Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

Bruschetta with tomato and basil. Chopped fresh tomatoes with garlic, basil, olive oil, and vinegar, served on toasted slices of French or Italian bread.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 24 small slices.


  • 6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


1 Prepare the tomatoes first. Parboil the tomatoes for one minute in boiling water that has just been removed from the burner. Drain. Using a sharp small knife, remove the skins of the tomatoes. (If the tomatoes are too hot, you can protect your finger tips by rubbing them with an ice cube between tomatoes.) Once the tomatoes are peeled, cut them in halves or quarters and remove the seeds and juice from their centers. Also cut out and discard the stem area. Why use plum tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes? The skins are much thicker and there are fewer seeds and less juice.

2 Make sure there is a top rack in place in your oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.

3 While the oven is heating, chop up the tomatoes finely. Put tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4 Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven. Once the oven has reached 450°F, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.

Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Toast on a griddle for 1 minute on each side. Take a sharp knife and score each slice 3 times. Rub some garlic in the slices and drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. This is the more traditional method of making bruschetta.

5 Align the bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.

Serves 6-10 as an appetizer. Or 3-4 for lunch (delicious served with cottage cheese on the side.)

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  1. Jeremy

    I have heard of putting cheese on top and letting it melt in the oven. Do you have any recommendations on what type of cheese?

  2. Amanda

    Jeremy – I never melt it, but I often add a bit of good fresh mozzarella to my bruchetta. I also add a few olives to my recipe.

  3. Annonymous

    I use shredded mozzarella on my bread croutons (with olive oil and fresh garlic) to make it a complete meal. This lets the tomato mixture stay cold which is best.

  4. E. Boomer

    Its’ almost Christmas and I needed a good appetizer for a party. I love bruschetta, but the hot house tomatoes lack flavor and the texture is poor. I subsituted good quality canned italian plum tomatoes and this recipe worked great.

  5. Beth, Michigan

    This recipe is absolutely delicious and so easy to make. I used canned petite diced tomatoes and let them drain in a strainer before adding the ingredients. I really think the trick is the olive oil toasted into the bread.

  6. Jo

    An intereting twist my partner discovered one day, was to serve the tomoto mixture on top of store brought garlic bread. (we didnt have any fresh bread, just garlic bread – it ended up better than expected)

  7. beyonduplication

    I make this all the time. I brush with oil and toast both sides of the bread, and then rub a clove of raw garlic on it. So I don’t put garlic in the tomato mixture. Then I mix homemade pesto, red wine vinegar, red onion, and tomatoes.
    I just chop a raw tomato, whole. Why would you want to skin and seed it?

  8. manofredearth

    I just made this for my wife as a light dinner and it was amazing! I used fresh cinnamon basil from my garden and substituted whole wheat bread for the Italian and grape tomatoes for plum (all substitutes used for what was on hand rather than creative flair…).

    I had no intention of eating this, as I hate tomatoes. My wife made me try it, and I’m glad I did! This is a great snack or meal.

  9. Barry

    I just wanted to note that regarding Bruschetta receipes, I have found that also adding a little fresh grated Parmesan to the topping when served gives an added dimension to the flavor. This is just personal, I tried Romano and others as well, even cheddar, but for me Parmesan works best.

  10. Shannon

    I love this recipe with heirloom tomatoes, no parboiling. And I also add fresh oregano and a few shreds or good parmesan cheese.

    You can also make a sweeter version
    TBSP of sugar and pinch of cinnamon with plain tomatoes atop toasted brie on bread. It is unbelievably good!


  11. Martina

    I made this tonight to have with fettucini. I didn’t have fresh basil leaves so I used crushed dried basil leaves (I know… bad, bad). I personally think the teaspoon of balsamic vinegar is too much. Next time I’ll use a little less because the vinegar was the strongest tasting ingredient and it was a bit sour. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Lisa

    We recently found an Italian restaurant with the world’s best bruschetta and I started searching for a recipe to make my own. This recipe tastes EXACTLY like they make it, if you add an extra clove of garlic and double the oil and vinegar measurements.

    They also add a cube of mozzarella cheese (the kind you buy whole, packed in liquid), so I added the cheese and this was an incredible dish.

  13. Joseph

    I made some as a side dish at supper & my wife thought that it was better than what we ate at Olive Garden.All that I can say is-Great stuff. Thank you

  14. Kaitlyn Slovek

    This was so good!
    Every year I, with my sisters help cook dinner for our mom for mothers day. This recipe was delicious!

