Delicious Pairings: What to Eat with Garlic Bread

What to eat with garlic bread: A Versatile and Delicious Side Dish

Garlic bread is a delicious side dish that adds a burst of flavor to any meal. Whether you’re enjoying it on its own or pairing it with a main course, garlic bread is a versatile and popular dish. In this article, we will explore the various options for what to eat with garlic bread, providing you with a wide range of delicious combinations.

The origins of garlic bread

Contrary to popular belief, garlic bread is not an authentic Italian dish. It is actually an Italian-American creation, born out of the improvisation of Italian immigrants in the United States. The closest Italian counterpart to Americanized garlic bread is known as “fettunta,” which translates to “greasy slice.” Fettunta is a toasted or grilled slice of crusty, light bread rubbed with raw garlic, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkled with salt.
But the Italian-American version of garlic bread has its own appeal. With its buttery flavor and crisp texture, it has become a popular side dish in the United States and can be found in restaurants across the country.

The flavor profile of garlic bread

Garlic bread is a delicious combination of two simple ingredients: garlic and bread. Typically made with a baguette, the bread is topped with a mixture of garlic and butter. Additional herbs such as oregano, parsley, or chives may be added to enhance the flavor and appearance of the dish. The bread is then grilled or baked until it is crisp on the outside while remaining soft and chewy on the inside.
The Italian-American version of garlic bread is designed to be a flavorful and high-calorie side dish. It contains a rich combination of sugar, salt and fat along with a savory umami flavor. This makes it a perfect complement to a variety of dishes.

Pairing Garlic Bread with Pasta

While spaghetti is perhaps the most well-known pairing for garlic bread, there are numerous other pasta options that work just as well. Any pasta topped with marinara sauce is a fantastic choice, as the acidity of the tomato-based sauce complements the buttery flavor of garlic bread. Creamy pasta dishes like fettuccine Alfredo are also a great pairing, as the richness of the sauce complements the garlicky notes in the bread. Lasagna, which combines both tomato and cream sauces, is another excellent option.
For a unique twist, try topping your favorite macaroni and cheese with small cubes of garlic bread. This adds a different texture and flavor to the classic dish. Or make a mac and cheese garlic bread bowl, combining two favorite comfort foods in an exciting new way.
In addition to enhancing the flavor of the pasta, garlic bread can be used to soak up leftover sauce. It can be dipped in marinara or alfredo sauce and serves as a delicious starter before the main course.

Garlic Bread and Soups/Stews

Garlic bread is a delicious accompaniment to soups and stews. Dipping a savory piece of garlic bread into a hot bowl of soup or stew is a culinary treat. Traditionally paired with tomato-based soups, garlic bread also complements vegetable, chicken, beef and seafood soups.
Whether you’re enjoying a creamy or broth-based soup, adding garlic bread to the side takes the dish to another level. For example, pairing buttery garlic bread with broccoli cheddar soup creates a perfect combination of flavors. You can dip the bread into the soup, allowing it to absorb the richness and cheesiness of the soup. Another option is to place a whole piece of garlic bread in the bottom of the bowl and pour your favorite soup over it, infusing the bread with the flavors of the soup.

Garlic Bread with Salads and Vegetables

If you’re looking for a lighter option to pair with garlic bread, salads are an excellent choice. Garlic bread adds flavor and substance to a fresh salad, making it more satisfying. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to salad and garlic bread pairings, which allows for a wide range of combinations.
For example, a Caesar salad can be enhanced by replacing the traditional garlic croutons with buttery toasted garlic bread. In addition, a healthy summer salad with added fruit or a classic Caprese salad with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil pairs beautifully with garlic bread. The contrast between the bright, fresh salad and the savory warmth of the garlic bread creates a delightful harmony.
Garlic bread also complements roasted or sautéed vegetables such as mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, spinach, kale, cauliflower, bell peppers, and Brussels sprouts. Top the bread with your favorite vegetables and enjoy the delicious combination of flavors and textures.

Garlic Bread and Seafood

Seafood and garlic bread make a delicious combination. The garlic flavor of the bread enhances the natural sweetness and richness of seafood dishes. Whether you’re enjoying grilled, baked or fried seafood, garlic bread adds a delicious element to the meal.
For a classic pairing, serve garlic bread with a plate of shrimp scampi. The buttery, garlicky flavor of the bread complements the succulent shrimp and aromatic garlic-infused sauce. Another popular choice is to pair garlic bread with a seafood pasta dish, such as linguine with clams or creamy garlic butter lobster pasta.
Garlic bread also complements fish dishes such as grilled salmon or lemon butter cod. The combination of flaky fish and savory bread makes for a satisfying and flavorful meal.

