Tomato Bruschetta

5 from 43 votes

Whether you're hosting a summer gathering or just need a quick appetizer before dinner, this tomato bruschetta will be your new go-to recipe! Made with bread toasted to serve as your crostini and topped with fresh, juicy tomatoes tossed in olive oil and spices.

Overhead photo of bruschetta on a rectangular serving dish.
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Summer nights are upon us and every season, it seems our dinnertime inches later as we enjoy more time outside. When that happens though, we all need a little something to snack on while we prep dinner or lounge around the pool.

Enter this tomato bruschetta recipe, arguably the easiest appetizer around.

Close-up photo of pieces of bruschetta on a rectangular serving dish.

I feel deeply in love with fresh tomatoes while I was studying abroad in Florence, Italy in college. The produce abroad was incredible and we would toss bruschetta-style tomatoes on just about anything.

Bruschetta ingredients, unmixed, placed in a glass bowl.

Why You'll Love This Recipe

  • It takes 10 minutes or less to pull together this showstopping appetizer.
  • Bruschetta is perfect for using up tomatoes that are ready to be eaten.
  • Stale bread turns into the perfect crostini which is the base of this bruschetta.

What is Bruschetta?

Bruschetta is a traditional Italian appetizer using toasted bread (called crostini) drizzled with olive oil.

Bruschetta can have a variety of toppings ranging from classic tomatoes and olive oil to goat cheese, pesto or mozzarella bases. Bruschetta can be served warm or room temperature. 

Parmesan cheese is sprinkled on top of a piece of bruschetta.

How to Pronounce Bruschetta

When I was in Florence, I quickly learned there are many things we say differently in the United States from how Italians pronounce things.

Bruschetta in Italian is pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable, or "broo-SKEH-tah". Americans often say "broo-SHET-tah".

Bruschetta vs. Crostini

These two words are often interchanged. Bruschetta is typically thicker and made on rustic bread like sourdough. Crostini is made on thinner bread like a baguette but can be used as the base of bruschetta. Crostini tends to have more unique toppings, where bruschetta traditionally is chopped fresh tomatoes, basil, and olive oil.

Bruschetta ingredients separated into small glass bowls. Crostinis on a rectangular serving dish.

Ingredients

Classic Italian Bruschetta is a simple recipe with basic ingredients! The key is quality ingredients for the best flavor. Buy some fresh crusty bread, ripe tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves and the rest is likely already in your pantry or fridge. 

To make bruschetta, you'll need: 

  • chopped fresh tomatoes 
  • basil, cut in ribbons
  • olive oil
  • minced garlic
  • balsamic vinegar
  • sliced baguette
  • fresh parmesan
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
Bruschetta mix being placed on the crostini with a spoon.

Substitutions & Variations

Once you make traditional bruschetta, it is so easy to customize it to what you have! Here a few options for ingredients.

Tomatoes: use on the vine, heirloom, grape tomatoes or a combination of tomatoes. You can also experiment with roasted tomatoes or sundried tomatoes.

Bread: baguettes or french bread are great for bruschetta because of their diameter, but slices of sourdough or a rustic country loaf would work perfectly too.

Basil: for the best bruschetta, fresh basil is the key! However, if that is not available, dried basil will work. You'll want to use about a tablespoon of dried basil instead of fresh.

Olive oil: High quality olive oil is another key ingredient in bruschetta because of it's distinct flavor. Avocado oil would be an acceptable substitute if needed. I would not recommend using any other oil like canola, vegetable or coconut oil.

How to Make Bruschetta

Step-by-step instructions for the best bruschetta recipe.

Slices of baguette on a baking sheet, being brushed in olive oil with a basting brush.
Slices of baguette, covered in olive oil, on a baking sheet

First, you'll want to prepare your bread. Slice your bread into ¼-inch thick slices. Then use a basting brush to brush olive oil onto the slices of bread. Toast for 5 minutes until golden.

