What is a Bread Bowl?

Bronwyn Harris

A bread bowl is a loaf of bread, baked in a round shape, that has been hollowed out to make a bowl that you can eat too. Bread bowls are especially popular for serving clam chowder, spinach dip, and chili, although they can be used for a great many other dishes. Using a bread bowl can take the place of an actual bowl, and it is eaten at the end, allowing for a quicker clean up.

A bread bowl consists of a bread loaf baked in a round shape.
A bread bowl consists of a bread loaf baked in a round shape.

Bread bowls can come in various sizes. A large bread bowl might be used to serve a party-sized amount of spinach dip or artichoke dip, while a smaller bread bowl can be used for an individual serving of soup, chili, or stew. Soups that aren't as creamy as chowder, especially soups with a thin broth, might not be served in a bread bowl, as it may make the bowl soggy.

Bread bowls may be used to replace ceramic bowls for serving chili.
Bread bowls may be used to replace ceramic bowls for serving chili.

Many different kinds of bread can be used to make bread bowls. Sometimes large rolls, such as ciabatta rolls are used. Other common options for bread bowls are wheat bread, rye bread, or sourdough bread. Types of bread that are too soft will become soggy quickly, so make sure that the bread you choose can absorb some of the stew, soup, dip, or chili.

Bread bowls can be eaten along with the filling or after the soup or stew is finished. The top of the bread bowl is usually cut off and served next to the dish. This can be used to dip into the soup or stew. The base absorbs the flavor, which many people find delicious. When a dip is served in a bread bowl, it will probably be served with more bread for dipping.

In order to make a bread bowl, slice off an inch or two of the bread. Then cut out the inside of the bread, removing most of the inside of the bread. This can be saved and cut up for dipping or serving alongside the bread bowl. Make sure that you don't cut through the sides or the bottom of the bread, or you will have a very leaky dish!

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Discussion Comments


For a twist to serving chips and salsa, try serving salsa in a bread bowl instead. This neat alternative to tortilla chips is also best served with salsa that has been heated slightly, so it mixes nicely with the flavor of the bread.

Another added to touch to serving salsa this way is to add some cheese to the salsa, or sprinkle it on the pieces of bread that you set aside for dipping. This dish is a great, light meal, a fun snack, or an interesting appetizer that is sure to please!


Bread bowls go great with black bean soup and creamy cheese soup. The flavor of these two favorites are complimented by the bread, and the bowl is just as tasty after it has soaked in the flavors of the bean and cheese soups.

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