Soft Garlic Breadsticks Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 20 min.
Make use of your bread machine with this garlic breadsticks recipe. In a couple hours, you'll have a whole basket of soft, seasoned breadsticks for serving with soups, stews and saucy pastas.

Updated: Mar. 25, 2024

There’s something special about the simple art of a classic breadstick. Maybe you dream about Nonna’s crisp grissini, or maybe you never go too long without a trip to Olive Garden for its amazing fluffy breadsticks (we’ve got a copycat Olive Garden breadsticks recipe you must try). Either way, knowing how to create the dough for soft, pillowy garlic breadsticks will be a skill you’ll always be able to fall back on.

You’ll be able to call upon these slender garlic breadsticks for serving with pasta nights, alongside soup and stews, and when you simply need something to dip into basil butter, garlic-chive whipped butter or warm marinara.

Ingredients for Garlic Breadsticks

  • Bread flour: This recipe uses bread flour, a type of flour that lends a bit more chew to baked goods than all-purpose flour.
  • Active dry yeast: This is the leavening agent your breadsticks need to yield a light texture that isn’t too dense. Before baking, make sure your yeast packets haven’t expired. If the yeast is old, it might not activate.
  • Warm water: Warm water will activate the yeast so you can get a soft, pillowy dough. For this recipe, you’ll want the water temperature somewhere between 70° and 80°F.
  • Garlic powder: No need to mince fresh garlic for this recipe. We call for garlic powder instead for just as strong a flavor.


Step 1: Fill the bread machine

preparing dough in a bread maker machine on marble surfaceTMB Studio

In a bread machine pan, place the water, oil, Parmesan, sugar, garlic powder, salt, basil, bread flour, and yeast in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the dough setting, and check the dough after five minutes of mixing. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water of flour if needed.

Step 2: Form the breadsticks

a person rolling dough into a rope shape on a marble surface to make BreadsticksTMB Studio

When the cycle is completed, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough evenly into 20 portions. Shape each into a ball, and roll each ball into a 9-inch rope.

Place the ropes on greased baking sheets about an inch or two apart so they have room to rise further. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°.

Step 3: Bake the breadsticks

Soft Garlic Breadsticks on a baking tray on marble surfaceTMB Studio

Bake the breadsticks for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Brush warm breadsticks with butter.

Brushing Butter on Soft Garlic Breadsticks Placed on Wire Rack on Marble SurfaceTMB Studio

If desired, sprinkle with additional grated Parmesan cheese.

Garnishing Soft Garlic Breadsticks by Sprinkling Grated Parmesan Cheese on itTMB Studio

Editor’s Tip: Since you’ll want to bake these at the same time on two baking sheets, rotate the baking sheets between the top rack and bottom rack halfway through the bake time. Giving each baking sheet some time on each oven rack will keep their color more even as they cook.

Soft Garlic Breadsticks Served in a Wooden Tray on Teal SurfaceTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Add cheese and seasoning: Before shaping these breadsticks, roll the dough out enough that you can brush it with butter, sprinkle it with seasoning, then layer it with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Fashion them after these Italian herb and cheese breadsticks, and you’ll have cheese-stuffed breadsticks you’ll be wanting seconds and thirds of.
  • Make it savory: Prosciutto breadsticks transform this recipe from a side dish into more of an appetizer. Wrap a ribbon of prosciutto around each rope of dough, then twist before baking.
  • Sprinkle with sesame: Instead of Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top, use sesame seeds. They’ll add a hint of nutty flavor and wonderful texture to the breadsticks.

How to Store Garlic Breadsticks

You can store garlic breadsticks at room temperature wrapped in foil. Use within four days for best results.

Can you freeze garlic breadsticks?

You can freeze breadsticks. Allow them to cool completely, then wrap them tightly and make sure all the air is out. Freeze them for one to two months. They might not be quite as soft as when they were freshly baked, but they’ll still do the trick!

Tips for Making Garlic Breadsticks

Soft Garlic Breadsticks Served in a Terracotta Plate with Spoon on Teal SurfaceTMB Studio

Can you make these breadsticks without a bread machine?

Yes! If you don’t have a bread machine, you can knead the dough by hand or use the dough hook on your stand mixer. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic and forms a ball easily without sticking to your fingers. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for at least an hour or until the dough doubles in size. Then resume with Step 2 in the main recipe above.

If you prefer the more hands-off approach, here are the best bread machines to buy according to our Test Kitchen.

What can you pair garlic breadsticks with?

Many Italian dishes pair beautifully with garlic breadsticks, whether it’s lasagna, manicotti or carbonara. You can also use the breadsticks as a vehicle to scoop up the broth in soups and stews.

Watch how to Make Soft Garlic Breadsticks

Garlic Breadsticks

Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield 20 breadsticks.


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (70° to 80°)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh basil or 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted


  1. In bread machine pan, place the first 9 ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1-2 tablespoons water or flour if needed).
  2. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 20 portions. Shape each into a ball; roll each into a 9-in. rope. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled.
  3. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Brush warm breadsticks with butter. If desired, sprinkle with additional grated Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts

1 breadstick: 88 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 2mg cholesterol, 196mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

I rely on the convenience of my bread machine to mix the dough for these buttery golden breadsticks that are mildly seasoned with garlic and basil. I like to use this dough when making pizza too. It yields two 12-inch crusts. —Charles Smith, Baltic, Connecticut