See how to make the best cheesy garlic bread without butter! This simple olive oil garlic bread consists of toasty bread loaded with parmesan and lots of garlic. The recipe is ready in 10 minutes and will score major points with everybody who loves homemade garlic bread!
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Can you make garlic bread without butter?
Do you love garlic bread? I do too! It’s so good, and my family requests it all the time. If we need a quick dinner, I toss together an Italian salad and serve garlic bread on the side.
Traditional garlic bread is made with butter and has a delicious buttery, garlicky aroma. But what to do when you crave warm garlic bread but are out of butter?
This happened to me recently. I had all the ingredients except butter. So, I experimented a little and came up with a super delicious garlic bread with olive oil.
My easy garlic bread recipe is incredibly aromatic, loaded with melty cheese, and has those golden brown, crispy edges that make a really good garlic bread.
I kept the ingredient list intentionally minimal, and the prep time is short, too. Perfect when you need a quick snack, easy side dish, or tasty appetizer option for effortless entertaining.
Why this recipe works
- No butter: My garlic bread recipe without butter comes in handy when you run out of butter or have dietary restrictions limiting you from enjoying butter.
- Super aromatic: Omitting the butter doesn’t mean we’re skimping on flavor. Quite the opposite! This no butter garlic bread is very flavorful and offers toasty, cheesy goodness in every bite.
- Quick + easy: With just 6 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time, this simple garlic bread comes together in a pinch and is a real crowd-pleaser.
- Versatile: Garlic bread is wonderful to customize. Use more or less garlic, try different herbs, or swap out parmesan for asiago, mozzarella, or cheddar.
This easy recipe is essentially just bread, garlic, olive oil, parmesan, and fresh herbs roasted on a baking sheet. You’ll love the simple ingredients and how quick it is to pull together!
This is just an overview. For the ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions, scroll to the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Bread: You need a whole loaf for this recipe, for example, French baguette, ciabatta, or Italian bread.
- Garlic cloves: You can’t have garlic bread without garlic! You’ll need 3 to 6 fresh garlic cloves, depending on how intense you want the garlic flavor to be. Please refer to the FAQ section to make the recipe with garlic powder.
- Olive oil acts as the butter substitute in my recipe. The oil sinks into every nook and cranny of the bread and creates extra crisp edges. Any olive oil will do, but I prefer a mild-tasting, extra virgin olive oil.
- Parmesan cheese helps bind the garlic paste and makes up for the richness real butter would add. For the best end result, grate your parmesan fresh or use pre-shredded for convenience.
- Fresh parsley elevates thetantalizing garlic flavor. Feel free to sub parsley with other fresh herbs like basil, thyme, oregano, or rosemary.
- Seasoning: I seasoned my homemade garlic bread without butter with a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper. Alternatively, sprinkle on Italian seasoning or red pepper flakes.
Parmesan is a salty cheese, and I didn’t need to add any additional salt. However, if you’re using a young or mild parmesan, you can season your butter-free garlic bread with a pinch of salt.
Butter substitutes for garlic bread
As I just explained, my recipe uses a mix of olive oil and grated cheese in place of butter. Here are a few more butter substitutes you can try:
- Vegan butter or margarine is probably the closest substitute to butter in garlic bread. Simply blend 1 cup vegan butter/margarine with garlic and parsley and follow the rest of the recipe instructions.
- Other oils: This cheesy garlic bread will work with other cooking oils as well. I especially like avocado oil and walnut oil.
- Mayonnaise: A third idea is garlic bread with mayo. Mayonnaise creates a rich and pillowy garlic bread. To make it, mix 1 cup mayo with 3 to 6 minced garlic cloves and slather generously on your loaf.
Vegan garlic bread
All ingredients in this cheesy garlic bread with olive oil are vegan except for the parmesan cheese. To make the dish vegan and dairy-free, either omit the cheese or replace it with vegan parmesan cheese.
How to make garlic bread without butter
Once you try this easy garlic bread without butter, you’ll make it again and again! It’s also super simple to double in case you want to prepare more servings.
