17 Store-Bought Garlic Breads, Ranked Worst To Best

Garlic bread and boxes
Garlic bread and boxes - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

The best part about a Sunday night pasta dinner isn't the carby pasta or the decadent sauces that go with it. Rather, it's the garlic bread, which I would reckon to be one of the best side dishes ever created. Normal bread is totally tasty enough, but when it's smeared with garlic, butter, and sometimes herbs, it becomes an absolutely heavenly addition to your meal.

While you could take the time to grab a loaf of bread from the store and stuff in minced garlic yourself, frozen and ready-made garlic bread offers a cheaper and more convenient solution that is relatively easy to plop in your oven and cook. Plus, many recipes allow you to heat the product straight from frozen, so there's virtually no prep work required.

In order to get a better sense of which brands of garlic bread are worthy of purchasing, I took a trip to a few local grocery stores, picked up some loaves, and revved up my home oven. I baked each according to the directions listed on the package and ranked them based on flavor and consistency. I was looking for a brand that put the garlic flavor first and also ensured a satisfyingly crisp bite.

Read more: 23 Whole Foods Baked Goods, Ranked

17. Stop & Shop Bakery Freshly Prepared Garlic Bread

Stop and Shop Bakery bread
Stop and Shop Bakery bread - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Stop & Shop offers a garlic loaf in its bakery that can be easily transformed into the perfect pairing for pasta dishes. This loaf, which is sold encased in an aluminum sleeve, is topped with garlic butter. The bread offered no instructions on whether I was to take the pieces apart or not, so I just stuck the whole thing in the oven and baked it.

The outside of the loaf was quite crusty and pleasant, but the inside was filled with the worst margarine that I've ever tasted. In fact, it was almost borderline rancid. It also probably didn't help that there was just so much of it, and it didn't melt down at all. I could taste more garlic on this bread than many of the other ones I tried, but the bread itself was mushy and unpleasant. In hindsight, I think I was supposed to open the two halves and toast them separately, but I wouldn't buy this bread again to find out.

16. Pepperidge Farm Frozen Garlic Bread

Pepperidge Farm bread
Pepperidge Farm bread - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Pepperidge Farm is known for three things: its cookies, its Goldfish, and its bread. Honestly, when I think of Pepperidge Farm's bread selection, its fresh options come to mind -- not the frozen ones. So, I was impressed to see that this brand offers a loaf of frozen garlic bread. This 10-ounce loaf has six suggested slices in it and is made with garlic powder rather than fresh garlic. The label also lists parsley flakes, but it's kind of difficult to distinguish any sort of herby flavor in this loaf.

Pepperidge Farm's loaf required a bake of eight or nine minutes at 400 F. This loaf very clearly, unlike the Stop & Shop brand, instructed me to pry open the two halves of the bread so it could toast. It even suggested using a knife to slice the two, to which I mangled this bread into oblivion. But as long as it tastes good, right?

This brand was more like a long Italian loaf, so it had a much softer bite than other brands. The butter flavor wasn't really present, but there was certainly more than enough margarine to go around. The garlic and herb flavors were undetectable, so this brand couldn't get very high in the ranking. But if you sold this as "buttered bread," I would be all about it.

15. Bridgford Monkey Garlic Bread

Bridgford monkey bread
Bridgford monkey bread - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

I'll let you in on a little secret: I love monkey bread. The little pillowy puffs of dough are just great for sharing, and they don't require the same commitment as a whole loaf of bread. But I've really only had monkey bread as a sweet recipe, topped with sugar and cinnamon -- not the savory version. Bridgford offers garlic and Parmesan-coated monkey bread that can be made in either your conventional oven or microwave. The catch to the former, though, is that you have to wait upwards of 20 minutes for it to finish cooking.

In an effort to standardize the review process, I baked this bread in my oven and twiddled my thumbs the whole way through. It probably could have been cooked at a higher temperature than the recommended 350 F, but I didn't really question it. I was also a bit confused by the baking instructions, which did not really explicitly specify if this monkey bread should be cooked in the paper-ish container it came in -- which seemed like a fire hazard. But for the sake of science, I cooked it in the black container anyway.

The top got toasty, but the underside was mushy. There weren't any discernable herb notes in this batch, and it all tasted kind of rancid and not very garlic bread-like. I wouldn't venture to call it "garlic bread," nor would I buy it again.

14. New York Bakery Garlic Knots

New York garlic knots
New York garlic knots - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

The six-count package of New York Bakery garlic knots featured a really delectable photo on it. I could imagine the plush, soft consistency of these garlic knots melting into my mouth with every bite. But only time would tell if this would be the reality, or just wishful thinking.

Like the other New York Bakery products, I really missed out on any sort of garlic flavor with these knots, which is the reason why they ranked so low. The bread was cheap and disintegrated in my mouth, too, which was equal parts underwhelming and disappointing. And for the first time in this ranking, I really craved something salty on these knots, which is not something I could say with any other bread I sampled.

