This pesto garlic bread is the ultimate side for pizza or pasta night but it’s just as good, served all on it’s own with a glass of wine. Just try not to say yes to a second slice.

  • It tastes sensational!
  • The perfect crunchy crust.
  • It’s quick and easy to make.
  • 5 ingredients is all you need.
  • Use your favourite pesto.

This garlic bread is so filled with flavour. The butter alone can be used for so many things other than garlic bread but pesto, garlic and bread were just meant to be together. Trust me and give this a try next time you’re having an Italian night or just want a crowd pleasing appetiser.

I use my basil pesto butter with added garlic to top this bread. And, if you love this you’ll love my sizzler cheese toast.

Top down view of baked pesto garlic bread.

Ingredients you’ll need

If you want to really level up your pesto garlic bread, then use this fresh basil pesto – it seriously takes minutes to make.

Ingredients for pesto garlic bread on a baking tray.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • Bread: The best bread for garlic bread is one with a fairly thick and chewy crust and a chewy centre. That crust gets super crunchy on baking while the centre softens but gets a little toasty on top. A french baguette will also work.
  • Basil pesto: I recommend making your basil pesto from scratch but if you know a really good one from the store, then use that. A fresh one (from the fridge section) will give you the best flavour.
  • Parmesan cheese: Please use a block of parmesan cheese and grate it from scratch. You don’t need a lot in the scheme of things and it will definitely give you the best flavour. Definitely don’t use the shelf stable one unless you want your pesto bread to taste like Twisties.
  • Garlic: I use 3 cloves in mine. I like garlic but I’m not fanatical. If you’re a can-never-get-enough garlic kind of person, use 4 or just measure it with your heart 😊.
  • Unsalted butter: The reason I recommend unsalted butter is because parmesan is already quite salty and some store-bought pestos are too. Using unsalted butter means you can monitor the saltiness of the pesto garlic bread, then just add some gorgeous flaky sea salt at the end if you want more.

How to make pesto garlic bread (step-by-step)

Ready to blown away by how simple this is?

A collage of images showing how to make garlic bread.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Make the pesto garlic butter: Just combine the butter, pesto, parmesan and garlic in a small bowl by mashing with a fork.
  2. Prep the bread: Get your loaf of bread and cut it through the centre so you have two slies – the top and bottom of the loaf. Spread all the butter on, don’t leave anything behind.
  3. Bake: Bake the garlic bread between 12 and 15 minutes or until the edges are looking golden and crusty and the top looks like it’s just beginning to toast.
A piece of garlic bread cut into 7 slices.

Variations

  • Minis: Use small bread rolls and make individual pesto garlic breads.
  • Pesto: You could try this sundried tomato pesto, olive pesto or celery leaf pesto for something a little different. Classic basil pesto is a combination of basil, olive oil, parmesan, garlic and pine nuts but if making it from scratch, you can change it up by adding some parsley or using walnuts instead.
  • Garlic: Measure this with your heart. If you just love a good tasty garlic bread, go with the 3 cloves. If you love, love, love your garlic use 4 or more to your taste.
  • Sea salt: Adding a touch of flaky sea salt to the top after baking is so good.
  • Spice it up: Feel free to add a pinch of dried chilli flakes (red pepper flakes) to spice it up a bit.
  • Make it cheesy: Make a cheesy garlic bread by topping each piece of bread with ½ a cup of shredded cheddar, some gooey, stringy mozzarella cheese or a combination of both.

Yield and storage

One loaf will serve around 8 people (or more or less depending on their hunger and level of garlic bread addiction).

This recipe is absolutely best served fresh. That being said, you can make it ahead (to just before baking) and freeze it too! Simply slice the bread and spread over the pesto garlic butter, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Store it in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for 2 months.

Closeup of a large piece of garlic pesto bread.

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Slices of pesto garlic bread on a sheet of baking paper.

Pesto Garlic Bread

5 from 1 rating
Pesto garlic bread – it’s the best garlic bread made even better. The classic garlic butter is elevated with a little parmesan and basil pesto and boom, your new favourite appetiser or side dish.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup basil pesto
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese, from a block
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic (to taste, notes 1)
  • 1 loaf ciabatta or pane di casa (around 27.5cm x 12cm) (notes 2)
  • Flaky sea salt

Equipment

  • Bread knife and butter knife
  • Fork & small bowl

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan) / 400F. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper or foil.
  • In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, pesto, parmesan and garlic mashing well with a fork.
  • Cut the loaf in half, lengthways so you have 2 large pieces of bread – the top and bottom of the loaf. Transfer to the baking sheet.
  • Spread all the pesto butter evenly over both pieces of the loaf.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle a little flaky sea salt over each one and serve.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.

Video

Notes

  1. Garlic: If you’re a serious garlic-fanatic-can’t-get-enough kind of person, use the 4 cloves. If you just a love a good tasty garlic bread, stick to 3.
  2. Bread: The bread shown in these photos is pane di casa (translates to bread of the house). It’s an Italian bread with a nice chewy crust. Ciabatta also has a lovely chewy texture whilst still being soft and these types of bread make the best garlic bread.
MORE SIDE DISHES!
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