Italian Garlic Breadsticks (Vegan/Gluten Free)

I made a mistake a while ago while making pizza crust. I doubled the recipe but forgot to split the dough between two pizza pans, making a huge puffy crust. It still tasted just fine with the toppings and the best part turned out to be the crust edge. It had the texture of a breadstick, like you’d find at some of those ‘Italian’ (and I use that term loosely) chain restaurants, except much tastier and slightly chewier.

So I took my pizza dough recipe and tweaked it a teeny tiny bit, added some garlic-butter fun and baked up these tasty breadsticks.

(edited to add) This is not a typical bread dough recipe. Like a lot of gluten-free bread recipes it comes out of the mixer very sticky and behaves more like a batter bread. You should still be able to form the sticky batter into breadsticks. The next time I make these I’ll make a video of the technique and so you can see what the batter looks and how it behaves.

The use of ziploc bags on the hands to help with greasing the pan and forming the dough into breadsticks is handy (and looks ridiculous). If you care how you look and want to not look ridiculous, I imagine plastic or latex antiseptic gloves would do the trick, too. But where’s the fun in that?!

I’m adding the recipe in full here with my adjustments for this specific application. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did.

5.0 from 8 reviews
Italian Garlic Breadsticks (Vegan/Gluten Free)
Cook time
Total time
  • 2 tablespoons dry active yeast
  • 1⅓ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1⅓ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use plain almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ----Buttery Topping----
  • 2-3 tablespoons melted vegan margarine
  • ⅛ teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients, including yeast, in the work bowl of your mixer.
  3. Add liquid ingredients slowly and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  4. If dough bounces around in the bowl too much, add about 1 tablespoon of almond milk at a time until it no longer bounces around.
  5. Prepare a baking sheet by greasing with a bit of olive oil. Use your plastic-bagged (or gloved) hands to spread the oil around evenly.
  6. Use those greased up hands to divide the dough up into 6 equal portions.
  7. Form each portion into a long breadstick that is uniform from end to end. (Don't make breadsticks that are fat in the middle and skinny on the end or they won't bake up as nice and evenly.)
  8. Place on greased baking sheet.
  9. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the melted vegan margarine, garlic powder and parsley flakes. Brush on the tops of each breadstick.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, until nice and golden brown.
  11. Brush with any remaining garlic butter mixture once again (if desired), and serve hot.


I burnt my tongue eating these because I couldn’t wait until they cooled even slightly. Yes, they’re that good.

And check out the awesome texture on these little babies.

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59 Responses to “Italian Garlic Breadsticks (Vegan/Gluten Free)”

  1. Rachel Kennedy
    January 1, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    We LOVE LOVE LOVE these breadsticks! A couple months ago, our family began the journey of a gluten free diet for our 2 year old. We were very intimidated by everything we had to give up and our other children, ages 4 and 3, and 10 months did not receive the new food well. We have persevered, but your breadsticks have given us new hope! We cannot get enough! You have made four toddlers and their parents very very happy. Thank you!

    • Megan
      January 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

      Hi Rachel, I am so thrilled to hear that you loved this recipe. (It’s a personal fave as well!) But even more so, I was truly touched by your comment. Food is such an integral part of everyone’s lives. We entertain with food, we share with food and over food, we experience culture and life with food. So when we are forced to change what we eat and how we eat, it can feel so disparaging. I am glad you have persevered and that this lowly little recipe has given you and your family some happiness and hope. I hope you’re able to find other tasty recipes here that you can enjoy as you continue your journey as a gluten-free family. And please, if you ever have any questions or need suggestions/ideas that you can’t find answers to here – just let me know. I’d be happy to help.

      All the best!


