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Ciabatta Garlic Bread

Ciabatta Garlic Bread is absolutely the best side ever and you won’t believe how easy it is to make at home!

This is the perfect combination of crunchy crust with a soft and tender inside together with the unbeatable flavor of garlic butter.

Slices of toasted ciabatta garlic bread topped with herbs.

Why you’ll love this recipe

There’s no doubt that the best side for any pasta – whether it be ricotta cavatelli, pesto gnocchi or tagliatelle – is garlic bread. But not just any garlic bread. This ciabatta garlic bread is a knock out and will completely elevate any pasta dish!

Homemade garlic bread is not hard to make, especially using a store bought ciabatta loaf. The key is in the herby, garlic butter and getting the ratio right so that it’s not too garlicky and not too oily. This recipe is the Goldilocks of garlic bread – it’s just right!

With just a few simple ingredients, your kitchen will be filled with the most irresistible and mouthwatering smell of buttery garlic. To top it all off, scattering the hot ciabatta bread with grated parmesan cheese takes this garlic bread to another level!

You won’t just love the flavors of the bread and how easy it is to make but you’ll love that it’s the perfect side for just about anything. I love it with my Instant Pot Bean Soup or dunking it into Eggs in Purgatory. Actually I could eat it every day and never get tired of it!

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card bottom of the page.

Ingredients

The ingredients required to make this recipe as viewed from above.
  • Ciabatta Loaf – Regular supermarket ciabatta is fine for this recipe. The one I like to use weighs about a pound (440 grams).
  • Butter – Use good quality salted butter for the best flavor. It stands to reason that the better the butter the better your ciabatta garlic bread will be.
  • Ciabatta Loaf – Regular supermarket ciabatta is fine for this recipe. The one I like to use weighs about a pound (440 grams).
  • Butter – Use good quality salted butter for the best flavor. It stands to reason that the better the butter the better your ciabatta garlic bread will be.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves are the best choice. At a pinch you could use bottled, minced garlic but keep in mind that as well as garlic it may contain salt, food acids, vegetable gum or preservatives. Another option is ½ teaspoon of garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
  • Parsley – I like to use flat leaf parsley because it’s so flavorful and has a better mouthful. Use curly leaf parsley if you prefer but be sure to chop it very finely. The curly variety can be quite coarse.
  • Salt – Extra salt is optional. However a very small pinch will help mince the garlic to a fine paste.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Added into the garlic butter plus a sprinkle over hot ciabatta garlic bread makes all the difference! Please use the best you can afford.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves are the best choice. At a pinch you could use bottled, minced garlic but keep in mind that as well as garlic it may contain salt, food acids, vegetable gum or preservatives. Another option is ½ teaspoon of garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
  • Parsley – I like to use flat leaf parsley because it’s so flavorful and has a better mouthful. Use curly leaf parsley if you prefer but be sure to chop it very finely. The curly variety can be quite coarse.
  • Salt – Extra salt is optional. However a very small pinch will help mince the garlic to a fine paste.

Variations 

There are so many ways you can tweak this ciabatta garlic bread recipe. Here’s a few suggestions but I’m sure you’ll think of many more.

  • Substitute basil or chives for parsley.
  • Be adventurous – experiment with other herbs!
  • Use Asiago cheese instead of Parmesan.
  • Sprinkle grated mozzarella on the baked garlic bread and pop back into the oven for a minute or two to melt for a gooey, cheesy garlic bread.
  • Top warm slices of ciabatta garlic bread with chopped ripe tomatoes for extra tasty bruschetta.

Instructions

Firstly preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC and have a large baking sheet ready.

A six step photo collage showing how to make this recipe.
  1. Using a serrated knife, slice the ciabatta loaf lengthwise and place it cut side up on the baking sheet
  2. Peel and mince the garlic cloves to a paste. Sprinkle on the salt which will help break the garlic down into a paste.
  3. Chop the parsley finely using a sharp knife.
  4. Combine the softened butter, parmesan cheese, garlic paste and parsley thoroughly in a mixing bowl.
  5. Spread the garlic butter in an even layer across the cut side of both halves.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes to melt the butter and lightly toast the bread. Remove from the oven and  sprinkle with extra grated Parmesan cheese. 

Cut into slices and serve hot.

Tips for success and FAQ’s

Slices of toasted ciabatta with chopped green herbs on top on a wooden board.

Be sure to use a serrated knife to cut through the ciabatta. This will make your life a whole lot easier! To cut, place one hand on the top of the loaf to keep it from moving then begin cutting the loaf lengthwise in a sawing motion. Continue cutting all the way through, periodically checking that both top and bottom are evenly sliced.

Before you begin, remove the butter from the fridge so that it will soften. To speed up the process, chop the butter into small pieces. Set it aside while you prepare the bread, garlic and parsley by which time the butter should have softened sufficiently.

It’s important to mince the garlic finely so that diners bite down on a big chunk of garlic. Firstly peel and chop the garlic as finely as possible. Then sprinkle with the salt and crush the garlic with the flat blade of the knife. Do this several times over and the salt will break down the garlic into a paste.

