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The Best Bruschetta Recipe

This is the Best Bruschetta recipe, and it’s so easy to make! You’re going to love serving up this delicious Italian-inspired appetizer to kick off your summer dinners, parties, or my favorite way…by the pool!!

Make sure to try my Beach Bread too! It’s insanely delish!

Easy Homemade Bruschetta Recipe

With tomato season around the corner, it’s time for one of my favorite warm-weather appetizers: bruschetta! This easy bruschetta recipe is made with juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and zesty balsamic vinegar. Piled on top of a crunchy toasted bread slice, what’s not to love?

You’re going to be making this Italian-inspired bruschetta all season long. It’s full of summer-y flavor and super refreshing! My Balsamic bruschetta is a perfect easy appetizer for casual dinners, summer cookouts, or parties.

A bowl of bruschetta surrounded by bruschetta toasts.

What is Bruschetta? 

Bruschetta is classic Italian appetizer/an Italian antipasto, traditionally made from bread that’s grilled, rubbed with fresh garlic, and then brushed with olive oil. Possibly the most common variation of bruschetta is the one we’re making today, with a topping of fresh diced tomatoes and herbs. 

A slice of toasted bread topped with bruschetta.

What Is Bruschetta Topping Made Of?

  • Garlic: Finely minced fresh garlic will impart better flavor into the bruschetta (compared to chopped garlic, for example).
  • Olive Oil: When it comes to simple recipes, the quality of your ingredients is key. Get a nice, good quality extra virgin olive oil to use in your bruschetta recipe.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated.
  • Tomatoes: Since tomatoes are the star here, it’s a good idea to buy in season. I prefer smaller, sweeter varieties such as Roma tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, but almost any ripe, fresh tomato will work. NOTE: dice up the tomatoes and drain the excess juice. This will help prevent your bruschetta from being too liquid-y.
  • Fresh Basil: Perfectly compliments the flavors of the tomatoes, garlic, balsamic and oil.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Lends some refreshing acidity as well as authentic flavor to the bruschetta.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Maybe a bit unconventional, but I like my bruschetta with a subtle hint of heat. You can omit the red pepper flakes if you prefer, but I feel like it adds the best flavor.
  • Optional Red Onion: I actually don’t add onion into my bruschetta recipe, but I am noting it here for you as an added option. So many love onion, I just don’t happen to, so add in 1/4 cup of diced red onion if you would like!

What Kind of Bread to Use For Bruschetta:

For the best bruschetta, I always choose a French baguette. However, just about any kind of crusty bread loaf will do. It’s best to use bread that’s a day or two old and on the drier side, cut into slices about a half-inch thick for toasting.

  • Bread: French baguette is my first choice for bruschetta recipes, due to its crusty texture. I cut the bread loaf into half inch slices to make them the perfect thickness for toasting.
  • Olive Oil: The olive oil is an important step in this recipe to get restaurant-style bruschetta!
  • Bread Seasonings: Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder

The Trick to Crunchy Toasts!

Brushing the bread slices with olive oil helps your toasts become the best, crunchiest versions of themselves. The seasoned oil allows the bread to toast up crisp, while giving flavor.

How to Make Bruschetta

Prepare the Bruschetta Topping: Toss the diced tomatoes with garlic, olive oil, grated parmesan, basil, vinegar, and seasonings. Mix everything together, then cover the bowl and place it into the fridge to chill while you prepare the toasts.

Prepare the Bread: Slice the baguette into half-inch pieces. Whisk together a mixture of olive oil, salt and pepper, plus a pinch of garlic powder, and brush this over both sides of the baguette slices.

Toast the Bread: Arrange the bread slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake the slices in a 425°F oven. Flip the toasts about halfway through so that both sides get evenly toasted.

Assemble: Once the crostini have cooled, top each crunchy bread slice with a spoonful of tomato bruschetta. Give them an extra sprinkle of grated parmesan and serve!

A bowl of fresh tomato bruschetta.

Recipe FAQs

What Tomatoes Are Best For Bruschetta?

You can use just about any ripe tomato: Roma, Plum tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, or even cherry tomatoes work great!

Is Bruschetta Healthy?

Yes! Tomatoes are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and the toasts are high in fiber and carbohydrates. The added olive oil is rich in heart healthy fats making it a well rounded food.

Should Bruschetta Be Warm or Cold?

This tomato version is best served cold or at room temperature.

How Far In Advance Can I Make Bruschetta?

A few hours or overnight is best, but the bruschetta tomato topping will be good in the refrigerator airtight for up to 3 days. Drain excess juice that forms as it marinates.

