The Best Food Pairings For Garlic Bread Other Than Classic Spaghetti

Walk into just about any Italian restaurant in the United States, and you'll probably find garlic bread on the menu. This buttery and allium-packed bread is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon. While it's mostly associated with Italian cuisine, garlic bread was American-born, likely influenced by Roman bruschetta that traveled overseas with Italian immigrants (via Washington Post).

The best garlic bread is soft on the inside with a satisfyingly crisp exterior. The key to getting extra crispy edges on your garlic bread is to stuff your loaf with compound butter, wrap it in foil, and bake it until the butter melts. Then, remove the loaf from the foil to bake butter side up until it gets crispy all around the outside. This is a great way to make the perfect accompaniment for a multitude of dishes. 

Although we love a big bowl of spaghetti with garlic bread, there are so many other pairings for our garlicky loaf. These are the absolute best things to prepare next time you are craving garlic bread.


A creamy, gooey dip will always be a hit at a party. A warm crock of spinach artichoke dip will quickly disappear with a hungry crowd, but you need to have the right vehicle to scoop it. Tortilla chips and crackers are great, but you can really impress your guests by serving garlic bread beside your favorite dips.

I Am Homesteader praises garlic crostini as a wonderful accompaniment to dips. While you can use their technique of toasting a baguette with olive oil and garlic powder, try this trick to elevate it into the ultimate dipper: Spread both sides of the baguette with garlic butter before toasting in the oven (via Allrecipes), adding fresh herbs to the butter mixture for an added layer of flavor. Try serving garlic crostini alongside our hot crab dip with Ritz crackers. Packed full of garlic itself, this cream cheese-based dip made with lump crab meat will pair nicely with a crispy slice of garlic bread. 

Shellfish in broth

An underappreciated pairing for garlic bread is a pot full of shellfish in broth. Mussels, like other bivalves, have a natural broth (essentially briny salt water) that releases when they steam open (via PEI Mussels). With the addition of flavor agents like wine, the resulting broth in a big bowl of steamed seafood is ideal for soaking up with garlic bread. While toasted bread is commonly served alongside steamed shellfish like mussels or clams, not everyone takes the extra effort to doctor up the bread with garlic butter. 

Our recipe for creamy garlic mussels supplements the cooking liquid with heavy cream and butter. A slice of garlic bread would go well with this garlicky broth, as you will not want to waste an ounce of it. Once you dip garlic bread into a pot of mussels, you will not want to settle for plain bread ever again. 


We all know that soup and bread are a match made in heaven. How else can you explain the feeling you get when eating grilled cheese and velvety tomato soup? Digging into a bowl of soup feels like a warm hug. Add some bread on the side, and you have yourself a great meal. Soups are also naturally one-pot meals, so they're an easy way to serve a simple lunch or dinner without a huge mess. Whether you have a creamy or broth-based soup, garlic bread can take your dish up a notch in the flavor department.

Traditionally, ribollita is a soup that was made using stale bread soaked in a broth full of seasonal vegetables. Our slow cooker chicken ribollita recipe is a gluten-free version, but that doesn't mean you can't serve it with bread. Given its history, crispy garlic bread makes for a great supplement to this soup.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict is a timeless brunch treat. This breakfast dish emerged during the Gilded Age in New York (towards the end of the 19th century) and is now found on brunch menus across the country (via National Geographic). Variations on the standard Benedict replace the Canadian bacon with proteins such as smoked salmon or crab cakes, but it is less common to see the English muffin substituted.

Our eggs Benedict follows the typical recipe for preparing the dish, including an English muffin, Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. But we also think it would taste excellent served over garlic bread. What's For Dinner recommends store-bought garlic Texas toast as the base for a Benedict. This would be a great choice if you don't want to go through the extra effort of making garlic bread — especially when you already have to worry about timing the poached eggs and whisking up the hollandaise sauce. Plus, any excuse to eat garlic bread is a win in our book. 

Summer salads

Salads are a go-to in the summer months, because it seems like there is an endless supply of good produce. Light and refreshing, salads make good use of the plentiful summer harvest. The only downside is that you often need to supplement a salad to help fill you up. Along with adding protein, a side of garlic bread can help turn a salad into a well-balanced meal.

For example, our grilled summer shrimp salad recipe has all the great makings for a delightful meal: marinated grilled shrimp, butter lettuce, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, and a flavorful dressing. Pair it with some garlic bread, and you will have quite the gratifying plate.

