Bruschetta al pomodoro is an appetizer that highlights the best of summer.
This tomato bruschetta recipe is made simply with ripe tomatoes, fragrant basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper on toasted bread. So easy!
Toast the bread slices in the air fryer, grill, or oven.
When tomatoes and basil are overflowing at the farmers market, I can’t think of a better way to use them than in bruschetta al pomodoro.
This classic appetizer is:
- Naturally vegan
Bruschetta is pronounced broo-skeh-ttah. Remember that “ch” is pronounced as “k” in Italian. Think Chianti or zucchini.
While many people assume bruschetta refers to the tomato topping, it actually relates to the toasted bread underneath.
For bruschetta, you can add whatever toppings you enjoy (like my asparagus bruschetta).
But ruby red tomatoes are a fantastic option – especially when they’re in season.
What bread to use
For tomato bruschetta, you want a mildly flavored bread that won’t take focus away from the topping.
Save the grainy, whole wheat breads for another day.
I recommend any of the following:
- Italian baguette
- Sourdough baguette
- French baguette
Choose a bread that isn’t overly soft.
And remember to toast it. Otherwise, the toppings can make the bread soggy very quickly.
Time saving tricks
This quick bruschetta antipasto is extra convenient & easy, because I don’t gut the tomatoes before chopping.
The juice around the tomato seeds has so much intense flavor.
Plus, when you store the tomato mixture, that extra liquid keeps everything moist.
Then you can simply use a slotted spoon when compiling the toasts.
Or you can drain the tomato mixture with a fine mesh sieve.
Most bruschetta recipes recommend rubbing a clove of cut garlic onto the toasts. But I love more pronounced garlic flavors.
I prefer to put finely minced garlic in the mix with the tomatoes, like an Italian version of salsa.
How to make it
Here are the ingredients you will need for this easy bruschetta recipe.
Here’s how to make the recipe at a glance. For complete ingredient amounts & instructions, keep scrolling to the recipe box below.
Put the following in a medium-sized bowl:
- Chopped tomatoes (Seeds removed, if desired)
- Minced garlic (I recommend using a Microplane zester)
- Chopped basil (Fresh is a must!)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar (Fig is my favorite!)
Stir to combine.
Cover the bowl.
Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld.
(Short on time? You can skip the waiting period.)
Cut a baguette into ½ inch slices.
Lightly oil each slice (optional).
Toast the bread in the air fryer, oven, or on the grill.
Stop halfway through to flip the slices for even heating.
Before serving, taste the tomato mixture. If desired, add another splash of vinegar or pinch of salt.
Use a slotted spoon to top the toasted bread with tomatoes. If you like, garnish with more fresh basil for optimum color.
Serve on a platter.
Tips for success
Here are some tricks to make your bruschetta al pomodoro the best it can be.
Use the tastiest tomatoes you can find
In the summer, I recommend full-sized tomatoes.
But off season, cherry tomatoes work well, because they keep their sweet flavor even in the winter.
Tear basil by hand or cut with shears
When preparing the basil, use kitchen shears to cut the basil into small pieces. Or tear the fresh basil leaves by hand.
Basil chopped with a knife goes black more quickly, which looks less appealing.
Drain excess liquid
If the bruschetta is extra juicy & you don’t have a slotted spoon, pour off any excess liquid by straining the tomatoes with a fine mesh sieve.
I recommend saving the strained tomato liquid.
The tomato juice is delicious to drink on its own, or dip warm bread into it. Or you can add it to dressings, sauces, or stews.
Make it your own
You can make this delicious antipasto your own by varying the ingredients, amounts, or cooking methods.
- If you don’t like tomato seeds, gut the tomatoes before chopping.
- For less intense garlic flavor, rub a cut garlic clove onto each piece of bread instead of mixing it with the tomatoes.
- Add a small amount of chopped onion to the tomato mixture. (The vinegar & salt will make the flavor milder with time.)
- Vary the way you toast the bread – either in the air fryer, oven, or on the grill.
- Add a layer of shredded vegan mozzarella cheese after flipping the toasts for cheesy bread, and cook until melted.
- Finish the bruschetta with a drizzle of balsamic glaze for flourish & added flavor.
Bruschetta is a lovely light snack on its own, served with a salad, or soup.
It also pairs well with an Italian dinner.
Serve with finger foods & appetizers:
- Warmed Castelvetrano olives
- Olive tapenade
- Fried zucchini
- Fried almond cheese balls
- Fried artichoke hearts
- Fried olives
- Fried squash blossoms
Serve with any of these main courses:
- Air fryer ravioli
- Air fryer eggplant parmesan
- Air fryer stuffed peppers
- Creamy gnocchi soup with sausage & kale
- Smoky vegan corn chowder
- Grilled tofu with lemon & rosemary
- Vegan crab cakes
Make it ahead of time
The tomato mixture can be prepped a few days in advance.
Keep it in a covered bowl in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
I don’t recommend assembling the toasts until guests have arrived.
That way the bread will stay as crisp as possible and won’t become soggy.
Bruschetta al pomodoro: Tomato bruschetta
- 4 tomatoes medium-sized, diced in medium chunks (about 4 cups)
- 2 garlic cloves small-sized, minced or zested with a Microplane zester
- ¼ cup fresh basil cut with kitchen shears or by hand, plus more for garnish
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil Plus extra for lightly oiling baguette, if needed
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- Dash of pepper
- 1 baguette cut into ½ inch slices
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Cover the bowl and keep it in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld. (If you’re short on time, you can skip the waiting period.) Once you're ready to use the bruschetta, taste it and add an additional splash of vinegar or pinch of salt, if needed.
- The crostini can be toasted in a variety of ways. Pick either the air fryer, grill, or oven.
- TO TOAST THE CROSTINI IN THE AIR FRYER: If you like, lightly oil each slice of baguette.Put half of the baguette slices in the air fryer. Some overlap is okay. Cook at 380 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes, stopping once halfway through to flip. Watch the crostini during the last minute to insure they don't burn. Remove the baguette slices, and repeat with the second half.
- TO TOAST THE CROSTINI ON THE GRILL: Heat outdoor grill to 400 degrees. Lightly oil the baguette slices and grill on each side for a few minutes, until brown and toasted. Remove from grill.
- TO TOAST THE CROSTINI IN THE OVEN: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the baguette slices in a single layer on two baking sheets. Lightly rub oil on the slices. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stopping to flip the slices halfway through.
- To assemble the bruschetta, use a slotted spoon to top the crostini with the tomato mixture. (If the tomato mixture is extra juicy and you don't have a slotted spoon, pour off any excess liquid by straining the bruschetta with a fine mesh sieve.) Garnish with more fresh basil, if you like. Serve on a platter.
Content, photos, and recipe updated September 8, 2022. Originally posted August 17, 2013.