Cheesy Pull-Apart Pesto Bread

Garlic bread is okay, but wait until you compare it to Cheesy Pull-Apart Pesto Bread. Easy homemade pesto (made with zesty garlic, grated Parmesan, and fresh herbs) puts this bread recipe over the top.  No more plain ole garlic bread for you, my friend!

Cheesy Pull-Apart Pesto Bread Recipe 

Oven-baked golden brown loaf of Cheesy Pull-Apart Pesto Bread.

Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We?? 🙂

This might not be a true homemade bread, but it’s darn good and not a soul will care that you’re using a store-purchased loaf to make this garlic bread recipe.

Whether you dip this bread in marinara to serve it as an appetizer, or pair it up with my Instant Pot 5-Minute Italian Pasta, you’ll never want plain ol’ garlic bread again. It’s beautiful, delicious, and the fragrant smell of roasted garlic, butter, and herbs will flood your kitchen.

What to love about this recipe – 

  1. It’s fast and easy to make…not to mention pretty darn economical.
  2. Who doesn’t love BREAD and CHEESE???
  3. It will make you fall head-over-heels in love with pesto.

What is pesto? 

Pesto is a simple combination of garlic, herbs, and Parmesan, blended together with olive oil, or your favorite cooking oil.

I make pesto in my Cuisinart Food Processor and it’s finished in minutes! Then you can store your pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Add it to salads, stir into pastas, or spread it on a slice of crusty bread.

Cheesy Pull Apart Pesto Bread

What ingredients do you need to make this garlic bread recipe? 

  • French or Italian bread
  • Butter
  • Pesto
  • Mayonnaise
  • Shredded Italian five-cheese blend, or something similar

Herb Pesto Ingredients 

  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Red pepper flakes, optional
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil

How to prepare the pesto – 

  1.  Combine the fresh herbs with the garlic, red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to combine the ingredients, chopping them well.
  2. In a steady stream with the food processor running, pour in the oil until the entire mixture is emulsified; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Store the prepared pesto in a glass jar with a lid for up to a week in the fridge.  If the oil separate from the pesto, simply stir to combine.

How to make Cheesy Pull-Apart Pesto Bread in 5 easy steps – 

  1.  Use a serrated knife to slice 1-inch diagonal cuts across the loaf, leaving the bottom of the  bread in tact; repeat in the opposite direction. Pour the melted butter in between the slices you’ve just made in the loaf.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the prepared pesto with the mayonnaise; use a small spoon or spreader to place the pesto/mayo mixture down into the cuts in the loaf.
  3. Transfer the loaded pesto loaf to a large sheet of aluminum foil; use your fingers to press the shredded cheese down into the cuts of the loaf where you’ve placed the pesto/mayo mixture.
  4. Wrap the prepared loaf in foil, placing it onto a baking sheet.  Bake the loaf in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.  Open the foil and bake the loaf, uncovered, for an additional 5-10 minutes or until hot throughout and golden brown on top.
  5. Let the loaf rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Creamy pesto in a bowl with a loaf of Cheesy Pull-Apart Pesto Bread.Common Questions Asked About
This Recipe

If I don’t feel like making the pesto, can I just use store-purchased pesto? 

Totally and it’s still completely delicious.  Look for basil pesto, usually found in the spaghetti sauce or pasta section of your grocery store.

Can I make this bread ahead of time and bake it later? 

You sure can and I love that about this bread. You can make it ahead of time, then place it into the fridge to bake when you’re ready – it holds great.

Does this bread freeze well? 

Yep.  It’s best to freeze it before you bake it, well wrapped in a lot of aluminum foil.  Bake the bread from frozen instead of letting it thaw first.  When baking the loaf from frozen, you’ll need to add 10-15 minutes to the total baking time stated in the recipe.

More Tasty Recipes Your Family Will Enjoy – 

Printable Cheesy Pull-Apart Pesto Bread Recipe – 

A loaf of cheesy pull-apart pesto bread, hot from the oven.

Cheesy Pull Apart Pesto Bread

Cheesy Pull-Apart Pesto Bread is beautiful, delicious, and the fragrant smell of roasted garlic, butter, and herbs will totally flood your kitchen. After this, plain ole garlic bread won't cut it!
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bread, cheese, pesto
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 410kcal
Author Chef Alli


  • 1 loaf French or Italian bread
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup pesto, recipe below
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Italian five-cheese blend

Herb Pesto

  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, I actually used Wright Sunflower Oil in this recipe
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Prepare the Bread

  • Using a serrated knife, make 1″ diagonal cuts across the loaf while leaving the bottom intact. Repeat this, cutting it again in the opposite direction
  • Pour the melted butter in between the cuts of the bread and distribute evenly. (This step is done a little easier if you have a second set of hands to gently pull the bread apart as you pour the butter down into the loaf.) 
  • In a small bowl, combine pesto with mayonnaise. Use a small spoon or spreader to spread the pesto/mayo mixture down into the cuts of the loaf. 
  • Transfer loaded loaf to a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Now, using your fingers, stuff the cheese down into the cuts of the loaf, on top of the pesto mixture. 
  • Wrap loaf in foil and bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Open foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes.
    Remove from oven and let loaf rest for 10 minutes before serving. 

Prepare the Pesto

  • In a food processor bowl, combine herbs with garlic, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese.  Pulse processor to combine ingredients. 
  • Add sunflower oil in a steady stream until mixture is emulsified. Season pesto to taste with salt and pepper. 
  • Store pesto in a glass jar with a lid for up to a week in the fridge. (If oil separates from pesto, simply stir to combine.)



Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 564mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 693IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 185mg | Iron: 2mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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