This is a great, simple and fun Italian recipe for ciabatta bread pizza instead of regular pizza dough. It was given to me by my sister in law who made it and I fell in love with it.
This ciabatta recipe is perfect for a quick delicious dinner, snack, or party appetizer. And since we aren’t making our own pizza dough from scratch, the recipe just got easier!
Ciabatta Bread Pizza
Using ciabatta bread for pizza is one of our favorite ways to make a quick pizza. It’s a true genuine upgrade from a Stouffer’s pizza!
Our recipe uses standard ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry. It only takes 35 minutes to bake and 10 minutes to prepare.
What makes this Ciabatta bread pizza easy?
What makes this recipe so easy is the use of ciabatta bread for the pizza crust instead of pizza dough. Don’t get me wrong, homemade pizza dough is great and can be used for many recipes such as focaccia bread or calzones.
But we want to take advantage of the unique texture of ciabatta bread. Making your own ciabatta bread is a lengthy process due to multiple rises. You cannot use a simple pizza dough to make this pizza.
Plus, by using a store bought bread, we reduce the time considerably, making this recipe even easier!
What is Ciabatta Bread Like?
Ciabatta bread can be bought at just about any grocery store in the deli or bakery section. It’s either sold as ciabatta loaves, or ciabatta rolls and typically costs around $3.00 to $5.00.
Due to it’s multiple rises, the bread develops large air pockets inside as it rises and bakes. Yet the outside of the bread has a thicker and harder crust. Many people love the combination of the thicker outer part of the bread with its softer dough on the inside.
When you bake the ciabatta bread, the air pockets remain, making perfect little pockets or wells to hold the olive oil and tomatoes!
Using ciabatta bread for pizza
The end result for your pizza will be a crispy crust with a thick and airy inside topped with bold, yet uncomplicated pizza flavors you and your family will love.
It’s a healthier alternative to store bought pizza, and by the time the oven is preheated, your pizza will be ready to bake.
Use ciabatta bread or rolls?
If you’re wondering which is better, the loaves or rolls, don’t worry about it. They both taste amazing. We are often at the mercy of the bakery and buy whatever they have available.
The process for making the pizza is the same either way and I love it either way.
This recipe is super easy, and I’m so happy to share my tips and suggestions so you can prepare your own ciabatta bread pizza! I’ve also included a video in the recipe card below.
About Our Ciabatta Bread Pizza Recipe
What makes this recipe so unique, and a step above other recipes, is the simplicity of the ingredients that give it such a flavorful taste. The aroma of the pizza will fill your kitchen making it smell like a pizzeria!
Let’s talk about the ingredients first.
The Ciabatta bread for this recipe uses store bought rolls or loaves. Either is fine. Your local grocer should have these in the bakery.
All you need is one or two cloves of fresh garlic to rub on the bread. It’s not overpowering and gives a subtle garlic flavor that blends well with the other ingredients.
Use extra virgin olive oil. We’ll use it on the bread before adding the tomatoes.
Canned diced tomatoes
Using canned diced tomatoes is easy and gives extra depth to the texture and taste of the bread. We do not use a pizza sauce; we use the the diced tomatoes instead. Rinse and drain the tomatoes.
You’ll need about three 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes. For large rolls, you can estimate one 14 oz can per sandwich roll.
If you don’t have grated Romano, use Parmesan. If you use Parmesan cheese, just sprinkle some kosher salt at the end to give it some extra flavor.
Oregano is the secret ingredient for any Italian pizza sauce. I use dried Greek oregano instead of Italian oregano because it has a stronger flavor and is not as bitter. However, use what you have, but if you have the option, choose the Greek variety.
Steps to Make Ciabatta Pizza
To make ciabatta bread pizza, follow these steps below. It’s the same process I use in my own kitchen and it comes out perfect each time. Specific measurements are in my recipe card below.
Start by preheating the oven to 350F.
Prepare the bread
1- Slice the bread lengthwise in half if using a loaf of bread. If using rolls they should be sliced already, if not, slice in half – just like a sandwich. Also, if the top of the rolls is really high, you can shave off the tops and use that top for a 3rd slice.
