Air fryers have become increasingly popular in recent years as a healthy alternative to deep frying. Their ability to make crispy foods like french fries and chicken wings using little to no oil is certainly appealing. But can these trendy appliances also handle crowd favorites like garlic bread?
The short answer is yes; you can absolutely make garlic bread in an air fryer! In fact, using an air fryer is one of the best ways to make garlic bread that’s crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.
Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make perfect garlic bread in your air fryer, from ideal loaf types to cook times and temperatures. We’ll also share some delicious seasoning ideas beyond just garlic and butter.
So read on for all the details on making this tasty appetizer or side dish in the air fryer!
How to Make Garlic Bread in an Air Fryer
Making garlic bread in the air fryer is simple and fast. Here are some step-by-step instructions:
1. Select a Loaf of bread.
For best results, choose a loaf of bread that’s:
- Soft and chewy: A crusty artisan loaf may get too hard and dry out in the air fryer. Soft sub rolls, sandwich bread, or baguettes work great.
- Small to medium-sized loaves: Larger loaves may not fit or cook evenly. Stick to loaves under 12 inches long.
- Partially pre-cooked: breads like ciabatta or focaccia that are already lightly baked will crisp up perfectly without over-drying.
2. Mix Garlic butter.
Making your own garlic butter adds tons of flavor. Simply combine softened butter with minced garlic, dried Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. You can also add grated Parmesan, lemon zest, etc.
Use about 2-4 tablespoons of butter per 6 inches of bread, spreading it generously on each slice.
3. Cut the Loaf
Slice your bread loaf into 1-2 inch-thick slices, but don’t cut all the way through. Leave the bottom 1 inch intact so the slices stay together.
This exposes lots of edges to get crispy in the air fryer.
4. Air Fry
Transfer the loaf to the air fryer basket. Air fry at 350°F for 5-8 minutes, until the tops and edges are golden brown.
Flip and air fry another 2-3 minutes to crisp the other side.
5. Finish and Serve
Remove the garlic bread from the air fryer and finish slicing through the loaf. Pull apart the pieces and serve immediately while hot and crispy.
Optional: For added flavor, brush with a bit of melted butter or olive oil before serving. Sprinkle with minced fresh parsley or Parmesan.
And that’s it! With just a few simple steps, you can enjoy restaurant-quality garlic bread from your air fryer.
Air Fryer Garlic Bread Tips
Here are some top tips for making the very best air-fried garlic bread:
- Toast the bread first. Giving the slices a quick toast before air-frying helps dry out the surface so it gets extra crispy.
- Use an air fryer basket. A mesh basket optimizes air flow for maximum crispness. The holes let any butter or oil drip away.
- Brush with egg wash: For a gorgeous golden color, brush doughy breads like focaccia with egg wash before cooking.
- Flip halfway: Flipping the bread halfway through allows both sides to get evenly crispy.
- Work in batches for even cooking. If needed, cook in smaller batches to prevent overcrowding.
- Check often to avoid burning. Garlic can burn quickly. Keep an eye on it and flip or remove it early if it’s browning too fast.
- Let rest before slicing. Allow the loaf to sit for 5 minutes after cooking so the steam can redistribute and the bread firms up.
Follow these tips, and your air-fried garlic bread will come out perfect every time!
Alternative Flavor Ideas for Air Fryer Garlic Bread
While the classic version features garlic and butter, there are so many other ways to flavor garlic bread cooked in the air fryer. Get creative with these ideas:
- Herb garlic bread: Mix oregano, basil, thyme, or rosemary into the butter.
- Cheesy garlic bread: top with shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, cheddar, or Gruyère before air-frying.
- Pesto garlic bread: Spread pesto sauce instead of garlic butter for an herby twist.
- Pizza garlic bread: top with pizza sauce and pepperoni before cooking.
- Jalapeo garlic bread: Stir chopped peppers into the butter for spicy bread.
- Onion-garlic bread: sautéed onions and garlic are a delicious combo.
- Cinnamon-raisin garlic bread: replace some butter with cream cheese and add cinnamon and sugar.
- Garlic knots: Make bite-sized garlic breads by tying bread dough in knots before air-frying.
So don’t feel limited to just garlic and butter! Use your favorite flavors to customize garlic bread in the air fryer.
Frequently Asked Questions About Air Fryer Garlic Bread
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about making garlic bread in an air fryer:
What kind of bread works best in an air fryer?
Breads that are soft, chewy, and partially pre-cooked work best, like ciabatta, focaccia, brioche, challah, or sandwich bread. Avoid hard, crusty breads or very dense breads.
How long do you cook garlic bread in an air fryer?
Cook at 350°F for 5-8 minutes total, flipping halfway. Thinner breads or rolls may only need 4-5 minutes. Check frequently to avoid burning.
Should you toast the bread first?
It’s a good idea to lightly toast or pre-bake the bread first. This dries out the surface a bit, so the bread gets extra crispy in the air fryer.
What temperature do you cook garlic bread at in an air fryer?
The ideal air fryer temperature for garlic bread is 350°F. This crisps the outside before the interior gets dried out.
Should you brush with butter or oil before air-frying?
It’s optional, but brushing the bread with a bit of melted butter or olive oil before cooking helps promote browning and adds extra richness.
How do you keep garlic bread from getting soggy in the air fryer?
Use a mesh basket, avoid overcrowding, and let the bread rest for 5 minutes after cooking to allow steam to disperse. This prevents sogginess.
Can you make frozen garlic bread in an air fryer?
Yes, frozen garlic bread can go straight into a preheated air fryer. Add 1-2 minutes to the package instructions. Monitor closely to avoid burning.
So in summary, air fryers provide an easy and delicious way to make crispy garlic bread quickly.
With the right loaf type and by following a few simple tips, you can totally nail restaurant-quality garlic bread at home. Experiment with different seasonings beyond garlic butter to customize it just how you like!
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.