Let’s face it – garlic bread is irresistible. The crispy outer crust… The tender, buttery middle… The spicy garlic with addictive salty flavor. Garlic bread is often a go-to choice as a side dish in my household. And it is an easy choice! But deciding what to eat with garlic bread can be tricky, if you’re tired of the same old, same old.
Yes, garlic bread can go with just about anything. But there are certain dishes that really shine when accompanied by garlic bread.
Have you ever heard the term “opposites attract”? While it’s usually used to describe two different personalities that mesh well together in a relationship, we can take the same approach when considering the best accompaniments to that savory garlic bread on your plate.
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What Goes With Garlic Bread?
Yes, of course pasta is the very first in this list, which may seem boring. But let’s take a step back and think about why pasta tends to go well with garlic bread. What kind of sauce is typically served with spaghetti? Yes, marinara sauce! Marinara is made primarily using tomato and spices. Tomato has a pretty high acid content, which provides a slightly sweet tartness.
Remember, opposites attract? That acid-sweetness in the tomato sauce pairs well with the salt and buttery flavor of the garlic bread because it gives those taste buds of yours something to break up repetitiveness of flavor.
#2 Garlic Bread As Buns
Here’s where things can start to get interesting! Why not use your garlic bread or garlic toast as buns for your next grilled hamburger? Or what about a garlic bread turkey cheese melt? The garlic flavor boost will compliment just about any sort of savory sandwich or burger.
The flavor profile of a sandwich or burger can range from simple to complex. But as you add toppings such as cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and condiments, there are more and more flavors that will compliment the savory flavor of a garlic bread “bun”. So try it out next time you are hungry for a sandwich!
#3 Meat Dishes
Garlic bread pairs well with just about any meat dish. Whether the main dish is poultry, fish, pork, beef or maybe even some sort of exotic meat, garlic bread will most likely be a great addition.
I don’t know about you, but I enjoy a variety of flavors on my plate. Especially when having something like a grilled chicken breast, side dishes with bold flavors really makes a meal fun to eat. And garlic bread fits the bill with all of it’s savory, buttery goodness!
#4 Salad and Raw Vegetables
Salads are one of my favorite things to have with garlic bread. Let’s take a moment to consider what makes this a match made in heaven. First, think of the texture of salad compared to that of garlic bread. Salad has a satisfying crunch, thanks to the fresh greens and the raw vegetable toppings. Garlic bread should have a slight crunch with a buttery, soft, garlic-filled middle. The difference between the textures really helps in this complementary pairing.
Another big reason garlic bread and salad goes well together is the flavor combination. Salads are generally bright and fresh. And don’t forget about the dressing, which is usually something with a fair amount of acid like balsamic vinaigrette, ranch, french or italian dressing. Pair that bright, acidic flavor with the savory, warm flavors in garlic bread and you can see why it goes so well together.
Lastly, eating a bowl of salad probably won’t make you feel stuffed, right? It is a light dish. And we can agree that garlic bread is on the heavier side. So, salad with garlic bread is a great way to ensure you feel satisfied while still getting the great benefits of eating a healthy salad.
#5 Broth or Tomato-Based Soups
Light soups taste great with garlic bread. When referring to “light soup”, I generally mean soups with a broth base or a tomato base. Here are a few examples to consider: chicken noodle soup, french onion soup, minestrone, tomato soup, chili, lentil soup, or beef stew. The list could go on and on. Dipping pieces of garlic bread into a brothy soup is really satisfying and delicious.
Heavier soups, such as those with a cream base may not be the best choice to pair with garlic bread. That being said, there are plenty of people who may disagree. But in sticking with the principle of opposites attract, you may want to avoid having a thick, heavy soup with filling garlic bread. Otherwise, you may find yourself napping pretty quickly after dinner!
#6 Dip directly in marinara or alfredo
Looking for ways to make garlic bread an exciting appetizer? Try serving it up with marinara or alfredo sauce. We already established that the acidic/sweet flavor of marinara goes well with the savory flavor of garlic bread. So why not ditch the pasta and dip the bread directly into the sauce?
And though we generally try to stay away from pairing heavy things with garlic bread, alfredo is a delicious dip for garlic bread. Alfredo sauce contains fresh parmesan which provides a slight tartness that really compliments a good piece of garlic bread.
#7 Red Wine
Last, but certainly not least is eating garlic bread with a glass of red wine!
Simple? Yes. But, sometimes simplicity is exactly what you need.
Though it may seem like a stretch, red wine has some similarities to the qualities of marinara described above. It has a pleasant acidity, a slight sweetness, and it contrasts nicely with the flavor of garlic bread. So when paired together, the flavor combination is amazing. Cheers!