Garlic Naan Bread

By Rena Awada | Updated On January 12, 2024

This soft, fresh Garlic Butter Naan Bread recipe is easy to make and turns out wonderfully thick, buttery and flavorful! This flatbread pairs well with everything from curries to soups, and is even better than what you’d get at your favorite Indian restaurant!

Top view cooked naan bread on a round plate.


Learn how easy it is to make this homemade naan bread recipe! The list of ingredients is simple and includes many items that you probably have on hand. It cooks on a skillet until it’s soft, chewy and golden brown. The perfect finishing touch is brushing a rich garlic butter topping over the top and adding a sprinkle of either chopped fresh parsley or fresh cilantro. Serve warm with Cabbage Roll Soup, Tabbouleh Salad, Shrimp Curry or Butter Chicken. It’s incredibly delicious, and your family is sure to love it!

Reasons to make this recipe

  • Easy to make: This naan recipe is surprisingly easy to make. If you’re intimated with making bread and using yeast, don’t be. This recipe is difficult to mess up and is perfect for beginners.
  • A great side: This pairs well with so many recipes, especially saucy ones because it’s great for mopping up extra sauce or soup. Yum!
  • Make ahead: Naan bread is great made ahead of time, which is so convenient for busy weeknights. It even freezes well for later!
Hand holding two halves of naan bread.

Ingredients needed

Ingredients for this Simple Naan Bread Recipe are simple and ones that you probably already have in your kitchen. They come together easily to create a flavorful homemade flatbread that you’re going to want to make on repeat. Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Warm water: Activates the yeast, which will help the bread to rise.
  • Granulated sugar: For just a hint of sweetness.
  • Instant yeast: Active dry yeast or instant yeast (rapid rise) will help the bread rise quicker.
  • Warm milk: Extra moisture to make the bread batter.
  • Yogurt: Use plain greek yogurt or plain yogurt to enrich the flavor while giving the dough the perfect consistency.
  • Oil: Add avocado oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil to the bread for richness. You’ll also need some oil for cooking the bread.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour will give your bread the best rise and texture. You may use a gluten-free flour. Texture will be altered slightly.
  • Baking powder: For fluffy bread.
  • Salt: To bring out all of the flavor.
  • Garlic butter topping: A simple mix of melted butter or oil, garlic, and herbs makes your naan taste amazing! You may skip all this and just brush with a bit of olive oil.
Flour, yogurt, yeast, herbs, water, milk, baking powder, sugar and salt divided into small bowls.

How to make this recipe

  1. Mix the yeast: In a large mixing bowl, add the water, sugar, and yeast. Mix and let it sit for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture starts to bubble.
  2. Make the dough: Next, add the warm milk, yogurt, oil, flour, baking powder, and salt. Using your hands, mix the dough until it comes together and a dough form.
  1. Knead the dough: Slightly sprinkle flour on a flat surface and then place the dough over it. Place some flour on her fingers and knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes until it is smooth.
  2. Let rise: Grease the same mixing bowl again lightly with either oil or cooking spray and place the dough into the greased bowl. Cover with a plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for one hour until it doubles in size.
  1. Divide: Place the dough back on the same flat surface and divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.
  2. Roll: Next, using a rolling pin, roll each of the doughs into a large oval shape that is about 5-6-inches long and 1/8-inch thick.
  1. Prep: Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and then grease the skillet all over with some of the extra oil, about 1 teaspoon.
  2. Cook: Then, place each naan dough one at a time on the oiled hot skillet and cook until bubbles start to form on the top. This will take about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Flip and continue: Next, using a spatula, flip the naan to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Be careful to not burn the naan. You may want to keep it at medium heat.
  1. Wrap in towel: Place a kitchen towel on a plate. Once the naan is cooked, remove each one from the skillet and wrap it in a clean kitchen towel. Continue to cook each naan simultaneously.
  2. Make the topping: To make the garlic butter topping, combine the melted butter or oil with the minced garlic. Then brush each the naan bread with the garlic butter and chopped parsley or fresh cilantro.

