How do you heat store bought garlic bread?

Heating store bought garlic bread to perfection can seem tricky. After all, nobody wants a slice of garlic bread that’s dried out or unevenly heated. The good news is that with the right techniques, equipment and timing, it’s easy to warm store bought garlic bread so that it tastes like it just came fresh from the oven.

Should You Heat Garlic Bread in the Oven or Microwave?

When it comes to heating store bought garlic bread, you have two main options – the oven or the microwave. Each method has its pros and cons.

The oven is generally considered the best way to heat garlic bread. Heating garlic bread in the oven crisps up the outside and warms the inside without drying it out. It takes a bit longer than the microwave, but the result is garlic bread that’s evenly heated throughout with a crispy crust.

The microwave provides a quick and convenient way to heat garlic bread. However, microwaves tend to heat food unevenly, resulting in cold spots. They also have a tendency to make bread rubbery or dried out. Reheating garlic bread in the microwave can work in a pinch, but it won’t have the same level of crispiness and flavor as using the oven.

When deciding between oven vs microwave, consider how much time you have and how many pieces of garlic bread need heating. The oven is the best option for heating multiple pieces of garlic bread or wanting the highest quality results. The microwave works well for quickly heating a single slice.

Tips for Heating Garlic Bread in the Oven

For best results, follow these tips when heating garlic bread in the oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Place garlic bread slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
  • Heat garlic bread for 5-10 minutes, checking frequently to avoid over-browning.
  • For frozen garlic bread, add a few extra minutes to the heating time.
  • Watch the edges and tops of the bread closely so they don’t burn.
  • Heat longer for a crisper crust or less time for softer bread.
  • Wrap in foil and heat an extra 1-2 minutes if the middle is still cold.

Baking garlic bread in the oven brings out its flavors and textures best. Be sure not to overheat it, as the bread can go from hot and crispy to dried out quickly.

Microwave Directions for Garlic Bread

While the microwave won’t produce the same crispy results as the oven, it can be used in a pinch to heat garlic bread. Follow these steps:

  1. Place garlic bread on a microwave-safe plate or paper towel.
  2. Microwave for 30 seconds on high for a single slice.
  3. Check and flip bread, then microwave 10-20 seconds more if needed.
  4. Wrap in a paper towel and microwave 10 more seconds to soften if too hard.
  5. Let the garlic bread sit for a minute before serving – the inside will finish heating.
  6. Add more time for multiple slices, but heat each slice separately.

Because microwaves often heat unevenly, keep a close watch so the garlic bread doesn’t burn. Letting it rest after microwaving allows the heat to evenly distribute.

Can You Heat the Whole Garlic Bread Loaf?

For the best texture and flavor, it’s recommended to heat pre-sliced garlic bread rather than the whole loaf. Here’s why:

  • Heating an entire loaf of garlic bread often dries out the interior bread.
  • The crust gets ultra crispy but the middle stays underdone.
  • Slicing after heating keeps the soft inner crumb intact.
  • Pre-sliced bread heats more evenly from edge to edge.
  • You can heat as many slices as you need rather than the whole loaf.

That said, if you want to warm an entire loaf of garlic bread, it is possible. Wrap the loaf in foil and heat at 300°F for 10-15 minutes until warmed through. Check frequently to avoid overheating or burning the crust. This method works best for unfrozen loaves.

Can Garlic Bread Be Heated in an Air Fryer or Toaster Oven?

Along with regular ovens and microwaves, small kitchen appliances like air fryers and toaster ovens can be used to reheat garlic bread.

An air fryer makes garlic bread deliciously crispy on the outside while heating the inside. Preheat air fryer to 350°F. Place 1-3 slices of garlic bread in the basket and heat for 4-7 minutes, flipping halfway through. Spritz with oil for added crispness.

A toaster oven also perfectly crisps the crust and warms the center of garlic bread. Preheat to 400°F. Place garlic bread slices directly on the rack and toast 4-6 minutes until hot and browned. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

Both appliances produce garlic bread that tastes freshly baked. Their small size also means they preheat faster than a full size oven.

Can You Heat Garlic Bread on the Stovetop?

While you probably wouldn’t make garlic bread directly on the stovetop, you can use a skillet or grill pan to reheat store bought slices:

  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a bit of butter or oil.
  • Place garlic bread slices flat in the pan and cook 2-3 minutes per side until crispy.
  • Use tongs to flip the bread; do not press down.
  • Opt for thick-cut garlic bread so the interior gets hot.
  • Grill pans work great for getting grill marks and flavor.