Bruschetta mix in a glass bowl with a small spoon.

Dice your tomatoes, removing the core pieces. Then cut your basil by removing the leaves from the steps, stacking the basil and rolling tightly into a cigar shape. Use a sharp knife to slice the basil crosswise into ribbons.

Toss the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl with tomatoes and basil ribbons. Immediately spoon onto warm toasted bread pieces. Serve right away or at room temperature. 

How to Serve Bruschetta

Bruschetta is best served right away. Storing it for later will result in soggy bread, so if you are preparing ahead of time make the tomato mixture but wait to toast bread until it's time to eat!

For a party, serve these little crusts on a big plate, pretty platter or beautiful board like this personalized live edge charcuterie board. Garnish the board with some fresh basil sprigs before putting it on the table to make it feel a little fancy.

If you have leftover bruschetta topping, add it to thin-crust pizza or to pan-seared chicken thighs.

Wide photo of bruschetta placed on a rectangular serving dish.

Bruschetta Toppings

Once you're comfortable making bruschetta, the sky is the limit! Try it with homemade pesto, whipped feta dip or homemade garlic hummus.

This tomato peach bruschetta looks perfect for summer or try this butternut squash crostini.

What to Serve with Bruschetta

When I have had my Christmas wine parties in years past, I love to pair bruschetta with another Italian-inspired appetizer like goat cheese meatballs or for a main course dish like shrimp risotto.

A watermelon aperol spritz or aperol sour would be the perfect cocktail to pair with bruschetta during cocktail hour.

Round out your meal with an Italian dessert like a Classic Tiramisu or a Tiramisu Martini.

Bruschetta mix in a glass bowl.

FAQ

What is bruschetta topping made of?

Bruschetta topping typically consists of a simple mixture of chopped fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

What kind of tomatoes are best for bruschetta?

Many varieties will work! Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes work for bruschetta. Choose tomatoes that are fully ripe and at their peak flavor. Tomatoes that are too firm or under-ripe will not have the same depth of flavor and may be too acidic.

Is bruschetta the bread or tomatoes?

Bruschetta refers to the combination of the bread and the topping, but technically, it's the bread that is the main component.

What does bruschetta mean in Italian?

The word "bruschetta" comes from the Italian language, specifically from the verb "bruscare," which means "to toast."

Can you freeze bruschetta?

It is possible to freeze the tomato topping but it is not advised. Bruschetta is best enjoyed right away! The leftover bruschetta topping could be frozen and used on chicken or pizza once thawed.

More Easy Appetizer Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

More Italian Recipes

Close-up photo of pieces of bruschetta on a rectangular serving dish.

Tomato Bruschetta

Ripe, juicy tomatoes and fragrant, fresh basil are the stars of this classic bruschetta. Serve it as a summer appetizer or alongside your favorite Italian dinner.
5 from 43 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 24 pieces
Author: Madison | A Joyfully Mad Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette
  • 4 tomatoes cored and diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • cup basil cut into ribbons
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Slice baguette into ¼-inch thick pieces and place directly onto a baking sheet.
  • Use a basting brush to spread olive oil on the slices. Toast for 5-7 minutes or until golden on top. 
  • Dice tomatoes, removing the core. 
  • Cut your basil by removing the leaves from the steps, stacking the basil and rolling tightly into a cigar shape. Use a sharp knife to slice the basil crosswise into ribbons.
  • Toss the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl with tomatoes and basil ribbons. Immediately spoon onto warm toasted bread pieces. Serve right away or at room temperature. 
  • Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes

For maximum flavor, allow the tomato mixture to sit for 20-30 minutes before serving on bread.
For the tomatoes, use on the vine, heirloom, grape tomatoes or a combination of tomatoes for added texture. 
Avocado oil can be substituted for olive oil.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 97kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 246mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g
5 from 43 votes (43 ratings without comment)

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