Garlic Crust French Bread Pizza

Oh, French Bread Pizza, where did you go? A child of the 80’s, I remember looking forward to this treat. A fluffy loaf of bread with crusty edges slathered with tomato sauce, cheese and other toppings.

overhead shot of two slices of french bread pizza with text overlay for facebook


 

Bagel pizzas were a close second, but French bread were the winners. Although this recipe also works on bagels should you want one.

French Bread Pizza

They are still around, but mostly in the form of a Lean Cuisine or other frozen food. With all the fad diets cutting carbs, it seems that cauliflower crusts and flour alternatives have taken over the pizza market.

But me, I like the crunch, the crustiness of bread. Which is odd because I actually prefer thin crust pizza unless it is French bread.

I like to start with a basic pie and then move my way up to fun topping combinations and the most basic in my eyes is a Pepperoni Pizza. Not so boring as just cheese, but also not too gourmet that my kids still think it is actually, in fact, a pizza.

angled shot of french bread pizza

Why You’ll Love This French Bread Pizza

A crispy crust loaded with gooey cheese, tomato sauce and spicy pepperoni- what’s not to love!

  • Easy meal – Whether making for pizza night, an after-school snack or even busy weeknights, this cheesy french bread pizza is super easy to whip up.
  • Easily customized – Using your favorite pizza toppings, you can take this easy dinner to a whole new level and turn it into your own french bread pizza.
  • Simple ingredients – This recipe calls for only seven, yes seven, ingredients! All easily found at your local grocery store!

Ingredients

From melty mozzarella cheese to your favorite pizza sauce, these ingredients couldn’t be more simple.

  • French bread loaf – As is indicated by the name, you need a loaf of French bread to make this homemade french bread pizza recipe. You should be able to easily find crusty french bread at your local grocery store.
  • Unsalted butter – When melted butter is mixed with garlic powder, you get the most delicious garlic butter to spread on the hearty french bread for an excellent base for your delicious pizza.
  • Garlic powder – I always have garlic powder in my spice cabinet, but feel free to take things up a notch by adding some freshly minced garlic instead.
  • Marinara sauce – I find that jarred marinara sauce has more flavor than homemade pizza sauce, but you need to find a thick one. If it is too runny, it will make your pizza soggy. You can also add a sprinkle of Italian seasoning to a plain pizza sauce.
  • Mozzarella cheese – Fresh mozzarella cheese is best here. The pre-shredded version has an additive to prevent sticking; but it also doesn’t allow it to melt as well.
  • Parmesan cheese – Same here; although it takes a couple of extra steps, shredding your own cheese is preferable here.
  • Pepperoni – This is, of course, optional. But the pepperonis are one of my favorite things about pizza!
close up overhead shot of french bread pizza

How to Make the Best French Bread Pizza

You are going to love how simple this recipe is- almost as easy as making frozen french bread pizzas! 

  1. Prepare oven and baking sheet. Preheat oven to high broil and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
  2. Cut bread. Using a serrated knife, cut bread in half vertically in the center and then both pieces horizontally so you have 4 long slices of bread.
  3. Make garlic butter. Melt butter in the microwave. When melted, whisk in garlic powder. Baste onto cut sides of bread.
  4. Toasted bread. Broil until bread is toasted. This varies greatly depending on your oven.
  5. Add toppings. Spread marinara sauce evenly onto each piece of bread. Follow with mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Top with pepperoni slices.
  6. Bake. Return to oven and bake until cheese has melted. Remove and allow to rest before serving. Pizza will be hot!

How to Serve

You can serve this easy french bread pizza with anything you’d regularly serve with a classic pepperoni pizza. A simple green salad or other leafy green will turn this fresh pizza into a full meal.

​And don’t forget a good dipping sauce! My garlic butter sauce is a total game changer and not to be missed.

overhead shot of french bread pizza

French Bread Pizza Toppings

Toppings for pizza go way beyond pepperoni and sausage these days. And while these tried and true meats still do the trick, feel free to experiment with other fun varieties.

The beauty of a French bread pizza is that the crust is thick and sturdy enough to hold a great deal of toppings so you don’t have to worry about weight and sagging crust.

Some favorite toppings include:

  • Red pepper flakes
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Italian sausage
  • Caramelized onions
  • Fresh basil
  • Any melty cheeses

Variations

The next time you make this super easy recipe, take a couple extra steps to change it up a bit!

  • Hawaiian– ham, pineapple and jalapeno (for a fiery Hawaiian)
  • Meatlovers– pepperoni, sausage, crushed meatballs
  • Fig & Brie– mild Italian sauce, dried figs and brie cheese (no marinara)
  • BBQ Chicken– substitute barbecue sauce for marinara, shredded chicken, cheddar and pickled red onions
  • Buffalo Chicken– substitute buffalo wing sauce for marinara, shredded chicken and blue cheese crumbles
  • Veggie– an assortment of your favorites chopped veggies like green pepper, red peppers or red onion.
  • White– substitute marinara for alfredo sauce, top with spinach and dollops of ricotta and feta

Storage and Freezing

Storage: The easiest way to store any leftovers is in an airtight container. Place parchment paper between slices to prevent them from sticking together. You can reheat either in the oven or air fryer.

Freezing: You can also easily freeze this delicious recipe. For best results, place in ziplock freezer bags to prevent freezer burn.

collage of french bread pizza for pinterest

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overhead shot of two pieces of french bread pizza with text overlay for pinterest
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4.93 from 13 votes
Skip the frozen section and make these EASY Homemade French Bread Pizza instead! Made with simple ingredients, it's absolutely delicious!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to high broil and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
  • Using a serrated knife, cut bread in half vertically in the center and then both pieces horizontally so you have 4 long slices of bread.
  • Melt butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds (this will depend on the wattage of your microwave). When melted, whisk in garlic powder.
  • Baste onto cut sides of bread.
  • Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until bread is toasted. This varies greatly depending on your oven.
  • Remove and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  • Spread marinara sauce evenly onto each piece of bread. Follow with mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Top with pepperoni slices.
  • Return to oven for 8-10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
  • Remove and allow to rest for 1-2 minutes before serving. Pizza will be hot!
  • If you've tried this recipe come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.

Notes

I find that jarred marinara sauce has more flavor than pizza sauce, but you need to find a thick one. If it is too runny, it will make your pizza soggy. The other alternative is to add 1-2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning to a plain pizza sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 561 kcal, Carbohydrates: 61 g, Protein: 24 g, Fat: 25 g, Saturated Fat: 13 g, Cholesterol: 60 mg, Sodium: 1272 mg, Potassium: 400 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 5 g, Vitamin A: 806 IU, Vitamin C: 4 mg, Calcium: 294 mg, Iron: 5 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 561
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: french bread pizza, pepperoni pizza
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

Jessica 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 and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    What a great idea! I have all the ingredients for this french bread pizza on hand, so I’m going to try it tonight, looks amazingly good!

  2. 5 stars
    This was such a fun easy dinner for my family! I let my kids pick out their own toppings for their pizzas and it was a hit!

  3. 5 stars
    This was everything a gourmet pizza should be, and then some! Easy, hearty and delicious; my whole family loved it!

  4. 5 stars
    This looks absolutely delicious! My family and I are going to love this recipe! I can’t wait to give this a try!

  5. 5 stars
    I love French bread pizzas but never thought of jazzing up the crust. This recipe is a winner – and the crust, to die for! YUM!

  6. 5 stars
    Such a fast easy dinner. I hadn’t made one in so long and when I saw your recipe I ran out and grabbed a loaf of bread! Mad a small side salad and we were all happy as clams! Thanks for the reminder!