Garlic toast is easy to make and is the perfect side for bread lovers. Since you can use it with any pasta dish, it's one recipe you need to master.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients. Slice the bread, grate the cheese, measure out the spices, and soften the butter.
- To make the herb butter, add the spices to the butter.
- Add the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
3. Mix everything together with a spatula until combined.
4. Generously butter both sides of the bread, so you can taste the butter with every bite.
5. Cook the garlic toast under the broiler to achieve a golden brown color and a nice crunch. Remove the tray from the oven, flip over the toast, and brown the other side.
6. For best results, serve immediately. Keep warm by wrapping the toast in a fabric napkin or a clean kitchen towel, then set it inside a large bowl.
Where does garlic bread come from?
Italy is where garlic bread gets its origin. But it's not the American, buttery cheesy bread that we normally think of--it's bruschetta. Bruschetta goes back to the 15th century.
Do Italians eat this with pasta?
Italians don't serve American garlic bread with pasta; they serve bruschetta.
What kind of bread is used?
The key ingredient is the bread, so make sure it's fresh or day old. The most common breads to use are an Italian or French bread, but I have also used homemade hoagie rolls with great success. If you prefer, buy the bread pre-sliced to save time.
What spices do you use?
This process is a lot of fun, because you can experiment with the spices. For this recipe, I used three spices: garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and dill weed. There also is freshly grated Parmesan to give it some extra pizzazz. Garlic toast is a versatile recipe, so use what you like, or what you have in your pantry; just remember to have garlic as one of your spices.
What kind of spread do you use?
Salted butter would taste the best. The trick is to have the butter already softened at room temperature, so mixing in the spices will be a breeze. It also makes it easy to spread.
How do you soften butter?
There are three ways you can soften butter. The first is to let it sit at room temperature. This is the best way, but also requires the most time. If you are in a hurry, you can also cut the hard butter into uniform cubes and place in a bowl of warm water. Let it sit for a few minutes, then drain the water and then stir the butter.
The third way is to cut the butter into smaller pieces, place in a bowl covered with a paper towel, and microwave for 5 seconds at a time. Stir the butter between each interval. This method requires you to watch the butter closely. If the butter melts, you'll have to brush on the butter with a pastry brush.
How can I keep it warm?
If you need to keep the garlic toast warm and your oven is available, wrap it in foil and place it in the oven on the lowest setting. If you don't have access to an oven, and you'll be eating it soon, wrap it in a large fabric napkin or a clean kitchen towel and place in a large bowl.
Can this recipe be reheated?
This recipe will reheat well once. If you have lots of leftovers, it's best to freeze it in a freezer safe zip top bag. When ready to use, reheat on a baking tray at 375 F for a few minutes until warm. You can also cover the leftovers slices with foil and bake at 300 F until warm. If you want to re-purpose your leftovers, make the toast into a grilled cheese sandwich by adding a few slices of cheese and melt under the broiler on a baking tray.
Can you make it in advance?
Yes, you most certainly can! It's easy to prep for pasta dishes. Prep the bread and place on a baking tray, but don't bake. Flash freeze for 20 minutes, then store in freezer zip top bags. When ready to use, place on baking tray and place under the broiler for 5 minutes, flip the toast over, and bake the other side. You'll want the toast to be golden brown. Watch it carefully, so it doesn't burn.
What are the calories in this?
For one large slice that is spread with herb butter on both sides, the calories will be 140 with .5 g of carbs. If you need to cut down on the calories, just spread the herb butter on one side. For more nutritional information, scroll down past the recipe card to read the nutrition facts.
- Pasta dishes, like speghetti
- Caesar salad
- Lasagna soup
- Need to make this vegan? Use Earth balance, vegan butter, and vegan Parmesan.
- Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese, not the pre-grated stuff, as it doesn't melt very well.
- Use salted butter, not margarine, for the best flavor.
- Use day old bread; it slices better and is great for toast.
- Butter and toast both sides of the bread.
- Garlic toast tastes best when eaten soon after it comes out of the oven.
- Keep the garlic toast warm by wrapping it in a fabric napkin or clean kitchen towel.
- Have leftovers? Freeze in a zip-top bag, then reheat under the broiler for a minute or in the microwave.
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Homemade Garlic Toast
- 1 ½ cups salted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dill weed
- 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- 1 Italian loaf, cut into 19 slices
- Move the oven rack 6 inches from the broiler then preheat the broiler on high.
- Using a bread knife, slice the Italian loaf into 19 slices, reserving the ends for another use.
- To make the herb butter, put the softened butter, spices, and Parmesan cheese in a bowl then stir until combined.
- Get a large baking tray and place it beside where you are working.
- Spread the herb butter on both sides of each slice of bread. You can used a knife or an angled metal spatula normally used for cake decorating. Remember to not spread the herb butter on too thinly; you'll need a certain amount to maximize flavor. Place the slices close together on the cookie sheet.
- Bake in the oven under the broiler for 4 to 5 minutes each side or until golden brown. Watch closely after the first two minutes so the slices don't burn. You'll need to remove some slices from the middle first. Place these on a large cutting board. Once the rest of the tray is done, turn the garlic toast over with a large metal spatula. Place the tray back in the oven to bake the other side of the garlic toast.
- Serve warm. To help keep the garlic toast warm, place it in a large bowl lined with a fabric napkin or a clean tea towel. Close up the napkin to retain the heat. Garlic toast tastes best if eaten the same day. If you have leftovers, freeze and reheat in the microwave or under the broiler for a minute to crisp it.
- Don't use the pre-grated stuff, as it doesn't melt very well. Grate your own.
- For the best flavor, use butter and skip the margarine.
- For easier slicing and better taste, use day old bread.
- Both sides of the bread, need butter.
- Eat this soon after it comes out of the oven, for the best flavor.
This recipe was originally published on February 14, 2018.