Try to keep the thickness of each slice the same and place the ciabatta bread face up on a baking tray.
2- Cut the garlic in half and rub the exposed side of the clove on the bread. You should be able to start smelling the garlic as you do this. It will not be super strong but should be noticeable.
3- Brush the olive oil over the bread so it’s evenly distributed. If you don’t have a brush, then drizzle it on the bread and rub it around so it is thinly spread over the bread.
Add the pizza toppings
4- Next, rinse and drain the tomato liquid from the tomatoes using a strainer. Set aside to allow it to drain off the excess liquid.
5- Once drained, top the bread with a good layer of the tomatoes that have been rinsed and drained. It is important that they are well drained so we don’t have excess liquid.
6- Sprinkle on a layer of grated Italian cheese – ideally Romano or Parmesan. I prefer not to use Mozzarella for this pizza recipe. We want the saltiness of either Romano or Parmesan, and we don’t want stringy cheese. Estimate 1 tsp of cheese per slice
7- Sprinkle the oregano over the cheese. Do not be shy with the oregano – estimate ½ or 1 tsp per slice!
8- Add a small sprinkling of kosher salt if using Parmesan cheese.
Bake and serve!
9- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. For an extra crispy crunch (and I mean a CRUNCH), bake for 45 minutes.
Ways to Serve the Pizza
Ciabatta bread pizza is great for a simple dinner, or for any type of picnic or get together. After all, who doesn’t love a good pizza?
For larger gatherings, I recommend using a loaf of ciabatta bread so you can slice it crosswise in short strips after it has baked. That way, everyone can have their own rectangular slice and it will go farther.
If you’re making the pizza ahead of time, wrap it in parchment, then in foil and keep in the refrigerator for up to a day. Reheat in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350F on a baking pan prior to serving.
If you are using rolls, you can cut them in half depending on the size of the roll itself. I’ve seen ciabatta rolls that are very small and would make great finger food-size servings, think of White Castle burgers.
On the other hand, as you’ll see in my image, sometimes the rolls are larger. Simply slice in half to divide them in sections or cut them in triangles for smaller snacks.
What to Serve with this Recipe
Treat this recipe just like any other pizza when it comes to side dishes. You can choose to round out the meal with some simple pasta with olive oil, bruschetta pomodoro, antipasto salad, Authentic Italian Green Beans Recipe or a simple Italian green salad.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe. Making ciabatta bread pizza is a wonderful dish regardless of the occasion. Save this recipe or share it with friends and have a delicious dinner!
If you like this recipe, you may also like the following:
Here’s another creative pizza recipe – try a white pizza with spinach and ricotta. It’s delicious!
Love pasta? Try this Pasta with Eggplant, Tomato, and Zucchini recipe.
Original recipe posted August 28th, 2016. Updated February 7th, 2023.
Ciabatta Bread Pizza
- 1 loaf of ciabatta bread or 3 large ciabatta rolls 1-2 slices per person
- 3 14 oz cans diced tomatoes, fully drained and rinsed
- 1 garlic clove used for rubbing
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons grated Romano cheese Parmesan is fine, just sprinkle salt on top at end
- 3 Tablespoons dried oregano
- kosher sea salt optional to sprinkle on top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Slice the loaf or rolls lengthwise and brush the inside with the olive oil.
- Rub the clove of garlic on the bread – or chop finely and add it – it is up to you depending on how much you like garlic.
- Spread the drained diced canned tomatoes on top of the bread evenly.
- Place a layer of your grated Romano cheese on top. If using Parmesan cheese – add some salt in next step.
- Sprinkle the oregano and some kosher salt on top.
- Bake in oven for 35-45 minutes. Do not let the cheese burn.
- It is important that your tomatoes are drained thoroughly otherwise the pizza may be too soggy. I try to get out as much liquid as I can.
- If you use Parmesan Cheese, you will want to use some additional salt because Parmesan is a less salty cheese.
- For extra hard and crispy, increase baking time to 45 minutes.
- Serve with a salad or antipasto.