What are Garlic Knots, Anyway?

What’s a chef to do with all of the extra dough that is cast aside after forming the crust of a pizza? Years ago, to avoid the unforgivable sin of wasting food, New York pizzerias came up with the ingenious invention of garlic knots.

For those in New York, the question of “What is a garlic knot?” is as easy to answer as “What’s your mother’s maiden name?” For those in other parts of the country, it’s not necessarily an automatic, though garlic knots can be found at pizzerias far and wide.

Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about garlic knots, the fantastic and ultra-addictive pizza sidekick:

How are garlic knots made?

Garlic knots begin with leftover pizza dough, sliced into thin strips. The dough is tied up into knots (duh) and brushed with olive oil to add flavor, texture, and a nice golden color after baking. From there, the knots are blessed with chopped parsley, garlic, butter, and, more often than not, parmesan.

Who invented the garlic knot?

There’s hardly a consensus answer to this question, but all roads lead back to New York. Some say a Queens pizzeria invented the garlic knot in 1973 to avoid food waste.

However, Anthony Sette, the owner of Anthony’s Place in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, says “garlic rolls” – a precursor to garlic knots – were served by his restaurant’s former occupants in 1947.

“The owner, Tessie, made garlic rolls with poppy seeds, fresh garlic, and olive oil,” Sette told the Long Island Pulse. “We still make them the same way.”

Whether garlic knots hail from Queens or Brooklyn, we give major props to NYC for bringing garlic knots to the world.

Can I get a good garlic knot outside of New York?


Foodies seek out garlic knots on pizza pilgrimages to New York, but you can find this NYC treat just about anywhere. To find garlic knots near you for pickup or delivery, check out your local options on Slice.

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