Easy and Cheap Garlic Bread with Olive Oil

The beauty of this garlic bread with olive oil recipe is that it doesn’t use butter or store-bought garlic butter spread. Instead, it uses extra virgin olive oil. This makes for a more heart-healthy version of garlic bread compared to other recipes that are slathered with butter or cheese.

So if you’re wondering if you can make garlic bread without butter…the answer is definitely YES! And I’m about to show you how!

The results of this no-butter garlic bread will not disappoint. In fact, to this very day, it is the only recipe for garlic bread that I make.

This simple olive oil garlic bread is the perfect side to serve with any pasta, soup, or salad. Plus, did I mention it takes less than 10 minutes?! 🤩

💬 Don’t forget to leave me a recipe rating or comment below if you try this recipe! Your thoughts are always welcome.

slices of toasted garlic bread with olive oil on a plate

Why Make Garlic Bread with Olive Oil Instead of Butter?

Using olive oil instead of butter is preferred for one major reason… the health benefits!

In my expert opinion, olive oil is arguably the world’s healthiest oil, containing health-benefiting polyphenols and monounsaturated fats. Research shows that replacing foods high in saturated fat (margarine, butter, mayonnaise, or dairy fat) with the same amount of olive oil can result in an 8-34% lower risk of mortality (1).

Major organizations like the American Heart Association also promote replacing saturated fats in your diet with mono- or polyunsaturated fats for health (2). This is because consuming more of these types of fats may help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in your blood (2).

Olive oil is also a staple in countries surrounding the Mediterranean. It’s no wonder this population lives longer than others when following a healthy diet that includes olive oil. The benefits are beyond compare!

One specific study links increased olive oil consumption with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke (3). This study suggests consuming about two tablespoons of olive oil each day for maximum benefits.

Is that enough reason for you to dump the butter and try olive oil? If not, trust me, this recipe will convert you.

Poor Man’s Garlic Bread

If you’ve ever made a last-minute dinner such as spaghetti or maybe a soup that needed a little something on the side, perhaps you resorted to creating a make-shift garlic bread using whatever ingredients you had on hand. I know I’ve been there.

I call this “poor man’s garlic bread”. However, I’ve also heard it referred to as ghetto garlic bread or budget garlic toast.

Poor man’s garlic bread can come in many forms. It’s an on-the-fly, cheap garlic bread alternative that is still totally satisfying!

To make this, you can use regular sliced bread, hot dog buns, hoagie rolls, or any other type of bread as an alternative to Italian bread.

Then, you can either drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil (or butter or margarine if that’s all you’ve got). For the spices, you can try one or more of the following: garlic powder, garlic oil, oregano, garlic salt, basil, or parsley.

It may take a bit of imagination and ingenuity but it’s fun, quick, and cheap to make if you’re in a pinch. And it will help satisfy that garlic bread craving.

But…this easy garlic bread recipe is neither considered poor man’s garlic bread nor a bougie garlic bread with fancy ingredients or flavored oils. It’s something in between and it’s PERFECTION!


Italian bread- freshly baked Italian bread in loaf form is what I like to use. You can also use pre-sliced Italian bread which won’t be as thick. They’ll just end up more like garlic toast versus thick-sliced garlic bread.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Extra virgin olive oil is a staple in my house and I go through SO much every month it’s ridiculous. If you have regular olive oil or virgin olive oil, those are fine as well. No need to splurge on expensive $100 bottles of EVOO for this recipe.

Oregano- Dried oregano works in this recipe because it’s flavorful and cheaper than buying fresh herbs. Fresh herbs aren’t always easy to find but if you have access to fresh oregano, you’re more welcome to add some.

Garlic powder- here’s where the garlic flavor comes in. I prefer garlic powder because I always have it available and I find the tiny granules so much better to cover the surface of the bread. You can use minced garlic for a fresh, more potent garlic punch to the garlic bread. Freshly roasted garlic squeezed and spread over the bread would be an absolute DREAM as well.

Red pepper flakes- this ingredient is optional. I like to add a little to give some heat to my olive oil garlic bread. It also adds health benefits from capsaicin which studies show helps improve vascular and metabolic health (4).

