Cheese/ Finger Food/ Summer Lovin'

Cheesy Pesto Garlic Bread

July 8, 2019

Cheesy Pesto Garlic Bread is the twist on garlic bread you never knew you needed. With an easy homemade pesto, this is THE ultimate finger food.

overhead shot of cheesy garlic bread fresh out the oven garnished with parsley

Pesto Bread

There’s something quite magical about the combination of bread and pesto. I could eat a whole loaf just dipped into fresh basil pesto. So I thought, why not combine the two. This, plus my love for garlic bread, and here we are.

Homemade Basil Pesto

When it comes to what pesto to use, firstly it’s gotta be basil. I see all sorts of varieties of pesto these days, but for this basil works best. Secondly, it’s gotta be homemade. I go into how to make the best pesto into a little more detail. But just as a quick recap:

How to make Pesto in the food processor

  1. Add fresh basil, parmesan, garlic, pine nuts and seasoning to a food processor and turn on motor.
  2. Slowly pour in extra virgin olive oil until evenly combined. Test for seasoning and adjust accordingly
In this pesto recipe I use 3 cloves of garlic (hence pesto GARLIC bread). For regular pesto just use 1 clove.

How to make basil pesto - 2 step by step photos

Cheesy Pesto Garlic Bread

Alrighty, we’ve got our garlicy basil pesto, let’s talk bread.

Unlike my roasted garlic bread, I actually don’t use a baguette here. I opt for a regular loaf, slice it in half and spread on the pesto that way. This is mainly for convenience reasons, but also because it allows the cheese to go nice and golden/gooey. I also bake the bread twice. The first round is to ensure the garlic cooks properly and doesn’t end up too pungent. The second round is a short stint with the cheese, just so it goes nice and gooey.

Top Tip – Use a flatfish loaf, no longer than around 12” and 14oz/400g in weight. Try and use a soft loaf or it’ll go too crunchy in the oven. French or Italian bread works great.

How to make Cheesy Pesto Garlic Bread (quick summary)

  1. Grab your loaf and gently press down if it’s too circular.
  2. Evenly slice in half.
  3. Spread across pesto.
  4. Wrap in foil and bake.
  5. Unwrap, sprinkle with mozzarella and bake until golden and gooey.
When you wrap in foil, make a tent like shape so it doesn’t stick to the pesto.

How to make cheesy pesto garlic bread - 5 step by step photos

From there I garnish with a little fresh parsley, just to mimic classic garlic bread. I then slice each half into 6. Serve right away!

When to serve Cheesy Pesto Garlic Bread?

This is the perfect finger food or side dish to recipes such as Lasagne, Spaghetti Bolognese and Homemade Meatballs. It’s also great as alfresco dining, perfect to snack on in the sun!

Hey, whilst you’re here, why not check out my other recipes?

Pesto Recipes

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe shall we?

Pull one slice of garlic bread away from loaf with cheese pulling away

How to make Cheesy Pesto Garlic Bread (Full Recipe & Video)

Pull one slice of garlic bread away from loaf with cheese pulling away

Cheesy Pesto Garlic Bread

Cheesy Pesto Garlic Bread is the twist on garlic bread you never knew you needed. With an easy homemade pesto, this is THE ultimate finger food. Makes 12 pieces.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: finger food
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 470
Cost per serving: £1.50 / $2

Equipment

  • Food Processor (for pesto)
  • Plastic Spatula (for spreading)
  • Foil (for baking)
  • Oven Tray

Ingredients

Homemade Garlicy Pesto

  • 2 large handfuls Fresh Basil (2 packed cups, approx 60g/2oz)
  • 4 tbsp Pine Nuts, optionally toasted
  • 1/2 cup / 35g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup / 125ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves of Garlic (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Cheesy Bread

  • 1 loaf of Bread (see notes)
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups / 200-250g Mozzarella, shredded
  • Fresh Parsley, finely diced to serve

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 356f/180c.
  • Pop all of your pesto ingredients in a food processor apart from the oil and pulse. Gradually pour in oil until evenly combined.
  • Slice your loaf of bread in half and spread the pesto over, ensuring you spread right to the edges. Individually wrap the bread in foil like a tent, making sure the foil isn’t touching the pesto. Bake in the oven for 10mins.
  • Take bread out, unwrap foil and sprinkle with mozzarella. Place back in the oven until the cheese goes golden and gooey (another 10mins or so).

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes

a) Bread - Use a flatfish loaf, no longer than around 12” and 14oz/400g in weight. Try and use a soft loaf or it’ll go too crunchy in the oven. French or Italian bread works great.
b) Garlic - For pesto GARLIC bread use the 3 cloves of garlic. For just a regular pesto I only use 1 clove.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Cheesy Pesto Garlic Bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 470 Calories from Fat 239
% Daily Value*
Fat 26.56g41%
Saturated Fat 4.617g23%
Trans Fat 0.082g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.89g
Monounsaturated Fat 15.327g
Cholesterol 14mg5%
Sodium 1033mg43%
Potassium 193mg6%
Carbohydrates 37.32g12%
Fiber 2.9g12%
Sugar 1.36g2%
Protein 21.3g43%
Vitamin A 1450IU29%
Vitamin C 2.5mg3%
Calcium 500mg50%
Iron 2.9mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart!

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Cookilicious
    July 8, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    I am hosting a house party next weekend..I am definitely going to serve this! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    Beth Pierce
    July 8, 2019 at 6:16 pm


    I am loving all the cheesy goodness in this garlic bread! Excited to serve this with dinner tonight! Yum!

  • Reply
    Sandi
    July 8, 2019 at 5:37 pm


    That melty cheese is drawing me in! Looks so good.

  • Reply
    Sapana
    July 8, 2019 at 5:09 pm


    I’m LOVING the addition of pesto in this cheesy bread – what a genius idea!! Thanks for sharing, Chris!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Quisenberry
    July 8, 2019 at 5:03 pm


    I really like your tip about baking the bread twice. That makes so much sense and makes sure the cheese doesn’t make a mess.

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