without cutting through it.

You could also use this topping over flatbreads like naan, pide, or even focaccia – where no slicing of the bread is necessary!

Preparing garlic cheesy bread

Step 3: Top the garlic cheesy bread

Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC.

Use a silicone/pastry brush to brush the garlic olive oil mixture across the bread. Then sprinkle with some parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

If you’re using a whole loaf that’s sliced “Hasselback-style,” then brush the garlic bread mixture in between all the slices. You can then optionally make cuts perpendicular to the first one to create a “grid” in the bread and add more garlic oil mixture to the new bare sections. Then stuff the holes with a little cheese (similar to how I have with this “crack” bread).

Freshly baked garlic bead with cheese

Step 4: Bake the Ciabatta garlic bread

Bake the cheesy garlic bread in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden and crispy on the edges.

For a crispier cheesy top, you could broil the garlic cheese bread for a minute or so at the end of the baking time.

For air fryer garlic bread: Slice the ciabatta into smaller pieces to spread in a single layer in your Air Fryer (this is best for smaller amounts; otherwise, you may have to do this in batches). Air fry at 350ºF/180ºC for 4-6 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is golden brown.

Cutting cheesy garlic bread

How to Store Cheesy Garlic Bread?

Make ahead: you can prepare the garlic olive oil combination 1-2 days in advance. I wouldn’t recommend storing it any longer than that due to the risk of botulism. However, you could keep it in an ice-cube tray in the freezer for up to a month. Simply defrost as needed.

You can also assemble the bread before baking, then flash freeze and wrap tightly to freeze for up to 3 months. Bake the bread from frozen, adding a few minutes to the baking time (for oven and air fryer method).

Store: this cheesy garlic bread recipe is best enjoyed fresh from the oven. However, leftovers can be wrapped and stored in the fridge for 1-2 days.

Reheat: wrap the garlic cheesy bread in foil and then reheat in the oven.

Homemade cheese garlic bread

How to Serve?

Let me know in the comment what your favorite ways to serve cheesy garlic bread are!

A large piece of garlic bread

Recipe Tips and FAQs

  • If you notice the bread browning too much: you can use some aluminum foil to tent over the bread. Otherwise, it’s unnecessary to wrap the bread unless you want very soft (not crispy) garlic cheesy bread. However, if you’re baking a whole loaf, you might want to wrap it for half of the baking time to avoid it getting too hard.
  • Adjust the baking time as needed: depending on the bread you use and how big the pieces are (as well as your oven), the baking time may vary.
  • Leave to rest before slicing: it’s best to wait a few minutes after baking the garlic cheese bread to slice and serve.
  • For garlic pizza bread: after spreading the garlic oil mixture over the bread, spread a thin layer of tomato puree or marinara sauce before adding the cheese.
  • Tips for air fryer garlic bread: you can use this method with or without the cheese. Adjust the time based on personal preference (how soft vs. crispy you prefer the garlic bread). Also, make sure to preheat your air fryer if it requires it.
  • Increase the cheese: if you’re feeling decadent, feel free to increase the amount of cheese. You do you!

More Ways to Enjoy Garlic

If you try this cheesy garlic bread recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Quick Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe (Vegan Garlic Bread Optional)

5 from 9 votes
By: Samira
An easy cheesy garlic bread recipe (with vegan garlic bread version optional). All this quick ciabatta garlic bread needs is 7 ingredients and under 30 minutes for a delicious ooey-gooey, cheesy, garlicky side! This ciabatta garlic bread is enough to add that WOW factor to any meal! Air Fryer garlic bread method included.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 
 

  • 14.5 oz ciabatta bread 1 large; French baguette or a crusty loaf would also work
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or use a 75/25 ratio of butter and olive oil
  • 3.7 oz mozzarella cheese 1/2 cup grated
  • 0.9 oz parmesan cheese grated; check the notes for a vegan version
  • 1.45 oz garlic 6 cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes optional; less or more to taste
  • 0.14 oz fresh oregano few sprigs
  • 0.04 oz fresh thyme few sprigs

Instructions 

Step 1: Prepare the garlic bread topping

  • Grate or mince the garlic and combine it with the olive oil, spices, herbs, and mix. Then allow it to rest and "infuse" for several minutes.

