French Bread Pizza

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
October 28, 2023 | Updated on December 1, 2023

This French Bread Pizza recipe has a crusty cheesy garlic bread base, savory tomato sauce, melty cheese, and plenty of pepperoni. Kids and adults love garlic bread pizza so serve it for a casual weeknight dinner or at your next party!

Want to try another delicious homemade pizza recipe? Try Detroit Style Pizza next.

close up view of french bread pizza

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French bread pizza is baked and then broiled to browned bubbly perfection in the oven. Each saucy, cheesy, crunchy bite is better than the last. It takes 1 hour to make but it sure is worth it!

Of course, you can take the easy route and make this recipe in just 20 minutes but then you’d miss some of the magic. I roast whole garlic in the oven for an out-of-this-world homemade garlic butter. Slather it on French bread and toast it for an absolutely delicious pizza crust.

It’s no wonder this garlic bread pizza gets devoured every time I make it!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Better Than Storebought Homemade French bread pizza is a step up from frozen garlic bread pizza from the grocery store. So leave Red Baron, Stouffer’s and Digiorno in the frozen aisle.
  • Easy to Make – Don’t stress yourself with making pizza dough from scratch. Just grab a loaf of French bread instead. This pizza is so easy to assemble.
  • Versatile – Pepperoni pizza is universally loved but you can add your favorite toppings to customize this pizza. And since we are using a full loaf cut into quarters, each piece can have different toppings for variety.
  • Great for Gatherings – It’s always a party when pizza is involved! This works as a family meal or as a fun appetizer or snack for watch parties, slumber parties, and more.
garlic bread pizza with pepperoni on a baking sheet

Tools You’ll Need

French Bread Pizza Ingredients

This easy French bread pizza recipe has three components: the bread, garlic butter, and pizza sauce.

French Bread

  • French bread loaf – This bread is sometimes referred to as a baguette. It has a crusty exterior and a soft, airy interior with a slightly chewy texture.
  • Thick-cut pepperoni – Everyone’s favorite pizza topping!
  • Mozzarella block – Use low-moisture mozzarella cheese so less moisture comes out as it cooks (so the pizza is not soggy).
  • Dried oregano – Season to taste.

Garlic Butter

  • Heads of garlic – Roasted garlic has a milder, sweeter, and nuttier flavor compared to raw garlic. The sharpness raw garlic mellows out during roasting, resulting in a soft, caramelized, and creamy texture.
  • Salted butter – A delicious base for the spread.
  • Italian parsley – This adds an herbaceous flair.
  • Kosher salt – I use Diamond Kosher.
  • Parmesan cheese – Freshly grated

Pizza Sauce

  • Tomato sauce – Use your favorite brand.
  • Quality olive oil – This makes the sauce smoother.
  • Garlic cloves – Grate fresh garlic.
  • Tomato paste – This enriches the tomato taste, deepening the flavor.
  • Oregano – Oregano has a robust, earthy flavor with a slightly bitter and peppery undertone.
  • Red chili flakes – This adds a spicy kick to the garlic bread pizza sauce.

How To Make French Bread Pizza

This is the best French bread pizza recipe because it includes a homemade garlic butter spread that ensures each bite is flavorful. After you make this, you may never order delivery again!

Garlic Butter

  1. Place oven rack in the middle and preheat to 400°F.
  2. Place garlic in foil or small oven-proof dish with lid and pour olive oil and salt. Cover with lid or wrap tightly with foil, making sure garlic head is facing up. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until garlic is tender. Meanwhile prepare the bowl of remaining ingredients for the garlic butter and tomato sauce.
roasted garlic surrounded by aluminum foil

3. In a bowl, add butter, parsley, salt, and parmesan. Once garlic is cool enough to touch, press garlic out of the head from the root and into the butter mixture. Use a fork to mash and mix the mixture. Set mixture aside.

side by side images showing how to mix garlic butter spread

Tomato Sauce

Add all tomato sauce ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste with more salt, if necessary. Set aside.

a clear bowl full of tomato sauce

French Bread

  1. Increase oven temperature to 450°F
  2. Cut the loaf of bread in half, lengthwise. Then half again. Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Evenly spread with garlic butter (for my 9 ounce loaf, I used the entire batch) Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted and crispy on the outside and and garlic butter is completely melted. Remove from the oven.
two images showing before and after toasting garlic bread

Change oven temp to BROIL mode.