How To Make Garlic Bread With Olive Oil

Alrighty here’s what you’ve been waiting for. The incredibly simple garlic bread with olive oil and garlic powder recipe that will change your life! Bit dramatic but seriously, this is good stuff. Here are the step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Cut Your Italian Loaf

Start by setting your oven broiler to a “low” setting.

You want a large oblong-shaped loaf of Italian bread. It’s softer than French bread and what I prefer for this recipe. Cut the loaf as straight as you can down the sides lengthwise (see picture below). Then open up both sides and place them cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Step 2: Drizzle the EVOO

Next, drizzle your extra virgin olive oil back and forth over each open slice of Italian bread. I admit I eyeball this step and I’m quite liberal with the oil.

The bread slices are quite thick, so they soak up the oil quite a bit.

how to make garlic bread  step 1 cut your Italian bread lengthwise. Step 2 add olive oil on both halves

Step 3: Add Your Spices

Then start sprinkling your oregano, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes (if using) all over each open-halved loaf.

I’m also quite liberal with the spices. What can I say, I NEED flavor! Adjust this part to your preference. Another great thing about this garlic bread without butter is that there’s also no salt added!

Step 4: Broil It on Low

Now it’s time to pop it in your oven to broil. This part doesn’t take long AT ALL!

Stay close to your oven and peek at your garlic bread every couple of minutes. You want your garlic bread with olive oil to be lightly brown and toasted on top. This will take only about 5 minutes but broiler temps can vary.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burnt this olive oil garlic bread because I underestimated the broiling time. It’s embarrassing 😕.

Then wait until it cools a few minutes and cut each half into five even slices for a total of ten garlic bread slices. That’s all folks! Dig in!

garlic bread with olive oil step 3 add spices to both halves, step 4 broil on low until toasted

What to Serve with Garlic Bread

Try serving this addicting garlic bread with any soup, salad, or Italian dish. Here are a few good entrée suggestions:

toasted garlic bread with olive oil on a baking sheet lined with foil and cut into thick slices

FAQ Regarding Garlic Bread

Can I make garlic bread without garlic cloves?

Of course. This healthy garlic bread recipe doesn’t use garlic cloves, only garlic powder. However, you may also use pureed or minced garlic, garlic salt (minimally because of the salt), or garlic oil. They will all give your garlic bread that wonderful garlicky flavor.

Can I freeze garlic bread?

Yes. You can freeze prepared or cooked garlic bread in the freezer after tightly wrapping it in clingwrap, and then putting it in an airtight bag or container. It will keep for up to 6 months. To reheat, defrost it and reheat in the oven or toaster oven.

slices of toasted garlic bread with olive oil on a plate

Easy and Cheap Garlic Bread with Olive Oil

The perfect garlic bread to add to any soup, stew or spaghetti night! This easy no butter garlic bread recipe is versatile and cost-effective as well! Use the the red pepper flakes optionally to give your garlic bread a kick.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 10 slices
Calories 274 kcal


  • 1 loaf Italian bread or other whole grain bread loaf
  • 8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)


  • Set your oven to a low broil setting. If you do not have broil setting, 300° will also work.
  • Slice the bread in half lengthwise to make two thick halves of bread. Place onto your baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  • Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil liberally over each half of Italian bread.
  • Sprinkle all spices evening over each half of bread. Red pepper flakes are optional.
  • Broil or bake in the oven for 4-5 minutes. Watch it carefully so it does not burn. You want it slightly browned and crisp on the outside but still soft on the inside.
  • After removing from the oven, carefully cut each loaf into 5 slices for a total of 10 olive oil garlic bread slices.



Additional Notes: 
  • You can most definitely use fresh or minced garlic in this garlic bread recipe, which would be wonderful.  For the sake of time, I often use powdered 🙂
  • Feel free to omit the red pepper flakes if you are not a fan of too much heat.
Nutrition Information Per Slice:  240 calories, 12.2 gm total fat, 1.6 gm saturated fat, 5 gm protein, 24 gm carbohydrates, 3 gm fiber, 235 mg sodium, 100 mg potassium, 0 mg cholesterol. 
Keyword bread, easy, garlic, olive oil

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