Garlic bread makes for a yummy side to various Italian meals, which is why so many people love making it. However, if you lack butter or don’t wish to use it, you might be wondering if you can even make it.
The good news is that you can most certainly still make garlic bread without butter, and you may just find that butter substitutes make it even tastier.
Keep reading to learn about the best alternatives.
Whatever your reason is for needing a substitute for butter on your garlic bread, you can find an even more delicious alternative. Whether you are a vegan, lactose-intolerant, trying to be healthier, or simply don’t like butter, the section below should be able to help you find a solution.
1 – Olive Oil
Olive oil is about the most Italian substitute you can use in lieu of butter. Simply drizzle some on top of your garlic bread with some garlic before or after roasting it in the oven.
You can also sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese, if you feel like adding an extra layer of flavor to your olive oil garlic bread.
2 – Vegan Butter
If you are vegan, and this is your reason for not wanting to use butter on your garlic bread, you can most certainly opt for using vegan, or plant-based, butter instead.
This plant-based butter can be made with a variety of oils that are not derived from animal fat, such as avocado, coconut, and olive oil.
3 – Ghee
Although ghee is still technically butter, it’s ideal for those who still want some delicious, creamy butter and are also lactose intolerant. This is because the process that is involved when making ghee results in the removal of both lactose and casein.
If you are wondering what ghee is, it is clarified butter, which is simmered and then strained. It can be stored on a shelf outside of your refrigerator for a long period of time, which is one benefit of this product that many people love.
If you are dairy-sensitive and want a great substitute for butter on your garlic bread, this is one that will not disappoint.
4 – Cheese
If you don’t have any oils or butter, but you would still like to add a bit of fat to your garlic bread, you can simply do so with a bit of cheese. You can top your garlic bread with some fresh shredded or chunks of mozzarella cheese, shredded Parmesan, or any other type of Italian cheese.
5 – Herbs
For the healthiest version of garlic bread without butter, you can try out freshly chopped herbs, such as oregano and basil, with minced garlic and Parmesan cheese on your bread. Top the bread with your herbs and cheese, then pop it in the oven for a thorough roasting.
6 – Margarine
If you don’t have pure, dairy-based butter in your possession, you can, of course, opt for utilizing margarine. Although many people prefer butter on their garlic bread, margarine is sometimes considered to be a slightly healthier option since it contains vegetable oils only and no animal fats.
7 – Mayonnaise
Another good replacement for butter on your garlic bread is mayonnaise, as it is made with oils. This works great for helping to infuse that garlic flavor into your toasty bread.
If you do opt for using mayonnaise, make sure you use a very thin layer, so that its flavor doesn’t overpower the garlic.
8 – Garlic Only
One method you can use for getting some delicious garlic bread with no butter and minimal ingredients in general is by roasting the plain bread with the broiler setting of your oven, then rubbing fresh, sliced garlic directly onto the bread.
You can also brush a thin layer of olive oil onto the bread prior to rubbing the garlic on, which will help the garlic flavor really get into the bread.
Recipes to Try
Check out the homemade garlic bread recipe below, which you can follow step-by-step to take the guesswork out of making butter-free garlic bread. There is also a recipe for linguine that makes for a perfect meal to accompany your garlic bread.
Garlic Bread With Herbs
This garlic bread with fresh herbs is lacking butter, but it is still bursting with flavor. Here are the ingredients you will need for it:
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread (or any Italian bread), cut down middle
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
The first thing you should do is preheat your broiler on its low setting. Next, add the olive oil, parsley, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to a bowl, and combine the ingredients until they form into a paste-like consistency.
Next, get the mixture onto each piece of bread evenly, and add more Parmesan cheese to the top, if you so wish. Once the oven is preheated, place the bread on a baking sheet into the oven for three to five minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and crispy.
You can slice the bread up into smaller pieces, and enjoy it with the linguine detailed below.
This linguine is free of meat, but you can feel free to add a bit of chicken or shrimp to the mix if you want some extra protein. You will need these ingredients:
- 6-ounce box linguine pasta
- 3-ounce chunk mozzarella
- 4 lemon pieces, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1-1/2 cups arugula
- 1 cup roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch black pepper
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, put the four lemon slices on a baking sheet that has parchment paper (or an alternative to parchment paper) on it, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt onto them, and throw them into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Mince the lemon slices after they have cooled off, and set them aside. Then, in a pot, add the olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, and garlic, and mix the ingredients together.
Now, cook your linguine pasta, then set aside a quarter-cup of the water from the pasta before straining it. Add your cooked linguine to the pot filled with the garlic and other ingredients, and toss it all together with the hot water and arugula.
Finally, throw in the tomatoes, thyme, and lemons, stir all the ingredients together, then mix in the mozzarella, basil, and pine nuts. Make sure you add your homemade garlic bread to the side to complete this hearty, meatless meal.
Here’s how to keep your garlic bread warm while you make the linguine.
You should now be well aware that garlic bread can easily be made without butter. In fact, you will probably even end up realizing you like the alternatives on your garlic bread far more, and you will never return to using butter.
With delicious ingredients such as olive oil, mozzarella cheese, fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese, and the star ingredient itself, garlic, who really needs boring old butter in their lives, anyway?
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.