Evenly spread 1½ cups of pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, desired amount of dried oregano. Return to the oven for 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted. Keep a close eye on the pizza. Leave to cool for 1 minute then serve with remaining pizza sauce, red chili flakes, and more parm. Enjoy!

two images, the first displaying four slices of toasted french bread topped with tomato sauce and the second showing fully assembled garlic bread pizza with pepperoni

How Long to Bake French Bread Pizza

Bake French bread pizza for no more than 15 minutes. Bake the bread for about 10 minutes before adding your toppings and broiling for an additional 3-4 minutes.

How to Make French Bread Pizza Not Soggy

For this French bread pizza recipe, we toast the garlic bread for about 10 minutes before adding tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings. That crusty base allows the pizza sauce to sit on top of the bread instead of absorbing it. So your pizza remains crisp, just as it should.

four french bread pizza slices on a baking sheet

Tips and Tricks

  • Do not use pre-shredded cheese. It doesn’t melt as well and often has a grainy texture. Shred a fresh block of cheese with a grater.
  • Remember to broil the pizza. This caramelizes the cheese, replicating the high temperatures of pizzeria ovens.
  • Wrap leftover French bread pizza in aluminum foil and place in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat leftovers in the oven or air fryer to keep the pizza crispy.

Variations

  • Garlic Bread Pizza Toppings – You can add whatever toppings you like: mushrooms, sausage, peppers, chicken, bacon, tomatoes, etc.
  • Sauce I love this quick pizza sauce but you can opt for a store-bought variety instead. Or maybe you want to venture out and try another flavor. Swap the marinara sauce for alfredo sauce or BBQ sauce.
close up view of sliced french bread pizza

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best breads to use for pizza?

If you want to swap pizza dough with bread, opt for sturdy bread that can hold multiple toppings without softening, becoming soggy, or falling apart. Try baguettes, flatbread, or ciabatta bread.

Who came up with French bread pizza?

French bread pizza was invented in New York by food truck owner Bob Petrillose during the 1960s. Petrillose, also known as Hot Truck Bob, dubbed them “poor man’s pizza” as his customers were mostly college students. This style of pizza was popularized by Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza in the 1970s.

Should you cook garlic before putting it on pizza?

That depends on personal preference. You can add thinly sliced raw garlic to pizza for a more pungent taste. But if you prefer a sweeter, more mellow garlic flavor, consider cooking the garlic before adding it to the pizza.

close up view of french bread pizza

Looking for More Delicious Party Appetizer Recipes

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close up view of french bread pizza

French Bread Pizza

This French Bread Pizza recipe has a crusty cheesy garlic bread base, savory tomato sauce, melty cheese, and plenty of pepperoni. Kids and adults love garlic bread pizza so serve it for a casual weeknight dinner or at your next party!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian

Equipment

  • Microplane grated
  • ½-baking sheet,
  • 2 medium Mixing bowl

Ingredients

French Bread

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • ¼ pound medium to thick-cut pepperoni
  • 8 ounces mozzarella block, low moisture, do not use pre-shredded
  • dried oregano, season to taste

Garlic Butter

  • 2 heads garlic, ¼ inch top removed
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon italian parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, Diamond Crystal
  • cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Pizza Sauce

  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • tablespoons quality olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoons red chili flakes

Instructions

Garlic Butter

  • Place oven rack in the middle and preheat to 400°F.
  • Place garlic in foil or small oven-proof dish with lid and pour olive oil and salt. Cover with lid or wrap tightly with foil, making sure garlic head is facing up. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until garlic is tender. Meanwhile prepare the bowl of remaining ingredients for the garlic butter and tomato sauce.
  • In a bowl, add butter, parsley, salt, and parmesan. Once garlic is cool enough to touch, press garlic out of the head from the root and into the butter mixture. Use a fork to mash and mix the mixture. Set mixture aside.

Tomato Sauce

  • Add all tomato sauce ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste with more salt, if necessary. Set aside.

French Bread

  • Increase oven temperature to 450°F
  • Cut the loaf of bread in half, lengthwise. Then half again. Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Evenly spread with garlic butter (for my 9 ounce loaf, I used the entire batch) Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted and crispy on the outside and and garlic butter is completely melted. Remove from the oven.

Change oven temp to BROIL mode.

  • Evenly spread 1½ cups of pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, desired amount of dried oregano. Return to the oven for 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted. Keep a close eye on the pizza. Leave to cool for 1 minute then serve with remaining pizza sauce, red chili flakes, and more parm. Enjoy!

NOTES

Store extra tomato sauce in the refrigerator in a storage container for up to 1 week. 
 
Depending on the size of the french bread loaf, you may not need to use the entire batch of garlic butter. 
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close up view of french bread pizza

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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