  2. Pia
    January 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Just Made These…And Oh my how I failed! They Didn’t rise even a little bit…And I couldn’t shape them to save my soul. I made the dough too watery. And I forgot to get Tapioca Starch, so I used Corn starch as a substitute…Oh well! They taste mighty good though!!! :)

    • Megan
      January 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      Oh no! I hate when stuff doesn’t turn out. The substitution of cornstarch for tapioca starch should have been okay … but I guess the watery dough might have been the issue. I am surprised they didn’t rise. Is your yeast still fresh? There’s quite a bit in this recipe so it should have risen even slightly. I hope you give it another try and let me know if you have better success! :)

  3. March 31, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    I just made these and almost failed also. The dough was more like a thick batter that was unable to have a shape. I was curious if the liquid to dry ratio was off or something. I ended up adding alot more brown rice flour to get it to a consistency that was shape able and they came out tasting good. They did rise a bit too much though and were more the size of small french bread loaves. :)
    2 tablespoons dry active yeast
    1 1/3 cup brown rice flour
    1 cup tapioca starch
    2 teaspoons xanthan gum
    2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use plain almond milk)
    1 teaspoon agave nectar
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    2-3 tablespoons melted vegan margarine
    1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
    1/8 teaspoon dried parsley
    Are the amounts correct above? .. still delicious but just wanna make sure.

    • Megan
      April 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

      Hi Joanna,

      The way the recipe is written, the dough is very sticky. It’s not like a typical bread dough at all, but more like a batter bread. That’s why the technique for gloving/bagging the hand and oiling it is so important. I know it seems like the dough needs more flour to help make it workable – and I’m glad that when you added more brown rice flour it still turned out – but I promise it does work with the measurements given for a super fluffy and nicely delicate breadstick.

      I’m going to update the recipe to explain the sticky nature of the batter so that it helps alleviate some confusion.

      Thanks! :)

  4. Jenifer
    July 12, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed this recipe. I needed to make several substitutions for my family but they still turned out amazing. Also, I put my dough into a ziptop bag and cut the corner, it squeezed out nice, uniform shaped breadsticks without any fuss. Me and two of my kids need to eat gluten-free, and for my boys this was their first time ever having breadsticks. Thank you!

  5. Natalie
    August 23, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Thanks for the awesome recipes!!! Should I be able to substitute honey for the agave in the same amount?

    • Megan
      August 23, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      Hey Natalie, I think so. Often times when I see honey in a recipe I sub it with agave and reduce the amount slightly because agave tends to be a touch sweeter than honey or sugar, I find. You should be good to swap straight across in this recipe. :)

  6. Natalie
    August 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Thanks Megan! Giving it a go as we speak – will let you know how it turns out!

  7. Natalie
    August 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Wow, very nice recipe! I used the honey instead of the agave and used coconut milk. Turned out a little doughy though, even with an extra 5 minutes. However, let me add that the doughy-ness has NO ill effects on the taste! Awesome! Kid review on a scale of 1-10 is an 8.5. ;)

  8. Ashley
    September 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    This recipe looks great- we have been gf for a year (along with dairy, corn, eggs, soy and sugar free) and I am just now feeling ready to try making breads with yeast. New experience for me! My question is that I don’t have a stand mixer- can I mix this with a handheld mixer and get the same results? Or by hand? Thanks so much!

    • Megan
      September 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

      Definitely you can use a hand mixer. The dough is almost a sticky batter bread dough, not stiff like regular bread dough. If you have a decent hand mixer you should be ok. And of course, you can definitely do it the old school way with a nice big wooden spoon! I should probably do that every once in a while to work out these triceps. ;-) I hope you enjoy these breadsticks. I’d say they’re a pretty great treat, especially if you’ve been living without so much in the past year.

  9. Tracy
    September 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Thank you so much, these turned out great! I made the recipe as described except substituted guar gum for xanthan gum and used rice milk. They are perfect! I did what someone above suggested and used a baggie with the corner cut out to extrude perfectly shaped breadsticks onto the pan. What a useful tip that was, thanks!

    • Megan
      September 12, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

      Awesome! I’ll have to try the plastic bag trick next time I make these. :)

  10. La
    September 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    Just made these – OMG! You are my new favorite person! The plastic bag trick worked great as well. So yummy. Eating the last one right now!

