Erin McDowell

OK, OK, we all love monkey bread. But the sinfully sweet variety is so last year. Instead, we’re obsessed with this more sophisticated savory version. Making it is as easy as slicing bread (literally), and the taste is infinitely adaptable (mozzarella today, Swiss tomorrow). You end up with an ooey, gooey, melty appetizer that’s great for picking apart with your hands.

Savory Monkey Bread

A PureWow Original Recipe

  • Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • Start to Finish: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 loaf unsliced bread

1 cup pesto

12 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Prepare the bread: Score the bread lengthwise. To do this, slice the bread as you would for toast, but don’t cut all the way down to the base of the loaf. The idea is to keep the bread in a loaf shape and fully intact. Repeat this scoring across the width of the loaf. You will end up with what looks like little squares of bread.

3. Use a spatula or butter knife to spread pesto in the crevices of the bread. No need to be precise--just get a good slathering in there.

4. Next, place mozzarella slices inside the crevices, wedging them in so that they don’t stick out too far at the top (you want all that gooeyness inside the bread and off your pan).

5. Transfer the loaf to the prepared baking sheet, and bake until the pesto is bubbly and the mozzarella is melted, 15 to 17 minutes. Serve warm.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • We suggest using a round loaf, like a sourdough boule, in order to get cleaner cuts and allow plenty of depth for stuffing in the fillings.

  • The possibilities are really endless. One option: Slather mustard inside the bread instead of pesto, and then fill with slices of ham and Swiss cheese.