This French bread pizza is the perfect 20 minute meal for those crazy weeknights or for a fun and easy weekend meal. This recipe produces the BEST loaf pizza because it’s flavorful, stores well, and doesn’t get soggy!

If you’re a pizza lover like me, check out my pizza recipes specifically my English muffin pizzas. And if you’re in a bind and need more recipes that kids will eat, check out my 15 easy kid-friendly dinner recipes post! It’s full of easy-to-make meals that kids will gobble up!

Overhead view of French Bread Pizza with pepperoni on top and a basil garnish.

Why This Recipe Works

This is one of my go-to weeknight meals. I love it! And a big plus — my kids love it, too! It requires minimal ingredients, little prep time, and it’s budget friendly!

Using French bread instead of a homemade pizza dough definitely cuts the dinner prep time down. Plus, it’s a great dinner idea where the kids can help you make it, since they can pick whatever toppings they’d like!

Ingredients 

Ingredients used to make French bread pizza.
  • French bread loaf: Cut in half lengthwise. If you have a large family, you can use 2 loaves. 1 loaf cut in half fed my family of 4 (two adults, two toddlers).
  • Pizza Sauce: More or less to your liking. I like a saucy pizza, so I added a good amount to each half. I always use my pizza sauce from tomato paste recipe, it’s by far the best!
  • Mozzarella: Grated. Again, add more or less to your cheesy liking!
  • Pepperonis: More or less to your liking. You can use mini pepperoni, regular-sized pepperonis or turkey pepperonis.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Cut the French bread loaf in half lengthwise. Combine melted butter and garlic powder, then use a pastry brush to spread the butter + garlic mixture over the tops of the French bread halves.
A pastry brush spreading melted butter over a slice of French bread.
  1. Toast the bread in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden. If you want the tops nice and crisp place it under the broiler for a minute or two (that’s what I did here).
  1. Place some of the pepperonis directly on the bread. This little trick prevents the bread from getting soggy. It makes a world of a difference!! Then spread your pizza sauce (I prefer to use homemade pizza sauce) over the pepperonis.
  1. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the pizza sauce and then top with the remaining pepperonis and any other toppings you’d like to add. You can add mushrooms, green peppers, sausage, olives, etc. for a supreme French bread pizza.
  1. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Remove, slice, and serve.
 A pepperoni French bread pizza on a white background.

Recipe Tips

It’s important to toast the bread without toppings or else the bread will remain way too soft under those toppings. 

Variations

Feel free to add all your favorite pizza toppings! You can make it a “supreme French bread pizza” by adding cooked sausage, bacon, diced green peppers, sliced olives, and mushrooms.

This is a great recipe for families! Each kid (and adult) can request their favorite toppings. Use one half of each French bread slice for a different pizza variation.

Looking for healthier options? Use a wheat French bread option and low-fat or skim mozzarella. Swap out pepperoni for turkey pepperoni. Add lots of veggies on top!

Additional pizza topping ideas: mushrooms, green peppers, black olives, ham, pineapple chunks, parmesan cheese, chopped artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes (add on top of the pizza after baked), bacon pieces, sausage bites, chopped grilled chicken, and so many more!

Storing

Store in a ziplock bag in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

To reheat, preheat the oven to 400°F and cook until the pizza is warm and the cheese is melty.

FAQs

Where did French bread pizza originate?

In 1960, Bob Petrillose had a food truck called “Hot Truck Bob” where he sold sandwiches to students at Cornell University. He used sub bread to create pizzas and sell to students. The idea later was produced and sold by Stouffer’s. You can read more about the history of French bread pizza at WSJ.

Why is my French bread pizza soggy?

The trick is — after toasting the bread open-faced in the oven — to place a layer of pepperoni down on the bread first before the sauce. This will act as a barrier so the bread doesn’t get soggy from the sauce.

French bread pizza on a cutting board, topped with pepperoni and fresh basil.

Favorite Pizza Recipes


Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a rating and review.

Overhead view of French Bread Pizza with pepperoni on top and a basil garnish.
Print Review
5 from 2 votes

French Bread Pizza

Dinner has never been easier! These French Bread Pizzas are easy to make and loved by everyone!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 1 French bread loaf - cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons butter - melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup pizza sauce - more or less to your liking
  • 6 oz mozzarella - grated, about 2-2 1/2 cups
  • 2 oz pepperonis - more or less to your liking
  • fresh basil - for topping, optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil (makes for easy clean up).
  • Place the French bread halves on the prepared baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl combine the melted butter and garlic powder. Brush the melted butter mixture over the tops of the loaves.
  • Place the loaves in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the loaves have crisped up.
  • Add about 3/4 of the pepperonis to the tops of the loaves (prevents the bread from getting soggy). Spread the pizza sauce overtop of the pepperonis. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the pizza sauce and finally top with the remaining pepperonis. Feel free to add any additional toppings!
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melty.
  • Remove from the oven, garnish with chopped basil if desired. Cut and serve immediately. 

Notes

Looking for healthier options? Use a wheat French bread option and low-fat or skim mozzarella. Swap out pepperoni for turkey pepperoni. Add lots of veggies on top!
Storing: This pizza stores really well! By adding the pepperonis directly on top of the bread it prevents the loaf from getting soggy. You can enjoy this pizza several days after making it and it still tastes amazing! Store in a ziplock bag in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
To reheat: preheat the oven to 400°F and cook until the pizza is warm and the cheese is melty or microwave for 30 seconds or until cheese has re-melted and heated through. 
I first shared this recipe on Recipe Girl where I was a contributor, but have since changed the recipe with updated instructions and improvements!

Nutrition

Calories: 577kcal (29%)Carbohydrates: 61g (20%)Protein: 25g (50%)Fat: 26g (40%)Saturated Fat: 14g (70%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 71mg (24%)Sodium: 1425mg (59%)Potassium: 406mg (12%)Fiber: 3g (12%)Sugar: 6g (7%)Vitamin A: 815IU (16%)Vitamin C: 5mg (6%)Calcium: 272mg (27%)Iron: 5mg (28%)
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, French, Italian
Did you make this recipe?snap a photo and tag @saltandbaker in your posts and stories so I can see what you’re making!

This recipe was first published September 19, 2018 and was updated March 4, 2021 with a new method of making the French bread (pepperonis directly on the crust to prevent over saturation).