Garlic bread is a delicious side dish that pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes. Most commonly served with spaghetti, it is a versatile dish that tastes incredible on its own as well as when paired with a main course!
So, what to eat with garlic bread? If you ask us, garlic bread tastes great with everything! It usually works best with pasta dishes, soups, stews, salads, seafood, barbeque meats, and eggs.
Read on to find out more about garlic bread, some of the best main courses to pair it with, how to make your own garlic bread at home, and so much more!
What Is Garlic Bread?
Contrary to what many people believe, the garlic bread that we all absolutely love is not actually an Italian dish.
It is, in fact, an Italian-American creation that allegedly was made as an improvisation by Italian immigrants who had trouble finding the right ingredients in the United States!
The closest thing to the Americanized garlic bread you would find in Italy would be fettunta, translating to “oily slice” — this is the “Italian garlic bread.”
Fettunta is a toasted or grilled slice of crusty light bread rubbed with raw garlic before being garnished with some extra-virgin olive oil and salt. So, different steps from what we’re used to over here in the United States.
This does not mean that the Italian-American garlic bread is inferior in any way! With a buttery taste and crisp texture, it is one of the most-loved side dishes in the US and is available in many restaurants all over the country.
What Does Garlic Bread Taste Like?
Garlic bread tastes like… well, garlic and bread.
It consists of bread (usually a baguette) topped with garlic and butter — it may also include herbs such as oregano, parsley, or chives to give it added flavor and visual flair!
It is then grilled or baked in an oven until it turns crispy on the outside while remaining soft and chewy on the inside.
The Italian-American version of garlic bread is a calorie-dense food designed specifically for flavor — lots and lots of flavor!
Made with a rich combination of sugar, salt, and fat, along with a nice kick of umami, it is a well-rounded side dish that pairs incredibly well with several dishes that we will discuss next.
What To Eat With Garlic Bread
If you think that spaghetti is the only thing you can pair your garlic bread with, you are mistaken!
Although this is one of the most popular food pairings out there, there are so many more dishes that you can pair with this buttery, garlicky, and oftentimes cheesy bread.
With endless recipe variations for pasta and soups to stews and sauces, the list of delicious garlic bread combinations could go on forever!
As mentioned above, although it is traditionally served with pasta in tomato-based sauces, it works just as well with creamy and cheesy sauces.
You may even enjoy it with a fresh salad, chicken dish, grilled or barbequed meat, roasted veggies, seafood, or a bowl of chili. The bread’s garlic flavor and herbs add a nice flavor to the dishes and complement most ingredients!
There are really no rules about what you can pair your garlic bread with. Here is a list of main courses so that you never have a shortage of ideas for what to serve with garlic bread!
Spaghetti is not the only type of pasta that pairs well with garlic bread. There are so many equally delicious options to choose from!
Basically, any type of pasta topped with marinara sauce is a great contender since the acidity from the tomato-based sauce perfectly complements the buttery flavor of the garlic bread.
Other than that, creamy pasta dishes such as fettuccine Alfredo also make for a superb pairing with garlic bread.
The rich and creamy sauce offers a burst of umami from the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and is a great match for the garlicky notes in the bread.
For a mix of tomato and creamy sauces, you can pair your garlic bread with lasagna as well!
You can also enjoy your childhood favorite mac and cheese topped with little cubes of garlic bread for a different taste and textural experience.
Alternatively, you may make a mac and cheese garlic bread bowl and enjoy two of your favorites in an exciting new way!
Pasta and garlic bread are a great flavor and texture pairing, and the bread can also be used to soak up any leftover sauce.
You can even dip the garlic bread in your choice of either marinara or alfredo sauce and make an equally delicious appetizer to kick off your main course!
Soups And Stews
There are a few things that taste as amazing as garlic bread with soups and stews.
Dunking savory garlic bread in a bowl of hot soup or stew is one of the best ways to enjoy this delicious bread.
Traditionally paired with tomato-based soups, it is equally delicious served alongside vegetable, chicken, beef, and seafood soups and stews.
Whether you have a creamy or broth-based soup or stew, adding some garlic bread on the side can take your dish up several notches!
Broccoli cheddar soup with a nice serving of buttery garlic bread is a great combination, where you can dip the bread in the soup for a rich and cheesy bite.
Instead of serving the garlic bread on the side, try placing the whole piece in the bottom of the bowl and pouring your choice of soup over it. You can also use it in place of plain bread with your favorite stews!
Salads And Vegetables
If you’re looking for something light to pair your garlic bread with, you can’t go wrong with a fresh salad.
Not only will it add more flavor to your salad, but will also keep you satisfied for longer!
There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to salad and garlic bread pairings.
A Caesar salad works just as well as a regular garden salad, and you can easily replace the traditional garlic croutons with some buttery roasted garlic bread.
You may even pair it up with a healthy summer mix with fruits added to it or enjoy it with a classic Caprese salad with succulent tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil.
The flavor combination of the bright and fresh salad with the savory and warm garlic bread makes this a great pairing and helps you incorporate more healthy vegetables into your diet.
Garlic bread also works great with roasted or sauteed vegetables, such as a mix of mushroom, carrots, zucchini, spinach, kale, cauliflower, bell peppers, and brussels sprouts.
Top the bread with your favorite veggies and enjoy the delicious combination!
Seafood with garlic bread may sound a bit unusual, but trust us when we say that garlic bread tastes great with all types of foods, including seafood.