Step 1: Prep oven and baking sheet
- Position a baking rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 400°F / 200°C / gas mark 6.
- Line a shallow baking sheet or cookie tray with parchment paper (baking paper) or aluminum foil.
Step 2: Slice bread
- To prepare the garlic bread, start by cutting your load of bread horizontally in half. Lay the bread down on your work surface and hold it in place with one hand. Then slice it open using a long, serrated knife.
- Arrange the 2 halves on the prepared baking sheet.
Step 3: Make garlic paste
- To a small bowl, add the olive oil, minced garlic, parsley, and parmesan cheese. Stir the mixture with a spoon until well combined, and the cheese is fully soaked in oil.
- You could use a food processor to mix the paste, but I find mixing by hand quicker and easier.
Step 4: Slather bread
- Using a spoon, divide the garlic mixture equally between the 2 bread halves. Then spread the mixture to cover the entire surface of the bread.
- Season with a few cracks of black pepper and a pinch of salt, if desired.
Step 5: Bake garlic bread
- Bake the garlic bread for 5 to 8 minutes, until the edges look golden brown and crisp and the parmesan has melted.
- Watch the baking time as the bread can go from golden to burned quickly.
Step 6: Serve
- Once browned and crisp, take the garlic bread out of the oven and let sit for 5 minutes to cool.
- Optionally, garnish with fresh parsley and a parmesan dusting.
- Then cut the loaf into slices or triangles. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Garlic bread is a tasty, standalone snack and side dish for any meal. It’s an excellent pairing for salad, stew, or soup (like this tomato soup or pumpkin soup), meatballs and pasta. We also love it dipped in marinara sauce. Yum!
Olive oil garlic bread FAQ
Can I use garlic powder?
Sure! My no butter garlic bread recipe works with garlic powder, too. Instead of fresh garlic, prepare the mixture with 2 to 4 tsp garlic powder.
Can I use pre-minced garlic?
No, I don’t recommend it. Pre-minced garlic sometimes has a sour aftertaste that tastes off in garlic bread. Stick to fresh garlic or use garlic powder.
What is the best bread for garlic bread?
Rustic, crusty bread with a soft interior is ideal for garlic bread. A loaf of French bread, baguette, ciabatta bread, or artisan sourdough bread are great options for garlic bread. You can even use toast if that is what you have.
Can I grill this?
Yes! To make grilled garlic bread, grill on a hot grill for 2 to 3 minutes until toasted. Watch carefully as to not burn the bread.
Can I make this recipe with butter?
Absolutely! Swap out the olive oil for 2 sticks / 1 cup softened butter. You can use both salted and unsalted butter. Be sure to take the butter out of the fridge to soften an hour before getting started. Then prepare the garlic butter mixture as described in the recipe.
How to store garlic bread
I doubt that you will have leftovers. But if you do, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Avoid storing garlic bread in the fridge as it can dry out and become stale quickly.
How long does garlic bread last?
Leftovers can be kept for up to 2 days.
Can you freeze garlic bread?
To freeze, wrap your garlic bread tightly in foil or place it in a freezer bag. Freeze for 1 month.
How to reheat garlic bread
To reheat garlic bread, follow these easy steps:
- Microwave: Warm it in the microwave for no more than 10 seconds. If heated any longer than that, the bread will become rock hard. Eat it right away.
- Oven: Wrap leftover bread in foil and warm in a 300°F / 150°C / gas mark 2 oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until warmed through.
- Pan: Heat individual slices heat in a hot, buttered pan for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Making garlic bread ahead of time
Garlic bread tastes best fresh, and since it takes only minutes to make, I recommend making it shortly before serving. You can, however, prepare the garlic spread in advance. Then all you have to do is slather it on and bake.
The garlic olive oil spread will last for 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
You can also freeze unbaked, assembled garlic bread. Slather the bread with garlic paste, and then arrange on a baking sheet. Flash-freeze until solid, for 1 to 2 hours. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap / cling film and then foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.