Tips for the Best Bruschetta

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Like many Italian recipes, fresh ingredients play a big role in bruschetta. Aside from the next-day bread, aim for the freshest, best quality ingredients possible. Ripe, in-season tomatoes, fresh garlic and basil, quality olive oil – it also helps to shop for your ingredients no more than a day ahead! 
  • Give the Tomatoes Enough Time to Marinate: It’s important to chill the bruschetta topping in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (15 minutes in an absolute pinch!). This is what lets all the flavors mingle and mellow out. Budget the time accordingly, and don’t skip this step!
  • Avoid Soggy Bread: Only top toasted baguette slices with the tomatoes just before you’re going to serve them, to avoid the bread becoming soggy.
  • Don’t Let Leftovers Go to Waste: If you have leftover tomato bruschetta, use it to make Grilled Bruschetta Chicken or Bruschetta Burgers the next day!

Make It Fancy!

  • A drizzle of balsamic glaze adds massive flavor, while just making it look pretty. The added taste the glaze gives pairs beautifully with the balsamic vinegar you added to the tomato mixture!
  • Melt cheese on the toasts. A sprinkle of Parmesan, fresh mozzarella or low moisture grated mozzarella take this up to the next level, while aiding in preventing the toast from getting soggy!
  • Add some chopped, fresh basil leaves on top to garnish!
Crispy bruschetta toasts brushed with olive oil.

How To Serve Bruschetta:

Slices of toasted bread topped with bruschetta.

Can I Make This Bruschetta Recipe in Advance?

You can prepare the tomato topping up to 24 hours before you plan on serving it, making bruschetta perfect for entertaining! Store the tomato mixture in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to top your toasts.

Scoop the delicious tomato mixture on top of your toasts right before serving. This will prevent the toasts from becoming too soggy. Or serve the toasts plain on a plate with a bowl of the marinated tomatoes and allow your guests to top their own!

Slices of toasted bread topped with bruschetta.

More Simple Appetizer Ideas

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A bowl of bruschetta surrounded by bruschetta toasts.

The Best Bruschetta

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.5 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Chilling Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 46 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian


This is the best ever bruschetta recipe! Made with juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar. Serve up this delicious Italian-inspired appetizer to kick off your summer dinners and parties.


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups finely diced Roma tomatoes, extra juice drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 baguette cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Make Bruschetta: In a medium bowl combine minced garlic, 1/2 cup olive oil, Parmesan cheese, diced tomatoes, chopped basil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine evenly, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 
  2. Prep the toasts: Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
  3. Slice the baguette into 1/2- inch pieces.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and garlic powder.
  5. Brush mixture on both sides of the bread slices and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Cool on a wire rack.
  6. Assemble: Spoon the tomato mixture onto the cooled toasts and sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese if desired. 

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15 comments on “The Best Bruschetta Recipe”

  1. Isn’t it shredded parmesan and not grated? Grated as I know it, is a fine powder, while it looks like this is larger, thin pieces of parmesan

  2. This is absolutely delicious and as goof or better than Italian restaurants offer! I had an abundance of cherry tomatoes looking for a place to shine and it worked beautifully. I actually served a couple of slices of this alongside panko-crusted salmon, so it was a side dish instead of a starter. It worked great and made for a colorful plate. I like having this at home as it is kind of messy to eat at a restaurant.

    As a side note, I got the beautiful tomatoes at a hospital–yup, a hospital. I am a Texan living in Singapore and went to visit a 39-year old friend who suffered a stroke due to untreated high blood pressure. She is at a public hospital here and it is the most massive hospital I’ve ever seen. On the hike through the compound (of multiple buildings) I encountered a fruit and vegetable stand. Asians eat so much better than Americans. They always offer a wide variety of fruit in their gift shops. Anyway, on the way home, I picked up some tomatoes. This bruschetta was the perfect use for some of them. Tonight I’m using up some more tomatoes in a tortellini salad.

  3. This truly is The Best Bruschetta recipe! My daughter and son-in-law chose to make a triple batch of your recipe as an appetizer at our big family reunion. Everyone, including our picky eaters, raved about it! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Very good recipe, although a bit salty. I would start with 1/2tsp then add more if needed(it’s a personal preference…I like a little less salt). I added the basil after taking out of the fridge so not so wilted. Great flavor overall! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Perhaps you used table salt instead of kosher. If a recipe calls for kosher salt, I cut the table salt in half.

  5. The family loved this recipe! My husband said it was better than the locatl italian restaurant. I am glad I tried this recipe. The pepper gave it a distinct flavor.

  6. The very best bruschetta ever! My daughter and I made this the other night and fell in love and I’m craving it so I’m making it again tonight!

  7. I made according to recipe but it seems like something is missing.
    Husband thought the same thing.
    Not sure what, but it fell flat.

    1. You are probably thinking Caprese, i.e. missing mozzarella. My personal fave is combining the two – following this recipe, plus adding a slice of mozzarella under the Bruschetta mix. Alternatively, you can add thinly sliced mozzarella into the mix. Also, reducing balsamic vinegar makes a lot of difference.

      1. Cook In / Dine Out

        Appreciate your making this distinction. A lot of people (Americans mostly) seem to not understand that bruschetta is a piece of toasted bread and not a bowl of diced tomatoes (and also not something like a caprese salad, as you point out). Just like a bowl of tomato sauce with cheese and pepperoni isn’t a pizza.

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