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Lower Calorie, High Protein Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe

I’m always cautious to compare my recipes to popular restaurants because I’m not aiming to make copycat recipes or replicate menu items. But every now and then, finding a comparable item can help drive home the difference in calories and macros. In this case, I wanted to see how this healthy cheesy garlic bread stacked up to comparable items. I posted the graphic below on Instagram with the full breakdown and calorie/macro comparison.

healthy pizza hut cheese sticks recipe

Not too shabby, right? The biggest takeaway that’s not apparent right away is the serving size. With this recipe, you’ll greatly increase the volume of food you’re eating. So, not only is the recipe higher in protein and lower in carbs/fat, it’s just more food to keep you full and satisfied for longer.

And even better, this recipe will save some dough (see what I did there?) and time with its 20-minute prep time. Okay, you’re probably sold by now. Let’s look at the ingredients and recipe.

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Healthy Cheesy Garlic Bread Ingredients

We’ll be making our own dough for this recipe. Don’t worry, you won’t need any yeast or any crazy kitchen skills here. You’ll be using flour, protein powder, an egg, baking powder, a bit of Italian seasoning, and a few teaspoons of water.

The crust/dough for this recipe was inspired by Cait from The Macro Experiment in this recipe on Layne Norton’s blog. I’ve tried different ratios of flour to protein, and this seems to come out the best. Hat tip to Cait!

The biggest tip I can give is to add water as slowly as possible. I ruined at least three batches by adding too much liquid. I found the best way to go about adding water was to simply wet the spoon I was using to mix the dough every few stirs. Depending on the protein you use, your dough should still be a bit powdery/grainy when it’s ready. Don’t worry, it doesn’t stay dry/grainy after it’s cooked. I’m probably overcomplicating things – just remember to add water slowly. Once it’s overhydrated, it’s hard to go back.

In my usual simple-as-possible MO, I used a pre-mixed blend of Italian seasoning from Mrs. Dash. Feel free to add things like oregano, basil, etc. as you see fit. Speaking of simple, I used pre-minced garlic for the garlic butter sauce. You can find this in small jars in the Italian section of your grocery store.

healthy cheesy garlic bread recipe

I highly recommend using a rolling pin or dough roller. If you need a dough/pizza roller, I used this one from Norpro. It’s like $5 on Amazon and is worth every penny!

If you’re unfamiliar with my recipes, I aim to keep calories low and protein high. This usually results in keeping fat low and carbs to a minimum. In this recipe, I’ve used light butter and fat-free cheese. Since there’s only one serving of each, it wouldn’t blow calories out of the water to use full-fat versions of both if you’d rather. Also, it can be difficult to find fat-free cheese depending on where you shop. I find that fat-free cheese does just fine when baking or in any dish that’s not microwaved, for what it’s worth.

For the protein used in this recipe, I used Now Sports Whey Concentrate unflavored. If you’re hesitant to buy unflavored protein for the fear of not using it outside of this recipe, know that you can easily flavor it with stevia, cocoa powder, and other sweeteners. Most of my recipes call for vanilla protein powder and end up as totally non-vanilla dishes. It’s the same concept here.

If you’re interested, check this article out for 5 more recipes you can make with unflavored protein.

healthy cheesy garlic bread recipe

For dipping, you could make a low carb marinara with whole tomatoes and herbs, but I like to keep things simple. Newman’s Own Marinara has fewer than 10 calories and 1-2g of carbs per tablespoon. Unless you’re going sauce crazy, you should only need a few tablespoons. There are several pre-made marinaras with favorable calories and macros. Just keep an eye on the labels and serving sizes.

You could also replicate the garlic butter sauce from the recipe and use it as a dipping sauce. Sauce it up.

healthy cheesy garlic bread recipe

Healthy Cheesy Garlic Bread: High Protein

Yield: 3 4-piece servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A high protein, lower fat alternative to the classic cheesy garlic bread. 


Garlic Bread Dough

  • 2/3 C (80g) All Purpose Flour
  • 1 2/3 scoops (55g) Protein Powder, unflavored
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Mrs. Dash Italian Medley, or onion and herb
  • 3-5 tsp Water, added slowly as needed


  • 1 Tbsp (14g) Salted Light Butter, unsalted works as well
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic, one clove, minced
  • 1/4 C (28g) Shredded Parmesan
  • 1/4 C (28g) Fat-Free Shredded Mozzarella


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix dough ingredients together. Add 1/2 tsp water or wet your mixing spoon 3-4 times until you can form a ball of dough with your hands. This may take a few minutes and some elbow grease. Use a rolling pin or the backside of a spatula to form a large rectangle (14x10-sh) on the baking sheet with the finished dough. (It may help to spray your rolling pin with nonstick cooking spray.)
  3. Double check that your crust is evenly rolled. If you have a thicker center than edges, your edges will be crispy but the center may be tough.
  4. Melt butter for 15-20 seconds in the microwave and add 1 tsp of minced garlic. Stir. 
  5. Brush or spread the butter/garlic mixture on top of your rolled dough, followed by the parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of your bread are golden brown. 


Per 4 pieces (3 servings in total): 245 Calories | 23P | 22C | 7F

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 4 pieces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 7gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 23g

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With 23 grams of protein per serving, this healthy cheesy garlic bread makes for the perfect low-carb pasta pairing or appetizer.

Sophia Brush

Monday 1st of March 2021

What if you don’t have unflavored protein powder?

Mason Woodruff

Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

Make this instead:

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