  15. Elena

    Hi, I’m Elena from Italy. I’m surprise because it’s rare to find an italian recipe done in the right way in an english cooking site (the reasons are different taste and ingredients I think). Only some comments to do bruschetta the “right italian way” :)
    1)The traditional topping is with tomato, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and oregano
    2)The topping is done 2 or 3 hours before serve and put aside in the fridge to marinade
    3)The topping have to be COLD and the bread have to be HOT
    4)We doesn’t cook or peel tomatoes
    5)In some region they put on topping mozzarella or provolone or basils but not in all region and always cold (It’s the hot bread that thaw the cheese)
    In Italy bruschetta is a simply plate done when you have nothing in the fridge exept tomatoes :)
    It’s an easier way to do something like pizza than almost everything it’s granted :)
    Sorry for my bad english and thank you for the recipe

  16. Lisa

    Loved the recipe, and being able to save money making it myself. Our grocery store sells it for over $6 per small container. Also loved having Elena’s (a true Italian) input. Don’t worry Elena, your English is better than my American teenager’s.

  17. Mary

    I just made bruschetta for my family last night and followed this recipe. It was the first one to pop up on my google search and I am so happy I chose it; it turned out absolutely fantastic!!! I highly recommend this recipe to anyone who wants to make bruschetta (:

  18. selena .

    This was amazing. :] I love cooking & this was so simple & easy. It tasted so good, although I heard of adding onions to it. So I highly reccomend anyone to try that as well.

  19. Amanda

    I think it’s very interesting to get a traditional Italian point of view on this dish. I love bruschetta. This recipe is a lot like what I’ve done before but I don’t parboil the tomato’s. I keep the bread hot and the mixture cold and usually add some parmesan. I’m hosting a BBQ this weekend and want to make this dish to sit out before the meal is served. Instead of doing the traditional baguette I’ve made garlicky toast croutons (baguette sliced very thin and toasted almost like a chip brushed with olive oil and garlic). I’m putting those in a bowl next to the chilled mixture so People can take it like a dip.

  20. Peggy

    I have been living in Rome, Italy, for the past 25 years, and the bruschette that we make here are not so elaborate. :) We *Simply* ;) toast the bread, rub it with garlic, pour some olive oil on it and top it with chopped tomatoes, basil salt and some more olive oil…and “è fatta”!

  21. Cathy

    I was wondering if you had any idea of how many calories and fat grams are in this. It is so good, it tastes sinful. I am trying to lose weight, but I do not want to give this up. Help!

    No idea, we don’t track that information (neither the time, nor the expertise, nor the inclination to do so), and in this case it would be entirely dependent on the serving size. ~Elise

  22. khrystian pereira

    I was not successful with this, it did not taste at all like others i’ve tasted but mostly because I’m not a good cook. =) So I made pasta and put my tomato situation over it so it wouldn’t go to waste.

    Sounds like you are a very enterprising cook! ~Elise

  23. Tom Keller

    The first time I had bruschetta was in Europe while serving in the military (many years ago).
    My wife, Paige, found your recipe and made it this evening. Wow, it brought back memories. I don’t think I would change your recipe in any way whatsoever. It’s perfect!
    - – Tom, in Lexington, Kentucky

  24. John

    My wife and I made this today and it was garlicky & delicious. We put it into our family cookbook. I used regular French bread, because I did not have any baguettes, but it was still very good.

  25. Coco

    Some of you may be familiar with the Jack Astors chain of restaurants.

    At their restaurant, they add 2 things that make this the ultimate food item!

    After preparing the bruschetta, they drizzle balsamic glaze and garlic aoili (thin garlic mayo) over it. This adds a whole new dimension to the mixture.

    I found balsamic glaze from a company called Unico. I have only found it in No Frills stores here in Ontario, though I am sure it can be found other places.

    I am still looking for the proper garlic mix to complement it.

  26. Colleen

    Wow! I seriously never thought of the capers idea. How dumb of me, haha. I will try that, that is such a great idea! I use this recipe everytime I make bruschetta, but I love adding extra balsamic vinegar! Gives it a little more of a ‘kick’ :)

  27. Andy

    On New Year’s Eve we went to a fancy restaurant and had some of the most delicious bruschetta I have ever had which of course made me want to try to duplicate it. This recipe was EXACTLY what I was looking for. The plum tomatoes were perfect. I wanted to see the difference so I got 4 plum tomatoes and 4 regular tomatoes and wow, the difference was undeniable. The plum tomatoes were so much meatier and the skin just pulled off. The fact that you could get all the tomato flavor without the juice kept the bread from becoming soggy. I agree that toasting the bread with olive oil was great as well. It gave the bread a great crisp taste. Overall, despite this being really simple, it tastes AMAZING and has to be one of my favorites. I might try next time, to use a little more balsamic vinegar and then put it in a saucepan and reduce it. I have heard that it will thicken it as well as make it a bit sweeter. That’s just me though, there is really no need to change this recipe. DELICIOUS!

