My Bruschetta recipe combines toasted bread slices with roma tomatoes marinated in fresh basil and garlic. It’s an incredibly simple and refreshing Italian appetizer made with summer produce! Recipe includes a how-to video!
An Impressive Italian Appetizer
Many Americans (including myself!) associate bruschetta with a chopped tomato mixture served on top of crusty bread; however, the term bruschetta actually refers to the bread itself! More specifically, toasted bread that’s been drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with garlic. Sounds delicious enough on its own, right?
While you can top your bruschetta with pretty much anything, today we’re sticking with the classic topping us Americans can’t get enough of: fresh tomatoes marinated with olive oil, garlic, onions, and basil. It’s a light and refreshing combination that makes a great appetizer for any meal, but especially Italian dishes like rigatoni or lasagna.
What you’ll love about my bruschetta recipe:
- Uses summer produce straight from the garden.
- Perfect for serving at a dinner party.
- Feels fancy, but is actually very easy.
- Requires only a handful of ingredients.
What You Need
Bruschetta is one of those recipes that uses very few ingredients, which means each one should be as high quality as possible for best results. Besides tomatoes and onion, you’ll need:
- Toasted bread. I recommend using a French or Italian baguette. I always slice mine on a slight bias for a professional look.
- Olive oil. A high-quality extra virgin oil will give you the best flavor, so use that if you have it.
- Garlic. Once your bread has toasted, you will slice a clove of garlic in half lengthwise and rub the cut-side over the surface of each slice of bread. This is a traditional Italian technique for bruschetta that imparts a fantastic garlic flavor onto each slice of toast. Don’t skip this step!
- Fresh basil. Is there a better pairing then fresh basil and tomatoes?! I think not! You’ll need to chiffonade your basil to get it into thin ribbons; to do this, simply layer some freshly washed and dried basil leaves on top of each other in a stack. Starting with the long edge, roll the stack of leaves up into a log, then slice on the short end. You’ll be left with perfect ribbons of basil!
SAM’S TIP: Many bruschetta recipes also use parmesan cheese, but I leave this out of my recipe. I prefer to let the fresh flavors of the vegetables and herbs shine, and I find that the cheese tends to hinder that.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Bruschetta
- Combine the tomatoes, basil, onion, garlic, olive oil, and sea salt. Let this mixture sit for at least an hour.
- Slice your bread and brush it with olive oil.
- Bake your bread for 5-8 minutes, then rub each slice with garlic.
- Top with the marinated tomatoes and enjoy!
SAM’S TIP: I usually like to take my bruschetta a step further with a drizzle of balsamic glaze, which adds a great flavor and reminds me of caprese salad (minus the mozzarella). This is optional (my mom prefers hers without balsamic!), but if you have some handy, it’s worth trying it on a slice or two!
Frequently Asked Questions
Fresh, sun-ripened and in-season tomatoes are pretty much the only tomatoes I’ll recommend for bruschetta. If you can get them straight from your own garden, that’s even better! I like to use seeded and diced roma tomatoes, but heirloom tomatoes or another hearty, flavorful tomato will work equally well.
This is really a matter of preference and situation. Bruschetta tastes best if enjoyed with an hour or so of marinating at room temperature. If you cannot eat it within that time frame, then you’ll have to store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. Unfortunately, the fridge can tend to weaken the flavor; however, some people actually prefer the tomato topping to be cold.
Both are chopped tomato appetizers, but the flavors and uses are certainly different. First and foremost, homemade salsa can taste great with canned tomatoes, while I recommend using only fresh, in-season tomatoes for bruschetta. Second, salsa is typically blended to be less chunky for easy scooping or pouring. And finally, salsa tends to have lime juice in addition to other Mexican ingredients and seasonings, like jalapeños and cumin, while bruschetta relies on just a few fresh Italian herbs and vegetables for flavor.
Crunchy, fresh, savory, and bright–what’s not to love about bruschetta?
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- 1 ½ lbs (680 g) ripe Roma tomatoes seeds removed, finely diced, and gently patted dry (about 6-7 tomatoes)
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves sliced into thin ribbons
- ¼ cup finely diced white onion
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced, + 1 additional clove, sliced in half
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil + additional for brushing bread
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 French or Italian baguette
- To prepare Bruschetta, combine diced tomatoes, chopped basil, diced onion, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon olive oil and sea salt. Stir well and allow to rest for at least an hour for flavor to fully develop (refrigerate if you will not be eating within 2 hours).1 ½ lbs (680 g) ripe Roma tomatoes, ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, ¼ cup finely diced white onion, 3 cloves garlic finely minced, + 1 additional clove, sliced in half, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, Sea salt
- Once ready to serve, prepare your Bruschetta toast by first preheating your oven to 415F (215C).
- Slice baguette on an angle into ½" thick slices. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet1 French or Italian baguette
- Brush each slice of bread with olive oil, bake 5-8 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted.
- Once bread has finished baking, rub the top of each slice with the sliced half of your garlic clove.
- Give your tomato mixture a good stir and then top warm bread with bruschetta topping mixture and serve.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.