Healthy garlic bread recipe that does not compromise the flavor of the classic version. Substituting butter with olive oil, along with using whole wheat bread loaf does the trick! Plus, it’s all done with just 5 ingredients and 10 minutes of actual cooking!

Cut up healthy whole wheat garlic bread with olive oil on a white baking paper.

In this post you’ll learn:

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • With wholegrain bread 🍞 and using olive oil to substitute the butter, this recipe is a healthy and guilt-free indulgence. 🌱👌
  • Easy recipe, even for beginners. 👩‍🍳👨‍🍳
  • Since we’re replacing the classic butter with olive oil, this garlic bread without butter is also vegan! 💚
  • The combination of garlic, olive oil, and fresh parsley creates an explosion of taste. 💥
  • The versatility of garlic bread means that you can serve it as an appetizer, snack, or side dish at any meal! 🍽️
  • Family and friends approved recipe: A crowd-pleaser that’ll have everyone asking for seconds. 🙌👨‍👩‍👦‍👦
  • Your home will smell so good while baking this olive oil garlic bread! 😋


  • Garlic: Packed with bold, aromatic flavor, garlic adds a delightful zing and is the star ingredient of this vegan garlic bread (duh!).
  • Parsley: Fresh parsley brings a burst of vibrant green and a touch of herbal freshness to your dish.
  • Salt: Just a hint of salt enhances the overall taste, balancing and harmonizing the flavors.
  • Olive Oil: Extra-virgin olive oil infuses richness while still keeping things light, making it a healthy garlic bread without butter recipe!
  • French or Italian Whole Wheat Bread: Some artisan bakery bread for this recipe that doesn’t only taste good, but is also good for your health!
Ingredients for healthy garlic bread with labels: whole wheat loaf, parsley, garlic, salt, and olive oil.

Is 100% whole wheat bread healthier?

Yes, it is. Whole wheat bread has more fiber and nutrients in general. It also has a lower glycemic index, as explained in this Livestrong article.

Furthermore, this study published in Nutrients in 2019 concluded that consumption of more whole grains lead to a healthier live, especially as people age. So wait no more, make that substitution and start making this whole wheat garlic bread!

Step-by-step Instructions

Step 1: Make the Garlic Olive Oil Blend

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C).
  2. Peel and finely chop/grate the garlic. Remember that the finer they are, the better they will blend!
  3. Chop the parsley leaves (after removing the tough stalks) finely.
  4. Combine the garlic, parsley, and salt in a bowl. Then add and mix with olive oil to make your garlic oil blend.

Step 2: Drizzle and Bake to Perfection

  1. Cut the bread loaf in half lengthwise.
  2. Drizzle the olive oil mixture evenly over each bread half.
  3. Toast or broil in the oven at 425°F (218°C) for 10 minutes with the brushed sides facing up. For extra crispiness, add 2 more minutes to the toasting time.

Step 3: Cut to Serve

  1. To cut, it might be easier if you flip the garlic bread so you’re cutting the crust first, since the crust is the hardest part of the bread, and therefore the hardest one to cut!
  2. Enjoy your delicious vegan garlic bread!

Top Tips

  1. Do NOT use garlic powder as a substitute for fresh garlic. You just cannot capture the full flavor of fresh garlic with garlic powder.
    • However, if you prefer a milder garlic flavor, you can substitute with 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
  2. If you like your garlic bread softer, consider wrapping it in aluminum foil before baking.
  3. For an added kick, feel free to add some black pepper to your olive oil mixture, or by sprinkling it on top as garnish.
  4. To make this fancy, you can substitute the garlic with black garlic (which is part of my List of 33 Black Vegetables) instead. The taste will be different but it’s gonna taste great!

Dipping Suggestions

This healthy garlic bread tastes great without any dips but if you’re a fan of one, I do have some popular recipes so you’re in the right spot here!

A fan of garlic? Try serving it with one of my aioli dips: either the 5-Minute Kimchi Aioli, my 3-Minute Gochujang Aioli, or my Tandoori Mayonnaise recipe!

Want a non-garlic dip instead? Then check out my 3-Minute Oil-free Mayonnaise or this 5-Minute Hummus Without Garlic recipe.

Someone holding a slice of garlic bread with olive oil with her fingers.

Storage, Meal Prep, and Freezing Instructions

Storage Notes

This DIY garlic bread without butter is best served fresh, preferably within 6 hours.

For longer storage, freeze the brushed loaf (see the freezing section below). Do NOT store in the fridge as it alters the bread texture. And nope, storing the olive oil mixture in the fridge is also not recommended as they will solidify.

