This Italian Bruschetta Recipe is a really easy Italian appetizer. Toasted bread slices are topped with chopped tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and fresh basil. A delicious antipasto that is truly a crowd pleaser!
One of my most favorite Italian appetizers and it happens to be naturally vegan, vegetarian, sugar-free, and you could make this with your favorite gluten-free bread.
If you're looking for something to make for a get together, or a small dinner party, you have to make bruschetta! It is truly delicious and so lovely with all the colorful tomatoes. It's the perfect summer appetizer that can be served at parties, weeknight dinners, and even brunch!
I have been making this recipe for as long as I’ve been cooking for my friends. It’s always been my go-to easy Italian appetizer, because everyone just loves it! A really fresh and bright topping is the star of this easy tomato bruschetta recipe.
Let's get onto the recipe...
How do you pronounce bruschetta?
Let's first go over one thing, is is not pronounced “brew-shettah". Bruschetta is pronounced, brew-sket-taah, the "ch" in Italian sounds like "k" sound. Ok, happy we cleared that up!
What are the origins of bruschetta?
The origins of bruschetta goes back to the Ancient Roman days when local olive growers would taste their olives on a slice of bread.
What does bruschetta mean in Italian?
The word bruschetta derives from the Italian word “bruscare”, which means “to roast over coals”. is made by toasting whole, wide slices of a rustic Italian or sourdough type bread.
The Italian definition is referring to the sliced bread that gets toasted (or grilled) and drizzled with the olive oil. The name is actually no reference to the tomato topping, at all.
What else is bruschetta topped with?
In Italy, you'll find bruschetta made with other toppings. It could be topped with vegetables, beans, cured meats, and of course, cheese.
What are the ingredients you need to make fresh bruschetta?
- Bread - A fresh bread is perfect, grilled till is has a nice crunch.
- Extra virgin olive oil – If you can find a nice extra-virgin olive oil, the flavor will really stand out. But you could use whatever olive oil you have on hand.
- Tomatoes – I used plum tomatoes, but you could use Roma or Heirloom tomatoes. Basically use whatever tomatoes you like for for this recipe.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic is used. Be sure not to use garlic salt. You could add as much or as little as you prefer. You could buy already minced garlic.
- Salt - Use sea salt or kosher salt. Add the amount that works to your taste.
- Basil – I only suggest to use fresh basil leaves. Dry basil will not be the same. Be sure you find Italian and not Thai basil. The Thai basil has a totally different flavor.
How to make the best easy bruschetta recipe?
Gather up all the ingredients. The first step is to slice the bread. My mom was making this for us and she already was prepping the tomatoes by the time we were ready to photograph this.
Dice the tomatoes and cut the basil (chiffonade ribbons is what we did).
The chopped tomatoes get placed in a bowl with some salt, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and basil (olive oil and salt not in this image, but in the bowl mixed with the tomatoes and basil).
Brush the bread slices with some olive oil. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast both sides. Golden brown is perfect, but toast it darker, if you prefer.
Next, assemble your bruschetta by carefully spooning tomato mixture on each slice of toasted bread.
Bruschetta bread is meant to be toasted and be hard. It's the base to hold the wet tomato topping.
The best way to prevent soggy bruschetta is to not assemble the topping on top of the toasted (or grilled)bread until ready to serve.
The bread slices could be toasted in a toaster oven, oven, or even grilled. Drizzle or brush olive oil on the slices and then toast until golden brown on both sides.
The best bread for bruschetta must have a firm and sturdy crust to hold the juicy tomato topping. Some bread options are ciabatta, sourdough, filone, and baguette (which is what we used in this recipe).
Yes, you can use two 14-ounce cans of diced tomatoes. Drain the liquid out before adding to the bowl to combine with the rest of the ingredients.
What are basil ribbons?
Basil ribbons is basically made from fresh basil leaves. It's a really easy step in the recipe.
You just need to buy the fresh basil and chiffonade the leaves.
How to chiffonade fresh basil?
The basil leaves get stacked on top of each other. Carefully roll the leaves into a cigar-like shape. Next, keep the basil leaves rolled and closed tightly and start to cut. The whole section gets cut into thin ribbons.
Can I make gluten-free bruschetta?
Yes, go ahead and use your favorite gluten-free baguette and toast the slices.