Garlic Bread with Grilled Meats

Barbecue meats and garlic bread are a match made in culinary heaven. The smoky and savory flavors of grilled or smoked meats pair perfectly with the buttery, garlicky flavor of the bread. Whether you’re indulging in ribs, pulled pork, brisket or grilled chicken, garlic bread adds an extra layer of deliciousness.
You can serve garlic bread as a side dish to your barbecue feast. It provides a contrast in texture and flavor that balances the richness of the meat. You can also use garlic bread as a container for creating delicious barbecue sandwiches. Simply place your favorite grilled meat between two slices of garlic bread and enjoy the combination of flavors and textures.

Garlic Bread with Eggs

Garlic bread may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of breakfast or brunch, but it can be a delightful addition to egg-based dishes. The bread’s garlicky and buttery flavors elevate classic breakfast items, creating a savory and satisfying meal.
For a simple and delicious breakfast, serve garlic bread with scrambled or fried eggs. The combination of runny yolks and the crunchy texture of the bread is a delightful contrast. You can also use garlic bread as a base for breakfast sandwiches. Add your favorite ingredients such as bacon, cheese, avocado, or tomatoes for a tasty and filling morning meal.

Other pairing ideas

Garlic bread’s versatility extends beyond the traditional pairings mentioned above. Here are some additional ideas for what to eat with garlic bread:

  • Enjoy garlic bread with a bowl of chili. The bread can be used for dipping or enjoyed on its own, adding a savory and comforting element to the dish.
  • Serve garlic bread with a cheese or charcuterie board. The bread adds a savory component and provides a vehicle for enjoying the various cheeses, charcuterie and garnishes.
  • Use garlic bread as a base to create mini pizzas or bruschetta. Top the bread with your favorite ingredients, such as tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olives, or prosciutto, and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Pair garlic bread with Italian-inspired dishes like chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan, or veal marsala. The bread complements the flavors of the dish and adds a satisfying crunch.


Garlic bread is a versatile and delicious side dish that can be enjoyed with a wide variety of meals. Whether you’re pairing it with pasta, soups, salads, seafood, grilled meats, eggs, or exploring other creative combinations, garlic bread adds a flavorful and satisfying element to any dish. Its buttery, garlicky flavor and crunchy texture make it a favorite among food lovers. So the next time you’re wondering what to eat with garlic bread, let your imagination run wild and experiment with different pairings to create a memorable and delicious dining experience.


Can I eat garlic bread alone?

Absolutely! Garlic bread is delicious and flavorful enough to be enjoyed on its own. But it also pairs exceptionally well with a variety of entrees.

What are the best pasta dishes to eat with garlic bread?

Garlic bread complements a wide variety of pasta dishes. Some popular options include spaghetti with marinara sauce, fettuccine Alfredo, lasagna, and macaroni and cheese. The rich flavors of pasta dishes pair perfectly with garlic bread.

Can I add Garlic Bread to soups and stews?

Yes, garlic bread is an excellent accompaniment to soups and stews. It adds a savory and satisfying element to your bowl of goodness. Whether it’s a tomato-based soup or a hearty beef stew, the combination of warm, savory soup and crunchy garlic bread is a treat for your taste buds.

Besides pasta and soup, what other dishes can I enjoy with Garlic Bread?

Garlic bread is versatile and goes well with many dishes. It works wonderfully with salads and roasted vegetables, adds depth to seafood dishes, complements grilled meats, and even enhances breakfast items like scrambled eggs. The possibilities are endless!

Can I use garlic bread as an appetizer or party snack?

Absolutely! Garlic bread can be cut into bite-sized pieces and served as an appetizer or party snack. You can also get creative and use it as a base for mini pizzas, bruschetta, or as part of a cheese or charcuterie board. The buttery, garlicky flavor will be a hit with your guests.

Can I make my own garlic bread at home?

Yes, making garlic bread at home is easy. You can start with a fresh baguette or loaf of bread, slice it, and spread a mixture of garlic and butter on each slice. You can also add herbs and cheese for extra flavor. Then bake or grill the slices until golden brown and crispy. Homemade garlic bread is a delicious and satisfying treat.