  28. Marianne Williams

    My husband and I were in Jacksonville, FL, near Mayo Clinic last week. We had dinner at the beautifully remodeled Golden Corale. The steaks were simply perfection, but I made the mistake of trying something I had never before had the pleasure of eating. That was their wonderful BRUSCHETTA. WOW! What an experience. Though everything else was really delicious and I couldn’t have asked for a more grilled-to-perfection steak, I would have been just as happy if I had filled my stomach with nothing but the bruschetta. We do lots of entertaining, and I have just two more days in which to attempt to create a delicious bruschetta. All of the preceding hints should be very helpful. Thanks one and all! Don’t you know that will be one of the high spots of our dinner!

  29. Martin

    I think this a great recipe, I would only use a half tsp on vinegar, and I also put a 3/4 of a cup of diced red onion. I like onions in it better. I also did not parboil the tomatos. They are just as tasty with the skin on and seeds in.

  30. Sam Vainisi

    Absolutely fabulous recipe. Try topping with a hint of Parmesan cheese and of course we always use exta garlic (if you dare).

  31. Julie

    I also mix some grated parmesan in with mine and some extra garlic. But try spreading some baked goat cheese on the slices of baguette. I serve in separate dishes with a spoon and knife. It’s delicious! (I got the idea at the Keg)

  32. Frenchie

    Simply delicious! Try coating the bread with melted butter in a skillet then toasting your baguette slices in the oven. Soooooo goooood! Ethereal even!

  33. Daniele

    Well, you may put *anything* on a bruschetta but I stick to the minimalist version I learned to love as a little boy. Slice a good country bread, toast on a wood fire, rub with garlic and add some really good olive oil and some salt.

  34. Pat

    After seeing the movie Julie and Julia I want to make the bruschetta Julie did on top of the stove…dinner for she and her husband. I think a combination of reader’s comments and the original might do it…

  35. Audrey

    I made this last night for a party and it was a huge hit! Even my friend who’s married to an Italian — this woman knows her bruschetta — loved it. Thanks for the delicious recipe. I’ll definitely be making this again!

  36. Jo

    Daniele – In my grandfather’s (born in Italy!) recipe, we include finely diced green pepper and onion in the bruschetta (quarter to half cup of each). He always used the canned diced&peeled plum tomatoes, and it’s fantastic. We do not do the balsamic vinegar, although I would like to experiment with that. Maybe a reduction drizzled over the top as Imran suggested. I wanted to see how other people made theirs, to add a little flair to Grandpa’s recipe, and I got a lot of great ideas from these posts! Thanks!

  37. Carrie from Ontario

    I just made this for my family for a New Years Eve snack. Our 17 year old son hates tomatoes but loved this. We topped it with Cheddar and re-heated it. I will make it again soon. Thank you.

  38. rachelle

    I toast the baguette with butter and garlic salt. I also add artichokes and roasted red peppers to my mix:) After I toast the baguette, I add the mix and put fresh mozzarella on top, then back into the oven to melt.

  39. AJ

    I never prep the tomatoes. Just chop up the fresh ones. For another twist on this, with the bread, once it is slightly toasted, spread with a thin layer of pesto, heat slightly in oven, and then top with tomato mixture.

  40. youngchef

    I am trying this reciepe tonight!! My aunt is Italian so I took suggestions from her and from the comments on this page to make the perfect snack! Thanks guys!

  41. AV

    I love bruschetta and make it a lot for my partner and me. I usually brush the baguette with olive oil and put a pinch of grated parmesan on the bread before I stick it in the oven. Also, adding chopped shallots really makes this recipe pop! Thanks Simply Recipes!

  42. kim

    Try adding cucumbers and peppercinis to your bruschetta. Yum! Also, the red onions and roasted red pepper are really good in it too. And the feta, fabulous! I put all of these ingredients into the “traditional” bruschetta along with a little balsamic vinegar for something different and it is fantastic. Everyone who has tried it, including my friends that hate tomatoes, love it.

