French Bread Pizza
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!
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Remove, slice, and serve.
It’s important to toast the bread without toppings or else the bread will remain way too soft under those toppings.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Favorite Pizza Recipes
- Easy Pizza Dough Recipe
- CPK Club Pizza — This is a super easy dinner idea when you make the dough ahead of time!
- Pepperoni Pizza Dip
- Pizza Rolls
- Kale Pizza
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French Bread Pizza
- 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
- 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.
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).