Whether you’re pairing it with a buttery lobster or some salmon fillets, you cannot go wrong with this.
Slather some creamy crab gratin on a piece of crispy and buttery garlic bread and have your taste buds thank us!
There are so many delicious seafood options to enjoy your garlic bread with. Enjoy some garlic butter shrimp paired with buttery garlic bread for a garlic overload!
If you’re a fan of barbeques, you’d be happy to know that you have no shortage of options when looking for mains to eat some buttery garlicky bread with.
From proteins like beef, chicken, and pork, to vegetables like potatoes, corn, and eggplant, the options just keep on coming!
A perfectly grilled flank steak with a chimichurri sauce or cilantro-scallion puree is a barbeque favorite and an excellent main course to enjoy with garlic bread.
Not only will the bread add flavor and texture to the meal, but it can also be used to soak up any excess sauce.
Grilled pork chops with apple-parsnip puree is another delightful pairing with garlic bread, with the puree making this dish even more exciting with the unusual but delicious combination!
We love eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
For an exciting twist to your regular eggs, you can swap plain bread with garlic bread to accompany them and use the runny yolk as a dip for the bread.
We also suggest spicing up your basic eggs Benedict recipe by replacing the English muffin as a base with buttery garlic bread for a fresh change in the recipe’s usual taste and texture.
Paired with some Canadian bacon and hollandaise sauce, we’re sure you’ll love this one!
You can enjoy a protein-packed omelet made with bacon, ham, peppers, mushrooms, and lots of cheese with a slice or two of garlic bread.
There’s also the option to enjoy it with scrambled eggs or make a savory French toast by coating it in egg and drizzling some parmesan cheese on top.
If you want to shake things up and try something more interesting to start your mornings or add to your brunch menu, we recommend pairing eggs in purgatory with garlic bread.
You can use marinara sauce as a base for the eggs or make a quick tomato sauce at home!
Pizzas And Sandwiches
Garlic bread is bread, after all, and can be used as such to make sandwiches of your choice!
The next time you plan on fixing yourself a sandwich, use garlic bread instead of your usual choice of bread.
You can use any type of meat, from deli meat to brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and tuna, and top it with your favorite condiments.
You can even make breakfast sandwiches with garlic bread since it works wonderfully with eggs, vegetables, and cheese.
Another great way to enjoy garlic bread is to spread some pizza sauce, black olives, and mozzarella cheese, and turn it into a garlic bread pizza!
You can even serve garlic bread as a side dish with pizza — it might be a carb overload, but honestly, it’s okay to splurge every once in a while!
Although not a main course, dips taste absolutely divine with garlic bread.
Crackers and tortilla chips are always a good option for dips, but if you really want to impress your guests, we suggest you bring out the garlic bread.
Creamy dips such as spinach artichoke dip are always a hit at every party and will pair nicely with garlic bread.
You can pair it with classic garlic bread or make a different version using cheese, meat, and a variety of herbs and spices.
Other equally great dips include a cheese dip made with cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, sour cream, and parmesan — we also love a tomato dip made with marinara, olive oil, garlic, and original ranch.
How To Make Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is a popular side dish available in several restaurants in the country.
You can also find it in the supermarket or make your own at home using a few basic ingredients.
Garlic bread generally works best on sturdier bread like baguette, ciabatta, or French bread. Not only do these types of bread have a nice chewiness to them, but they also pair really well with the buttery spread.
- Large baguette, loaf of ciabatta, or loaf of French bread (your choice)
- Salted butter (softened)
- Garlic cloves (finely minced)
- Fresh parsley leaves (finely minced)
- Heat your oven to 400°F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, and parsley. Set it aside.
- Cut the baguette by making deep slits into it at nearly 1-inch intervals — make sure not to cut all the way through the loaf!
- Place the baguette on a large piece of aluminum foil.
- Generously spread the seasoned butter inside each slit. Make sure to reach through to the bottom of the slit!
- Wrap the baguette in foil and place it on a baking sheet.
- Bake it for 15 minutes.
- Remove the baguette from the oven, cut it into slices with a serrated knife, and serve hot!
Taking It To The Next Level
If you like cheesy garlic bread, you can tuck pieces of mozzarella inside the slits and bake the baguette for another 5 minutes or until it becomes crisp and golden on top. You can use fresh parmesan cheese as well!
You can also season the bread with other herbs and spices such as basil, cilantro, oregano, thyme, cumin, dill, fenugreek, paprika, and rosemary.
You can also try different flavor combinations such as:
- Garlic bread, herbs, chicken, and parmesan cheese
- Garlic bread, ground meat, sour cream, and chili
- Garlic bread, lettuce, avocado, lemon, and Italian salad dressing
- Garlic bread, egg, tomato sauce, red chili flakes, and olive oil
Other alternatives to garlic bread include garlic knots, garlic bread croissants, garlic herb flatbread, cheese-stuffed garlic bread sticks, and much more!
Now that you know all about garlic bread and what to eat with it, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have.
How do you store garlic bread?
You can store leftover garlic bread by wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat it, bake the wrapped garlic bread at 350°F for around 10-15 minutes.
Can you make garlic bread without fresh garlic?
Fresh garlic is an essential ingredient for garlic bread, but if you don’t have fresh garlic cloves, you can easily substitute them with granulated garlic.
You can even use dried garlic such as garlic flakes or powder without sacrificing too much on the flavor.