Pillowy soft inside and a little crisp outside, our naan bread recipe is easy to make and an excellent pairing with curries, soups, spreads, and dips.

Cook it in the oven or a pan, and brush it with a garlic-oil-herb mix. The fragrant scent of freshly baked bread and garlic will spread in your kitchen and attract even the pickiest of eaters.

naan bread

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Naan is a leavened type of bread popular in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other central and western Asia countries. Its name comes from the Persian word nān, which means bread or food.

In fact, similar types of bread, for example, pita bread, are popular in Iran, Egypt, Turkey, and other middle-eastern countries, part of old-day Persia.

Traditionally, naan is cooked in a tandoor oven or a tawa pan, but here we’ll show you how to make it in a standard oven or in a skillet.

Making this homemade naan bread recipe is surprisingly easy. The main ingredients are water, flour, yeast, and salt.

You can eat naan plain and dip it in curries and dips, or top it with garlic, oil, ghee, butter, and fresh herbs such as cilantro and parsley.

Our favorite way of eating naan is either with Indian curries or middle-eastern dips and spreads. Serving suggestions to follow.

Chickpea Stew with naan bread
Homemade naan bread with chickpea stew.

Ingredients

Naan bread ingredients

Flour

You can use all-purpose flour to make this homemade naan recipe.

To make it more wholesome, you can use half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour. In this case, you might need to add more water as whole wheat flour absorbs more.

Sugar

You can use white or brown sugar. You can also use honey or maple syrup.

Sugar has a double purpose. First, it helps the naan bread proof by feeding the yeast. Second, it helps the bread brown in the oven and become more flavorful.

Dry yeast

You can use instant dry yeast (our favorite) or active dry yeast. Both are perfect for this recipe and are easy to use.

You can add 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder for extra bubbles, although this is optional.

Water

It’s important to use lukewarm water to facilitate yeast activation and quicker proofing.

Olive oil

We make naan with extra virgin olive oil instead of butter/ghee. The olive oil makes the naan soft and fluffy and keeps it nice and moist.

This is a Mediterranean and middle-easter way of making flatbread, and still traditional in its own way.

Salt

We recommend fine sea salt.

Topping

The topping is to make a garlic naan, which we think is delicious.

We make it with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and parsley or cilantro, depending on your preference. You can also sprinkle with sesame seeds or nigella seeds.

You can substitute melted butter or vegan butter for the olive oil and make a delicious garlic butter naan.

naan bread cooked on a cast iron skillet

Instructions

1. Make the dough

To a large bowl, add the warm water, sugar, and dry yeast. Whisk and set aside for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.

Tip: the yeast should foam lightly, as shown in the picture below. If it doesn’t, your yeast might be dead, and you should use a new one. The water should be lukewarm, as in not hot and not cold. Check the temperature with your finger; it should feel comfortably warm on the skin.

yeast blooming in water

To a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt, olive oil, and the water-yeast mixture.

Yeast and water in a bowl

Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until you get a sticky dough ball.

dough in a bowl

Transfer the dough ball to a well-floured worktop (you can use a cutting board) and knead with your hands for 5 minutes.

Add more flour if necessary, but ensure the dough stays soft and moist.

Note: you can make this in a stand mixer if you prefer.

hands and dough

2. Let the dough proof

Transfer the dough ball to a large oiled bowl and brush the top with oil.

dough before proofing

Cover with a damp towel, leaving enough space between the dough and the cloth.

Let it proof in a warm place for 1 to 1.5 hours or until doubled in size.

Tip: we recommend putting the dough to proof in a slightly warm oven. You can turn the oven on for 1 minute, then turn it off. It creates the perfect environment (warm, moist, draft-free) for the yeast to do its job.

dough after proofing

Once proofed, transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface, fold it on itself 4 or 5 times, then cut it into 4 to 6 pieces, depending on how large you want your naan to be.

Shape each piece into a ball.

hands and dough balls

Now, flatten the dough on a lightly floured worktop. You can flatten it out with your fingertips, pressing from the center to the edges and stretching it, or with a rolling pin.

You can roll it out into any shape you want. We do it oval.

stretching dough with hands

Arrange the naan breads on two or three baking sheets lined with parchment paper (or on a worktop) and let them proof for 30 more minutes.

Note: this second proofing is optional; you can cook the naan bread immediately if you want to. But since you got so far, we recommend giving it that extra love and letting it proof for 30 more minutes. This will make your naan bread extra fluffy, moist, and delicious!

