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Garlic Fingers: the delicious pizza appetizer recipe from Canada

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 12 people
By Cookist

Listen up, pizza lovers! Do we have something amazing for you! If you haven’t heard of them yet, garlic fingers are an easy East Coast Canadian appetizer dish similar to a pizza. If you’ve been to Nova Scotia, you’ve probably noticed that these delicious bites pop up at every pizzeria.

These easy homemade garlic fingers make a cheap party food—perfect for days when you need to feed a crowd. It’s made in a similar way as pizza (with pizza dough) but is then sliced in thin strips, hence fingers instead of triangular slices.

It's usually served with Donair sauce, which is a garlic sauce made from sweetened condensed milk. The flavor is just like a pizza and is super cheesy. With a crispy crust and tender center, you won’t be able to stop at one bite!

What Are Garlic Fingers?

Garlic fingers are a popular Atlantic Canadian appetizer. It’s made like a pizza, but without the tomato sauce. Instead, pizza dough is brushed with garlic butter, and topped with bacon and mozzarella. After baking they are cut into slices, hence the name “fingers”.

It’s traditionally served with Donair sauce, which is a white sauce made from sweetened condensed milk, vinegar, and garlic.

In Wisconsin, you get a similar dish called "cheese fries" or "pizza fries", but these are served with marinara sauce.

Garlic Finger Ingredients

Pizza dough – use store-bought pizza dough (bread dough will work in a pinch), or make your own.

Bacon – you can also use smoked ham or pepperoni.

Cheese – use stretchy mozzarella cheese.

Garlic cloves – use fresh garlic and not granulated garlic.

Condensed milk – this is used to make the sauce, together with the vinegar and garlic powder.

How To Make Garlic Fingers

Make the sauce at least one hour before serving to allow the flavors to develop. Simply whisk together the condensed milk, vinegar, and garlic powder together and place it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.  As with most pizzas, you need a hot oven to get those crispy edges.

Roll out the dough onto an oiled sheet pan (don’t forget to oil the pan, or the pizza will stick!). Brush with the garlic butter mixture, then sprinkle with cheese and bacon.

Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for about 15 minutes until the pizza is golden and the bottom is slightly browned.

Tips For Easy Homemade Garlic Fingers

If you don’t feel like bacon, you can use turkey sausage, Italian sausage, smoked chicken, or smoked ham.

Instead of mozzarella, you can also use Swiss cheese or Monterey Jack.

How To Store Garlic Fingers

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the Airfryer to make it crispy again.

You might have sauce leftover. Luckily, it’s perfect for freezing. Simply transfer to a Ziploc bag, seal, and freeze for up to 2 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge, and make sure to stir before serving.

for the garlic fingers
Pizza dough
bacon, chopped
1 lb
mozzarella, shredded
8 oz
garlic, crushed
6 cloves
butter, melted
1/4 cup
for donair sauce
Condensed milk
1 can
1/2 cup
Garlic powder
1 tsp


To make the donair sauce, whisk the condensed milk, vinegar, and garlic powder together and place it in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Sauté the bacon in a skillet over medium heat. If you’re using lean bacon you might need to add some cooking oil or butter. Set aside while you prepare the garlic fingers.

Roll out the dough onto a large oiled sheet pan.

Mix the crushed garlic cloves with the melted butter and brush on top of the dough.

Sprinkle with the bacon, then with the shredded mozzarella.

Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for about 15 minutes.

Slice in fingers and serve with the donair sauce.


If you prefer, you can also serve the garlic fingers with a marinara sauce.

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