Garlic Bread Spread

Cheesy Garlic Bread is one of those simple recipes that my guests always request. When hubby goes to the hunting camp for a week with his buddies, I send 2 pounds of the delicious spread to make tons of homemade garlic bread.

garlic bread sticks on a baking sheet


 

Cheesy Garlic Bread is made with a blend of shredded cheese, cream cheese, garlic and seasonings to make the BEST garlic bread you’ve ever tasted!

Like many things in this world, not all garlic bread is created equal. And, in fact, garlic bread is really just an American thing. You’d be hard pressed to find it in Italy unless you went to an establishment that caters to tourists. Especially garlic knots or Crazy Bread.

In fact, in Italy, bread is served with an authentic olive oil and maybe fresh garlic cloves to rub on top.

cheesy garlic bread on a sheet pan

Garlic Bread in the States

But here in the states, and as an Italian-American myself, it is perfectly acceptable to serve Cheesy Garlic Bread with your Italian dishes. 

In fact, it is completely acceptable to serve Cheesy Italian Bread with any dish Italian or not! Why?

Because it is delicious! My easy garlic bread spread goes a step further and not only adds shredded cheese, but also cream cheese. You teeth will literally sink into the cheesiness. And that is what is is all about, right?

cut up bread sticks with garlic spread on a baking sheet

I like to bake mine so it is gooey and warm, but this easy bread spread can also be served at room temperature in a small bowl alongside the bread basket.

What’s in Garlic Bread Spread?

The cheesy buttery goodness is made up of simple ingredients and also can be modified easily depending on personal preference or what you have on hand. See some of our favorite easy recipe variations below.

ingredients for best garlic bread recipe
  • Large loaf of Bread– Italian is probably the most likely because of its heartiness and size. Sourdough or rye also work, even artisan breads.
  • Salted Butter– Yes, a whole stick of butter (real butter, not margarine)! I generally use salted butter for this bread spread, but unsalted is fine too if you are watching your salt intake. Do know your butter and how salty it is before further topping with flaky sea salt like Maldon.
  • Cream Cheese– Any level of fat content or even  American Neufchâtel. Aim for well softened, even room temperature cream cheese and beat it will before adding the other ingredients to make it nice and smoother.
  • Italian cheese mix– You can buy this pre-shredded, but any pre-shredded cheese blend will also be tossed in starch to prevent clumping that directly impacts the meltability. So I hand grate the cheese I have in my fridge. My personal favorites are mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, provolone, asiago and fontina. You can use just one or a blend of all of them!
  • Roasted Garlic– And yes, a whole head! Roasted garlic gives the essence of garlic flavor without being overpowered and making you peel the paint at night. If you don’t have the time to roast it yourself, many grocery stores selling it or you can swap this out for 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • Flat leaf parsley- Flat leaf, also known as Italian parsley, has more herby flavor than curly, which is typically used for garnish, not cooking.
  • Flaky Sea Salt– Maldon and Jacobson are my go-tos, each adds a crunchy texture and helps to amplify natural flavors.
close up of garlic spread on a knife

What is the Best Bread for Garlic Bread?

The type of bread is purely a matter of preference. Some would insist that Italian bread be used, but really do what you want.

Sometimes I use French bread, other times sourdough and other times a specialty, gourmet bread if the bakery has it. Don’t limit yourself and get creative! Sometimes I even use leftover bread like Italian sub rolls, hamburger buns or brioche.

good garlic bread on a rimmed baking sheet

How to Make Cheesy Garlic Bread

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. If you want super easy cleanup, line your baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. In a stand mixer, blend together the butter and cream cheese. Make sure it is nice and smooth to avoid pockets of either while baking.
  3. Add the shredded cheeses, roasted garlic cloves (the pulp gently pushes out from the shell) and parsley, blending well.
  4. Slather onto each piece of the cut side of the bread and set on a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted, bubbly and golden brown.
  6. Remove, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and slice into breadsticks or cubes and serve!
how to make garlic butter mixture in step by step images

If you like crunchy bread, pre-toast the bread in the oven for 3-4 minutes and slether with the cheese spread after it browns.