    • September 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

      Made my day! I love being someone’s favorite person. ;-) So glad it worked great for you.

  11. joseph rasband
    November 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    We love these breadsticks!!!! I just made another batch about to cook them. This time I used homemade cashew milk instead of almond. Also, doubled the salt, garlic powder, and brushed olive oil and minced garlic on the top. You dont have to deal with the sticky mess at the end just add extra flour. Same goes for making the sticks. You can put flour on your hands and the counter and roll out the sticks, it makes it much easier.

    • November 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

      Awesome. Glad to hear using flour to roll these out works good too. I’ll try that next time for sure.

  12. January 13, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    What flour can I use in place of brown rice? Will millet work?

    thank you.


    • January 14, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      Millet may work but since it is a heavier and more dense flour it will likely affect the dough. An ideal gluten-free flour to use instead of brown rice flour would be sorghum flour. It has a lot of the same characteristics when it comes to using it in your baked goods.

  13. March 15, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    These were incredible. They reminded my boyfriend and me of the garlic bread we used to always make before going GF. Since we’re not vegan, we “unveganed” the recipe with cow’s milk and butter and they were great! The dough is REALLy wet, as noted, so I didn’t have high hopes (and ended up making 4 breadsticks instead of 6) so they were a bit big but delicious nonetheless.

    • March 16, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

      So glad you guys enjoyed these. The dough is really wet … I haven’t had a chance to experiment with adding more flour and I’m always worried that more flour would take away some of that light airiness of these breadsticks. I think I really should try though just so the dough is a bit easier to work with.

  14. Sarah
    April 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    These are absolutely the best breadsticks ever! My kids come running to the kitchen when I announce that they are ready. If only I could get the same reaction to veggies! Thanks for the great recipe.

    • April 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

      You’re welcome Sarah! This has turned into one of the most kid-friendly recipes I’ve come up with so far. :) I’m glad it’s a hit in your household.

  15. April 26, 2013 at 4:18 am #

    Last night I needed some bread to go with my homemade potato soup. Right before dinner time I ran across this recipe. I was amazed at how good they are!!

    The one thing that I did different so I wouldn’t have to handle the dough was to put it all in a ziploc bag (after it was through in the mixer). Before putting the dough in, I put about 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil into the bag so the dough would have easier movement and not stick to the back so bad. I snipped a hole in one corner and piped the dough onto my baking sheet. It worked great but next time I’ll cut a smaller hole!!

    This recipe is definitely a keeper!!

  16. SunnyfromLA
    June 20, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Hi Meghan

    Mine turned out very doughy. It wasn’t fluffy at all like the pic? Could that have been cuz I let it rise for an hour? (Had to run out to pick up hubby from work) maybe I should have started a little early…but just wondering…..could that be the only reason?

    I hope it’s not one of those ‘too good to be true when I make it’ thing

  17. SunnyfromLA
    June 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    Oh also….I used soy milk (allergies) and only olive oil instead of margarine as I didn’t have those either…plus didn’t have a mixer so I went old school….beat it with a fork….and had to add a lot more milk to make the dough muffin batterish…..yup those were all the changes. Which do u think caused the bread to be so sticky doughy?

    • June 20, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      That sucks that they didn’t turn out for you. From what I can guess … I would say the amount of liquid you added probably had something to do with the breadsticks turning out sticky and doughy. You shouldn’t be able to mix this dough with a fork, it should be stiffer and much more like a batter bread dough, not a cake batter.

      In fact, going in the opposite direction, a lot of commenters have been adding a bit more brown rice flour to work with the dough rather than using the plastic bag/glove trick. So I think adding more milk was probably the issue. I’m sure that letting the breadsticks rise for a bit wouldn’t have been the problem and brushing the sticks with olive oil would have been just fine too.

      I hope this works for you next time.

  18. C27S
    June 21, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Just wondering what you could substitute for the yeast and still have the dough rise?

