Easy French bread pizza will revolutionize pizza night at your house. Pick your favorite toppings and bake them up in 10 minutes!
French bread pizza wins pizza night
French bread pizza is one of those shortcuts that turns out to be the best idea ever. If you’re a pizza lover who appreciates a great crust, this is for you. If you’re a pizza lover who can never decide which toppings you want, this is for you. If you’re a pizza lover who longs for homemade pizza but doesn’t have the bandwidth ~ this is for you!
what you’ll need to make French bread pizza
- A baguette loaf of French bread
- look for a large plush loaf (do the squeeze test!) A wider loaf works best so you have some real estate to work with when loading up your toppings.
- pizza sauce or crushed tomatoes
- you can use an alternative like pesto or white sauce if you like. I don’t recommend using marinara sauce (there’s a difference between pizza sauce and pasta sauce!) Pizza sauce is uncooked or lightly cooked, while pasta or marinara sauce is long cooked. The ingredients are the same, but the results are very different. Pizza sauce should be fresh and light.
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- there’s no law that says you have to use mozzarella. Try an Italian blend, ricotta, Brie, or even blue cheese.
- use fresh or granulated depending on what you like.
pizza topping ideas
The options are literally endless, here are some of the most obvious.
- mushrooms and Italian seasoning
- ham and pineapple
- sausage and bell peppers
- anchovies and hot banana peppers
- red onion and olive
- jalapeño and pimento red pepper
- tomatoes and basil
how to make French bread pizza
step 1. slice your bread
Slice a fresh loaf of French bread in half. Then slice each half in half lengthwise, to make 4 flat bases for your pizzas. Don’t slice your bread until ready to make your pizzas so it doesn’t dry out.
step 2. prep and toast your bread
Spread soft butter over your bread. Sprinkle with granulated garlic, or an Italian herb blend. Toast this for 5 minutes in a hot 400F oven. This step is important. Toasting the bread will provide a barrier to the pizza sauce to prevent sogginess. It also makes it even more tasty. Alternatively you can scrape the cut side of a garlic clove across the toasted bread for a nice hint of garlic.
step 3. top your French bread pizzas
This is where the fun begins. Your first layer is sauce (you can skip this if you like,) then lots of shredded cheese ~ remember the cheese melts down in the oven. Finally add your toppings.
step 4. bake
Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 400F. We don’t need a screaming hot oven for French bread pizza because the crust is already cooked and crusty. We’re just looking to get everything nice and bubbly and browned. The bread gets crusty on the outside, but stays nice and soft inside.
why we’re so excited about this
French bread pizza is almost too good to be true. You get the benefits of homemade pizza made just the way you love it, without the hassle of messing with pizza dough. And honestly, a good loaf of French bread makes a pretty great crust so you’re not compromising there.
- it takes just minutes and you don’t need to think ahead, just grab a loaf of French bread on the way home from work and you’re good to go.
- the crust is always crisp ~ no need to fuss with a pizza stone.
- it can go gourmet or classic.
- make it your way ~ customize the loaves to accommodate special diets or unusual tastes. Anchovies? No problem. Vegan cheese? Sure! They can coexist on the same sheet pan 🙂
- this is an awesome quick pizza night idea for families, but it can be a great appetizer, too.
tips for making French bread pizza
The French bread needs to be fresh, so plan on picking it up the day you want to make your pizzas. If you absolutely have to buy it the day before, wrap the whole loaf in plastic to keep it soft.
Prep your toppings ahead and you’ll be able to whip up these pizzas in no time.
Don’t be shy with the cheese, it melts down in the oven so you can afford to mound it up.
Set up a French bread pizza bar with all the topping so people can create their own French bread pizza masterpieces.
other homemade pizza night hacks
The EASIEST Pizza Dough Recipe (made in seconds right in your food processor)
French Bread Pizza
- Sheet pan
- serrated bread knife
- 1 lb loaf of French bread (baguette style)
- 4 Tbsp soft butter
- granulated garlic or garlic powder (you can also used fresh garlic)
- 1 cup pizza sauce, more or less to taste.
- 12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (you can also use a blend of Italian cheeses.)
- mushrooms, sliced
- pineapple and ham
- anchovies and banana peppers
- olives and slivered red onion
- jalapeño and pimentos
- cherry tomatoes and basil
- sausage and bell peppers
- Italian herb seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Using a serrated bread knife, slice a fresh loaf of French bread in half crosswise. Then slice each half in half lengthwise, to make 4 flat bases for your pizzas. Don’t slice your bread until ready to make your pizzas so it doesn’t dry out.
- Spread soft butter over your bread. Sprinkle your bread with granulated garlic, (or an Italian herb blend.) Toast this for 5 minutes in a hot 400F oven. This step is important. Toasting the bread will provide a barrier to the pizza sauce to prevent sogginess. Alternatively you can scrape the cut side of a garlic clove across the toasted bread for a nice hint of garlic.
- Spread sauce across the tops of your bread. Don't add too much, just a thin layer. You can skip this if you like.
- Add lots of cheese to the bread. I like to mound it up because it will shrink down as it melts.
- Now place your toppings on the cheese, press them in slightly so they don't fall off.
- Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 400F. We’re just looking to get everything nice and bubbly and browned.
- Slice and serve!