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Everyone loves pizza night! This crispy and cheesy French Bread Pizza recipe is an easy dinner for the whole family to enjoy. Skip the delivery and whip up this quick, inexpensive meal the next time a craving strikes! The homemade pizza is delicious alongside a simple green salad, a fresh tomato salad, or sauteed zucchini.

Front shot of a plate of French Bread Pizza with pepperoni on top

French Bread Pizza is such a throwback to my childhood! While my brother and I often begged my mom for the frozen Stouffer’s or Ellio’s versions, those sad meals never lived up to our expectations. They were inevitably soggy, lacking in flavor, and scarce on cheese. Now, as a mom to three hungry boys, I’ve perfected my homemade French Bread Pizza recipe for a lunch or dinner that never disappoints. No soggy crusts allowed!

What is French Bread Pizza?

If you’re not an American child of the 80’s, then maybe you’re not familiar with French Bread Pizza. Is that even possible?! This meal is exactly what it sounds like: a pizza that uses crusty French Bread for a crust, rather than a more traditional flat pizza dough. Stouffer’s and Red Baron sell popular frozen French bread pizzas, but it’s just as easy to make this delicious meal at home — and the homemade version tastes way better!

Overhead shot of two pieces of French Bread Pizza on a plate with a side salad

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the simple ingredients that you’ll need for homemade French bread pizza. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Loaf of French bread: pick a large loaf of soft French bread (rather than a smaller, crustier baguette).
  • Olive oil: helps the bread crisp and brown.
  • Butter, garlic powder, and salt: come together to make a flavorful garlic butter for brushing on the crust. You can substitute about 3 cloves fresh grated or minced garlic for the garlic powder, if you like.
  • Marinara or pizza sauce: use a jar of store-bought sauce for ease, or make your own at home.
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese: that classic Italian cheese that ooey, gooey, and melty!
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: for a salty, more robust cheese flavor.
  • Toppings of choice: such as sliced pepperoni, sauteed vegetables, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and more.
Sliced loaf of french bread on cutting board

How to Make French Bread Pizza

Like any other pizza, you can garnish French Bread Pizza with all of your favorite toppings — or keep it simple with classic pepperoni, as shown here.

  1. Cut Bread. Cut the large loaf of French Bread into four equal pieces.
  2. Brush with Olive Oil. This adds flavor, but also helps the outside of the bread get crisp and golden brown, rather than soggy!
  3. Brush with Garlic Butter. Then brush the cut-side of the bread with garlic butter.
  4. Toast the French Bread. Bake the bread in a 450°F oven for about 5 minutes — just until it’s a little brown around the edges.
  5. Add Toppings. Now it’s time for the toppings! Spread each piece of toasted bread with sauce, top with mozzarella and Parmesan, and then add any extra toppings that you might like (such as pepperoni).
  6. Bake the Pizza. Bake the pizza in the 450°F oven for 10-15 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is crispy! Slice into smaller pieces if desired, then serve!
Brushing french bread with olive oil
Brushing top of french bread with garlic butter
Toppings for French Bread Pizza
French bread pizza on baking sheet before baking
Horizontal shot of French Bread Pizza on a plate

How to Make French Bread Pizza Not Soggy

I learned this technique from an article in Cook’s Country magazine, and it truly yields the best crispy, golden brown crust for your pizza. It adds a couple of extra steps to the prep work, but it’s not hard and it’s absolutely worth the effort.

  • First, brushing the bread with olive oil on the bottom and garlic butter on top helps the bread get nice and brown in the oven.
  • Second, toasting the bread in the oven before adding the toppings prevents a soggy crust.

French Bread Pizza Sides

Pair the pizza with some fresh vegetables to round out the meal. Try these easy options:

Side shot of Pepperoni French Bread Pizza on a white plate with blue trim

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Make Ahead: You can assemble the pizza in advance and freeze it for a later meal.
  • How to Freeze French Bread Pizza before Baking: To freeze your pizza in advance, gently press the toppings into the toasted bread, and then place the pizza on a baking sheet in the freezer for about one hour. Once frozen, transfer the pizza to large Ziploc freezer bags (or other airtight containers) and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bake the frozen pizzas straight from the freezer, but add a few extra minutes to the suggested baking time.
  • Leftover pizza will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • To Reheat: Place the pizzas on a baking sheet and warm in a 350°F oven (or toaster oven) until heated through, about 10 minutes.

