Ah, bruschetta. That addictively delicious and vibrant Italian staple that you may have had on a trip or in a restaurant, but didn’t know is (ridiculously) easy to make at home!
This tomato bruschetta is all things fresh and satisfying! So whether you’re overrun with a summer tomato crop or simply craving a bright and colorful appetizer, this one’s for you. Just 15 minutes and 6 ingredients required! Let’s get brusch-eady!
What is Bruschetta?
Bruschetta is an Italian starter dish made by rubbing grilled bread with garlic and topping with olive oil and salt. It’s thought to have originated in the 15th century with roots going back to olive oil tastings in ancient Rome.
The grilled bread can be topped with a wide variety of ingredients including vegetables, beans, cured meats, or cheeses, but using tomatoes is especially popular and delicious. The following is our easy, plant-based, inspired version of tomato bruschetta including our favorite types of breads and tomatoes to use.
How to Make Tomato Bruschetta
The first step is to make your tomato topping by mixing sweet, flavorful tomatoes with minced or crushed garlic, olive oil, fresh basil, and salt. We love sticking with simple ingredients to let the crunchy bread and sweet tomatoes shine.
Best Tomatoes for Bruschetta
We prefer cherry tomatoes because they’re bursting with flavor and have a lower water content (meaning no soggy bread). Plus, cute! Roma tomatoes are a popular option because of their meatier texture (not as watery), but we find they’re often lacking in flavor. Feel free to use any flavorful tomatoes you’d like!
With the topping ready, we transition to “grilling” the bread in a cast iron skillet (no grill required!). You want the bread to soak up the olive oil and become golden brown and sturdy.
Best Bread for Bruschetta
Bruschetta is most commonly served on crostini, which is a small, round bread that’s crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Another option would be a sliced baguette because of its similar shape and size.
But our favorite bread? Sourdough! It has the same crusty exterior but adds a nice flavor and is sturdy and more substantial, making it easy to pick up and a size that’s very worthy of snack time. If gluten-free, we recommend our homemade gluten-free bread.
The final steps include rubbing garlic onto the toasted bread to infuse it with flavor and topping with the tomato-basil mixture.
Then, of course, devouring with all your favorite people!
We hope you LOVE this bruschetta! It’s:
& Perfect for summer!
It’s a great appetizer for Italian- or Mediterranean-inspired meals, including our Vegan Pasta Al Limone, Easy Vegan Zucchini Boats, or Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad with Herbed White Beans. We also love it as an afternoon snack on hot summer days.
More Appetizers for Summer
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Servings 4 (Slices)
- 4 cloves garlic (DIVIDED)
- 2 tsp olive oil (plus more for oiling pan)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (or other tomato of choice)
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 4 slices crusty bread or sourdough (or gluten-free bread as needed)
To start, press (or finely mince) half of the garlic into a small mixing bowl, then add the olive oil and whisk to evenly distribute the garlic. Add the tomatoes, basil, and salt, and toss gently to combine. Set aside.
Generously oil a large cast iron skillet and, with the heat off, place the bread slices (as many as will fit) into the oil, then flip them to evenly coat both sides. Once the bread is oiled, turn the heat on to medium and toast the bread. Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn, flipping each piece after ~2 minutes, or when the underside is deeply golden. Repeat with any remaining bread, adding more oil as needed.
Place your toasted bread on a wooden cutting board or other surface to cool slightly. Take your remaining cloves of garlic and cut them in half lengthwise. When the bread is cool enough to handle, rub each slice with half a clove of garlic. Finally, cut each slice of bread in half (for 8 total pieces as recipe is written // adjust if altering the default number of servings) and top each piece with a generous serving of the tomato mixture.
Serve immediately! Delicious alongside salads, pastas, or soups. Best when fresh, but the tomato mixture will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Not freezer friendly.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with sourdough bread.
Serving: 1 slice Calories: 215 Carbohydrates: 37.7 g Protein: 7.9 g Fat: 4 g Saturated Fat: 0.7 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 426 mg Potassium: 306 mg Fiber: 2.6 g Sugar: 5.4 g Vitamin A: 854 IU Vitamin C: 13 mg Calcium: 51 mg Iron: 2.8 mg