Expert tips for making easy bruschetta recipe
1. Choose a good quality olive oil: The key to getting an excellent bruschetta starts with choosing the right olive oil. Opt for a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, as this will make all the difference in terms of flavor and texture.
2. Toast the bread: Toasting your bread is essential to making the perfect bruschetta. This will give the bread a crunchy texture and help it absorb more of the flavors from the other ingredients.
3. Use fresh tomatoes: The best bruschettas are made with ripe, juicy tomatoes that have been freshly chopped. If possible, try to use heirloom varieties for an even tastier result.
4. Don’t skimp on the garlic: Garlic is a key ingredient in bruschetta, so don't be shy with it! Mince or finely chop the garlic and add it to your topping mixture for an extra punch of flavor.
5. Add herbs: Basil and oregano are the two herbs most commonly used in bruschetta, but you can also try adding rosemary or thyme for an extra dimension of flavor.
6. Get creative: Whether it’s adding freshly-grated cheese, olives or a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar, don't be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavors. The sky's the limit when it comes to making your own unique bruschetta.
7. Serve immediately: For the best flavor, be sure to serve the bruschetta while it is still warm from the oven.
- Tomatoes: change up the tomato variety. If you can find Heirloom tomatoes, they would be great. Rainbow cherry tomatoes also are great. You could use roasted tomatoes.
- Red Onion: thin slices of red onion add a delicious pop of flavor to the tomatoes.
- Spice: if you like it hot, sprinkle on some chili flakes before serving.
- Pesto: Spread a layer of pesto on top of the toasted bread before adding the chopped tomato mixture.
- Cheese: add some mozzarella slices to each bread slice before adding the tomatoes. Or spread on some ricotta or goat cheese.
- Garlic: instead of adding chopped garlic to the tomatoes, you could rub each slice of toasted bread with garlic.
- Grill the bread slices: if you're already grilling something, go ahead and grill the bread slices.
Make ahead of time
To make ahead: prep the tomato topping 1 day ahead of time. Prep the basil right before serving.
The bread should be toasted right before serving. Assemble the tomatoes on top of the toasted bread just before serving. If you assemble it too far in advance, the bread will get soggy from the tomato liquid.
How to store leftover bruschetta?
Place the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. If you have any leftovers unassembled, keep the bread separated (you could even store the toasted slices in a zipped lock bag) and the tomato mixture in an airtight container.
Can you freeze bruschetta?
No, you can't freeze already assembled bruschetta. The tomatoes will not defrost well for this topping. You could slice and toast bread (without oil)and freeze in a zipped lock freezer bag. Since it's so easy to make fast, there is no need to freeze ahead of time.
What to do with leftover bruschetta tomato topping?
Any leftover tomato topping would be great to be used as a sauce for pasta. You could cook the pasta to al dente and toss the pasta with the tomato mixture. Drizzle on some more olive oil and even some balsamic vinegar.
Some other tomato recipes to try:
- Quick and Easy Italian Tomato Salad
- Cherry Tomato Confit
- Vegan Cherry Tomato Pasta
- Panzanella-Tuscan Tomato and Bread Salad
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Please Subscribe and give a follow on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok xx
- 1 baguette cut into 1/2-inch slices, should be about 12 slices, depending on baguette size
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin oil
- 2 lbs ripe tomatoes about 7-8 plum or Roma tomatoes, diced
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon sea salt more or less to taste
- ¼ cup chopped basil ribbons 6-8 basil leaves, chiffonade or chopped
- Toast the bread slices: Preheat oven to 400 F (200 degrees C). Use a pastry brush to brush olive oil on both slices (1 tablespoon or more, if needed) of the bread slices. Place the bread slices on a large baking sheet.
- Toast until golden: Place the sheet in the oven and toast the bread until golden, 7-12 minutes, turning halfway through. Every oven is different. If you like your bread darker and crispier, toast it a little longer.
- Make the tomato topping: Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, salt, olive oil and basil.
- Check the seasoning: Toss together and check the seasoning. If it needs more salt, add a little bit more, to your taste.
- Serve the bruschetta: When ready to serve, arrange the toasted bread slices on a serving plate. Spoon the tomato mixture on each slice. Enjoy!
Leave a Reply