Easy Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil on toasted garlic bread is an easy appetizer recipe. Top with Gorgonzola cheese, Parmesan cheese or feta cheese for extra flavor! This savory treat makes a flavorful summer appetizer or even a light dinner.
One of my favorite late spring or summer appetizers is definitely bruschetta. I love the flavor of ripe tomatoes, and this is a super tasty way to enjoy them. Even my kids enjoy this easy bruschetta recipe, and why not? This easy Italian appetizer has tomatoes, bread, garlic and a little cheese, so it's almost like a healthier pizza, right?
When the weather starts to warm up, we switch from big dinners to lighter ones, like salads, sandwiches and sometimes, finger foods. This super easy tomato basil bruschetta is perfect for an easy dinner or appetizer to serve with Italian Pasta Salad or Italian Dressing Chicken.
As much as I love eating dinner around the table, I figure that we're all still eating together as a family -- just in a different place.
You only need a few simple ingredients for this bruschetta recipe. If you're lucky enough to have a garden, you may be able to get most of the ingredients from your backyard!
- Rustic Bread -- The best bread for bruschetta has a thick crust and is firm enough to hold the toppings. A French baguette loaf is perfect, but you can use smaller French bread or Italian bread, as well.
- Fresh Tomatoes -- I use cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes from our garden, but Roma tomatoes are fine, too.
- Olive oil -- extra-virgin olive oil for best flavor
- Garlic cloves -- or garlic powder, in a pinch
- Fresh Basil -- Fresh basil leaves work best!
- Italian seasoning, sea salt and black pepper
- Cheese -- We like Feta, Parmesan cheese or Gorgonzola cheese
How to Make Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
First, chop tomatoes, and place in a small bowl or medium bowl, depending on how much you are making. Combine tomatoes with some olive oil, and season with sea salt, pepper and a little Italian seasoning. Set aside while you make garlic butter and prepare the bread.
Slice the bread, diagonally, into slices about ¼ inches thick. Then, place the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Instead of rubbing the bread with garlic as you do for the classic Italian appetizer, I brush each slice of bread with a thin layer of melted garlic butter.
Toast the slices of bread in a 400 degree oven. You can also use an air fryer or air fryer oven.
Keep an eye on the bread. It only takes about 5 minutes for these thin slices to get nice and golden brown. If you are working with larger slices of bread, it takes about 10 minutes to cook -- tops!
Allow the bread to cool slightly. Then, use a slotted spoon to add a little bit of the tomato mixture onto each toasted bread slice. Top with a little bit of fresh basil and a little cheese.
You can cut the basil into thin slices (chiffonade)or roughly chop it up.
And today, I also used basil from our mini garden and little cherry tomatoes and yellow pear tomatoes. I love the added pop of color!
Best Cheese for Bruschetta
We usually use feta cheese to top the bruschetta. But, Gorgonzola tastes amazing. It's tangier than the usual feta, and it really complements the tomatoes and basil. You can also use shaved Parmesan or shredded Parm or mozzarella cheese if you have it.
How to Store Leftover Bruschetta Toasts
Bruschetta is best enjoyed the day you make it. If you do have leftover prepared bruschetta toasts, store the tomatoes separately from the bread in an airtight container in your refrigerator. It should keep fresh for up to 3 days.
For traditional Bruschetta, grill the bread and rub with garlic before topping.
Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the toasted bread or add to the tomato mixture. You can omit the cheese if you like.
Use fresh ripe tomatoes -- they are the star of the show.
Don't slice the bread too thin. Aim for slices ¼ inch to ½ inch thick.
Drain off as much liquid as possible from the tomato salad as you top the bread. This is the best way to avoid soggy bruschetta! If you are making this in advance, add the tomatoes right before serving.
Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
- 1 small baguette loaf sliced thin about ¼ inch
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
- 1 cup fresh ripe tomatoes diced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- ¼ cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbles or feta cheese, Parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup Sliced fresh basil for garnish
- In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and olive oil, set aside
- In a small pot, heat the butter, olive oil and garlic over medium heat until butter is melted.
- Remove from heat and set aside
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Arrange sliced bread on a lined baking sheet in a single layer, and brush slices with garlic butter mixture
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Total time depends on the bread you are using
- Top bread with tomato mixture and a little cheese, and garnish with basil
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
Ripe, juicy tomatoes and creamy, salty cheese -- doesn't that look appetizing?!
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Recipe first published in 2016 and updated 2023