Cheddar garlic monkey bread muffins are the perfect appetizer for any occasion, especially for game day. These mini bacon cheese pull aparts are so easy to make that it only requires a few ingredients and about 20 mins in the oven!
Here we are, about to throw ourselves heart and soul into football season. Each year the couch or bar stool claims several hours of our lives for weeks at a time, fans cheering and moaning as their favorite teams play for that coveted Super Bowl spot.
We are excited to watch our team (Go Seahawks!) and spend lazy Sundays cheering them on. Even though I’m not a huge fan of football, what I do love are the game day traditions and food.
A few years ago, I was asked to take part in a recipe development contest. I’ve never been in this sort of head to head recipe event before so I have to admit, I was a bit nervous! I also had no idea what the others created, but if you know me, you’ll know that garlic and bacon are two of my most favorite ingredients in the world.
I’ve also been a bit obsessed with trying my hand at monkey bread muffins or a pull apart bread recipe so I decided to mash everything together into a bite sized nom.
What I came up with are these mini garlic bread muffins. You could even make them ahead of time to have on hand when you need to feed a crowd or someone drops by unexpectedly. Your guests will be thanking you profusely because they’re so easy yet deliciously addictive!!
Why is pull apart bread called monkey bread?
Pull apart bread is a delicious treat that has been around for decades. But, what exactly is the name? It’s called monkey bread! There are many different theories about where this name came from and how it got its nickname.
One theory states that early versions of pull apart bread were made with yeast dough which was then placed in the middle of a pan-shaped loaf as opposed to an individual ball or bun shape. The lack of surface area caused the dough to rise quickly and form into a dome shape, much like how monkeys climb trees by swinging on branches until they reach their destination at the top.
Another theory posits that people who live in colder climates would make these sweet bread treats for their family because it was so hard to bake anything else during winter months. The bread’s sweet cinnamony taste and soft dough was warm enough to satisfy their cravings for a dessert, even if it wasn’t the most healthy thing in the world.
There are many different theories as to how this delicious treat got its name, but whatever your family story is, pull apart bread will always be an irresistible appetizer that can’t wait!
Can I make monkey bread without a bundt pan?
It’s time to make traditional monkey bread but you don’t have a bundt pan? Well, you’re in luck, because our recipe makes this delicious appetizer from scratch with a muffin tin.
Because to be honest, I don’t own a bundt pan either.
But I actually prefer this method anyway! It takes less time to bake and it’s really handy to have individual sized garlic bread pull aparts. After all, I don’t want anyone else’s grubby hands on my monkey muffins!
What if I don’t have a can of pre-made biscuit dough?
That’s ok! We show you how to make the bread dough from scratch like in our Garlic Monkey Bread Muffins recipe video. It’s a basic recipe for buttermilk biscuits and will only add a few ingredients and minutes onto your total time.
Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking sold
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cold
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, cold and well shaken
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients with your hands until you have a crumbly mixture.
Then stir in cold, well shaken buttermilk just until the dough starts to come together.
Turn the dough mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and work it together gently with your hands. Make sure you are very gentle with your dough. Overworking it can make for tough, dense biscuits. (oh no!)
You’ll want to divide it into 8 even pieces and then continue on in the recipe below.
What is the best cheese to use for bacon cheese pull aparts?
This is a question that has no wrong answers. Some people prefer cheddar cheese, but I’ve always been a bigger fan of the white cheeses like mozzarella and provolone. Others enjoy the taste of stronger cheese like Swiss or blue cheeses. It’s totally up to you!
If you’re looking for something milder yet flavorful, Havarti cheese might be best because it’s buttery flavor balances out the saltiness of the bacon.
For those who like a stronger flavor profile, sharp cheddar may be better because its sharper taste also complements the salty goodness of bacon beautifully!
In the end, just use whatever you have in the fridge – it’ll be fine!
Can I make these ahead of time?
They are best served warm so if you’re taking them to a party, go ahead and pre make them to the finish point up to 24 hours in advance.
Then simply reheat for a few minutes in the oven right before serving. These are perfect for lazy Sunday mornings, game day or to bring to any potluck gathering.
How do I store leftovers?
Leftovers? I can tell you that these puppies went fast during my recipe taste and test runs so I really don’t expect you to have any. But if by some miracle you do, you can store them in an air-tight container for 3-5 days in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer.
Garlic Bacon Cheese Pull Aparts Recipe
- 1 can buttermilk biscuit dough
- 6 tbsp butter, melted
- 4 tbsp parmesan cheese, shredded
- 3 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
- 2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes, drained and diced
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix melted butter and 2 tbsp of the shredded parmesan in a small bowl. (Save other 2 tbsp shredded parmesan for next step)
Carefully open can of biscuit dough. It should be pre-sliced into 8 biscuit pieces for you. Take one pre-cut biscuit and flatten in palm of hand.
Place pinch of bacon, sun dried tomato, a sprinkle of garlic and reserved parmesan cheese into center and then form it into a ball. Repeat until all 8 are formed.
Cut each ball into quarters. Dredge one quarter piece in the butter/parmesan mixture and then place into lined (these are the silicone muffin liners I use!) or sprayed muffin tin cup. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
Repeat 3 more times until you have all 4 pieces pushed into ONE muffin cup, with mozzarella sprinkled IN BETWEEN each. Sprinkle more mozzarella on top. Repeat until all 8 muffin cups are full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes or until golden brown or desired doneness. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Whether you’re hosting a Super Bowl party, having friends over for game night, or looking for something to bring to the office potluck on Friday. This garlic pull apart bread is sure to be a hit!
They’re easy enough that even if you don’t have much baking experience, they’ll come together in no time. What are your favorite game day recipes? Comment below and let us know what foods YOU love at football season :)
Mini Cheesy Garlic and Bacon Pull Apart Bread
- 1 can buttermilk biscuit dough
- 6 tbsp butter melted
- 4 tbsp parmesan cheese shredded
- 3 slices bacon cooked and chopped
- 2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes drained and diced
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix melted butter and 2 tbsp of the shredded parmesan in a small bowl. (Save other 2 tbsp shredded parmesan for next step)
- Carefully open can of biscuit dough. It should be pre-sliced into 8 pieces for you. Take one pre-cut biscuit and flatten in palm of hand.
- Place pinch of bacon, sun dried tomato, a sprinkle of garlic and reserved parmesan cheese into center and then form it into a ball. Repeat until all 8 are formed.
- Cut each ball into quarters. Dredge one quarter piece in the butter/parmesan mixture and then place into lined or sprayed muffin tin cup. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
- Repeat 3 more times until you have all 4 pieces pushed into ONE muffin cup, with mozzarella sprinkled IN BETWEEN each. Sprinkle more mozzarella on top. Repeat until all 8 muffin cups are full.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes, or until tops are golden brown or desired doneness. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.