When you need a carb-o-licious side dish, and you want it cheesy and dunkable – Easy Cheesy Pesto Breadsticks it is! Airy, crispy bites of perfection that require little time or effort, but taste absolutely amazing!
In a perfect world, I'd be making homemade Whole Wheat Breadsticks from scratch every time I needed a side dish for dunking in soup, pizza sauce, or balsamic vinegar.
When I first got married I saw myself as the ultimate homemaker that, amidst working full time as a nurse, I would still make everything at home from scratch to nourish my husband and future children.
Welp, welcome to the real world naive, young Marci, cuz you now have three kids 2 years old and under and you need to figure out some short cuts reeeaallll fast.
Hello Easy Cheesy Breadsticks!
These Cheesy Pesto Breadsticks are me and my daughter's thing. When she wants to help out with dinner, she'll pull out a package of frozen puff pastry dough and we decide what flavor we want our twisty breadsticks to be for that night.
This pesto version is BY FAR our favorite flavor – partly because she knows her brothers won't eat them when they have pesto in them. I'd lecture her about being selfish, but it kind of benefits me too soooo . . .
These breadsticks are such a treat, I can't wait for you to try them, so let's dive in!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE CHEESY PESTO BREADSTICKS
- PREMADE DOUGH: There will be no pulling out the mixer today! Frozen Puff Pastry Dough is easy to find in the freezer aisle and it works perfectly 100% of the time (unlike some mishaps I've had with my own bread dough).
- THAT HEAVENLY TEXTURE: Puff pastry is flaky and chewy and I could eat it for every meal. Combine that with the melty cheese and herbaceous pesto and you've got yourself a side dish to get really excited about.
- FAST: Roll out your dough, slather with pesto, sprinkle with cheese, cut, twist, bake. Start to finish my daughter can rock this out all on her own.
- PERFECT DUNKER: Puff pastry is sturdy enough to be dipped into a thick sauce (like marinara or pizza sauce), but it's also flaky enough to really soak up flavors like balsamic and thin soups.
HOW TO MAKE EASY PESTO BREADSTICKS
- Roll out the dough
- Spread pesto over the dough
- Sprinkle cheese over top
- Fold it in half and press down to make the cheese stick
- Cut into strips with a pizza cutter
- Twist them 2-3 times
- Place on a baking sheet and brush with a beaten egg
- Sprinkle with salt and Italian seasoning
- Bake until golden brown and crispy
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST PESTO BREADSTICKS
- PLAN AHEAD: Most frozen puff pastry doughs instruct to thaw the dough at room temperature for 45 minutes. I feel like it needs a solid hour myself, but regardless, plan ahead so your dough is ready when you need it.
- KEEP THE DOUGH COLD: You want the dough to be cold when you're working with it. This keeps it from going greasy and sticking to your counter and fingers.
- SPREAD TOPPINGS TO THE EDGES: This will make sure that every breadstick is packed with flavor.
- HOMEMADE PESTO: Store bought pesto works just great, but if you really want to kick up the flavor, use my favorite homemade Kale and Walnut Pesto.
- YOU DO YOU: My personal preference is heavy on the pesto, light on the cheese. These are your breadsticks, make them how you like them! If you want it ooey gooey to the ultimate degree – load on the cheese! Want to skip the pesto? By all means, DO IT and add more cheese.
- SPEAKING OF CHEESE: I like a melty, stringy cheese like mozzarella or quesadilla cheese, but feel free to use your favorite kind of cheese. Parmesan is incredibly flavorful, but doesn't quite have the gooey factor.
- DOUBLE THE RECIPE: Most packages of puff pastry dough come with 2 sheets. I only use one for my family of 5 and it fills up one sheet pan. The recipe can easily be doubled to use both sheets, just keep one pan cold while the other bakes (if you don't have the luxury of 2 ovens). It's possible you could cook them on different racks in the oven, but I would recommend switching them halfway through the cooking time to make sure they get nicely browned.
HOW TO STORE, REHEAT, AND FREEZE BREADSTICKS
- Store: Cool leftovers then place in a ziptop bag or airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: To bring back the crispy, flaky texture, warm them in the oven at 400° for 5 minutes or so until heated through. An air fryer also works great.
