Homemade Tomato Basil Bruschetta Italiana is an easy recipe with classic flavors. This is my favorite way to make it and it is super simple. The traditional tomato basil mixture is stepped up just enough with some pungent and salty capers to add a kick of flavor to balance the sweet tomatoes.
When summer tomatoes are in season, this is the best appetizer, snack, or side dish. It is fresh, bright, & yummy. Like my recipe for Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup, tomatoes are the star.
A quick recipe to whip up for a vegan/vegetarian option at any party. For another tasty Italian appetizer recipe, try Fig & Brie Bruschetta.
Which Tomatoes are Best for Bruschetta
If you grow your own tomatoes, then you know there is nothing like a freshly picked tomato that is still warm from the sun, so juicy and fragrant, and unlike anything from the store.
I am spoiled here in California and we grow tomatoes every year often 3+ different varieties. They aren't called the "love apple" for nothing. They really are a beloved fruit (yes fruit, not a vegetable).
Of all the varieties, Roma tomatoes are my favorite for making bruschetta. Romas are also known as plum or Italian tomatoes. Other tomatoes will work but try and stay away from overripe or tomatoes that are "watery".
Roma tomatoes work best on this since they are easy to seed and dice. They are also pretty hearty and stand up to the chopping and mixing. Their thick walls and meaty texture allow them to still remain in nice small diced bites versus getting too soft and mushy.
Ingredients for Bruschetta Italiana
This classic recipe calls for just a few traditional ingredients. Using fresh ingredients will help make this simple recipe a 5-star appetizer. Freshly baked rustic bread, juicy vine-ripened tomatoes, & quality extra-virgin olive oil are what makes this the best bruschetta recipe.
- Rustic Crusty Bread - Use one wider than a baguette but not as big as a flat ciabatta or focaccia.
- Ripe Tomatoes - Medium-sized tomatoes such as Roma/Plum will work best.
- Garlic - Fresh cloces for pungent flavor.
- Olive Oil - Extra virgin is best.
- Fresh Basil Leaves- The classic pairing adds a bright fresh flavor.
- Capers - Salty pungent flavors set this over the top amazing.
- Salt & Pepper - season to taste.
See the recipe card for amounts and full instructions.
How to Make Tomato Basil Bruschetta
As I mentioned this recipe for tomato bruschetta is super easy, simple, and does not require a bunch of ingredients. Pictured below is a wide baguette I buy locally. It is somewhere in the middle of a skinny baguette and the wider ciabatta loaves you can find in most markets.
I like this because it yields toasts that are more substantial than a crostini and more like a true bruschetta but not as difficult to hold and eat. Each one is about 2 bites.
Crostini vs Bruschetta
What? Crostini? Bruschetta? There is a difference and they are not just synonyms for one another. As I understand it, the size of the toasted bread is different. Crostini is typically small slices of round toasted bread. It is typically served bite-size and an appetizer portion for one would be maybe 4-5 small bites.
For bruschetta, the toast is larger and from a wide rustic loaf and the typical portion is 2 large slices topped with various ingredients. This recipe is between sizes but more of a bruschetta since they are bigger than bite-size.
So what would mine be called if they are bigger than a crostini but smaller than a bruschetta - a Croschetta?! Should I trademark that now?
Slice and Toast the Bread
Using a sharp bread knife, cut round slices. Ensure the slices have the same thickness. This will help in evenly browning all the pieces and they will all be the same distance from the broiler. This makes for the best Italian bruschetta-like toasts that are oven-baked.
Once sliced, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. You can brush them with a little bit of olive oil or leave them plain. I have a refillable spray bottle filled with olive oil that I use. But I have done them plain before when I needed to make them the night before and they stay crisper that way and are just as good once the topping is added.
Toast a few minutes on each side under a low broiler. They are ready when both sides are golden brown and toasted evenly. They are ready immediately.
How to Serve Bruschetta Italiana
You can top each individual toast with a spoonful of the tomato basil mixture. This is great when wanting a passed appetizer that people grab from a tray.
However, I like this best served separately. A bowl of tomato basil bruschetta topping placed next to the toasted bread is the way to go. This allows the bread to stay crispy. Plus each guest can serve themselves with as much or as little of the topping they desire.
The bruschetta is great served with other appetizers that have a variety of flavors. I like to make this a vegetarian option when I have cold cuts, cheeses, and crackers.
This also shares the table with my party-perfect deviled eggs, as seen below, on a lot of party tables. You can find that recipe here. https://theshortordercook.com/party-perfect-deviled-eggs/. They are also a great bite-sized party food for any event.
Alternate Tomato Bruschetta Ideas
Alternatives to add to this simple recipe can be done to create additional tasty recipes. You can add mozzarella to this recipe too but dice some fresh mozzarella into very small dice to have a Caprese bruschetta.
You can also add anchovies for a salty tomato topping that I find so addicting once added to the crunchy toasted bread. Drizzle on balsamic vinegar.
Product Recommendations for this Recipe:
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Easy Tomato Basil Bruschetta
- 4 Roma tomatoes seeded & diced small
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 TB fresh basil leaves chopped
- 1 TB capers
- ¼ C olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large wide baguette or ciabatta bread
- In a medium-size serving bowl, combine all ingredients except the baguette.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour to help infuse the flavors together- aka marinate.
- When ready to use, let the tomato mixture come to room temperature while you prep the bread toasts.
- Slice the bread in equal thickness pieces, they should be thin enough to easily bite and eat but thick enough to hold the topping. I suggest about ¼-1/2″ thick depending on the sturdiness of your loaf.
- Arrange slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the broiler on low. Each side should be light brown.
- Once all the bread is ready, arrange it in a large serving bowl and serve it alongside the tomato-basil mixture.