  43. Will

    I have made this recipe many times and it’s great. One thing I suggest is grilling the bread on both sides with a little of olive oil. Thank you for the recipe. :)

  44. PC

    We just made this bruschetta with my high school
    Gourmet Foods class……they had never tasted bruschetta before and they went wild for it! It tasted just like I remembered from my old job at a deli! Great recipe!

  45. Chuck

    Thanks for a great recipe. Absolutely loved it, healthy and really like it as a much healthier alternative to pizza. Tastes better to my taste buds also.

  46. carol mcgowan

    I came across this recipe awhile back, I quickly learned I am allergic to fresh basil. I make it for my husband all the time (I need to use rubber gloves):-(, this is his favorite bruschetta recipe.

  47. Tonya

    This recipe is perfect – don’t change a thing! I make it all summer long and my family and friends love it!
    If you don’t double or triple this recipe when you make it, you’ll wish you had.
    Thanks, Elise, for this – one of many – “staples” you’ve given my family!

  48. Debs

    I had bruschetta today for the first time at a restaurant, and it was so delicious I decided to Google up a recipe so I can make it at home. This is the recipe I decided to go with. It sounds just delicious, and I know it’s going to be a big hit with my family. Thanks for sharing!

  49. Annette

    Great recipe! We added fresh oregano and garden cherry tomatoes. Then sprinkled parmesan. We had the bruschetta with roasted chicken and salad. what a great summer meal.

  50. Kristin

    Excellent recipe. I used fresh roma tomatoes & basil from my garden, Trader Joe’s Balsalmic and La Brea Tuscan or French bread. Topped w/ shaved parmesan and returned to the oven for 1.5 minutes…delicious!! Also did a version of these adding a dollop of garlic aioli w/ minced pepperocinis, finely chopped proscuitto and grated cheddar, returned to oven to melt cheese…yum! This recipe won a local contest!

  51. Linda

    My daughter-in-law and I made this for our first time today! We used asiago cheese bread for a change-up. And we LOVED IT! We sliced up half a loaf of bread. There is only one piece left, and I don’t think it stands a chance.

  52. Bonnie J

    I like to “fry” the bread (Day old Sourdough)on both sides with a thin layer of olive oil in a skillet and then rub with fresh garlic and sprinkle with salt. For the topping — Heirloom tomatoes (nothing beats them), olive oil and fresh basil tossed together for about 30 minutes. Add a dash of salt and pepper about 5 minutes before serving (to release more flavor from the tomato). Top the bread slices and sprinkle with some Parmesan. This is easily one of my favorite meals.

  53. Tina Washington

    Great recipe. I also add in oregano. Sometimes I add a dash of oregano onto the bread with a drizzle of oil.

    Sometimes I change this up with whole wheat bread for a healthier option. It’s just as tasty.

  54. Eric

    This recipe is another staple in my cookbook. I love the balances in this recipe and it’s so authentic to what I have when I’m in Italy (except they don’t use the balsamic in some regions).

  55. patti

    I love bruschetta! If you don’t want to use the bread, I use Town House ‘Italian Herb’ Flatbread Crisps crackers. They are delicious. Its easy when you want to serve your dish at work, party, or somewhere else than your home.

  56. Xentex382

    I needed a good recipe for a Special dinner and this brushchetta was a great hit! I varied the amount of ingredients but kept them the same. Turned out great! I sometimes like melting cheese on the bread right before you top it off. I use a mix of provolone and mozarella usually. It was the first recipe I found online and I’m glad I used it!

  57. Fati

    I made this today – great! I had bruschetta for the very first time recently at East Side Mario’s and loved it. I wanted to go back to the restaurant just for the bruschetta! Then I found this recipe and it is elementary as it is delicious! Thanks!

  58. george McCusker

    Making bruscetta for the second time, but I grill thr bread on the outdoor grill once I coat it with basil and olive oil. Crisp crust and soft interior. What a treat.

  59. Steve

    We tried this last night but only used the tomatoes and instead used chimichurri with a bit of parmagiano cheese. Really really good!

  60. e.d.

    My brother’s girlfriend is vegan, so we were looking for vegan dishes to serve at his graduation party (and to show off our just-in-season Creole tomatoes). This bruschetta fit the bill perfectly! So simple, so delicious– everyone loved it, and we will make this again!

  61. Deepak

    Jeremy – I never melt it, but I often add a bit of good fresh mozzarella to my bruchetta. I also add a few olives to my recipe.

  62. Sharon

    I love this recipe!! So easy to make. I would always make frozen garlic bread when I cook pasta but now I will be making this instead. I do not parboil the tomatoes…I just dice them and add the rest..really tasty…I also sprinkle a lil mozzarella on top.

