Delicious Quick and Easy French Bread Pizza is the perfect 20-minute evening meal or a party. Full of your favorite toppings, browned melted cheese, and crispy crust.
The perfect recipe to let kids customize their pizzas, and it's faster to make than pizza delivery.
Toppings of choice.
Butter and garlic powder—optional to brush the bread
Featured Comment from Celesti:
"5 stars—We made this tonight with day old French bread. It turned out perfect.."
We all need a fast and easy dinner at times. This homemade French bread pizza is baked in the oven for a delicious dinner. This is perfect for the family that can't agree on toppings or for parties, cut up as finger food.
A small baguette will make two large servings, while a full-size loaf will make 4-6 servings. It is easy to prep the toppings a few days ahead, and they will come together in only a few minutes.
👨🍳How to Make French Bread Pizza
Preheat oven to 375° convection or 400° conventional. While preheating, you should have time to prepare the pizza.
Slice a loaf of French bread horizontally. The recipe is for a 9-inch loaf—2 servings. For a full-size loaf, you will have 4-6 servings, depending on the size—adjust the other ingredients, and cooking time will increase.
Optional toasting with garlic butter: You should do this if using sub-buns or the French bread has a soft center. Mix 2 tablespoons of melted butter and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder. Brush the bread with the butter mixture and broil it on a baking sheet for a few minutes to light brown. For a large loaf, use double the amount.
Prep your favorite pizza toppings. I browned ½ pound of Italian sausage and drained it well. Plus, I trimmed some pepperoni in half.
Top with sauce. It took about ½ cup for the two halves. Keep it light; you are adding flavor, not soaking the bread or filling holes.
Bake on the middle rack until nicely browned—about 10 minutes.
Cut into easy pieces.
For more details, keep reading. See the Recipe Card below for complete instructions and to print.
⏰How long to bake French bread pizza?
About 10 minutes at 375° convection or 400° conventional oven. The browning of the cheese will tell you when done. A larger French bread pizza will take slightly longer.
✔️Ingredient tips and variations to get it right every time
- 🥖The Bread
- You need nice French bread. This will be half the taste, and bland white bread won't do. You need to know your baker.
- My 9-inch loaf of bread is 2 large servings. A full-size loaf will be wider but not twice as long and give 4-6 servings.
- Don't buy the cheap stuff. You want something that tastes outstanding and comes from some excellent gluten development.
- Some French bread will have a harder crust. Opt for a bit softer crust for this recipe, which will usually be sold in plastic instead of paper bags. Do not buy the baguettes that are sold uncovered.
- If the bread is very soft inside, give it a brush of olive oil and toast it under a broiler for a few minutes until firming up and browning a little.
- 🥣The Sauce
- Be careful about the amount of sauce. The bread will act like a sponge and absorb it. You want some taste, not a sloppy mess. A little too little is better than too much here. It takes about ¼ cup per 9-inch pizza (half a loaf.), so jar sauce is very convenient.
- If you're doing a large amount for a party, it may be worth making your own.
- My simple homemade sauce recipe will make about 1 ½ cups and freeze well.
- One 6 oz can of tomato paste and 6 oz water.
- 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 1 clove garlic, and ½ teaspoon oregano. A pinch of red pepper flakes is optional.
- Remember, you have a limited surface area to cover. Cut things like pepperoni slices in half and chop vegetables small. And only add a few toppings.
- Meats: Italian sausage, bacon, pepperoni, and ham are the common ones.
- Vegetables: chopped bell peppers, mushrooms, olives, or red onions.
- Cheese: Everybody uses mozzarella cheese, but a sprinkle of Romano or Parmesan cheese adds a nice flavor.
The most important factor is the choice of bread. Some will have excellent gluten formation and be more resistant to becoming soggy. But on to things you can do.
1) Use the optional garlic butter and toast lightly.
2) Do not overdo the sauce; only use a light coat.
3) Put the cheese on before the sauce, like Chicago pizza. You can add more cheese after the sauce and toppings if you want.
4) Try not to use toppings that release a lot of water like chunks of pineapple or even tomatoes.
Yes. After it is baked and cooled, seal it airtight and freeze it for 3-4 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Any pizza is best reheated in the oven on a baking sheet at 375° for 10-15 minutes. An air fryer or toaster oven will also work well. Microwaves will tend to get soggy results.
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Quick and Easy French Bread Pizza in 20 Minutes
- 1 loaf French bread - 9 inch for two servings
- Prepared pizza sauce
- Toppings of choice.
- mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375° convection or 400° conventional. While preheating, you should have time to prepare the pizza.
- Slice a loaf of French bread horizontally. The recipe is for a 9-inch loaf—2 servings. For a full-size loaf, you will have 4-6 servings, depending on the size—adjust the other ingredient, and cooking time will increase.
- Optional toasting with garlic butter: You should do this if using sub-buns or the French bread has a soft center. Mix 2 tablespoons of melted butter and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder. Brush the bread with the butter mixture and broil it on a baking sheet for a few minutes to light brown. For a large loaf, use double the amount.
- Prep your favorite pizza toppings. I browned ½ pound of Italian sausage and drained it well. Plus, I trimmed some pepperoni in half.
- Top with sauce. It took about ½ cup for the two halves. Keep it light; you are adding flavor, not soaking the bread or filling holes.
- Add toppings.
- Bake on the middle rack until nicely browned—about 10 minutes.
Your Own Private Notes
- I suggest using a softer crust of French bread. Those will probably be sold in plastic bags, not paper or unwrapped. If you start with a hard crust and bake it more, it will be too hard.
- If doing a larger amount, it is worth the time to do your sauce. My homemade sauce recipe: One 6 oz can of tomato paste and 6 oz water. 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 1 clove garlic, and ½ teaspoon oregano. An optional pinch of crushed red pepper for heat. This will make about 1 ½ cups of sauce, which is three times what I use here for two 9-inch pizzas so that you can judge from there.
- Do not overdo the sauce; the bread can act like a sponge and absorb too much.
- Top as you wish.
- Great for a pizza party for teens. They can prepare as they wish.
- The results are very dependent on the quality of the bread.
- I generally only cook what we will eat but store and reheat it like leftover pizza.
- I do prepare toppings ahead frequently.
- Nutrition is calculated on a full half of a 9 inch baguette.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Publisher Note: Originally Published November 15, 2015. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.