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This Easy Tomato Basil Bruschetta Recipe is a refreshing appetizer that fits in at any summer party! Made with cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, and balsamic glaze, the colorful mixture is completely irresistible when topped on toasted bread.
A fresh tomato bruschetta for summer celebrations
A warm and sunny day calls for this Easy Tomato Basil Bruschetta Recipe. The bold flavors from a medley of cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic, balsamic glaze, and olive oil are deliciously refreshing and completely crowd-pleasing. It’s also easy to make and requires very little assembly!
People always get excited when a fresh tomato bruschetta arrives on the table. Who wouldn’t love all of that tomato-y goodness on top of a piece of crusty toasted bread? It isn’t the kind of snack you stop eating after just one helping.
You have to try it for your next party! This simple appetizer doesn’t keep you in the kitchen for long, is budget-friendly, and can even be prepared ahead of time. Serve the bowl next to a platter of homemade crostini, fresh basil pesto, and frozen bellinis and you have a delicious party spread!
What is bruschetta?
Bruschetta (pronounced “bru-ske-ta”) is a refreshing Italian appetizer that features garlic-rubbed grilled or toasted bread topped with a mixture made from chopped tomatoes, oil, and basil. The original dish was invented as a way to use up stale bread but is now known as a delicious summer snack! While bruschetta almost always features tomatoes, the toppings can be played with to include even more flavor from cheese, balsamic, beans, onions, cured meat, and more.
Bruschetta vs. Caprese
The ingredients in both bruschetta and Caprese are almost the same. Both originating in Italy, the dishes feature tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, olive oil, and balsamic. The difference lies in the presentation!
Bruschetta is served on top of crusty bread that’s been rubbed with garlic (and sometimes oil and salt). Caprese, on the other hand, is traditionally served as a salad with rows of sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil topped with olive oil and balsamic.
Bruschetta vs. crostini
When you hear, “bruschetta”, I’m sure you think of delicious tomato goodness on top of bread, right? The term “bruschetta” actually only refers to the tomato mixture and not the bread!
Bruschetta is almost always served on crusty, toasted bread, otherwise known as crostini (AKA “little toasts”). Spreads or fresh vegetables, like tomatoes, radishes and butter, herby sauteed mushrooms, and sliced meat and cheese always go well on crostini.
Use only the freshest ingredients when making bruschetta with tomatoes and basil. It may be a simple snack, but the vibrant flavors are meant to be on display:
Ripe summer cherry tomatoes are my go-to in a simple bruschetta recipe. Why? Because they’re colorful (no need to stick with just red tomatoes!), juicy, and bright. They’re essentially nature’s candy!
You can make bruschetta with almost any type of tomato instead. Beefsteak, Roma, and heirloom tomatoes are all great options. Just make sure to chop them finely for easy eating.
Fresh basil is a must! I like to tear the basil or give it a rough chop. A lot of bruschetta recipes call for a chiffonade but I find the long strings aren’t as easy to eat and don’t look as cute.
Olive oil and balsamic happen to be the perfect match for fresh Italian salads and appetizers like bruschetta and Caprese. Try to find a high quality olive oil to really help those flavors shine. The difference between low quality and high quality oil is night and day, so do your research before you go shopping.
I don’t recommend replacing the balsamic glaze (AKA balsamic reduction) with balsamic vinegar because the thick consistency coats the tomatoes really well. The vinegar has a thinner consistency and will make the tomato mixture too liquidy. If you can’t find balsamic glaze, it’s really easy to make at home using balsamic vinegar and sugar.
Salt and pepper
To really help all of the delicious Italian flavors stand out.
The tomato basil garlic goodness is best served on little toasts called crostini. These are easy to make at home using a baguette and olive oil and can even be made weeks ahead of time. When it’s time to serve, plate the crostini around the bowl of bruschetta with a spoon and let your guests serve themselves!
How to make this easy tomato basil bruschetta
Ready to learn how to make this easy and refreshing cherry tomato bruschetta? Great! These step-by-step photos will help you along the way:
Step 1: Quarter the cherry tomatoes.
Using another kind of tomato? Give them a rough chop instead.
Step 2: Grate the garlic (a Microplane will make this really easy) and chop the basil.
Step 3: Toss the chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic glaze, salt, and pepper together in a mixing bowl.
Step 4: Scoop the bruschetta mixture on top of the crostini and serve!
Frequently asked questions
I personally don’t love cold bruschetta right from the fridge. Therefore, I recommend letting the mixture sit out at room temperature for an hour before serving. The assembled crostinis can also be warmed up in the oven for a few minutes if you prefer warm bruschetta.
Bruschetta isn’t just for topping on bread. You can toss it in a cheesy pasta recipe, top it on salad, bake it in pinwheels, scoop a little on top of poached eggs, or serve it as a dip with bread, crackers, or vegetables.
Tomatoes have a ton of liquid, which can make the bruschetta more liquidy than it needs to be. Once the tomatoes are chopped, soak up the excess moisture using paper towels or simply drain the liquid out of the bowl.
To make the bruschetta ahead of time, toss the tomato mixture (without the basil) in the bowl and cover with a lid. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Mix the basil in with everything else 1 hour before serving and enjoy!
Easy Tomato Basil Bruschetta Recipe
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes quartered
- ⅓ cup basil chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic glaze
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Toasty bread for serving if topping crostini, you’ll need about 50 pieces
- Optional: additional balsamic glaze
- Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
- Serve the tomato basil mixture on top of toasty bread and if you’d like, drizzle with additional balsamic glaze.
- Tomato mixture can be made up to 3 days before serving.
- If your tomatoes are very watery, feel free to get rid of some of it.
- The serving size is based off of serving the topping with my crostini recipe. The tomato basil mixture will make enough to top 50 pieces of crostini. So 1 serving is about 4 pieces of tomato basil topped crostini.
MORE PARTY READY RECIPES
Looking for more recipes to make for your party spread? Check these out!