    • June 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

      Hmmm, I wonder if you could use baking powder to get some rise out of the dough instead of yeast. I don’t know for sure how this would work or how much to suggest using because I honestly don’t have much experience with yeast-free bread baking. If any other commenters have a suggestion it would be greatly appreciated.

  19. kathy
    July 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    Thank you, they turned out quite well for making the recipe for the first time. My boys ate them, dipped in marina sauce. I thought they were a bit doughy, so I may need to adjust. Liquid next time. I was wondering if you weigh flour or scoop, that seems to make a difference. My boys gave thumbs up, so we will try these again. Thanks

    Those who had issues with sunken dough, if your milk is cold, it may not activate the yeast. I warm mine up not too hot.

    • July 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

      Hi Kathy, I have considered altering my recipes to state the measurements of flours by weight as it’s true it does tend to provide more consistent results, but I’ve found most home cooks don’t weigh their flours and so cup measurements tend to be a bit more widely-used and that’s why I’ve stuck with doing it that way. Thanks for commenting and sharing your tip about the yeast for the others. :)

  20. Jason
    September 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    these were awesome, thanks! Do you think it would be possible to make them next time as one big flat stick and cut them into individual pieces after baking?

    • September 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

      Hi Jason, I’ve never tried baking this as a loaf but next time I make up this recipe I’ll give it a try and post my results! If you give it a try, please share here how it works out.

  21. Jennifer
    October 7, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    These were great! I made cinnamon breadsticks with these. I omitted the seasoning and added a little more sugar. Then i brushed the tops with margarine and dipped them in cinnamon sugar. When heated, they taste AMAZING! Heating improves the flavor and texture of gluten-free.
    Another change I made out of laziness was instead of rolling individual breadsticks I rolled it all out flat and ran a pizza cutter through it to make sticks after baking. This made it easier to deal with the soft dough.
    I’ll be trying it with garlic tonight. yum!

    • October 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Oh my. I wish I thought of making these into cinnamon sticks – and the pizza cutter idea is brilliant too. I think you need to start a blog too Jennifer. :)

  22. Shelley
    October 14, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    I had tremendous success with these as breadsticks. Tonight I tried them as rolls and they are just as good. Your recipes are the closest texture to “real” bread that my boys have ever eaten and my husband can’t tell that they’re gluten free.

  23. Judi
    October 31, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    This recipe is great. I am determined to become a very good gluten free baker for my grandson. Thanks for all the tips. He is also a Type 1 diabetic so after mastering a recipe I have to determine the Nutrition Facts so we can figure and adjust the insulin. Every hint helps

  24. Samantha
    November 13, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    How many calories are there in each breadstick??

  25. Sheila
    December 6, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Does the dough have to rise or do they just go into the oven after mixing?

    Sound great and can’t wait to try them.

    • December 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

      I don’t bother with letting the dough rise before baking. They rise up nicely while baking and have a great texture this way. Enjoy!

  26. December 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Perfection.. It is not often that I circle back to comment but since you have made such an effort to have this blog and spend your time making life easier for all of us foodies out here I think it is the least I can do.

    We are new down this vegan road and often disappointed in how things turn out. To my surprise these were not only easy but really good as well. The stickiness did not bother me. I just added a bit of flour to my hands and rolled as instructed.

    I did bake for a bit longer than 15 minutes… but that was my adjustment..
    Even my non-vegan teenagers ate them without a grunt or moan…. they loved them.
    Thanks so much.. I’ll be trying more of your recipes soon…

  27. Kelly
    December 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Do you think this dough could be frozen in its final shape and baked later?

    • December 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      I’m not sure how that would work but I think it’s worth experimenting with to try it out. If you do give it a try, would you mind stopping back and letting the rest of us know how it worked? Next time I make up this recipe I’ll set aside a few to try freezing as well.

