Fresh, juicy summer tomatoes and perfectly crusty bread are the real stars in this Italian-inspired Tomato Bruschetta Recipe. Made in just 10 minutes using only 5 basic ingredients, this simple and flavorful vegan appetizer is perfect for any warm-weather gathering.
Table of Contents
What is Bruschetta?
Bruschetta (pronounced “bru-SKET-ta”) is a traditional Italian antipasto (starter course) that consists of toasted, garlic-rubbed bread topped with any number of delicious ingredients. Some variations call for meat products, while others consist of beans, cheeses, or veggies.
The most popular version around the globe seems to be Tomato Bruschetta, where a topping of fresh chopped tomatoes, fresh Italian herbs like basil and oregano, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic are tossed together and spooned over the toast.
An optional drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a grating of cheese sometimes find their way onto tomato bruschetta, though this isn’t necessary. Much like Indian cooking, there are likely as many personalized recipes for bruschetta that you can find worldwide.
About Tomato Bruschetta Recipe
Bruschetta is one of my favorite starters. It not only tastes good but is also quite easy to prepare. The recipe is also simple to scale up or down as needed, meaning you can make them in large quantities for parties or gatherings.
This is a quick and easy bruschetta recipe starring fresh summer tomatoes and fragrant fresh basil.
In a pinch, you can also opt to use cherry tomatoes or small tomatoes. They perfectly work in the recipe making the bruschetta taste so good.
The bruschetta recipe shared below makes for just one to two servings, which is perfect for a quick and light work-from-home lunch or snack.
That said, you can easily increase the ingredients proportionately to make more servings as needed.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Since the recipe is so simple, it is important that you use the best quality ingredients you can find.
- Good Quality Bread. One of the most important ingredients for bruschetta is the right kind of loaf. Use a good quality French or Italian loaf or baguette that is nice and crusty on the outside with a stretchy, soft, irregular crumb on the inside. For this shoot, I used an artisan baguette made of whole wheat and oats with hints of cinnamon in it. It was quite yummy.
- Extra Virgin Olive OIl. Be sure to use the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can find. Look for qualifiers like “cold-pressed” and “100% olive oil” to help you make purchasing decisions.
- Tomatoes. Since this is a raw preparation, it is also important to use only fresh, in-season tomatoes. Just trust me: making this in the depths of winter is a sad, tasteless prospect.
- Fresh Basil. I simply love the combination of fresh basil with garden fresh tomatoes. Feel free to experiment with other fresh herb combinations to make this tomato bruschetta all your own!
- Fresh Garlic. One of the best parts of bruschetta is how garlicky and spicy the bread is. It comes from first toasting the bread until it is a little rough, then rubbing a garlic clove directly against it. YUM!
- Salt & Pepper. Don’t forget your seasoning! Remember that fresh cracked black pepper will be far more flavorful than the pre-ground kind.
How To Make Tomato Bruschetta
Once you see how easy it is to make Italian bruschetta, I have a feeling you’ll be doing it all summer long. Here’s how it’s made:
Make Tomato Herb Topping
1. Rinse and then chop 1 medium to large tomatoes into small cubes. Remove the seeds from tomatoes, if you want. Take the chopped tomatoes in a mixing bowl.
2. Now add chopped 2 to 3 fresh basil leaves and minced or grated 1 small garlic clove. Sprinkle in ¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper, or add more to your taste.
3. Season with salt as per taste.
4. Add 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil.
5. Mix very well. For a bright, tangy taste, you can add ¼ teaspoon of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. Mix again.
Cover and keep the tomato mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to an hour or two to give the flavors time to meld.
Make Bruschetta Bread
6. Slice the baguette into 0.75 to 1-inch wide pieces.
7. Heat a pan or skillet and place the slices on it.
Note: If making a large batch, then it’s better/easier to toast the slices in an oven.
8. When one side becomes lightly toasted, turn over the slices and toast the second side.
9. When both sides are toasted to your liking, remove them to a plate or tray.
10. Now halve a garlic clove and rub the sliced end of the garlic on each piece of toasted bread. If you want, you can brush a bit of extra virgin olive oil on as well.
11. Now place the tomato basil mixture on each toasted bread and serve immediately.
Make-Ahead Tip: Once you plate the tomato mixture on top of the bread, it should be served immediately or it will begin to get soggy.
If you need some time before serving, keep the toasted bread and the tomato topping separate.
Let your family members or guests help themselves by placing a bowl of the tomato topping next to a platter with the toasted bread.