Step 2: Prepare the bread

  • For ciabatta garlic bread or similar bread, slice the bread lengthwise. For a baguette, you can slice it similarly or make individual slices.
    Alternatively, if using a loaf – like this no-knead Dutch oven bread, you can make slices into the bread every ¾-1 inch apart, slicing down to the crust without cutting through it.
    You could also use this topping over flatbreads like naan, pide, or even focaccia – where no slicing of the bread is necessary!

Step 3: Top the garlic cheesy bread

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
  • Use a silicone/pastry brush to brush the garlic olive oil mixture across the bread. Then sprinkle with some parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
    If you're using a whole loaf that's sliced "Hasselback-style," then brush the garlic bread mixture in between all the slices. You can then optionally make cuts perpendicular to the first one to create a "grid" in the bread and add more garlic oil mixture to the new bare sections. Then stuff the holes with a little cheese (similar to how I have with this "crack" bread).

Step 4: Bake the Ciabatta garlic bread

  • Bake the cheesy garlic bread in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden and crispy on the edges.
    For a crispier cheesy top, you could broil the garlic cheese bread for a minute or so at the end of the baking time.
    For air fryer garlic bread: slice the ciabatta into smaller pieces to spread in a single layer in your Air Fryer (this is best for smaller amounts; otherwise, you may have to do this in batches). Air fry at 350ºF/180ºC for 4-6 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is golden brown.

How to Store Roasted Garlic Bread?

  • Make ahead: you can prepare the garlic olive oil combination 1-2 days in advance. I wouldn't recommend storing it any longer than that due to the risk of botulism. However, you could keep it in an ice-cube tray in the freezer for up to a month. Simply defrost as needed.
    You can also assemble the bread before baking, then flash freeze and wrap tightly to freeze for up to 3 months. Bake the bread from frozen, adding a few minutes to the baking time (oven and air fryer method).
    Store: this cheesy garlic bread recipe is best enjoyed fresh from the oven. However, leftovers can be wrapped and stored in the fridge for 1-2 days.
    Reheat: wrap the garlic cheesy bread in foil and then reheat in the oven.

Notes

  • If you notice the bread browning too much: you can use some aluminum foil to tent over the bread. Otherwise, it’s unnecessary to wrap the bread unless you want very soft (not crispy) garlic cheesy bread.  However, if you’re baking a whole loaf, you might want to wrap it for half of the baking time to avoid it getting too hard.
  • Adjust the baking time as needed: depending on the bread you use and how big the pieces are (as well as your oven), the baking time may vary.
  • Leave to rest before slicing: it’s best to wait a few minutes after baking the garlic cheese bread to slice and serve.
  • For garlic pizza bread: after spreading the garlic oil mixture over the bread, spread a thin layer of tomato puree or marinara sauce before adding the cheese.
  • Tips for air fryer garlic bread: you can use this method with or without the cheese. Adjust the time based on personal preference (how soft vs. crispy you prefer the garlic bread). Also, make sure to preheat your air fryer if it requires it.
  • Increase the cheese: if you’re feeling decadent, feel free to increase the amount of cheese. You do you!
Optional add-ins and variations:
  • Vegan garlic bread: for a vegan version of this recipe, you can either omit the cheese altogether or use a combination of dairy-free mozzarella and parmesan or another melty “strong” cheese like cheddar.
  • Garlic powder: fresh raw garlic has a very robust flavor. If you’d prefer a slightly milder easy garlic bread, you could use a combination of reduced fresh garlic and either granulated garlic or garlic powder.
  • Spice: instead of red pepper flakes, you can add a little chili sauce into the garlic oil mixture.
  • Paprika: adding around ½-1 tsp smoked paprika tastes lovely when combined with garlic.
  • Pesto: spread a thin layer of pesto (like this classic Italian basil cheese pesto or vegan basil pistachio pesto) between the garlic oil and the cheese for a super tasty treat.
  • Truffle: shave a little truffle over the cheese or use a little truffle oil in the garlic mixture. Either way, your family (or guests) won’t know what hit them!
Check the blog post for more tips and serving suggestions!
Course: Appetizer, Party Food, Side
Cuisine: American
Freezer friendly: 3 Months
Shelf life: 1-2 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 459mg, Potassium: 45mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 169IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 120mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 9 votes (8 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. Sandra says:

    5 stars
    Hey tried it today .
    Yummmmmyyyyy
    Thankyou for the easiest and delicious recipe ♥️♥️♥️

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you for your comment, Sandra! So happy you’ve enjoyed the recipe! 🙂