Sauteing is a quick way to crisp up the outside of garlic bread before serving. Just don’t overcook it and dry out the bread.

What is the Best Way to Reheat Garlic Bread and Keep it Soft?

If you prefer soft and pliable garlic bread to a crispy crust, the microwave is your best reheating option. Follow these tips:

  • Heat garlic bread for 20-30 seconds at a time until warm.
  • Wrap in a damp paper towel to steam and soften as it heats.
  • Immediately wrap heated bread in foil to trap moisture.
  • Heat just until warm, not hot, to keep bread soft.
  • Storing in a sealed bag after heating also prevents drying out.

The key is to not overheat the garlic bread, which causes it to lose moisture and toughen up. Low, short bursts in the microwave keep it soft and fresh tasting.

Should You Put Butter or Oil on Garlic Bread Before Heating?

Brushing garlic bread with butter, olive oil or other seasonings before reheating adds extra flavor. However, bare in mind a few tips:

  • Go light on added fats, as garlic bread can become greasy.
  • Brush butter on just the tops and crusts to keep the bread from getting soggy.
  • Olive oil or cooking sprays are lighter options.
  • Seasonings like garlic powder, parsley or parmesan add flavor without the fat.
  • Foil-wrap after adding butter to prevent burning and help bread absorb it.

In most cases, garlic bread has enough buttery flavor without the need to add more before heating. But a light brush of butter or oil can make the crust extra crispy and delicious.

What’s the Best Way to Crisp Up the Crust When Reheating?

To give garlic bread the satisfying crunch of a fresh-baked loaf, focus on crisping up the crust when reheating. Strategies include:

  • Heating garlic bread uncovered in the oven or toaster oven.
  • Using the oven broiler for 1-2 minutes after heating through.
  • Brushing crusts lightly with olive oil or butter before heating.
  • Flipping bread halfway during oven or air fryer cooking.
  • Letting bread cool slightly after heating to set crust.
  • Cutting slashes in the crust helps release steam to crisp it up.

Avoid foil when crisping up garlic bread, as trapped steam will make the crust soggy. Letting it rest after heating also allows the crust to fully set.

How to Freshen Up Leftover Garlic Bread

Stale, leftover garlic bread deserves a second chance. You can transform it with these refreshing methods:

  • Lightly brush both sides with olive oil or melted butter before heating.
  • Wrap in a damp paper towel while microwaving to add moisture.
  • Mist lightly with water and crisp under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.
  • Top with fresh chopped garlic and parsley after heating.
  • Drizzle with a mix of olive oil, garlic powder and grated parmesan.
  • Make garlic bread crumbs or croutons out of extra hard pieces.

It’s amazing how good garlic bread tastes when revived using simple ingredients like olive oil, herbs and seasonings. Don’t throw out old bread – make it new again.

Storing and Freezing Leftover Garlic Bread

To enjoy garlic bread over multiple days, proper storage is a must. Here are some tips:

  • Store unused garlic bread at room temperature up to 2 days.
  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil to prevent drying out.
  • Refrigerate up to 5 days in an airtight container.
  • Freeze leftover garlic bread up to 2 months.
  • Slice bread before freezing in a sealed freezer bag.
  • Thaw frozen garlic bread in the fridge before reheating.

With proper storage techniques, leftover garlic bread stays fresh and can be enjoyed again later. Freezing is great for longer term storage.

Troubleshooting: What If My Garlic Bread Is Too Crispy or Hard After Heating?

It’s disheartening when reheated garlic bread turns out over-toasted or dry. Here are some ways to revive over-crisped bread:

  • Lightly mist or brush with water, then rewrap and microwave 10-20 seconds to soften.
  • Slice off the too-crispy edges and enjoy the softer centers.
  • Turn extra-crisp pieces into croutons or breadcrumbs.
  • Brush with olive oil or melted butter and continue heating to add moisture.
  • Underbake initially when reheating to ensure the centers don’t dry out.

With a little creativity and extra moisture, even overly crisped garlic bread can be reconditioned and enjoyed.


Heating store bought garlic bread is easy and delicious when you use the right techniques. Opt for the oven over the microwave for the best results – crispy crust, warm centers and incredible garlicky flavor. Pay close attention to heating times, and add moisture as needed if bread dries out. With a few simple tricks, you can enjoy bakery-fresh garlic bread from the comfort of your home kitchen.

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