Slices of soft ciabatta bread that are spread with melted garlic butter and topped with Manchego cheese. These cheesy Italian Dunkers taste just like an old school cafeteria favorite from back in the day. A school lunch I have very fond memories of!
Dunk the toasted, cheesy garlic bread in warm marinara sauce and you are in for a delicious treat!
If you are a fan of toasted garlic bread with melty cheese, then you will fall in love with these cheese bread dunkers.
This dinner is not only super easy and quick, but it's a fun one to eat too. Kids will like having their own little bowl of sauce to dip in...and so will adults!
Why You Will Love This
- It's easy. You don't need any fancy cooking skills to get this meal on the table.
- It's quick. It only takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 8 minutes to cook.
- The cheese! The melty Manchego cheese is quite delicious. Allowing it get golden brown on the top creates even better flavor!
Here are notes about some of the ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card below.
- Ciabatta bread: You could use a ciabatta loaf or rolls here. If you use a loaf, you can slice it in half length wise and then slice it down to match the size you prefer, or to the size of your slices of cheese. If you are unable to find ciabatta, you could substitute a loaf of Italian or a loaf of French bread. Any loaf of bread would work, really!
- Unsalted butter: Unsalted butter is best for this since you are mixing it with the garlic salt. You could use olive oil in place of the butter, if you prefer.
- Manchego cheese: As an alternative, you could use Muenster, Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese slices.
- Marinara sauce: Store bought from a jar or homemade will work equally great for this. Alternatively, ranch dressing would be good too!
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make these delicious cheesy bread dippers.
STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 375°F.
STEP 2: In a small saucepan, add jar of marinara sauce and warm over low heat while you prepare and bake the bread.
STEP 3: Cut your bread. If your using ciabatta rolls, slice them in half.
If you have a ciabatta loaf, cut the loaf in half and then use a slice of cheese to cut the loaf down to match the size of your cheese.
STEP 4: Lay the sliced bread, crust side down, on a large cookie sheet.
STEP 5: Mix the garlic salt with the melted ¼ cup butter. Then, using a pastry brush, brush the butter onto the cut sides of each slice of bread.
STEP 6: Sprinkle each slice of bread with the Italian seasoning.
STEP 7: Lay one slice of Manchego cheese on each slice of bread.
STEP 8: Place the baking pan in the preheated oven for about 4 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Then you will switch the oven to broil and broil for about 4 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.
STEP 9: Remove from the oven and serve with personal bowls or a little dish of warm marinara sauce for dipping!
- If you have extra pieces of bread that you cut off when trying to get your bread the same size as your cheese, save them in a zip top bag and store them in the freezer. The next time you need breadcrumbs for a recipe, place the thawed bread in a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs.
- Get your cheese from the deli and ask them to slice it a little thicker than you might get in prepackaged cheese.
To make this gluten free, use these gluten free ciabatta rolls.
Sure. You could try dipping these in warm pizza sauce, ranch or just eat the cheesy bread without the dipping sauce.
Yes. Cook them at 400° for about 4-5 minutes. They cook pretty quickly, so keep your eye on them and remove when the cheese is melted and starting to brown on the top.
Storing and Freezing
I highly recommend eating these fresh out of the oven but you can store leftovers in an airtight container or zip top bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To heat up Italian Dunkers, place on a plate, cover with a paper towel and heat for 30-40 seconds or until warm.
Leftover marinara could also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Warm in a saucepan or in the microwave.
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- 15.5 ounce jar marinara sauce
- 4 Ciabatta rolls
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ pound Manchego cheese, sliced to medium thickness
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a small saucepan, heat the marinara sauce over low heat while you prepare the bread.15.5 ounce jar marinara sauce
- Cut ciabatta rolls so they are about the same size as your slices of cheese. Then slice in half. Lay rolls on large baking sheet, crust side down.4 Ciabatta rolls
- Combine the melted butter and garlic salt. Using a pastry brush, brush butter mixture on cut side of bread slices. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Place one slice of cheese on each of the pieces of bread.¼ cup unsalted butter, melted, ½ teaspoon garlic salt, ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, ¼ pound Manchego cheese, sliced to medium thickness
- Bake in 375°F oven for about 4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Switch oven to broil. Broil for about 4 more minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Remove from oven and serve with warm marinara sauce.