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The Kitchn: This garlic bread deserves a seat at the Thanksgiving table

From the 12 recipes to add to your Thanksgiving Day feast series
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This buttery garlic bread is spiced, lightly sweetened, and scented with sage, making it the perfect last-minute addition to your Thanksgiving table.

Even if you plan to downsize the menu this year, some type of bread, roll or biscuit is absolutely essential to any Thanksgiving spread. After all, you need something to push the delicious sides together and to sop up every drop of gravy left on your plate. Of course, you might not want to bake from-scratch dinner rolls for just your household. We hear you.

That’s where Thanksgiving garlic bread comes in. This last-minute addition to your table is perfect for those of us who don’t have the desire to make anything else from scratch. And buttery garlic bread — this one spiced, very lightly sweetened, and scented with sage — rivals any homemade bread.

The best garlic bread upgrade is brown sugar garlic butter

Any garlic bread will be welcomed on the Thanksgiving table, but it takes just two extra minutes and a few ingredients you probably have on hand to make an extra-special version. Sage and smoked paprika bring color and deep savory flavors to a mixture of butter, olive oil and garlic, but the surprising twist is just a hint of brown sugar. You’ll just have to trust that this slight sweetness isn’t overwhelming and pairs perfectly with roasted turkey, potatoes, gravy and more.

You can make the garlic butter for this recipe up to one day in advance, or at the very last minute. To make it, you’ll soften a stick of butter in the microwave, then fold in some spices, the brown sugar and minced garlic and sage. When you’re ready, just split your bread loaf and spread the butter across it before baking. Pinkie promise your family will be asking for this garlic bread to grace the table every year.

Thanksgiving Garlic Bread

Serves 10 to 12

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 large fresh sage leaves
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 loaf French bread

1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

2. Mince 4 garlic cloves and finely chop 6 large fresh sage leaves.

3. Cut 1 stick unsalted butter into large pieces and microwave in a small microwave-safe bowl until the butter is very soft but not melted, about 45 seconds. Add the garlic and sage, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Mash with a fork or small spoon until combined.

4. Halve 1 loaf French bread horizontally and place on the baking sheet. If the loaf is too long to fit on the baking sheet, cut the halves in half again crosswise. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the cut sides of the bread.

5. Bake until the garlic bread is crispy and warmed through, about 15 minutes. For extra-crispy garlic bread, turn the broiler to low and broil until the bread is golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Slice the garlic bread crosswise and pile into a bread basket.

(Meghan Splawn is the food editor for Kitchn’s skills content for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to editorial@thekitchn.com.)

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