Cheesy Pesto Garlic Bread

This cheesy pesto garlic bread is packed full of fresh garlic basil pesto and stringy mozzarella cheese. Super simple to make and full of flavor! You’ll love how easy this bread side dish is to make! 

I LOVE making pesto. Mostly because I can use whatever green I have on hand (basil, mint, arugula, etc.) and turn it into something crazy delicious that will last a lot longer in my fridge than the greens themselves. Also, why does everything have to be sold in such large quantities? Sometimes I don’t want to buy a giant bag of basil. I need like 10 leaves and I’m left 100. So annoying. That is why pesto is my jam and is pretty much always found in my kitchen.

This pesto was made pretty traditional but instead of just throwing it on pasta I slathered it on bread, stuffed the bread with mozzarella cheese and BOOM! I got myself the most amazing cheesy pesto garlic bread. 

This recipe came about because I had a bunch of basil and 2 loaves of bread that needed to be used up ASAP. I had actually bought the bread to go with homemade New England clam chowder but then I forgot to actually cut it up and serve it with dinner. Does this happen to anyone else? I buy stuff and then forget to use it. I’m making it a goal this year to stop wasting food because to be honest, it’s a problem.

I know, I’m the worst.

So I decided to use up the bread by slicing them, spreading them with homemade pesto, STUFFING them with mozzarella cheese, drizzling them with olive oil, sprinkling them with garlic powder and finishing it off with Parmesan cheese. You guys – YES YES YES! Seriously, eating this bread had me like Sally from When Harry Meant Sally.

You know what I mean!

PLUS I made my pesto in my Vitamix because I saved up a long time for that machine and I pretty much use it whenever I can. BUT to be honest I really just saved up wedding money and gift cards so I didn’t really save up for too long. If you’re a big time into soup, smoothies or if you just really love hot chocolate (Vitamix hot chocolate!) it’s highly recommended!

But, if you don’t have one make your pesto in whatever vessel you prefer – blender or food processor are my favorite choices.

This cheesy pesto garlic bread is 100% perfection when served as a side with pasta BUT I can say with confidence it makes a pretty awesome lunch as well. I mean, you should probably serve with some protein too BUT I would never judge you if you went straight up carb fest.

{Looking for even more delicious recipes using pesto? Try my Turkey Cranberry Pesto PaniniPesto Chicken Caprese PastaPesto Tuna Baguette SandwichGrilled Lamb Chops with Pistachio Mint PestoGrilled Chicken Pesto Panini or my Butternut Squash Minestrone Soup}

Cheesy Pesto Garlic Bread

This cheesy pesto garlic bread is packed full of fresh garlic basil pesto and stringy mozzarella cheese. Super simple to make and full of flavor! You'll love how easy this bread side dish is to make!

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 (8-inch) loaves bread
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

In a blender (I used my Vitamix) or food processor add basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, kosher salt, black pepper and lemon juice. Blend it a little to start breaking down the nuts and basil.

While the blender or food processor is running drizzle in the olive oil and blend until combined. At this point take off the lid and scrape down the sides. Put the lid back on and drizzle in some water while the processor is running until you have reached your desired consistency. You should get about 3/4 cups pesto from this recipe.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with a Silpat liner or parchment paper. Every 3/4 of an inch slice down into the bread but don't cut all the way through. You want to cut down the bottom but don't cut through the bottom crust.

Spread some pesto in between each slice of bread making sure to cover the inside as you want the pesto flavor to be equally distributed through the bread. After that stuff shredded mozzarella cheese in between each slice.

Add some pesto to the top of the bread spreading over the top and use the remaining mozzarella cheese to cover the bread.

Add to the oven and tent loosely with foil. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted on the inside of the bread.

Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes to help brown the top cheese.

If desired sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan cheese before serving.