Pesto Cheesy Bread

12 servings
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Pesto Cheesy Bread is a garlicky, cheesy melt-in-your-mouth bread with homemade Pesto, ready in just 30 minutes. Great as an appetizer or served with pasta!

Get ready to take Garlic Bread to the next level! This a new cheesy, easy Appetizer Recipe is one that you are going to want to serve along with every Italian dinner from here on out.

Pesto Cheesy Bread picked up slice


Whether it’s in rolls, breadsticks, loaves, or knots, garlic bread is an essential to serve with any Italian meal. Who among us hasn’t used it as an edible spoon to give more flavor to a bite of pasta or to soak up every last morsel of delicious sauce?

Adding cheese and pesto (one of my favorite Italian sauces) is the natural evolution of this delicious appetizer and meal enhancer. Fresh mozzarella and creamy, garlicky homemade Basil Pesto Sauce upgrade this simple, classic bread to a super side dish that you can serve for dinner or parties.

This version of Pesto Cheesy Bread is so easy to make, it comes together in less than 5 minutes and ready to serve in less than 30 minutes. I used large hoagie rolls that you can find in the bakery section of the grocery store. You want to get fresh loaves because packaged ones are too soft.

You can serve this Cheesy Pesto Bread with Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti (a kids favorite!) but you can also make it into mini pizzas for a quick lunch. Kiddos love loading on their favorite toppings and it’s something they can pretty much do themselves start to finish, at least until it’s time for the oven.

Slice up into individual portions for an easy, cheesy Super Bowl appetizer. I suggest doubling the recipe if you do, because it’s sure to go fast! Serve with a variety of dipping sauces like Pizza Sauce, Marinara, or even more Pesto. This Cheesy Bread is so quick and easy, it takes about as long as the halftime show to assemble and bake.

Want a delicious dipping sauce?


  • Bread: Use any French bread that will fit on a baking sheet or even better, use hoagie rolls. Just be sure you cut the slices before covering with the cheese and pesto, this makes for easier pulling apart of the delicious cheesy bread!
  • Cheese: Mozzarella is king here because it melts so well but a mixture of cheeses couldn’t hurt too. Adding herbs will add flavor but you have plenty in your pesto.
  • Pesto: Homemade or store bought, any pesto is the …can we go there?…the besto. Yep. Any pesto works well here, so much flavor, it works as a built in dipping sauce.

Cheesy Pesto Garlic Bread on baking dish


  • Meat: Add pepperoni, cooked Italian sausage, or cooked bacon after you add the mozzarella cheese layer to make a Pesto Pizza bread perfect for lunches.
  • Veggies: Roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, or artichokes from a jar would taste absolutely delicious on your Pesto Cheesy bread.
  • Cheese: Mix in grated sharp cheddar, provolone, or smoked gouda for half of your mozzarella cheese to change the flavor.
  • Bread: If you want to swap out the bread, make sure to pick one that has a firmer crust like a loaf of French Bread or Italian Bread, or make your own with my easy French Bread recipe.
  • Pull-Apart: For a fancier party appetizer, choose a large round loaf (like a sourdough) and cut into pull-apart bread with my directions below.

Cheesy Pesto Pull-Apart Bread:

  • Use a large Italian or sourdough round loaf.
  • Using a serrated knife, cut the loaf into long 1 inch wide rows, without cutting all the way through. Turn the loaf 90 degrees and repeat, so it looks like a checkerboard pattern.
  • Melt 4 tbsp of butter and stir in Pesto sauce. Pour between cracks of bread, covering all the insides you can.
  • Stuff the cracks with the mozzarella cheese and half of the parmesan.
  • Cover loaf with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is melty in the center. 
  • Uncover and sprinkle top of loaf with the remaining parmesan and bake another 5 minutes.



  • Serve: This bread is best served fresh and will keep for 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Store: You can store Cheesy Pesto Bread in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
  • Freeze: Allow to cool completely and freeze in a sealed freezer bag or container for up to 1 month. Use parchment paper to layer pieces if more than one half loaf.

Pesto Cheesy Bread on baking sheet with dipping sauce

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Pesto Cheesy Bread

Pesto Cheesy Bread is a garlicky, cheesy melt-in-your-mouth bread with homemade Pesto, ready in just 30 minutes. Great as an appetizer or served with pasta!
Yield 12 servings
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • large hoagie rolls
  • 1/2 cup Pesto Sauce
  • cup  mozzarella cheese , shredded
  • 1/2  cup  parmesan cheese , shredded
  • marinara or pizza sauce  , for serving


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Slice the two hoagie rolls into 2-inch wide portions but leave it attached in the middle.
  • Brush pesto sauce onto the bread.
  • Top the bread with the mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese and bake until crispy, about 15-18 minutes.


Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 551mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 552IU | Calcium: 334mg | Iron: 2mg

Pesto Cheesy Bread collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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