This Classic Tomato Bruschetta recipe combines fresh Roma tomatoes, basil, and garlic with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for topping slices of toasted baguette. It’s always a crowd-pleasing appetizer for any party or gathering!
If you love caprese salad and my grilled caprese panini, this tomato bruschetta is loaded with all those same fresh flavors—minus the mozzarella! It’s one of those effortlessly elegant appetizer recipes that guests will ooh and ahh over, not realizing how easy it was to throw together.
What Is Bruschetta?
Bruschetta is a classic Italian appetizer (also known as antipasto) traditionally made with grilled bread. This bread is rubbed with garlic cloves and drizzled with good olive oil, then served with toppings like tomato basil salad, a blend of olives, artichokes, etc.
Also, it’s pronounced “broo-sketta”, not “broo-schetta.” It’s a commonly mispronounced word in America, but in Italian, the ‘ch’ letters are pronounced like a ‘k.’ Learn something new everyday, right?
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Roma tomatoes – Roma tomatoes are the best choice for this recipe because they’re less juicy and seedy than traditional tomatoes, which means they won’t make the bread mushy.
- Red onion
- Fresh basil – Don’t substitute dried basil! You really want the flavor of fresh basil here.
- Olive oil – Choose a quality extra-virgin olive oil—the kind used for drizzling and dressing, rather than the kind you cook with.
- Balsamic vinegar – You’ll need some for dressing the tomato-basil salad and some for making the optional balsamic reduction.
- Coarse salt
- Black pepper
- Parmesan cheese – This is optional.
- French baguette
What Is the Best Bread to Use for Bruschetta?
It might sound strange to use a French baguette in an Italian bruschetta recipe, but it really is the best bread to use for tomato bruschetta, in my opinion. A rustic country bread works too. Just make sure it’s a bread that has a soft interior with a crusty exterior.
How to Make Tomato Bruschetta
Here’s how to make homemade tomato bruschetta for your next party:
Make the tomato salad mixture. Gently toss the diced tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, if you’re using it.
Toast the bread. Heat a broiler or grill to high heat, then toast the baguette slices on each side. You’ll want them lightly browned so they’re easy to bite through, but toasted enough to hold the tomato salad.
Make the balsamic reduction. If you want to drizzle the bruschetta with a balsamic reduction, place ½ cup of vinegar in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the volume is reduced by half, which should take about 5 minutes. Let the reduction cool.
Serve. You can either spoon the tomato salad over the toasts and set them on a tray for guests to grab, or set the toasts on a board and place the salad in a serving bowl so they can assemble the bruschetta themselves.
Tips for Success
These simple tips will help you make sure your tomato bruschetta turns out perfect:
- Use ripe tomatoes. They’re the star of the show here, so you want to make sure they’re at the peak of ripeness.
- Don’t cut the bread too thin. Nothing’s more embarrassing at a party than having a handheld appetizer fall apart when you bite into it!
- Drain off any excess liquid. If you make the tomato salad in advance, give it a stir and then pour out any excess liquid that has collected at the bottom of the bowl. This will keep the bread from getting soggy.
There are endless ways to customize this tomato bruschetta recipe to your liking. Here are a few of my favorite variations:
- Add fresh mozzarella to the tomato topping for a twist on classic caprese salad.
- Use colorful heirloom tomatoes in place of the Roma tomatoes; just scoop out the seeds first.
- Swap the fresh garlic for roasted garlic, which has a more mellow, caramelized flavor.
If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, you can prepare the tomato topping and store it in the fridge for a day, then make the toasts the day of your party.
How to Store Leftovers
Leftover bruschetta will keep in the fridge for a day or two, but it's best enjoyed the day it’s made. Store it in an airtight container to keep it fresh.
More Easy Appetizer Recipes
- Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
- Asparagus Tart
- The BEST Guacamole Recipe Ever
- Baked Greek Feta Meatballs
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Classic Tomato Bruschetta
- 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
- ½ cup red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
Balsamic reduction (optional)
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 French baguette sliced into ½-inch slices
- Combine the diced tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, if desired.
- Heat a broiler or grill to high heat, then toast the baguette slices on each side until lightly browned.
- Serve together for guests to top their toasts individually so they don't get soggy, or top each toast with the tomato mixture and serve immediately.
- If desired, make a balsamic reduction to drizzle over the top of each bruschetta by bringing the balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan, then reducing the heat to medium-low until the liquid has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the balsamic vinegar to cool before drizzling over the bruschetta. The reduction will continue to thicken as it cools.
This post was originally published in March, 2018. The photos and content were updated in June, 2022.