Meal Prep Notes

Unlike most foods, bread does not store well in the refrigerator. So if you’re meal prepping, pre-slice the bread and freeze. This way, you can just re-heat a couple of slices at a time.

When reheating smaller slices, reduce baking time to around 5 minutes. Remember that if you undercook, you can always toast it further but burning your bread is irreversible!

Freezing Notes

This whole wheat garlic bread recipe is great for freezing! Store the bread after brushing with the olive oil mixture for up to 3 months.

You do NOT need to thaw before serving. Just bake it for an additional 3-5 minutes at 425°F (218°C) for perfectly reheated garlic bread, so for 13-15 minutes in total.

Cute up slices of whole wheat healthy garlic bread on a white baking paper.


Can you bake bread with olive oil instead of butter?

Yes, you can. It will taste lighter with olive oil, but yes, as shown in this recipe, you can definitely do that!

Can I just use a regular sliced bread for this recipe?

Absolutely! In fact, I have a separate Garlic Bread with Sliced Bread recipe. Essentially the same recipe, but without having to make that trip to get that Italian / French loaf!

P.S. It’s a secret but I honestly like the sliced bread version better. The bread is thinner so you get more of that garlicky flavor even if it’s using your regular sliced bread!👀

P.P.S. If you’d like crunchier texture, try my Garlic Pita Chips recipe!

What is the green herb on garlic bread?

It’s parsley! This herb adds a fresh, vibrant color and flavor to any garlic bread!

What is a healthier substitute for garlic bread?

A healthier alternative to traditional garlic bread is by using whole-grain or whole-wheat bread and by using olive oil instead of butter. These substitutions offer more fiber and nutrients, and are lower in saturated fat.

Looking for more healthy recipes that pair well with this Garlic Bread?

Check out my Creamy Tandoori Sauce Pasta recipe, or this Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms recipe.

It also pairs well with my Tandoori Vegetables Platter recipe, my favorite dump-and-bake recipe that’s so flavorful!

Slices of healthy, crunchy, whole wheat garlic bread without butter.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Healthy Olive Oil Garlic Bread (Whole Wheat, Without Butter)

Healthy garlic bread recipe that does not compromise on flavor. Substituting butter with olive oil, along with using whole wheat bread loaf does the trick!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: garlic bread without butter, healthy garlic bread, olive oil garlic bread, whole wheat garlic bread
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 321kcal
Author: Jem @ The Fruity Jem


  • 5 cloves garlic very finely chopped or grated
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley leaves chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 loaf French or Italian bread whole wheat
  • a sprinkle of black pepper (optional)


Step 1: Make the garlic olive oil mixture

  • First, pre-heat your oven to 425°F (218°C).
  • Peel and finely chop or grate the garlic. The finer you mince them, the better the flavor will blend.
  • Snap off just the leaves of the parsley (we don't want to use the tough stalks in our garlic bread) then chop them finely.
    Refer to the photos above to see how fine you need to chop it to.
  • Combine the garlic, parsley leaves, and salt in a small bowl. Then add in the olive oil and mix together.

Step 2: Drizzle and bake!

  • Cut your loaf of bread lengthwise into two.
  • Using a spoon, slowly drizzle the olive oil mixture on top of each bread. Even it out using the back of the spoon.
  • Toast/broil in the oven at 425°F (218°C) for 10 minutes, with the brushed sides facing up. Feel free to toast/broil for an additional 2 minutes if you want a crispier bread!
  • Garnish with extra chopped parsley leaves and black pepper if using.


Top Tips
  • I do NOT recommend using garlic powder to substitute actual garlic, but if you want a milder garlic flavor, you can substitute with 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
  • If you like softer garlic bread, wrap it in aluminium foil before baking.
Storage Notes
  • This recipe is best served fresh, or at least within 6 hours. If you need to store it longer, store the brushed loaf in the freezer (see the freezing section below).
  • Do NOT store the bread in the fridge since it will change the texture and the olive oil will solidify.
Meal Prep Notes
  • Check out my notes on freezing below since this is the recommended meal prep method.
  • You can pre-slice the bread before brushing it with the olive oil mixture, so you can just re-heat it one at a time.
  • If you’re heating smaller slices of bread (instead of half a loaf), reduce the baking time to about 5 minutes. Remember that it’s better to undercook since you can always toast them longer, but you can’t reverse a burnt toast!
Freezing Notes
  • This recipe is great for freezing! Brush with the olive oil mixture, and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • You don’t have to thaw it before serving. Simply bake them in the oven for about 3-5 minutes longer, so bake them for 13-15 minutes at 425 °F (218 °C).