You want a pizza me?! Need a super delish, quick, and easy idea for dinner tonight? This homemade french bread pizza recipe is EVERYTHING. And we bet you already have everything you need to make this meal, so let's do it!

french bread pizza with pepperoni and peppers, from Shelf Cooking

Grab that loaf of french bread that's been sitting in your freezer for ages. It's time to put it to good use. And in our opinion, there's no better way to use it than to make pizza!

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Even your pickiest eaters will love homemade french bread pizza, and you can have the kiddos help with the meal prep. It's fun for the whole fam! Keep on reading for our favorite recipe, plus TONS of ways to customize this super simple dish.


Is there even such a thing as bad pizza? It's one of those foods that's pretty hard to mess up! Grab some cheese, some sauce, and any other toppings you have on hand, and go to town. Making homemade pizza is one of the BEST ways to use up leftovers! Mix and match to your heart's content. Here are a few of our favorite toppings:

  • Olives
  • Mushrooms
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Pesto
  • Bacon
  • Anchovies
  • Ground Beef/Turkey/Sausage
  • Shredded Chicken
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fig
  • Ham
  • Pineapple
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Meatballs
  • Oregano
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant

The list could go on, and on, and ON! So, don't be afraid to use what you have to make the perfect homemade french bread pizza.


pepperoni and cheese french bread pizza, from Shelf Cooking

French bread pizza isn't rocket science, so go nuts with whatever toppings you have hanging around in your kitchen. It’s super hard to mess it up, and you just may find a topping combo that is a winner! Try one of these swaps and see what you think:

  • French Bread Substitute – If you're out of french bread, grab a few English muffins or bagels instead! (We see you, 90s kids! Go ahead and have those Bagel Bites.) You can also use this homemade rustic bread (don't feel intimidated — it's SO easy).
  • Pizza Sauce – Whether you're out of pizza sauce or in the mood for something different, you've got options! Make a tomato paste substitute, or try Alfredo, pesto, or barbecue sauce instead. BBQ chicken pizza is a fave around here, too!
  • Ground Beef Substitute – Maybe you're out of beef or just in a hurry? Sub in more pepperoni instead! We're all about using some shredded chicken, too. Or make it meatless Monday and skip the meat altogether and go for veggies!
  • Mozzarella Cheese Substitute – If you find yourself out of mozzarella, try parmesan, ricotta, or a mixture! Gorgonzola is yummy, too. To be honest, we really haven't met a cheese we don't love.

If your kids don't love veggies, feel free to skip them! You can chop up some mushrooms and mix them in with your sauce. We bet they'll never even notice. (And we won't tell!)


spinach salad with strawberries, from Shelf Cooking

If you're looking for a quick, no-fuss side dish to serve with this homemade french bread pizza, then you're in luck. Cleaning up a messy kitchen is a real drag, so you have our permission to keep things simple! Here are a few easy peasy side dishes that go well with french bread pizza:

  • Applesauce – Open that jar, and your work is done. Sweet!
  • Salad – Pizza + salad = a classic pairing, right? Try whipping up a quick batch of this homemade vinaigrette to serve on top.
  • Steamed Broccoli – Pop some in the microwave when you're in a rush.
  • Fresh Fruit – Use up whatever you've got! We love watermelon on pizza night.
  • Roasted Asparagus – Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Let it roast in the oven at 400°F for about 20 minutes. Fancy schmancy and low-effort!

You can't go wrong with any of these sides! If you're in a real pinch, canned fruit works, too. You could even make a batch of this fruit salad to satisfy your sweet tooth.


Whether you decide to double your batch of homemade french bread pizza, or by some miracle, just end up with leftovers, you can totally freeze some for later! Allow your pizza to cool to room temp, slice, and then place it in the freezer on a baking sheet for around one hour.

Remove from the freezer and bag each slice individually. Be sure to label and use within six months. When you're ready to heat and eat, just bake in the oven for about 15-minutes at 400°F, or until cheese starts to bubble. Piece of cake (erm, pizza), eh?


a bowl of homemade croutons, from Shelf Cooking

Okay, one last order of business, you guys. We often end up making french bread pizza because we have leftover french bread sitting around. So, if you're like us, and you're looking for ways to eat that bread before it goes bad, try one of these ideas:

  • French Toast – There is NEVER a wrong time to have some french toast for breakfast! Cut it into strips and enjoy french toast sticks. Or, make-ahead a big batch to freeze for later.
  • Garlic Cheese Bread – Need we say more?! We are always down for cheesy bread. Always!
  • French Onion Soup – Make a batch of this ultimate comfort soup! It's just begging for some french bread on top.
  • Croutons – Chop your bread into bite-sized portions. Combine olive oil and your favorite seasonings in a bowl, then add the bread and mix until coated evenly. Bake at 375°F for around 10 minutes, then store in an airtight container until ready to use. (Or go ahead and snack on them. Not that we'd do that. 👀)
  • Bruschetta – We like to use diced tomatoes, a little chopped onion, and some balsamic glaze on ours, but use what you've got.
  • Make Bread Crumbs – It's always handy to have breadcrumbs on hand. Learn how to make your own breadcrumbs.

When all else fails, toast up some of that leftover bread and slather it on this homemade strawberry freezer jam. SO GOOD!


Okay, We think we've kept you waiting long enough. Time for the big reveal! This super quick weeknight dinner will be your new best friend. It’s the ultimate go-to when you need to throw together something with leftovers!

french bread pizza with pepperoni and peppers, from Shelf Cooking

Homemade French Bread Supreme Pizza

There are SO many ways to doctor up a loaf of french bread and turn it into a yummy meal. Here's one of our favorite variations!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8


  • 1 loaf french bread
  • ½ cup pizza sauce or more, to taste
  • 4-8 oz pepperoni eyeball it
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • chopped veggies these are optional; we like to use bell peppers
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • As the oven preheats, chop any veggies you plan to use and cook beef over medium-high heat.
  • While the meat cooks, slice your bread lengthwise and place it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (easy cleanup, for the win!) Toast in the oven for 5-8 minutes, then remove and set aside.
  • Drain beef and set aside, then season veggies with salt and pepper, and sautee in the same pan you used for the meat.
  • Once the veggies are done, it's time to assemble your pizza.
  • Spread tomato sauce on each slice of bread, then top with cheese, veggies, and pepperoni. Add an additional layer of cheese, then place in the oven to bake for 5 minutes, or until cheese bubbles and bread begins to brown.
  • Remove from the oven, serve immediately, and enjoy!


Here's one hack to make your pepperoni go even further! Slice them in half (or even quarter them) before you add them to your pizza. 
Keyword pizza

Can't you taste that bubbly cheese already? Go ahead and wipe that drool off your face. We'll wait!

Pro Tip: We love to make ahead big batches of ground beef! That's one way to make this recipe even faster and easier. Keep some on hand for taco night, pizza night, and more. You're welcome!

Well, there you have it, friends! Everything you need to know about making one of the fastest, most delicious, and hearty dinners ever. We told you this would be easy!

Now, tell us. What's your favorite pizza topping? Leave a comment below, or stop by our Shelf Cooking Facebook group to join the conversation.

Image with text that reads "cheap and easy 20-minute French bread pizza recipe" from Shelf Cooking

Want more quick dinner ideas to try?

Bon appétit!