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Florida Beach Bread

This appetizer recipe for Florida Beach Bread is made with Italian bread, garlic butter, diced tomatoes, crumbled queso fresco, gooey mozzarella cheese and bacon! Absolutely amazing!

A UNIQUE AND YUMMY CHEESE BREAD

I love American regional recipes. This one is a fairly recent invention that supposedly became hit in and around the Florida Panhandle. It was basically a name given by the locals as it became popular amongst those who knew about it. Essentially, Florida Beach Bread is garlic cheese bread with tomatoes. This is my twist on that absolutely deliciously cheesy bread recipe! I won’t tell anyone if you pretend you’re relaxing on those white sandy beaches with a margarita in one hand a slice of beach bread in the other!

cheesy bread with bacon shown on a baking sheet.

TIPS FOR MAKING FLORIDA CHEESE BREAD:

  • The original version is made with blue cheese crumbles or blue cheese dressing. I dislike blue cheese with a passion so I skipped the blue cheese. Instead I crumbled up queso fresco as a substitute. You could certainly use blue cheese if you enjoy that or even feta or goat cheese crumbles.
  • Queso fresco can be found in the cheese aisle of your grocery store. Queso fresco is a Mexican crumbling cheese and has a very mild taste. Sometimes you will find it where other Latin cheese products are carried in your grocery store.
  • I added bacon and green onions to the original recipe because isn’t everything made better with bacon? Again, it’s not in the original version of Florida Beach Bread so you can skip it if you want. But why would you want to?
  • I use real bacon pieces that can be found near the other salad items in your grocery store. If you don’t want to use those, just cook and crumble about 1/2 pound of bacon.
  • Finally, I know some of y’all are gonna wonder what is up with the mayonnaise in the mozzarella cheese. I know it’s not in the original beach bread version but it definitely is worth it! I’m going to really need you to trust me on this one. It makes the cheese melt better and just gives it such an elevated level of flavor! It is my secret ingredient to making amazing cheese bread!
  • This recipe is a lot of fun to play with. As you can tell, I really made this bread my own (and I think much better!) by adding my own flair to it. If you like the idea, but not necessarily my exact recipe, then have fun and add what you love or stick to the original which is just Italian or French bread, garlic butter, diced tomato, crumbled blue cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese.
Florida Beach Bread recipe from The Country Cook

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • Italian bread
  • salted butter
  • minced garlic
  • Roma tomatoes
  • queso fresco
  • mozzarella cheese
  • mayonnaise
  • bacon pieces
  • green onions
Florida Beach Bread ingredients: Italian Bread. salted butter, minced garlic, Roma tomatoes, queso fresco, shredded mozzarella cheese, mayonnaise, bacon pieces, green onions.

HOW TO MAKE FLORIDA BEACH BREAD:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil. Slice Italian bread in two halves creating a top and bottom half. If your loaf of bread is very thick, you may need to remove some of the inside of the bread so that the toppings are able to lay evenly on the bread without falling off on the sides. Place bread halves on baking sheet.

two halves of sliced Italian bread on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet.

In a bowl, mix together softened butter with minced garlic. Stir together well.

softened butter and minced garlic in a bowl.

Spread garlic butter evenly on the two halves of the bread.

butter evenly spread on slices of Italian bread.

Evenly top both halves of the bread with diced tomatoes.

diced tomatoes shown on top of buttered bread.

Next, crumble queso fresco and evenly sprinkle it on top of the tomatoes on both halves of the bread.

crumbled queso fresco sprinkled evenly on diced tomato layer.

In a bowl, mix together shredded mozzarella cheese and mayonnaise until combined well.

mayonnaise and shredded mozzarella cheese shown in a blue bowl.

Spread this cheese mixture evenly on top both halves of bread.

shredded mozzarella cheese on bread.

Finally, sprinkle bacon pieces evenly on top of the cheese layer.

bacon pieces shown on cheese covered Italian bread.

Place baking tray in the oven for about 15 minutes (until cheese is fully melted and bubbly.) Remove from oven and sprinkle with sliced green onion.

fully baked halves of Florida bread.

Slice and serve. Note: I find it easier to slice this bread with a pizza cutter.

sliced cheese bread shown on a blue and white platter.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Florida Beach Bread

Florida Beach Bread

This recipe for Florida Beach Bread is made with Italian bread, garlic butter, diced tomatoes, crumbled queso fresco, gooey mozzarella cheese and bacon!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf Italian bread
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, finely diced
  • 5 ounces queso fresco
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup bacon pieces
  • 4 green onions, sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil. 
  • Slice 1 loaf Italian bread in two halves creating a top and bottom half. Remove some of the inside of the bread so that the toppings are able to lay evenly on the bread without falling off on the sides.
  • Place bread halves on baking sheet.
  • In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened and 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic. Stir together well.
  • Spread this garlic butter evenly on the two halves of the bread.
  • Evenly top both halves of the bread with 3 Roma tomatoes, finely diced.
  • Next, crumble 5 ounces queso fresco and evenly sprinkle it on top of the tomatoes on both halves of the bread.
  • In a bowl, mix together2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup mayonnaise until combined well.
  • Spread this cheese mixture evenly on top both halves of bread.
  • Finally, sprinkle 1/4 cup bacon pieces on top of the cheese layer.
  • Place baking tray in the oven for about 15 minutes (until cheese is fully melted and bubbly.) 
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with 4 green onions, sliced.
  • Slice and serve. Note: I find it easier to slice this bread with a pizza cutter.

Notes

  • The original version is made with blue cheese crumbles or blue cheese dressing. I dislike blue cheese with a passion so I skipped the blue cheese. Instead I crumbled up queso fresco as a substitute. You could certainly use blue cheese if you enjoy that or even feta or goat cheese crumbles.
  • Queso fresco can be found in the cheese aisle of your grocery store. Queso fresco is a Mexican crumbling cheese and has a very mild taste. Sometimes you will find it where other Latin cheese products are carried in your grocery store.
  • I added bacon and green onions to the original recipe because isn’t everything made better with bacon? Again, it’s not in the original version of Florida Beach Bread so you can skip it if you want. But why would you want to?
  • I use real bacon pieces that can be found near the other salad items in your grocery store. If you don’t want to use those, just cook and crumble about 1/2 pound of bacon.
  • Finally, I know some of y’all are gonna wonder what is up with the mayonnaise in the mozzarella cheese. I know it’s not in the original beach bread version but it definitely is worth it! I’m going to really need you to trust me on this one. It makes the cheese melt better and just gives it such an elevated level of flavor! It is my secret ingredient to making amazing cheese bread!
  • This recipe is a lot of fun to play with. As you can tell, I really made this bread my own (and I think much better!) by adding my own flair to it. If you like the idea, but not necessarily my exact recipe, then have fun and add what you love or stick to the original which is just Italian or French bread, garlic butter, diced tomato, crumbled blue cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese.
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 32g | Sodium: 485mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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