Naan bread on a baking tray

In the meantime, warm up your cooking tools and prep the topping to brush on the naan once cooked.

To make the topping, finely chop cilantro (or parsley) and garlic. Mix them in extra virgin olive oil, melted butter, ghee, or vegan butter. We like to use extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.

You can cook the naan on a nonstick skillet, cast iron skillet, in a baking tray in the oven, or on a pizza stone. Keep scrolling.

Naan bread marinade

3. Cook the naan bread

Nonstick skillet

This is the easiest method and the one we recommend for most people. The naan bread will be soft and fluffy.

Warm up your nonstick skillet, brush your naan with oil or water, and place it on the hot skillet.

Cook for 1.5 to 2.5 minutes on each side.

Right after you flip it, brush it with the oil-garlic-herbs mix while still in the pan. This will keep the naan bread moist and infuse it with flavor.

naan bread cooked on a nonstick skillet

Cast iron skillet

Warm up a well-seasoned cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Brush the naan with oil or water and transfer it to the hot skillet.

Naan bread cooking in a pan

Cook for 1.5 to 2.5 minutes on each side. Brush it with the oil-garlic-herb mixture as soon as you flip it and still in the skillet.

naan bread cooked on a cast iron skillet

Pizza stone

Put the pizza stone on the middle rack in your oven. Then preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes at 450°F or 230°C. This should be enough time for your pizza stone to get hot.

Arrange the naan on a lightly floured pizza peel, brush it with water, and transfer it to the hot pizza stone.

Naan bread on a pizza stone

Cook for about 5 minutes; don’t overcook it, or it’ll dry out inside.

Naan bread after baking

Take out of the oven and brush with the oil-garlic-herb mixture immediately.

Naan bread cooked on a pizza stone brushed with oil

Baking sheet in the oven

Preheat the oven to 450°F or 230°C. Transfer the naan bread to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with water or oil, then bake them for about 7 minutes.

Naan bread after baking

This cooking method makes the naan bread a little more crunchy and less fluffy. Brush with oil-garlic-herb mixture while still warm.

naan bread cooked in the oven

Variations

Naan bread with dukkah

Naan bread with dip and dukkah

Dukkah is an Egyptian and Middle-Eastern nut-herb-spice blend used for bread dip.

Try brushing your flatbread with the oil-herb-garlic mix, then sprinkling it with dukkah.

It’s crunchy, nutty, herby, and aromatic. It’s an original way of enjoying delicious homemade naan bread.

Check out our dukkah recipe.

Flatbread pizza

flatbread pizza

Turn this delicious homemade naan dough into a wonderful flatbread pizza with your favorite toppings.

You can make it with cheese and tomatoes, with avocado and chipotle, or with your favorite pesto.

Check out how to make homemade flatbread pizza.

Serving Suggestions

mezze platter with tabbouleh and hummus

Serve naan bread with a saucy main dish, such as curries, soups, and stews:

Serve it as an appetizer, with dips and salads:

  • Avocado spread: (avocado, tahini, lemon, garlic, salt).
  • Muhammara (red bell pepper, tomatoes, walnuts, white onion, pomegranate, parsley).
  • Eggplant dip (eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, mint leaves).
  • Hummus (canned chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic, cumin, water).
  • White bean dip (white beans, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt).
  • Shirazi salad (tomato, cucumber, white onion, dried mint, lime juice).
Muhammara with Naan bread

Tips

Make sure your yeast is active!

The biggest failure point for making naan bread at home is the yeast. We recommend using a recently purchased unopened packet of instant dry yeast so that you are 100% sure it will work.

Storage

Room temperature: keep naan in an airtight bag or plastic wrap for up to 4 days.

Freezer: put in a freezer-friendly bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator over a few hours.

Reheat: reheat in the microwave, on a skillet, or in the oven.

More Indian-inspired recipes

Get more Indian-spiced and delicious dinner ideas with these South Asian-inspired recipes:

  • Red lentil soup (red split lentils, garlic, ginger, cumin, rosemary, canned tomatoes).
  • Lentil vegetable soup – (potato, garlic, cumin, spinach, green lentils, canned tomatoes).
  • Cauliflower curry (cauliflower, coconut milk, chickpeas, onion, garlic, ginger).
  • Eggplant curry (roasted eggplant, canned tomatoes, coconut milk, curry, cumin, turmeric).
  • Potato frittata (chickpea flour, leek, potato, parsley, turmeric, olive oil).

