Garlic Naan Bread is soft and buttery, just like what you’ll get from your favorite Indian restaurant! Learn how to make naan with this simple recipe that’s easy to freeze and reheat for future meals.
In my opinion, there’s no meal that can’t be improved by adding some homemade garlic bread! Garlic naan is a fluffy flatbread smothered with a garlic herb butter that’s as perfect with Indian dishes as garlic bread is with Italian meals.
And in the middle of winter, I craving saucy, spicy Indian food just as much as I crave saucy, cheesy Italian food so this naan bread is exactly what I need. It’s a super easy recipe that makes about 16 servings, freezes great, and is just as good reheated as it is fresh!
The garlic butter adds an incredible boost of flavor to an already fantastic bread and I’d be embarrassed if you saw how much I love to sop up those spiced Indian sauces and curries. It’s not a pretty sight!
This is a basic shopping list for the best garlic naan bread, but the full list of ingredients is in the recipe card below so be sure to keep scrolling down to check it out!
- Yeast — active dry or instant
- All-purpose flour
- Whole wheat flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Greek yogurt
How to Make Naan
Here are the steps for how to make this easy naan recipe! The full instruction list is in the recipe card below, so be sure to keep scrolling down to the card.
STEP 1: First, mix the yeast, water, and sugar together and let it rest until foamy. While it activates, whisk your dry ingredients together.
STEP 2: Then, add the milk and yogurt to the yeast mixture and gently stir. Overworking the dough can kill the yeast and lead to dense naan bread so go easy here. Make a well in your dry ingredients and add the liquid. Mix with a wooden spoon or by hand.
STEP 3: Once you have a shaggy dough, transfer it to a floured countertop and knead until it comes together. The dough will be sticky but hold its shape. Clean out the mixing bowl from the dry ingredients (I’m all about reusing in my kitchen!) and grease it lightly before adding the dough to rise until it doubles in size.
STEP 4: After about an hour, divide the ball into 16 pieces and roll into balls. Roll them on a clean surface, but set the finished dough balls on a floured surface so they don’t stick and under a clean towel to keep them soft.
STEP 5: Next, melt the butter and mix the garlic and parsley into about half the melted hot butter. We’ll use the plain and herb butters later. You’ll also want to prep a 12-inch cast iron skillet over high heat.
STEP 6: Now, roll out 2 of the balls into long ovals and brush the tops with plain melted butter. Place the oval butter-side down into a scorching hot cast iron skillet and brush the dry side with butter. Let it sizzle for a couple minutes, until it bubbles and the bottom is splotchy brown. Flip and repeat on the other side. While the naan cooks, roll out another 2 dough balls and continue this process until all are cooked.
STEP 7: When each naan bread is cooked, slather it with garlic herb butter. I like to have an extra set of hands in the kitchen so I can cook and someone else can butter! It’s a great job for little helpers. Wrap the naan in a clean towel to keep warm until it’s time to eat!
Tips and Tricks to Make Naan
- Make it by hand. I use my mixer for a lot of homemade garlic bread recipes, but this one is so delicate I mix it all by hand.
- Let it rest. Like any bread dough, the secret is in the rise. Try not to peek under the towel and let the yeast do it’s thing for at least an hour! I promise it’s worth the wait.
- Get a smoking hot skillet. Traditionally, naan is made in a tandoor over an open flame. Obviously, most home kitchens don’t have this though so you’ll want a super hot cast iron skillet that’s completely dry. Brush a little melted butter on the dough and let the heat bring that out golden brown char.
- Mix it up. This is a garlic naan bread recipe, but you can swap the garlic butter for plain to keep it simple or maybe add some mint, rosemary, or thyme to the butter for a different flavor profile!
Freezing and Reheating Naan
This garlic naan recipe is perfect for feeding a crowd since it makes 16 pieces of naan! However, if you don’t need that much naan in your life, simply freeze the leftovers for a super quick side dish with future meals.
Once you’ve let the dough rest and rolled it into 16 dough balls, you can either make them all right away and freeze the leftovers or freeze the dough balls..
To freeze uncooked naan, set the shaped dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for a few hours. Once solid, you can transfer the balls to a freezer-safe bag. Thaw the dough completely and continue rolling and cooking as usual!
You can also refrigerate or freeze the cooked naan! This flatbread will last a couple days in the fridge before it starts to get a little stale, so I tend toss the leftovers on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then I transfer the frozen naan to a zip-top bag and store them in the freezer until I need them again.
Garlic naan is definitely best warm. So what is the best way to heat up naan bread?