  28. Michele
    January 19, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    I was wondering if you could use sweet white rice flour instead of brown rice flour? What would the difference be? Thanks

    • January 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

      I don’t know if using sweet rice flour would be right for this recipe. Sweet rice flour is more sticky and starchy than brown rice (or even white rice) flour. Since these can have a tendency to be sticky enough with the tapioca starch that is in there too, I would worry that adding another sticky starchy flour would be just too much and throw off the texture of the end result. If you don’t want to use brown rice flour you should be able to use white rice flour or sorghum flour easily enough.

  29. Joelle
    January 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    These are amazing. I’m newly gluten-free and tried these the other night and they turned out really well. Like, better than any attempt at breadsticks even when I ate gluten. :) Thanks so much! My hubby who still eats gluten and who is pretty picky at bread texture liked them as well. I’m definitely going to look around and see what other recipes you have on here, and will be making this again!

  30. January 29, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    nice post

    beautifully food

    Thank you for information

  31. April 10, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Hi, I’m new to your site and your breads look amazing! I’m looking forward to trying some out… esp these!

  32. Morgan
    April 15, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    Thank you for this fantastically simple recipe. I have made it several times now and it always works great. I vary the flours and combos of flours each time since I am not a big fan of just brown rice flour. I’ve used various combos of sorghum, amaranth, teff, soy, buckwheat and quinoa….not all at the same time, of course! :) I make them into breadsticks or small buns. I borrowed another responders idea of using a ziploc bag but with different sized holes cut for different sized breads. I add different spices or just leave them plain. Any which way, they have always turned out wonderfully. And I am not much of a baker! But even I can’t go wrong with such a versatile recipe. Even my anything-but-gluten free, meat eating husband likes them! Thanks again for this great recipe!

  33. Nancy
    April 22, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    I stumbled upon your website while looking for bread ideas to accompany Easter dinner, which I would be hosting for 2 gluten-intolerants, 2 lactose intolerants and 2 “regular” eaters…I found your Italian breadsticks recipe and tried it. We all LOVED them! So much so, that tonight’s salad only meal is now going to be salad-and-breadsticks! The poster who suggested piping out of a Ziploc bag is genius.
    I may adapt the recipe to make a sweeter version – some sort of sweet cinnamon-y raisin-y type for book club next week – where I’ll be entertaining a vegan, 2 gluten intolerants and a chronic dieter!
    Thanks again – I’ll be trying many more of your recipes!

  34. August 1, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    These look amazing.

  35. Tanja
    September 11, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    I made these today. The smell is great, the taste too but failed. First, the dough was very liquid but made with your recipe. I couldn’t get xanthum gum in my area so added some more tapioca starch. Because it was so liquid, I poured it into a cake form, believing it would become like a toast bread and I could then cut it into slices.. I had it in the oven for 30mins surely, took it out.. it didn’t rise but that doesn’t meatier.. When cooled down, I cut it. inside was not cooked at all. it was still raw. So i made slices and put it back into the oven,,, the result is now stone hard blocks of dough.. a waste of time, energy, and for sure for all these expensive special ingredients. Also I think you should not mention at the very last that the herbs and the margarine shall go on top AFTER baking… for me margarine is the liquid and herbs is the “dry” part… therefore it all went into the dough. Maybe you want to consider mentioning it in the line where you say “Combine dry ingredients,….. // Add liquid ingredients ..” For me these 2 steps include all the ingredients.

    • September 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

      I don’t have a lot of experience using tapioca starch as a substitute for xanthan gum so I really don’t know how that would work. If I need to substitute the gum I would use guar gum instead of xanthan gum. Also, baking this as a loaf instead of in bread sticks would change the texture and baking time considerably. The recipe really does work as written, but of course, it’s always hard to know what went wrong when the original recipe has been altered. Sorry to hear it didn’t turn out the way you made it.

      To help others who may have the same problem with wet/dry ingredients I have updated the recipe to have a line break in the ingredients so it’s more obvious that the vegan margarine, garlic powder and parsley are part of the buttery topping not the actual dough ingredients.

  36. Lydia
    October 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    These are fabulous and made me confident that I will be happy playing around with gluten free recipes in the future!


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