Meatless Monday Challenge

4-Ingredient Garlic Bread Spread

on April 21, 2023
last updated April 30, 2024
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This Garlic Bread Spread only requires 4 ingredients and comes together quickly to make the best homemade garlic bread!
Garlic bread spread with garlic bread behind it

Looking for the best homemade garlic butter recipe to have in your fridge for when that garlic bread craving hits? This 4-Ingredient Garlic Bread Spread is simple yet flavorful, with a deep garlicky taste and the perfect spreadable texture.

In this homemade garlic butter recipe, you will learn how to easily whip up your own garlic bread spread, down to how to peel the garlic and soften the butter.

You’ll also be given options for different breads to use or add-ins to include to transform this spread into your own custom garlic bread. Plus, you’ll know how to store and freeze it!

Garlic bread spread in a vintage dish

As an environmental scientist, I always prioritize being more sustainability-minded in the kitchen. Making my own homemade sauces and spreads is one of my favorite ways to lower my contribution to environmentally damaging microplastics.

Green tip: Making your own spread is a great way to avoid extra plastic packaging that eventually ends up in landfills or makes its way into the environment and becomes microplastics.

Garlic Bread Spread Ingredients

Here’s everything you need:

  • Unsalted butter. Make sure you use unsalted butter so that you have control over the amount of salt added to your spread. It’s also important that your butter is softened.
  • Garlic. Fresh garlic is the number one most important ingredient in this spread!
  • Garlic salt. The easiest way to simultaneously add salt and extra garlic flavor to your spread.
  • Fresh parsley. To add freshness and color.
ingredients for garlic bread spread - garlic salt, garlic, butter, fresh parsley

Optional Flavor-boosting add-ins:

  • Grated Parmesan cheese. This can be added to your spread or added on top of the bread once you spread the garlic butter on. 1/4 cup will do.
  • Rosemary, oregano, or thyme. Fresh or dried work. Just about 1 teaspoon of finely chopped or dried herbs will add extra flavor to your garlic bread spread.
  • Crushed red pepper. Anywhere from 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon to add a little spice.

Garlic Bread Spread Tips and Tricks

How to Easily Peel Garlic

Using fresh garlic is essential to making the best homemade garlic bread spread. In order to add your garlic to the food processor with the rest of your ingredients, you’ll simply have to peel it first.

My go-to technique for peeling off the papery-thin outer layer of the garlic is by crushing it first. Lay the garlic cloves on their side on your cutting board and use the flat end of your knife to push down on the garlic with your body weight until you hear it crush.

This will split the outer layer, making it much easier for you to peel away. Once you’ve fully peeled your garlic, you can just add it whole to your food processor or blender. If you choose not to use a food processor or blender, mince your garlic now.

Crushing garlic with flat end of knife to more easily peel it
Step 1: Crush the garlic with the flat end of your knife.
Peeling off outer layer of garlic
Step 2: Easily peel of and discard outer layer.

Use Softened Butter for Garlic Bread Spread

Softened butter is key to getting the right consistency on your butter-based spreadThe best way to test if your butter is properly softened is by poking it. If it’s the right temperature your finger will leave a little imprint in the butter.

The safest way to soften butter is to allow it to come to room temperature naturally by taking it out of the refrigerator about 30-45 minutes before you’re ready to get started on this recipe.

Of course, if you don’t have time to wait for your butter to soften naturally, there are many ways to soften butter quickly.

I find the quickest and simplest way is the microwave! Add your butter to a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for ten seconds. If it still needs more time, continue to heat in 5-second increments until it’s ready.

Green tip: Look for organic and palm oil-free butter if you can. Buying organic means you are supporting farms that do not use damaging pesticides and fertilizers, and palm oil production is a huge driver behind deforestation.

How to Make Garlic Bread Spread in a Food Processor

I love making this garlic spread in the food processor because it’s just much easier to mince the garlic this way rather than hand-mincing it with a knife.

Start by adding your garlic to a food processor or high-powered blender. Blend on high until garlic is minced. Then, add your garlic salt and softened butter and blend again until everything is well combined.

Adding garlic cloves to food processor
Step 1: Blend the garlic on its own first to mince it.
Adding butter and garlic salt to food processor
Step 2: Add the garlic salt and softened butter and blend to combine.

Substitute for Garlic Salt

If you don’t have garlic salt on hand, you can easily make your own garlic salt substitute out of garlic powder and salt. Typically, garlic salt uses a ratio of 3 parts salt to 1 part garlic powder.

In this case, you can simply use 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder in place of garlic salt.

Adding garlic salt to food processor

Finely Chop Your Parsley

It’s best to hand chop your parsley and add it to the garlic bread spread rather than adding it whole and blending it.

This is because blending the parsley into the buttery garlic spread will release the fresh herbs liquid and change the texture.

Once you’ve blended your garlic, butter, and garlic salt together, remove the blade from your food processor or blender and add the chopped parsley. Then, use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir the chopped parsley into the garlic butter.