More bread recipes

If you love a serving of bread, homemade or store-bought, get more inspiration from these breadbased recipes:

For many more side dish ideas, check out our sides category page.

homemade naan bread

Naan Bread

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 3 votes
Pillowy soft inside and a little crisp outside, our naan bread recipe is easy to make and an excellent pairing with curries, soups, spreads, and dips.
Cook it in the oven or a pan, and brush it with a garlic-oil-herb mix. The fragrant scent of freshly baked bread and garlic will spread in your kitchen and attract even the pickiest of eaters.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Proofing time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 4 – 8 naan
Course: Breads
Cuisine: Indian

Equipment

  • nonstick pan, cast iron skillet, pizza stone, or baking sheet

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water lukewarm
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast or active dry yeast
  • cups all-purpose flour + more for kneading
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For brushing on top

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 handful cilantro or flat-leaf parsley

Instructions 

MAKE THE DOUGH

  • To a bowl, add warm water, sugar, and dry yeast. Whisk and set aside for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
    Tip: the yeast should foam lightly.
    yeast blooming in water
  • To a large bowl, add flour, salt, olive oil, and the water-yeast mixture.
    Yeast and water in a bowl
  • Stir with a spatula until you get a sticky dough ball.
    dough in a bowl
  • Transfer dough ball to a well-floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
    Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. The dough should be soft and smooth.
    hands and dough

LET THE DOUGH PROOF

  • Transfer the dough ball to a large oiled bowl and brush top with oil. Cover with damp towel and let it proof in a warm place for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until it doubles in volume.
    Tip: we recommend putting it in a slightly warm oven that you turned on for 1 minute, then off.
    dough after proofing
  • Transfer dough on lightly floured surface and fold on itself 4 times.
    Cut it to 4 to 8 pieces, depending on how large you want your naan to be. Shape it into balls.
    hands and dough balls
  • Flatten dough balls on a lightly floured surface. You can use your hands or a rolling pin.
    stretching dough with hands
  • Optional step or extra fluffy naan: arrange naan on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, cover with a kitchen cloth, and let proof for 30 minutes.
    Naan bread on a baking tray
  • In the meantime prep the garlic-herb mixture by combining minced garlic, chopped cilantro, a pinch of salt, and olive oil or melted butter in a small bowl.
    Naan bread marinade

COOK THE NAAN BREAD

  • Nonstick skillet: warm up skillet on medium-high heat, brush naan with oil or water, and place it on the hot skillet. Cook about 2 minutes on each side.
    Brush it with garlic-herb mixture right after you flip it, while still in the pan.
    naan bread cooked on a nonstick skillet
  • Cast iron skillet: warm up a well-seasoned cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Brush naan with oil and transfer it to the hot skillet.
    Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Brush it with garlic-herb mixture right after you flip it, while still in the pan.
    naan bread cooked on a cast iron skillet
  • Pizza stone: put the pizza stone on the middle rack in the oven. Preheat oven for at least 30 minutes at 450°F or 230°C so that the stone gets fully hot.
    Arrange naan on a lightly floured pizza peel, brush it with water or oil, and transfer it to the hot pizza stone.
    Naan bread on a pizza stone
  • Cook it for about 5 minutes. Brush with garlic-herb mixture while still hot.
    Naan bread cooked on a pizza stone brushed with oil
  • Baking sheet in the oven: preheat the oven to 450°F or 230°C. Transfer the naan bread to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush it with oil or water, and cook for 7 minutes.
    Naan bread after baking

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 naan bread out of 6.
STORAGE
– Room temperature: keep naan in an airtight bag or plastic wrap for up to 4 days.
– Freezer: put in a freezer-friendly bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator over a few hours.
– Reheat: reheat in the microwave, on a skillet, or in the oven.
Check out the serving suggestions chapter in above for ideas on how to serve homemade naan.

Nutrition

Calories: 269kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Potassium: 105mg, Dietary Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin B6: 0.1mg, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Vitamin E: 0.4mg, Vitamin K: 2µg, Calcium: 12mg, Folate: 208µg, Iron: 3mg, Manganese: 0.4mg, Magnesium: 16mg, Zinc: 1mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. I had to make this naan for your Chickpea curry, boy was it ever good, I didn’t have to proof it twice, I tried but didn’t have the patience cause my Chickpea was ready and my skillet eventually got too hot for med. temp. so I turned it down all the way to the lowest temp.

    1. Hi Tina,
      I’m so happy you made the Naan bread and enjoyed it with the chickpea curry – i’s an amazing combination!
      Thanks very much for taking the time to leave a comment 🙂 Kindest, Louise