To reheat refrigerated naan, bake for about 5 minutes at 400° F. To heat frozen naan, use the same temperature and add a couple minutes more until it’s soft and steamy. You can heat them directly on the rack in the oven – no need to dirty a pan here!
What Goes Best with Garlic Naan?
This garlic naan is the perfect side dish to sop up all kinds of delicious sauces!
Indian butter chicken is one of my favorite restaurant dishes to make at home, and it’s the perfect main dish with garlic butter naan on the side. Not too spicy, this easy weeknight meal is perfect for anyone new to Indian cuisine.
Wanna let the slow cooker do the work? This slow cooker chicken tikka masala is marinated in a creamy yogurt sauce and it’s perfectly seasoned with cumin, garlic, and garam masala. This naan is almost a requirement for scooping up all that chicken and sauce!
Since this garlic naan is so easy to freeze for later, we often end up munching on some whenever I make a chicken gyro salad with tzatziki sauce for an easy lunch.
We also love this naan as a wrap with some grilled chicken shawarma, rice, cucumbers, feta, and tzatziki sauce tucked inside!
If you love the idea of poached eggs with some heat, you’ll LOVE Shakshuka! Eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce with garlic naan to sop up that delicious sauce? Talk about a perfect brunch combo!
Garlic Naan Bread
Garlic naan bread is easy to make at home with just a few pantry ingredients. Made with yogurt to keep it soft and pliable, this flatbread tears easily and scoops up all those delicious sauces from your tikka masala to butter chicken to curries of all types. This naan recipe will yield 16 naan so I've included freezer instructions below for the dough balls and the cooked naan.
- ¾ tsp active dry yeast or instant yeast
- ¼ cup water (room temp or slightly above)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp table salt
- ¾ cup whole milk (room temperature or warmed slightly)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt loosened up with a couple tbsp water or plain yogurt (See Note below)
- 8 tbsp melted unsalted butter, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Mix the yeast, water, and sugar together in a medium bowl and allow it to sit for 10 minutes (for active dry yeast) or 5 minutes (for instant yeast) until foamy.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
- Stir the milk and yogurt into the yeast mixture. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir everything together until a shaggy dough forms. Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface and knead until it comes together; it will still be a little sticky but should hold its shape well.
- Wipe out the original bowl and then lightly grease the bottom and sides. Transfer the dough back to the bowl and roll it around to coat with the grease. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel or some plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
- Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces using a sharp knife or a dough scraper and shape each piece into balls on an unfloured surface, placing the finished balls on a well-floured work surface. Cover the extra dough as you work with a clean kitchen towel or piece of plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. The dough will be a little sticky so be sure to have extra flour on hand. (Skip to Step 8 if you're not going to freeze the dough balls.)
- At this point, you can freeze the shaped dough on a parchment lined baking sheet then transfer the frozen balls to a zip-top bag. Allow the dough to thaw at room temperature for about 2 hours. When soft and thawed, proceed with the remaining instructions.
- Divide the butter between 2 separate small microwave-safe bowls. Melt the butter in 1 of the bowls in the microwave. Melt the butter in the 2nd bowl in the microwave and immediately stir the minced garlic and parsley into the hot butter. Set both bowls aside.
- Roll out two dough balls into long ovals, about 6 to 8 inches each. Brush the tops of each with melted butter from the 1st bowl (the one without the garlic).
- Lay the rolled-out dough butter-side down in a really hot 12-inch cast iron skillet. Immediately brush the tops with more plain butter. While these cook, quickly roll out the next two dough balls. Cook the naan for about 2 minutes, until bubbles form on the top of the dough and the bottoms are splotchy brown.
- Flip and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until the naan is browned in spots. Remove the naan from the pan and repeat with the remaining pieces of rolled out and buttered dough.
- As soon as the naan comes out of the pan, brush the garlic butter onto the top of the hot naan (rewarming the butter as needed) and sprinkle with a little parsley. Keep the finished naan wrapped in a clean kitchen towel until you're ready to serve. Reheat the naan, if need, wrapped in foil in a 300° F oven until warmed through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Refrigerate: Store the cooked naan in the fridge in a zip-top bag for up to 2 days. Reheat in a 400° F oven (directly on the oven rack) for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Freeze: The cooked naan freeze and reheat beautifully. Simply freeze the cooked naan on a parchment-lined baking sheet and then put them in a zip-top bag. Reheat in a 400° F oven (directly on the oven rack) for about 5 to 6 minutes.
The original recipe calls for plain yogurt but if all you have on hand is Greek yogurt, stir in enough water to bring the Greek yogurt to the loose consistency of plain yogurt. Non-fat, low-fat, or whole milk yogurt will all work fine in this recipe.
adapted from Food52
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