Variations on Garlic Bread

This Homemade garlic bread recipe is amazing all on its own, but if you are looking for some fun customizations, here are a few!

  • Add 1 tablespoons of drained and chopped capers, sun dried tomatoes or cooked spinach.
  • Blend in other seasonings like Italian seasoning, Salad Supreme (find it in the spice blend section of the grocery store) or even onion powder. Just 1-2 teaspoons will do the trick.
  • Make this a heartier meal by adding 1 cup of shredded cooked chicken.
  • Buffalo garlic bread will spice up your life with the addition of 1 tablespoon of hot sauce.
  • Dip it in marinara sauce or garlic butter sauce.
  • Use truffle butter or any of our famous flavored butters instead of regular butter.
  • Add more fresh herbs. I use parsley, but rosemary, thyme or even oregano are all welcome additions.
close up of bread sticks with marinara sauce

Make Ahead, Storage & Freezing

Can I make garlic bread in advance? I would suggest making the topping ahead of time, but waiting until you are ready to eat before actually cooking it. Fresh garlic bread is so much better.

Can I freeze homemade garlic spread? You sure can! Freeze just the spread in an airtight container or a freezer bag and thaw at room temperature until a spreadable consistency.

What is the best way to reheat garlic bread? As with most bread, the best way to reheat it is in the oven on a low setting or with a quick broil (watch is closely!) Bread reheated in the microwave gets gummy and chewy fast.

garlic bread spread recipe for pinterest

Dinner Ideas to Serve with Garlic Bread

overhead shot of mississippi on a plate with mashed potatoes

Crock Pot Mississippi Pot Roast Recipe

This easy Mississippi Pot Roast recipe is super tender and so perfect if you're craving comfort food! It's the best pot roast recipe!
See The Recipe!
skillet of parmesan garlic linguine

Parmesan Garlic Linguine Pasta Recipe

Creamy, cheesy & delicious, this EASY Parmesan Garlic Linguine pasta recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner! With simple ingredients!
See The Recipe!
Veal Ragù Recipe- Veal, Capers and White Wine make a rich ragù, pair with your favorite pasta. Not into veal? Use another ground meat!

Veal Ragù Recipe

Veal Ragù Recipe- Veal, Capers and White Wine make a rich ragù, pair with your favorite pasta. Not into veal? Use another ground meat!
See The Recipe!

Make sure to check out other delicious bread recipes too, like No Yeast Potato Bread, Roasted Garlic Bread, Everything Garlic Bread, Cloud Bread and Brioche Rolls.

close up of bread sticks with marinara sauce
garlic bread spread on bread with marinara dipping sauce

Cheesy Garlic Bread Spread

4.50 from 30 votes
Cheesy Garlic Bread Spread is made with a blend o shredded cheese, cream cheese, garlic and seasonings to make the BEST garlic bread you've ever tasted!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • In a stand mixer, blend together the butter and cream cheese.
  • Add the shredded cheeses, roasted garlic and parsley.
  • Slather onto each piece of bread and set on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Remove, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and slice into breadsticks or cubes.
  • If you've made this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.

Notes

  • Swap roasted garlic for 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. 
  • f you like crunchy bread, pre-toast the bread in the oven for 3-4 minutes and slether with the cheese spread after it browns.

Nutrition

Calories: 590 kcal, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Protein: 10 g, Fat: 44 g, Saturated Fat: 24 g, Cholesterol: 48 mg, Sodium: 726 mg, Potassium: 173 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 22 g, Vitamin A: 585 IU, Vitamin C: 0.7 mg, Calcium: 45 mg, Iron: 1.6 mg
Author: Chef Jessica Anne
Calories: 590
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: garlic bread, homemade breadsticks, how to make garlic bread
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Chef Jessica Anne Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal, Mashed and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.50 from 30 votes (19 ratings without comment)

Join The Discussion

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

Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Better than any I’ve had at a restaurant! The cream cheese is key! Thanks a bunch for another winner. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Can I leave out the cream cheese? I love it, but my kids… well, not so much. It seems like I could make this without it and it would still work, right?

  3. 5 stars
    This is so so good! I’ve always just sort of winged it with garlic bread and always regretted it, lol. NOW I have a solution! Perfect restaurant-worthy garlic bread.