Wash the parsley well, especially if you are using curly leaf parsley, grit can get caught in the leaves. Shake the parsley dry then pat with paper towels before chopping finely.

All ovens vary so you may need to adjust the baking time. Check regularly during the baking.  If it still hasn’t toasted to your liking after 15 minutes, use the broiler/grill element to achieve this. Leaving the garlic ciabatta bread in the oven too long will dry the bread out.

Does ciabatta make good garlic bread?

Ciabatta makes excellent garlic bread because it is full of holes where the garlicky butter can pool! Plus it’s the ideal contrast of crispy crust and soft, pillowy interior.

How many calories in ciabatta garlic bread?

For the amount of calories in each slice of  ciabatta garlic bread made and sliced exactly according to my recipe, check out the information below the recipe under “Nutrition”.

How do I reheat garlic bread?

Wrap in foil and reheat in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Don’t use a microwave or the bread will be soggy.

Can ciabatta garlic bread be frozen?

Absolutely! Prepare up until baking then pop the baking sheet into the freezer until the butter is solid. Replace the top half of bread onto the bottom half with a sheet of parchment paper between and wrap the prepared garlic bread tightly in several layers of plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. 

To bake, thaw overnight in the fridge. Then unwrap and completely remove all plastic wrap and parchment paper and bake according to the recipe. You may need a few extra minutes if the bread is still very cold.

Serving Suggestions

Slices of herby toasted ciabatta bread showing fingers taking a slice viewed from above.

Almost every dish benefits from a side of ciabatta garlic bread. I always serve it with my Crockpot Minestrone Soup and my family adore it with pasta dishes like Tortellini alla Panna. In fact, it’s the perfect side with all Italian antipasto.

Ciabatta garlic bread also is perfect served at any buffet table and you’ll notice that everyone takes at least one slice and goes back for more. It’s the savory garlic goodness that no one can resist!

More recipes you’ll love

Garlic Butter Sauce – An excellent topping for steak, seafood or pasta.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto – Spread it on garlic bread for a quick snack.

Pizza Bread – Make bread from scratch with a delicious pizza filling.
Damper Bread – A quick, no-yeast bread with olives, sun dried tomatoes and cheese.

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slice of toasted ciabatta bread topped with herbs.

Ciabatta Garlic Bread Recipe

This is the perfect combination of crunchy crust with a soft and tender inside together with the unbeatable flavor of garlic butter.
5 from 48 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings:12 slices
Author: Marcellina

Ingredients

  • 1 ciabatta loaf
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for sprinkling over hot garlic bread
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • teaspoon fine salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF/220ºC and have a large baking sheet ready.
  • Slice the ciabatta in half lengthwise and place cut side up on the baking sheet.
  • Peel and chop garlic cloves finely. Sprinkle with salt then use the flat blade of the knife to crush the chopped garlic. Work your way across the pile of garlic then scrape it all together and repeat. Do this several times until the garlic is a fine paste.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine butter, minced garlic, Parmesan cheese and parsley.
  • Using a palette knife or similar, spread the butter mixture in a thin and even layer across the cut side of both halves of bread.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until the butter has melted and the bread is lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with extra grated Parmesan cheese. Cut into 2 inch (5 cm) slices and serve hot.

Notes

Tips for Success
  • Be sure to use a serrated knife to cut through the ciabatta. Put one hand on top and cut lengthwise with a sawing motion.
  • Use softened butter but not melted.
  • Mince the garlic so that there are no large pieces.
  • Wash the parsley well then pat dry before chopping finely.
  • Ovens vary so check the garlic bread during to cooking so as to not overcook. However if it still hasn’t toasted to your liking after 15 minutes, use the broiler/grill element to achieve this.
    For more tips and information check the “Tips for Success and FAQ’s” above.
 
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 289mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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Recipe Rating




15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I used the La Brea brand ciabatta loaf. Hadn’t ever used ciabatta for garlic bread, and found it to have wonderful texture, perfect for the job, sturdy on the outside but soft on the inside. I didn’t have fresh parsley, so I subbed with some dried and threw in a little dried basil, too. Will remember to keep fresh parsley on hand since I’m sure I will be making this recipe many times.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this last night. 4 people ate the entire loaf of breadIt was extremely easy to make and over the top delicious. I minced the garlic and then added it to the room temperature butter. The recipe has the right amount of every ingredient.

  3. 5 stars
    It is a garlic lover delight. My family loves it and keeps on asking me to make it again.
    Thank you for the recipe

  4. 5 stars
    This garlic bread literally melts in your mouth. So yummy my kids polished the whole loaf in 5 minutes. Now I want more!

  5. 5 stars
    Kind of funny that you often eat such a garlic bread in a restaurant, but never manage to make for yourself at home! That’s changing now thanks to this recipe! Now I make myself this deliciousness at home! Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    I love garlic bread but have never made my own, until now! It turned out amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

    Katie xoxo

  7. Wow! this looks so yummy!!:) Can’t wait to pair this Ciabatta Garlic Bread with my pasta!:) Thanks!