Summer pasta salads are another fantastic combination to serve with this popular carb. Try it with our pasta salad with walnut pesto, tomatoes, and snap peas. This salad is bright and packed full of colorful vegetables. You'll wonder why you haven't been eating garlic bread with all your salads. 


Summer is the perfect time to break out the grill. From proteins like steak and chicken to vegetables like corn and eggplant, there is no shortage of options to throw on the grill. Our grilled flank steak with cilantro-scallion purée is a terrific choice for grilling season, and garlic bread is an excellent way to soak up any excess sauce.

The good news is that you don't even have to turn on your oven to serve garlic bread with your summer barbecue. Chef Cedric Thompson popularized a garlic bread recipe that includes smearing rectangular pieces of bread with compound garlic butter and then searing them on all sides in a skillet until they're crispy. You can also apply Thompson's technique when grilling your garlic bread. RecipeTin Eats, however, says that the key to grilled garlic bread is using melted infused garlic butter, which prevents your bread from scorching. Start with the bread buttered-side down on the grill. Once you flip it over, baste the bread with more garlic butter. This crispy bread will truly elevate your barbecue skills. 

Beef stew

One of the best parts of making (and eating!) garlic bread? It works will with dishes all year round — whether it's the dog days of summer or the chilly frost of winter. For instance, hearty beef stews that surface in the winter make good use of garlic bread  — dipping your crusty slice into the delicious braising liquid is a positively decadent experience.

Boeuf bourguignon is the tour de force of beef stews. This French classic braises chunks of beef in Burgundy wine and stock, resulting in a thick, dark sauce with an undeniable flavor. Wouldn't you just love to scoop up a bite of this beef stew with a piece of crusty garlic bread? That really goes for any stew — slowly braised meat and vegetables are enticing with their concentrated flavor, but they can be one-noted in terms of texture. That crisp bite of garlic bread can add a much needed complexity to an otherwise soft-textured meal. 


Cassoulet is another traditional French stew. This rich dish layers white beans with duck confit, garlic sausage, and salt pork. It takes three days to make it using the conventional method. Fortunately, you can have this instant pot cassoulet ready in just one hour. Thanks to modern conveniences, you can purchase duck legs from the grocery store that have already been confited, saving you a ton of time and energy in what is quite a labor-intensive process. Plus, your instant pot speeds up a process that would ordinarily take countless hours to develop flavor and tenderness.

Like boeuf bourguignon, this stew would greatly benefit from a side of garlic bread. You can simultaneously use it to add texture and soak up the sauce. Since this version of cassoulet takes a fraction of the time to cook and frees up your oven, you can make your garlic bread while the stew is developing. 

Creamy chicken pasta

Garlic bread is practically synonymous with red sauce cuisine like spaghetti and meatballs, but what other Italian dishes complement this favored side? Turns out, creamy chicken pasta dishes also make for a superb pairing with garlic bread. It's so satisfying to dip a crispy slice into a rich and velvety cream sauce, such as the one found in our chicken fettuccine Alfredo. This sauce gets a nice burst of umami from freshly grated Parmesan cheese, which is a great match for the garlicky notes in the bread.   

Similarly, our recipe for creamy chicken gnocchi is an ideal dish for bringing out the garlic bread. This comforting meal combines potato gnocchi, shredded chicken, and baby kale in a luscious white sauce. You won't be able to stop yourself from scooping up every last bit with your garlic bread. These type of pasta dishes tend not to use an abundance of garlic, so adding a slice of garlic bread shouldn't overwhelm your palate with pungent garlicky flavor. 

Pork chops

If you learn anything from reading this article, it should be that garlic goes well with just about anything. Meat, veggies, appetizers, main courses — you will never run out of excuses to slather bread with garlic butter. If you think your meal might be missing something, the answer may just be garlic bread. As a final note, we recommend it as a pairing for pork chops. This cut of meat can get unpleasantly dry, but when properly prepared, they are delightful.

Our recipe for pan-seared pork chops with parsnip-apple purée is a great one to pair with garlic bread. These pan-seared chops basted with butter should be golden brown and tender. What makes this dish even more exciting is the unique combination of apples and parsnips in the purée. In case you haven't guessed it already, yes — that puree is just waiting to be scooped up with some garlic bread.