- Freeze: Breadsticks can be frozen in a freezer-safe ziptop container for up to 3 months. To eat, reheat as directed above, adding a few minutes if needed to thaw and heat them through.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS FOR EASY BREADSTICKS
- If making your own pesto, this can be prepared up to a week in advance. Leftovers can be stored in the freezer.
- Fill, twist, and place breadsticks on a sheet pan and store it in the fridge until ready to bake. Right before putting them in the oven, brush them with egg and sprinkle them with seasonings.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHEESY PESTO BREADSTICKS
- SOUP! Tomato Basil Soup, Meatball Sub Soup, and Butternut Squash Soup are fantastic, but any of these Instant Pot Soups will work.
- Vinegar and Oil: My favorite combination is Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar and Orange Olive Oil.
- Pasta: Spaghetti night with this amazing Instant Pot Marinara Sauce.
- Salad: Instant Pot Caribbean Chicken Salad or Blackberry Poached Pear Salad are both amazing.
VARIATIONS OF PESTO BREADSTICKS
Trying new flavors is a lot of fun with these breadsticks, get creative!
- Pizza Breadsticks: Fill them with mini pepperonis and cheese and dip in pizza sauce.
- Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Breadsticks: Swap the basil pesto with sundried tomato pesto. It's so good!
- Cheesy Breadsticks: Keep it simple and just fill them with your favorite shredded cheese.
HOW TO MAKE PUFF PASTRY DOUGH
I've wanted to try my hand at making my own dough for a long time, but haven't tested it yet. This 10 Minute Puff Pastry Dough is on my radar though. If you try it, let me know!
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE PESTO
Homemade pesto is one of the easiest, most rewarding recipes to rock out in your own kitchen. Follow the tips and tricks in the Kale and Walnut Pesto recipe and feel free to swap your greens out for what you have on hand.
I think we can all agree that living most of our food life in the homemade arena is ideal, but for when you need a quick, easy, utterly fantastic cheesy breadstick in your life, I do hope you'll reach for this recipe. It's straight up the most delicious breadstick I've ever had (legit) and I can't wait for you to try it with a big bowl of French Onion Soup very soon.
MORE EASY BREAD RECIPES
- Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread
- Whole Wheat Jalapeno Cheddar No Knead Crusty Bread (DREAMY!)
- Whole Wheat No-Knead Bread Bowls
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE EASY CHEESY PESTO BREADSTICKSPrint
Easy Cheesy Pesto Breadsticks
Easy Cheesy Pesto Breadsticks, perfect for scooping, dunking, and devouring!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Bread
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 sheet puff pastry dough (like Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Frozen Sheets)
- ⅓ cup pesto – more or less to taste
- ½ – 1 cup shredded mozzarella or quesadilla cheese (depending on how cheesy you want it)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Kosher salt
- Italian seasoning
- Thaw 1 sheet of puff pastry according to box directions – note: most boxes instruct to leave it at room temperature for 45 minutes or more, so plan ahead.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil.
- On a sheet of parchment paper or a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet to about 15×12 inches.
- Use the back of a spoon to spread pesto over the entire dough. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Fold dough in half lengthwise and press down so the cheese sticks to the pesto.
- Cut into 1-inch strips (a pizza cutter works great for this). Stretch each strip slightly, then twist it a few times and place on the baking sheet, pressing on the ends if it starts to untwist.
- Brush each with beaten egg. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and Italian seasoning.
- Bake for 15 – 17 minutes, until browned. Serve hot.
- PLAN AHEAD! The dough can take up to an hour to thaw to the point of being able to roll it out. It’s important that the dough is still cold If it becomes too warm, it won’t roll and twist well.
- I like a strong pesto presence in the breadsticks, so I use ½ cup.
- For a simple cheesy breadstick, the pesto can be omitted.
- The recipe can be easily doubled to use both sheets of pastry that come in a box.
Keywords: Easy Breadsticks, Cheesy Breadsticks, Pesto Breadsticks