12. Serve Tomato Bruschetta as a starter or a snack. Enjoy!
Bruschetta Recipe Variations
This simple, 5-ingredient recipe for Tomato Bruschetta is bright and lovely just as it is, but there’s always room for customization. Here are some of my favorite variations:
- Add cheese. A swoosh of ricotta, a few crumbles of feta or goat cheese, some fresh mozzarella or burrata, or a shaving of parmesan would add a bit of richness to this tasty appetizer.
- Add greens. A handful of peppery arugula or watercress would be a welcome pop of color and flavor.
- Consider using acid. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar (or a syrupy balsamic vinegar reduction) or a squeeze of lemon can add extra brightness to the topping.
- Add protein. Consider stirring in some cooked white beans or kidney beans for a heartier snack.
- Use a different topping. Consider mushroom bruschetta or a mixture of cooked beans and leafy greens for a non-summer option.
Making homemade bruschetta is easier than you might think, but I still have a few words of wisdom for you:
- Remember that tomatoes taste better at room temperature, so let the mixture warm a bit if it has been in the fridge for a long period.
- Use fresh, in-season tomatoes, or opt for a different topping. Slicer tomatoes in the middle of winter are generally mushy, tasteless, and overall not worth your time. If you are simply craving tomato bruschetta out of season, I recommend using hothouse grown cherry tomatoes.
- Toast the bread until it is a little crusty on the outside so the garlic has something to rub against. It doesn’t have to be brown if you don’t want it to be, but it does need some texture.
I suggest using firm, meaty tomato varieties like Roma tomatoes because they don’t have a ton of seeds. Fewer seeds mean a drier topping, which results in a lovely contrast of texture between the crunchy, toasted bread and the juicy tomato mixture.
You can also feel free to use slicer tomatoes if you prefer, though you may want to remove their seeds first.
If you keep the topping in a separate bowl in the fridge, it should last for about 1 day. I would not suggest to keep the toasted bread in the fridge as the toasts will become chewy and dense.
If you are planning on keeping it for more than about 2 hours, yes, the topping should be refrigerated.
More Recipes For Bread Lovers!
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Bruschetta Recipe | Tomato Bruschetta Bread
- 6 slices of a baguette
- 75 grams tomato or 1 cup medium to large tomato or ½ chopped tomatoes
- 2 to 3 basil leaves – chopped
- 1 garlic clove small-sized, peeled and minced or grated
- ¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper or pepper powder
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt as required
Make Tomato Topping For Bruschetta
- Rinse and then chop the tomatoes to small cubes. Remove the seeds from tomatoes, if you want. Take the chopped tomatoes in a mixing bowl.
- Now add chopped basil leaves and minced or grated garlic.
- Sprinkle the crushed black pepper or pepper powder. You can add more pepper as per your taste.
- Season with salt as per taste.
- Add extra virgin olive oil.
- Mix very well. For a more tangy taste, you can add ¼ teaspoon of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.
- Cover and keep the tomato mixture in fridge for 30 minutes. You can even keep for a hour or two.
Make Tomato Bruschetta Recipe
- Cut a baguette into 6 slices keeping the width of the slices between 0.75 to 1 inches.
- Heat a pan or skillet and place the baguette slices on it. If making a large batch, then its better to toast the slices in an oven.
- When one side becomes lightly toasted, turn over the slices and toast the second side.
- When both the sides are lightly toasted, remove them in a plate or tray. If you want, you can toast the slices more.
- Now halve a garlic and rub the sliced end of the garlic on each toasted bread. If you want you can even brush a bit of extra virgin olive oil on the bread.
- Next place the prepared tomato basil mixture on each toasted bread and serve immediately. Or else you can keep the toasted bread and the tomato topping separately. Let your family members or guests help themselves to place the tomato stuffing on the toasted bread croutons.
- Serve Tomato Bruschetta as a starter or a snack.
- Its best to use fresh tomatoes of the season. You could also opt to use cherry tomatoes.
- Make the recipe your own by adding some more variations to the toppings – olives, avocado, fresh greens, sautéed mushrooms, arugula, watercress, will not only add some color but also make them more tasty and healthy.
- If you like cheese, add your preferred choice of cheese on the bruschetta bread – ricotta, feta, goat’s cheese, fresh mozzarella, burrata, or vegetarian parmesan will add a bit of richness to this tasty appetizer.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Tomato Bruschetta recipe from the archives, originally published in July 2016 has been updated and republished on January 2023.
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I enjoy a wide variety of choices from a simple to complex restaurant style!!