Green tip: Growing your own herbs is a delicious way to reduce your environmental footprint. Homegrown parsley has zero associated food miles, no pesky plastic packaging, and are free of damaging fertilizers and chemicals. Plus, they are just so fresh and flavorful.

Which bread is best for garlic bread spread?

My personal favorite bread to use for garlic bread is an Italian baguette. It’s shorter and thicker than a French baguette, though French baguettes work great, too!

Alternatively, you can use ciabatta or sourdough bread if you want a little tang, focaccia for a chewier bread, or classic white sandwich bread for a more Texas Toast-style garlic bread.

Regardless of the bread you choose, generously smooth on the garlic bread spread in an even layer and place it on a baking sheet. If you are using a baguette, slice it in half lengthwise and open it up, so that the inside is facing up.

Generously spreading homemade garlic butter on garlic bread

How Long to Bake Homemade Garlic Bread

The baking time will vary slightly depending on the bread you use, but a great indication that your garlic bread is ready is the edges turning golden brown.

At 350°F, your garlic bread will get perfectly crispy and cooked in 8-12 minutes on the top rack. Then, you can slice it into individual pieces to enjoy!

You can also just make a single serving or a smaller batch, which may slightly reduce baking time. Always check on your bread after 8 minutes!

You can make any garlic bread fancy by adding grated Parmesan cheese, extra fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano, or even adding crushed red pepper flakes for a little bit of spice.

Homemade garlic bread just out of the oven
Bake until the edges get crispy and golden brown
Slicing garlic bread into individual portions
Slice into individual portions

Serving Homemade Garlic Bread Spread

This recipe teaches you how to use the spread to make delicious homemade garlic bread, but the garlicky butter can be used for more than just bread!

Use it in place of regular butter on a grilled cheese sandwich to add more flavor, or to marinate salmon like in this recipe for Pesto Butter Salmon!

If you do make garlic bread from this compound butter, there are plenty of great dishes to serve it with! Here are some of my favorites:

Overhead image of garlic bread and garlic bread spread

Storing Leftover Garlic Bread Spread

This garlic bread spread will last up to 15 days in the refrigerator covered. It an also be frozen for up to 3 months!

If you use the spread to make garlic bread and have extra, leftover garlic bread can also be saved. It will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.

To reheat leftover garlic bread, bake it in the oven at 350°F for 8-10 minutes from the fridge or 10-15 minutes from frozen.

Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? Minimize your contribution to food waste by properly storing and then eating your leftovers!

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Why You Should Make this Garlic Bread Spread

  • It’s simple. All your need is four ingredients to bring all the flavor.
  • It’s easy. Easily made in the food processor or blender for a more hands-off recipe.
  • It’s so garlicky! Between the fresh garlic and garlic salt, this spread is loaded!

If you’re loving this Garlic Bread Spread and want more ideas for delicious appetizers with bread, check out this Whipped Ricotta Crostini and Caprese Bruschetta.

Garlic bread spread with garlic bread behind it

4-Ingredient Garlic Bread Spread

5 from 5 votes
Marley Goldin
Print Save Rate
This Garlic Bread Spread only requires 4 ingredients and comes together quickly to make the best homemade garlic bread!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 10 servings



  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened (¾ cup butter = 1½ sticks)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, tightly packed (leaves and stems)
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Garlic Bread Spread

  • Prep ingredients by peeling garlic, chopping parsley, and making sure your butter is softened.
    Chopped parsley for Garlic Bread Spread
  • Add the peeled garlic to the food processor or high-powered blender and blend on high until minced. Alternatively, you can use a sharp knife to mince your garlic and add it to a large mixing bowl.
    Garlic minced in the food processor
  • Add the garlic salt and softened butter to the food processor and blend until smooth and well-combined. If you're not using a food processor, add the garlic salt and softened butter to the bowl with the minced garlic and use a hand mixer to combine.
    Blending unsalted softened butter, garlic salt, and minced garlic in a food processor
  • Remove the blade from the food processor or blender and add the chopped parsley (if not using food processor, add parsley to the bowl with the garlic butter). Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix the parsley into the spread.
    Stirring chopped parsley into garlic butter
  • Store the garlic butter spread in the refrigerator for up to 15 days until ready to use.

Using Your Garlic Bread Spread

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Select your bread of choice and add to a baking sheet. My preference is an Italian baguette. If using a baguette, slice in half lengthwise and generously spread the homemade garlic butter on the bread.
    Adding Garlic Bread Spread to Italian baguette
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes until the edges of the bread start to turn golden brown. If necessary, slice into individual portions and enjoy!
    Just baked garlic bread with crispy edges

Pro Tips

  • Make sure the butter is softened for best results. You can allow it to come to room temperature naturally or check out how to soften butter quickly. 
  • Make this garlic bread your own by adding fresh herbs, Parmesan cheese, or crushed red pepper flakes!

Share This Recipe

Course Appetizers, Basics and Bases
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, 5 Ingredients or Less, Garlic Bread, Garlic Bread Spread
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