Expert tips

  • Activate the yeast: It’s important to activate the yeast with warm water before adding it to the flour for naan that has a fluffy consistency.
  • Knead the dough: You can use your hands to the knead the dough or a stand mixer.
  • Cast iron skillet: Traditionally, naan bread is cooked in a tandoor oven. Since most home cooks do not have that type of oven, a cast-iron skillet is the next best thing. It distributes heat evenly, and browns each naan bread perfectly. You can use another type of heavy-bottomed pan, if that’s what you have.
  • Want to make a Naan pizza? Add pizza sauce over the cooked naan bread, top with shredded cheese and toppings of your choice, and bake for 5 minutes in a preheated oven.
top view of 3 naan breads on a plate topped with garlic butter and chopped parsley

Frequently asked questions

What is traditional naan made from?

This naan bread recipe is made with basic bread ingredients (flour, water, and yeast) plus yogurt and baking powder to make the bread wonderfully soft and chewy.

Is naan bread healthy?

Yes, while it does contain quite a few carbs and fats, it’s a healthy alternative to other breads because it has a relatively generous amount of protein. This recipe is also made with simple, unprocessed ingredients.

What is the difference between naan and pita bread?

Naan bread has a softer, more chewy texture, whereas pita bread is denser with a slightly crispy texture. Naan bread is also typically a bit larger than pita bread.

Can you freeze naan bread?

Yes. Naan bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. Simply wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place it in a freezer-safe bag or container to prevent the naan bread from getting freezer burnt. When ready to serve, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight or reheat it in the oven for for 3-4 minutes.

shot of s single naan bread on a plate before adding any garlic butter on it

What to serve with Naan Bread

Homemade naan is versatile and pairs well with many dishes. You can even make a pizza with it! We typically enjoy it with Mediterranean or Indian foods. Here are some of our favorite recipes to serve it with:

Storage recommendations

  • Storing leftovers: Once completely cool, store in an airtight bag or container. At room temperature, it will keep fresh for about 5-7 days. If stored in the fridge, it will keep for up to about 12 days.
  • Freeze: Wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let defrost and warm up in the oven, microwave or in a skillet.
Three pieces of naan bread on a plate.

More bread recipes

top view of 3 naan bread on a plate topped with garlic butter and chopped parsley

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top view cooked naan bread on a round plate

Garlic Naan Bread Recipe

This soft, fresh Garlic Butter Naan Bread recipe is easy to make and turns out wonderfully thick, buttery and flavorful! This flatbread pairs well with everything from curries to soups, and is even better than what you'd get at your favorite Indian restaurant!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: bread, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rise time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 10 pieces
Calories: 286kcal
Author: Rena

Equipment

Ingredients

For the bread

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast or instant yeast (rapid rise)
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt you may also use natural plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup oil avocado oil or vegetable or olive oil plus 2 tablespoons extra for cooking on the skillet
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the garlic butter topping (optional)

  • 3 tablespoons butter melted, or you may use any oil (avocado or olive oil)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro or parsley finely chopped

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the water, sugar, and yeast. Mix and let it sit for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture starts to bubble.
  • Next, add the warm milk, yogurt, oil, flour, baking powder, and salt. Using your hands, mix the dough until it comes together and a dough form.
  • Slightly sprinkle flour on a flat surface and then place the dough over it. Place some flour on her fingers and knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes until it is smooth.
  • Grease the same mixing bowl again lightly with either oil or cooking spray and place the dough into the greased bowl. Cover with a plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for one hour until it doubles in size.
  • Place the dough back on the same flat surface and divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.
  • Next, using a rolling pin, roll each of the doughs into a large oval shape that is about 5-6-inches long and 1/8-inch thick.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and then grease the skillet all over with some of the extra oil, about 1 teaspoon.
  • Then, place each naan dough one at a time on the oiled hot skillet and cook until bubbles start to form on the top. This will take about 1-2 minutes.
  • Next, using a spatula, flip the naan to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Be careful to not burn the naan. You may want to keep it at medium heat.
  • Place a kitchen towel on a plate. Once the naan is cooked, remove each one from the skillet and wrap in a clean kitchen towel. Continue to cook each naan simultaneously. Keep the naan breads wrapped in the towel as you cook the remainder of the naan bread.
  • To make the garlic butter topping, combine the melted butter or oil with the minced garlic. Then brush each the naan breads with the garlic butter. Then sprinkle each one and top with either chopped fresh parsley or fresh cilantro.

Notes

    • Storing leftovers: Once completely cool, store them in an airtight bag or container. At room temperature, naan will keep fresh for about 5-7 days. If stored in the fridge, it will keep for up to about 12 days.
    • Freeze: Wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let defrost and warm up in the oven, microwave, or in a skillet.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 2mg
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