French Bread Pizza Ideas: Recipe Variations

  • Hawaiian Pizza: Top the pizza with diced ham and/or cooked bacon and diced pineapple.
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza: Use bbq sauce instead of the marinara sauce and cheddar cheese instead of the Parmesan. Add grilled or rotisserie chicken, sliced red onion and bacon.
  • Instead of French bread, use flatbread or Naan bread to make individual pizzas. You don’t need to toast the flatbread before adding the toppings and baking in a 425°F oven for about 10-12 minutes.

Tips for the Best French Bread Pizza Recipe

  • Look for a large loaf of soft French bread in your grocery store’s bakery. I find that this softer bread creates a better crust than a smaller, crispier French baguette.
  • Add any of your favorite pizza toppings. My boys keep it simple with plain cheese pizza, while we typically add sliced pepperoni. You can also top the pizza with sautéed sliced mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, chopped fresh tomatoes, and olives for a veggie-packed meal. Try Italian sausage for a flavorful punch, too.
  • We like the ease of store-bought marinara sauce or pizza sauce, but you can also use homemade marinara sauce or homemade pizza sauce when time allows.
  • Garnish the pizzas with fresh herbs like chopped fresh basil or oregano right before serving. A sprinkling of crushed red-pepper flakes adds spicy flavor, too.
French bread pizza with a salad in the background

More Pizza Recipes to Try

Front shot of a plate of French Bread Pizza with pepperoni on top

French Bread Pizza

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 483.1 kcal
This crispy and cheesy French Bread Pizza recipe is an easy dinner for the whole family to enjoy!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (24-inch by 4-inch) loaf of soft French bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups marinara or pizza sauce (or more or less), to taste
  • 12 ounces (about 3 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Optional: 1-2 ounces sliced pepperoni or other toppings of choice

Instructions

  • Place rack in the upper-middle position in the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  • Cut the loaf of bread in half crosswise, and then cut each piece in half horizontally to make 4 equal pieces.
  • Place the bread cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the crust with the olive oil.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, garlic powder and salt. Flip the bread cut-side up and brush the cut side with the melted butter mixture.
  • Bake the bread (cut-side up) until it’s browned on the edges, about 5 minutes.
  • Spread sauce evenly on each piece of toasted bread. Top with mozzarella, then Parmesan, and finally the pepperoni or other optional toppings (in that order). Return to the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  • Let the pizza rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Look for a large loaf of soft French bread in your grocery store’s bakery. I find that this softer bread creates a better crust than a smaller, crispier French baguette.
  • Add any of your favorite pizza toppings. My boys keep it simple with plain cheese pizza, while we typically add sliced pepperoni. You can also top the pizza with sautéed sliced mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, chopped fresh tomatoes, and olives for a veggie-packed meal. Try Italian sausage for a flavorful punch, too.
  • We like the ease of store-bought marinara sauce or pizza sauce, but you can also use homemade marinara sauce or homemade pizza sauce when time allows.
  • Garnish the pizzas with fresh herbs like chopped fresh basil or oregano right before serving. A sprinkling of crushed red-pepper flakes adds spicy flavor, too.
  • Hawaiian Pizza: Top the pizza with diced ham and/or cooked bacon and diced pineapple.
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza: Use bbq sauce instead of the marinara sauce and cheddar cheese instead of the Parmesan. Add grilled or rotisserie chicken, sliced red onion and bacon.
  • Instead of French bread, use flatbread or Naan bread to make individual pizzas. You don’t need to toast the flatbread before adding the toppings and baking in a 425°F oven for about 10-12 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1large pieceCalories: 483.1kcalCarbohydrates: 53.2gProtein: 14.4gFat: 24.6gSaturated Fat: 10.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7.7gCholesterol: 47.2mgSodium: 539.8mgPotassium: 36.4mgFiber: 2.1g
Keyword: French Bread Pizza, French Bread Pizza Recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was so tasty!! Thank you for suggesting this recipe. I have bought the frozen French bread pizzas for years but had never thought to make it myself. I was unable to find French bread at the grocery store so I bought Cuban bread instead (I live in Miami, FL). It turned out perfect! Crunchy on the outside and just the right texture/softness on the inside with the sauce and toppings. My family raved about it!! This will now be my go-to recipe for pizza night! Thank you so much, Blair. 🙂

    1. Perfect, Sandy! I’m so glad to know that it works well with Cuban bread, too. You gave it a Miami “twist.” 🙂