13. New York Bakery Texas Toast With Garlic

New York Bakery slices
New York Bakery slices - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

New York Bakery's Texas toast combines dried parsley and garlic to give each slice its flavor. Each box contains eight slices and has to be cooked for about eight minutes at 425 F until it's ready to serve. While this time is slightly longer than that of the brand's breadsticks, it's still a minute different than I would be willing to overlook, provided that the garlic bread was sublime.

And, unfortunately, this product just didn't hit the mark for me. The bread was cheap, like the Walmart loaf, but it didn't have really any flavor at all. The margarine coating definitely leaned oilier, which was a slight improvement in mouthfeel from the knots. Like its other products, I couldn't really pull out any "garlic" flavor -- or any flavor at all, for that matter.

12. New York Bakery Breadsticks With Real Garlic

New York Bakery breadsticks
New York Bakery breadsticks - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

There are six breadsticks in each New York Bakery box, and I was excited to see that the brand also included a little bit of Parmesan in its recipe. Could this be the flavor I was looking for?

The garlic flavor wasn't really at all apparent in these, but I did get a subtle salty flavor that I didn't get from the garlic knots. If you were to dip these into sauce, you probably wouldn't care about the flavor. But they're not a batch of "garlic" breadsticks that I would eat without any pasta to go along with them.

Moreover, I noticed that when I pulled the breadsticks from the bag, they had a margarine coating on them, as did the brand's knots and slices. But this margarine coating quickly disappeared off the sticks after they finished in the oven. The sticks came out quite dry and hard.

11. Stop & Shop Frozen Garlic Breadsticks

Stop & Shop breadsticks
Stop & Shop breadsticks - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

The texture of the Stop & Shop brand breadsticks is leaps and bounds above that of the New York Bakery; these breadsticks had a much softer bite to them that really made them a pleasure to eat. Moreover, I really liked that this brand had a garlic powder presence -- although, of course, it could have been much stronger.

What I didn't like about these breadsticks was that the bread itself was super dense and hard to chew through. This became more pronounced when the breadsticks cooled down a little bit. If you soaked it in an Alfredo sauce, the breadsticks would be passable, but it's a product that I would stray away from eating by itself.

10. Walmart Bakery Garlic Knots

Bag of garlic knots
Bag of garlic knots - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

The Walmart Bakery garlic knots were rather affordable, and they can be left on your counter until you're ready to bake them. However, after spying a moldy baguette next to this bag of knots at my Walmart, I was less enthusiastic about trying them. And spoiler alert, there was no mold on these knots.

The packaging instructed me to leave the knots in the bag, poke a few holes in the back, and bake them in the oven. I think the issue with these knots is that they steamed too much in the bag, so they come out far too soft and mushy. I only ranked them above the other brands because they were soft and stayed soft, even after they had cooled down.

Moreover, there's no real garlic flavor; they didn't even go hard with the garlic powder. If I covered them in copious amounts of sauce, I could probably get through at least a single one. But solo? This brand has no chance.

9. L'Oven Fresh Garlic Bread With Parmesan And Romano

Bread with herbs and packaging
Bread with herbs and packaging - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

L'Oven Fresh is one of Aldi's store-brands. As a devout patron of the grocery chain, I had high hopes for how it, and Aldi brand Mama Cozzi's, would fare when stacked up against more expensive and mainstream store brands. This loaf looked incredibly appetizing when I pulled it from the oven; I could even see the pieces of cheese stuck on it. But this cheese wasn't well-distributed, so it seemed like every bite into this shredded Parmesan and garlic loaf was inconsistent.

My other complaint was that it could have used about three more minutes in the oven to come out perfectly crisp. When I tasted it, I found the cheese flavor, but I was searching for the garlic. As you can expect, I couldn't find any, which means this loaf couldn't do well in the ranking. The bread was higher quality than I was expecting, though, which gave it some extra points and bumped it up a few notches.

8. Great Value Frozen Garlic Bread

Great Value frozen garlic bread
Great Value frozen garlic bread - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

As expected, Walmart's Great Value store-brand offers an affordable frozen garlic bread. It was made with garlic powder, rather than "real garlic," so I was a bit concerned about how the flavor of the allium would come through here.

I also have to ask: Why is this loaf so large? It's nearly twice the size of the other brands I reviewed, and it almost didn't fit on my XL baking sheet. It was even larger when I had to follow the instructions to cook it "open-faced." Regardless, the color was remarkable, and the margarine was clearly spread across the entire loaf.

It's very clear that Walmart used the cheapest bread possible for this loaf. It's soggy and crumbles unpleasantly in your mouth, and not in a good way. But the garlic flavor was there and was far more consistent than other brands. This is one loaf that could seriously pass for "garlic bread," so it earned a respectable spot in the middle of this list. And if you're feeding an army, it might be a good buy.

7. Great Value Garlic Texas Toast

Great Value garlic toast box
Great Value garlic toast box - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Great Value is known for its affordable products, and its frozen Texas toast is no different. The Great Value brand was significantly cheaper than Stop & Shop's product and cooked in about half the time. I was, overall, more impressed with this garlic toast than I was with the garlic bread from the same brand. Although it was still just as cheap and crumbled in my mouth, it had a slightly less wet and mushy texture to it, which was much appreciated.