  63. anna

    This was perfect. The only thing I changed was to use regular tomatoes on the vine because that’s what I had, and I didn’t peel them, but I did seed them.

    The bread I used was “ciabaguette” from Whole Foods which I guess is supposed to be like a ciabatta-style baguette? It was good.

  64. Boots

    Thank you for saying how it’s pronounced. I cringe when people pronounce it with the “sh” sound. Anyway, this is one of my favorite recipes. I love your blog by the way!!

  65. Linda

    How far in advance can this recipe be made?

    Personally, I would make it an hour or two at the most. If you refrigerate the tomatoes, you’ll ruin them – change the taste and turn the texture mealy. Basil also doesn’t do well with refrigeration. That said, you could make it the night before, but you would need to leave it at room temperature and then strain the excess water that the tomatoes would release the next morning. ~Elise

  66. Lauren

    Do you think I could can this? I have WAY too many tomatoes in our garden this year!!!!

    The tomato topping is fresh, so no, you cannot can it. You can only can cooked tomatoes. ~Elise

  67. Dan

    First time making bruschetta and it was absolutelty fantastic! I added chopped green onions to the mixture and a little bit of shredded cheddar cheese on each slice of bread that melted on it. PERFECT SNACK! Thank you for the recipe!

  68. BW

    We prefer unpeeled, raw tomatoes, the really red ones still on the vine that you can find at Whole Foods. I added capers and also coated the bread slices with olive oil and minced garlic before crisping in the oven. Top with some shaved parmesan and it’s great!

  69. Josie

    The recipes even better if you add a slice of fresh mozzerella under all the tomatoes! Its the way bruschettas meant to be and boy is it delicious! Seriously, try it, it finishes the recipe.

  70. ritzzy

    You can also add a little jalapeno pepper, seeded, so its not so hot. And I use any tomatoes in season with skin on, just as yum. Feta cheese sprinkled on top, not heated or melted or anything. Fab.

  71. Rhonda

    Another variation is to roast the garlic and spread it on the toasted bread, or to lightly saute the garlic in olive oil first to tone down the bite of raw garlic. Also, I always top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese just before serving.

  72. Kathy

    After a trip to Italy, I too, am now addicted to Bruschetta. I followed this recipe almost exactly….seeding and everything. My only difference was using a Balsamic Vinagrette dressing, as opposed to Balsamic Vinegar. I have found out that REAL Balsamic vinegar is quite a bit diffferent than what we normally get here. I might try the canned tomatoes next time too as most tomatoes we get here don’t have a lot of flavor. Thanks for posting!

  73. Chelsey

    I accidently got Balsamic Dressing, not vinegar..I knew I shouldve gotten the vinegar…could the dressing still work?

    If it’s dressing, then you probably don’t need the oil, it should already be in the dressing. And yes, it would work. ~Elise

  74. steph

    I just love a good bruschetta! This recipe is amazing but to give it a little kick I like to add sausage (any pork sausage works) to the tomato mixture and store it in the fridge for about an hour; then top with fresh mozzarella. It has wonderful flavor!

  75. Amber S

    I tried a recipe from this site for dinner last noght (Pork Chops and Dijon Sauce) and I have spent a large part of my day browsing! I plan to make this along with your baked Ziti for my mom on her birthday next week!! Thanks!

  76. Katie

    Oh no, do not parboil the tomatoes!!!
    Just chop, add olive oil, salt & pepper. Best when the bread is broiled with butter first. Lots of chopped garlic and olive oil. This is suppose to be a simple, fresh dish, which it is.

  77. Patricia Whitney-Jones

    As you can see….you can customize this receipe to your personal taste. For the 2 of us we:
    *Use one fresh baquette French bread or similar Italian bread-slice the on a diagonal about 1/2″ thick slices.

    * Preheat oven to 450..and while oven is preheating…

    * Finely chop fresh Roma tomatoes (husband removed inside seeds…their very watery) or fresh ripe pum tomatoes
    * 2 cloves (or to taste) minced garlic
    * chopped basil leaves
    * 1t. red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
    * Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    * 1/4 c. olive oil– Brush one side of each slide of bread with the olive oil, place on top rack in oven, olive oil side down. Toast for 5-6 min or until bread just begins to turn golden brown.
    * Remove tray from oven and turn bread slices over
    * Top each slice with topping and and a little cheese of your choice (we use shredded mozerella (SP?
    * Return briefly to top rack in oven and lightly melt cheese