How to make French Bread Pizza

(This isn’t a new recipe, but I keep seeing it pop up on Pinterest, and I cringe every time I see the very unfabulous four-year-old photos that I originally posted. So, I’m updating it with New! Improved! photos.)

Since a lot of people spend a good deal of money ordering pizza, I thought it would be good to do a series of posts on how to make pizza at home.

This one uses French bread as the crust, so you can make this even if you are categorically opposed to working with yeast. ;)

As with most pizzas, this is a handy thing to make if you want to use up small bits of vegetables, meats, or cheeses. And, it’s a good way to use up dry French bread (or day old French bread from the reduced rack at the grocery store).

I typically bake an extra loaf when I make my homemade French bread, so I usually have a loaf in the freezer to use for this recipe.

French Bread Pizza

You will need:

French bread loaves
prepared tomato sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese
whatever toppings you like

Cut the French bread loaves in half lengthwise and place them on a baking sheet. Or if you want to make the cutting process easier, cut the loaf in half and then cut it lengthwise, like so:

Spread them with tomato sauce. It’s good to be a little stingy here, because you’re putting tomato sauce onto a very porous surface, and if you are heavy-handed with the sauce, your pizza will be on the soggy end of things.

Sprinkle the pizzas with mozzarella cheese and whatever toppings you like.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted.

If you like a browner topping, you can put these under the broiler for a minute or two. However, if you’re using a pizza stone, you’ll want to transfer the pizzas to a baking sheet before broiling, as a pizza stone will crack under a broiler.


(P.S. Whenever other bloggers update old recipe posts and mention the horrible original pictures, I’m always terribly curious to see what the old ones looked like. I guess I’m just a sucker for a good before and after.

So, in case any of you are as nosy as me, here’s an old one and a new one.)


  1. says

    Look at that!! YUM!

    H loves his pizza, and usually wants to order it weekly, but this looks SO good. I’ve done this on regular crust, but never thought about doing so on french bread!

    I’ll definitely have to try this. Thanks!

  2. says

    I’m a friend of your cousin Bethany and a friend of enthusiastic frugality, which together have lead me to follow your blog fairly regularly.
    Thanks for your post today on pizza. I like to make my own pizza too, but I’ve found the better results cooking pizzas even hotter – more like 500 degrees. I’ve only done it with fresh yeast dough, though, so perhaps 400 is better with french bread.

  3. Kristen says

    FG, I hope you like it!

    Steve, I often bake my yeast dough pizzas at 450 or so, on a preheated baking stone, but I kind of think that 500 degrees would overcook the French bread. Yeast dough has a fair amount of moisture, which is why I think it can handle the high temperatures. French bread, being already cooked, is drier, and so I think the top or bottom of the bread would get burnt before the middle got heated up.

    If you try it at 500 degrees with great success, though, let us know!

  4. BnJJ says

    I make pizza at home quite often but usually use salsa instead of pizza sauce and I use whole wheat pitas for the crust.

  5. EngineerMom says

    I use whole wheat pitas like BnJJ for the crust, too. I split the pita in half to make a thinner crust, then bake the pizzas on a pizza screen so the bottom gets crispy.

  6. Jessica says

    Because I have spent a good portion of my day perusing (and loving) your blog, I am going to share with you my secret to the soggy-bread problem that plagues French bread pizza-makers. It is a secret passed down to me by my grandmother; I remember going to her house and having meals of a big salad accompanied by spaghetti and English muffin pizzas.
    The trick is to pre-toast your bread a bit, and then sprinkle the cheese on it. Then, THE SAUCE GETS DOLLOPED (I’m not even sure that’s a word) ON TOP OF THE CHEESE, separated from sogginess by the cheesey layer. Worry not, the cheese will still get golden brown and crispy.
    Her other trick was to drizzle a bit of olive oil onto the bread or muffin in its pre-toast stage. That is standard practice at my house as well. :)

  7. says

    My issue with making pizza isn’t so much the crust as it is the cheese. That’s where my homemade pizzas go south. I just can’t seem to create the perfect blend. The French bread sounds really good as a pizza crust though.

  8. SandyH says

    What a difference in the two photos!

    For some reason this post makes me suddenly miss your grocery shots and your weekly menu plans.

    Love French bread pizza! I like to pre toast the bread slices a bit, just as I pre bake all my homemade pizza crusts before topping them, just for about 5 minutes. French bread pizza was definitely a quick and easy go-to in the good ol days of sports practices, etc after school. Miss those days with a passion. Why must kids grow up?? Lol

  9. says

    Kristen, I wish I could meet you. I wish we could be friends. You have inspired me in so many ways (including making french bread pizza). :-P Seriously, though, you were the one who convinced me that baking yeast bread really isn’t that hard and is totally worth it, and you were so right. I started picking recipes of yours to try, and not a single one has ever let me down. Last year, I gave the men in my family a subscription to my own “bread of the month club”, and I would never have had the confidence to do that if it hadn’t been for you.

    You’ve changed the way I think about living frugally, as well. As a college student and newlywed, frugality meant austerity– going without– and that mindset really sucked the joy out of the whole endeavor. But I love how you focus on living frugally AND living well. I’m trying to instill this idea in my children, that people and experiences are more important (and enjoyable!) than stuff, and that thoughtful and homemade trumps expensive and shiny anyday.

    Did I mention that I shop at Aldi because of you? I was totally sketched out by the whole place until I read about your time with them, and that gave me the courage to try it. And now I love it and recommend it to everyone I know. And now you’re encouraging me to pay attention to sustainability, local production, plastic-free living, reducing waste… I could go on. Thank you, Kristen. Thank you. Blog on!

    • Kristen says

      Aww, your comment was so encouraging to me, Meredith! Thank you so much. I’m so happy that my blog has served you and the people in your life.

      (plus, woo that you are a happy Aldi shopper now. Hee.)

  10. says

    Wow, your photos have improved a lot :) I hope that one day when I have a real camera I will look back at the current photos on my blog (all taken on my iphone) and laugh at them.

    Since going gluten free I have been using tortillas as a pizza base, and that had worked well. It’s all about thinking outside the box :)

  11. Sarah says

    Love reading your blog! I used to work at an Italian/pizza restaurant and we made something similar to this. To keep the tomato sauce from making your bread soggy, just put a thin layer of butter on the bread before you put the tomato sauce on. Happy pizza bread!

  12. Anna says

    hey guys … man they look tasty …. we were gonna make french bread pizza’s at school tomz so i thought i might look at some websites and i have to be honest …there’s a flood going on in my mouth right now <3
    Bye … Mwuah

  13. Shawna says

    Found this on Pinterest! LOVE this recipe! We usually make it several times a month. It’s great because we can each have what we like on our pizza. Also, I buy the French bread, when it goes on clearance, and freeze the loaves, to make it even cheaper! Thanks so much for sharing it!


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