But, like so many of the other brands on this list, I was left wondering: Where did the garlic go? The spread didn't taste super margarine-like, but it honestly didn't really taste like anything. This bread could have easily done better if it packed on the garlic.

6. Mama Cozzi's Pizza Kitchen Garlic Texas Toast

Mama Cozzi's bread slice
Mama Cozzi's bread slice - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

The Mama Cozzi's Texas toast garlic bread was definitely smaller in size than the other brands that I sampled. I also noticed straight off-the-bat that the edges were perfectly toasty, but the center did not reach the degree of doneness that I would have liked, which, in turn, made the center of this bread soggy. As with the L'Oven fresh product that I also sourced from Aldi, this brand was severely lacking in the garlic department. Buttery bread it was but calling it "garlic bread" is a big stretch.

The quality of this bread wasn't as low as Great Value's Texas toast, but it also didn't have that discernible crunch like Pepperidge Farm. So, it earns a spot in the middle of the pack.

5. Pepperidge Farm Garlic Texas Toast

Pepperidge Farm Texas toast
Pepperidge Farm Texas toast - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

The Pepperidge Farm garlic Texas toast had a similar issue as many of the other toasts -- the garlic flavor just wasn't enough. It had a subtle bite on the tip of my tongue, which I suspected may have been the garlic, but it was hard to pick out any fresh, allium-centric notes from this product.

Pepperidge Farm's upper hand in this ranking is that its bread is much higher quality than its competitors. The buttery spread ensures a crisp slice while its structure prevents it from disintegrating in your mouth. But this is a garlic bread ranking -- not a "frozen Texas toast" one -- so I can't put this brand in one of the top spots because the flavor just wasn't there.

4. Stop & Shop Garlic Texas Toast

Stop & Shop garlic toast
Stop & Shop garlic toast - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Everything is bigger in Texas, and I assume that's also the case with Stop & Shop's garlic Texas toast. Like other brands in the ranking, this one touts the fact that it's made with real garlic and parsley, so I was interested to see how it would measure up to its competitors. The pieces needed to bake for about 10 minutes at 425 F before they came out of the oven warm and delectably toasty.

These slices were almost the best toast out of all the product I sampled. It offered a much crispier bite than the Great Value brand. And while the butter flavor wasn't greasy, there were few garlicky notes, which ultimately pushed it out of the top spot.

3. Nature's Promise Roasted Garlic Artisan Bread

Nature's Promise bread
Nature's Promise bread - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

I have a sneaking suspicion that Nature's Promise, Stop & Shop's in-house natural foods brand, slapped the "artisan" disclaimer on its roasted garlic bread to try and convince shoppers that it was worth paying a little extra for. The packaging directs customers to bake it at 400 F for 11 to 12 minutes to get it perfectly crisp and ready to eat.

After tasting this brand, I could confidently say that it was the best-quality bread that I sampled. It was crusty and had a slight sour note that could easily appease an adult's tastebuds. But if you served it to a kid and told them it was garlic bread, you may have a riot on your hands.

Perhaps it was because there was no butter to cover up the flavor of the bread, but I couldn't help but genuinely enjoy the flavor of this one. There was a hint of roasted garlic, but I would really struggle to classify this bread as a "garlic bread." It was the odd-person-out of this ranking, so I couldn't award it the top spot.

2. Julian's Recipe Traditional Baguette With Garlic

Julian's bread with wrapper
Julian's bread with wrapper - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

I have high expectations for a product listed as a "baguette," so I was a bit nervous about sampling Julian's garlic butter-laced baguette from my local Walmart. I had to bake it at 400 F for about 10 minutes for it to really look, smell, and taste like actual garlic bread.

I give this brand props for using butter for its recipe rather than oil or margarine. This real butter taste shines through, which really makes it a pleasure to eat. I also liked that the bread got slightly crusty in the oven, rather than soft. The inside was like a true baguette. But the butter wasn't entirely melted, so I was met with mouthfuls of smooth, melted butter and then pasty chunks. I would have also liked to see a little more emphasis on the garlic.

1. Furlani Garlic Texas Toast

Furlani bread with box
Furlani bread with box - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Despite being a name-brand, Furlani was quite affordable in this race for the best garlic bread. And it was the best performing Texas toast I sampled. When I took a bite of it, I said to myself, "This is the first one that actually tastes like garlic bread!" There weren't any fresh garlic notes, per se, but there was just enough garlic powder flavor present to make it convincing.

The color on this bread was also optimal -- not too brown, but also not too light. Although, I think it could have used a little more time in the oven to get crispier, I'm willing to overlook its slight limpness in favor of a garlic bread that has a profound garlic flavor.

Methodology

Two garlic bread packages
Two garlic bread packages - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

The primary factor in deciding where these breads would rank was the garlic flavor. I was expecting garlic bread, not "bread with an essence of garlic." Besides the allium undertone, I also looked for bread that was buttery, soft, and would be enjoyable when eaten with a pasta sauce or solo. Convenience was also a factor; the product had to be easier to make than DIYing garlic bread at home.

I included a variety of shapes, including Texas toast, loaves, sticks, and knots, for this ranking. Each of these breads was cooked according to the recommended cooking directions on the package.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.