Throw toppings (like pesto and tomato, Alfredo and chicken, or Pepperoni and cheese) on some French bread, bake for a few minutes and you’ve got an easy back to school dinner!

French Bread Pizza, 3 Ways

Guys, I finally did it. I lost my driving-in-San-Francisco-virginity.

French Bread Pizza, 3 Ways

I can see you rolling your eyes. That’s because you’ve never driven in San Francisco before. Driving there is like rewinding to the 11th grade. Remember all those obscure rules from Driver’s Ed about turning your wheels a certain way when you park on a hill? Or remember that whole parallel parking thing? Yeah. Me neither.

French Bread Pizza, 3 Ways

It took 4 grown women about 17 tries to get our car parallel parked. I swear I’m not exaggerating. I ran in the curb every time, awkwardly diagonal.  I felt like I was trying to squeeze my 10-pounds-overweight sedan into skinny jeans. Finally Eric’s sister took the wheel. By this time almost everyone was out of the car, waving our hands in the air helpfully. Passersby probably thought we were trying to land an airplane.

French Bread Pizza, 3 Ways

Meanwhile a tiny car stopped behind us, because they thought we were leaving. I waved them on. They stared at me. I waved again. And that was when I realized that they knew we had just arrived–they thought we were going to give up.

Aw heeeeeeck no.

French Bread Pizza, 3 Ways

We did make it eventually. Motivational credit goes out to the unbelievers in the tiny car. BOOM, TAKE THAT TINY.

San Francisco, I own you. Unless you want me to parallel park by myself without moral support and at least 2 hand-wavers. Then you win.

We had a get together at my cousin Amber’s house a while back. My cousin Misty made a huge batch of this Cream Cheese Chicken Chili, and Amber made a few French Bread Pizzas to appease the army of children. I had never even heard of French Bread Pizza, but I just googled it and realized I must live under a rock. 

French Bread Pizza, 3 Ways

Amber did hers 3 ways: one with Alfredo, jarred garlic, chicken and cheese, another with pesto, cheese, and tomatoes (my personal favorite) and another with trusty ol’ pepperoni. You really can’t go wrong with French Bread Pizza though, any toppings will work. These make great appetizers or football food. Add a big green salad and call it an easy dinner. Or add a few to stretch out another main dish, like chili.  I totally plan on making this a new Halloween tradition. Fun food that the kids will like that doesn’t involve anything hot and ready.

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French Bread Pizza, 3 Ways

Serves 1 half loaf serves 3     adjust servings


For the Tomato Pesto version

  • half a loaf of french bread, split horizontally
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, shredded

For the Alfredo chicken version

  • half a loaf of french bread, split horizontally
  • 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 cup cooked chicken*, chopped (more or less)
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded

For the Pepperoni

  • half a loaf of french bread, split horizontally
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 10-15 slices pepperoni
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Split your loaf of bread in half horizontally (see photos).
  3. Add the toppings of whatever kind you are making (Alfredo, pesto, or pepperoni) in the order they appear listed above. Or use your own toppings! Sky's the limit.
  4. Bake on a cookie sheet for 14-15 minutes. If it looks like it's getting browned on the edges but the cheese in the middle is not browning, turn on your broiler and move the oven rack to the top (closest to the heat). Heat for 1 minute or until cheese starts to brown. Don't walk away! It really only takes 1 minute or so.
  5. Remove from oven, slice with a sharp serrated knife, and serve hot. With a big salad!


If you make this recipe, share it on Instagram using the hashtag #TheFoodCharlatan so I can see it!

Source: my cousin Amber

French Bread Pizza, 3 WaysCut each loaf the long way, like you’re making one huge sandwich.

French Bread Pizza, 3 Ways

French Bread Pizza, 3 Ways

French Bread Pizza, 3 WaysSome more easy dinner ideas:

10 Minute Wonton Soup

Easy 10 Minute Wonton Soup

One skillet Chicken Pot Pie

One Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

Grilled Squash, Red Pepper, and Feta SandwichGrilled Squash, Red Pepper, and Feta Sandwich

More easy dinners from friends:

One Pan Chicken Alfredo from Number 2 Pencil

French Dip Crescents from Made from Pinterest

Skillet Nachos with Spicy Salsa Verde Chicken by Picky Palate