The Best Bruschetta

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 recipe for homemade bruschetta 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! 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 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. 

Bruschetta is different from caprese, which is also Italian. Caprese is a salad made with sliced tomatoes, sliced buffalo mozzarella cheese and fresh basil, dressed with olive oil. Similar ingredients, but not the same!

A slice of toasted bread topped with bruschetta.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

What Kind of Bread to Use

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.

How to Make Bruschetta

Prepare the Bruschetta Topping: Combine 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 toasts have cooled, top each crunchy bread slice with a spoonful of tomato bruschetta. Give them an extra sprinkle of grated parmesan and serve!

The Trick to Crunchy Toasts!

Brushing the bread slices with olive oil helps your toasts become the best, crunchiest versions of themselves. The oil is what gets the toasts really nice and crispy in the oven!

A bowl of fresh tomato bruschetta.

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 your crostini 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!
Crispy bruschetta toasts brushed with olive oil.

Serving Suggestions

Slices of toasted bread topped with bruschetta.

Can I Make Bruschetta 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.

I wouldn’t toast the bread more than a couple of hours in advance, as it risks the toasts becoming stale and tough. Plus, crostini tastes the best warm from the oven!

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

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Chilling Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 46 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

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.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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
  • 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

Instructions

  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. 

Keywords: easy appetizer ideas, antipasto, how to make bruschetta

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