Fresh Tomato Bruschetta

How to make classic Italian bruschetta with garlic bread, fresh tomatoes, and basil. Our bruschetta recipe and 5 easy tips for making it best are below.

Watch the video

Tomato Bruschetta Recipe Video

When I see fresh tomatoes, my mind immediately turns to bruschetta. I love it and could enjoy it every night of the week. Bruschetta (pronounced brew-SKET-tah) is an Italian appetizer of toasted or grilled bread rubbed with fresh garlic. We love using this garlicky bread as a base for fresh tomatoes.

Bruschetta is simple to make with fresh flavors and few ingredients. That said, you can always make it better. Read on for our recipe and 5 simple tips for making the best bruschetta at home. For more simple Italian recipes, see this fresh Caprese salad, our Panzanella salad, or this fresh tomato Gazpacho. I also love serving bruschetta with a light cocktail like this classic Aperol spritz.

Tomato Bruschetta

How to make the best bruschetta

Grill the bread: I prefer grilling bread slices for bruschetta. You can do this outside on a grill or use a grill pan inside. The trick is adding dark brown grill marks across your bread, which looks the part and adds a hint of smoky flavor. If you can’t grill the bread, toast it.

Use fresh garlic: For the most authentic Italian bruschetta, when your bread comes off the grill, quickly rub it with a peeled garlic clove. The garlic melts into the warm bread, adding fresh garlic flavor. Spreading some roasted garlic over the bread would also be amazing, here’s our recipe for roasted garlic.

Rubbing toasted bread with a fresh garlic clove for bruschetta

Use fresh ripe tomatoes: Bruschetta is best with ripe summer tomatoes. If you crave bruschetta outside of tomato season, look for Kumato tomatoes. We’ve found them to be sweet and consistent all year round. They are darker, almost brown, and usually come in a plastic-wrapped package. You might also get lucky with smaller, vine-ripened tomatoes. I’ve also used canned whole tomatoes before (tips in recipe).

Use room temperature tomatoes: Something happens after refrigerating tomatoes — they become less flavorful and less tomato-y. We leave them out on the counter. They taste so much better this way.

Season your tomatoes: I chop my tomatoes and season with salt and pepper before doing anything else. Then, I leave them alone for about 10 minutes. As the tomatoes sit, they release some of their juices and marinate in the salt. Allowing tomatoes to sit with salt before making tomato bruschetta makes them taste better. We do the same when making tomato salad.

Adding olive oil, salt and pepper to chopped fresh tomatoes for the bruschetta topping

By the way, 10 minutes is the ideal amount of time for grilling bread. Score for multi-tasking. After that, add olive oil to the tomatoes and some fresh basil if you have it on hand.

Spoon the tomatoes onto each bread slice, and make sure you spoon a little leftover tomato juice that seeped out while you were seasoning the tomatoes — that stuff is gold. Enjoy!

Fresh Tomato Bruschetta with basil

Fresh Tomato Bruschetta

  • PREP
  • COOK

This easy bruschetta recipe with tomatoes and fresh basil is best when you use fresh, room-temperature tomatoes. It’s also important to set aside a little time to allow the tomatoes to sit with salt. As the tomatoes sit, they become extra flavorful and release some of their juices, perfect for spooning onto the bread later.

Makes 3 servings, 2 bruschetta each

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

3 to 4 ripe tomatoes, at room temperature, 1/2 pound

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 basil leaves, thinly sliced

6 slices Italian or French bread, 1/2-inch-thick

2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole


    1Chop tomatoes into 1/4-inch chunks, then add to a medium bowl with a generous pinch of salt, a small pinch of black pepper, one tablespoon of olive oil, and the basil. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes.

    2Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium heat or prepare an outdoor grill for medium heat.

    3Drizzle bread slices with the remaining tablespoon of oil and grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until warmed through and grill marks appear.

    4Rub one side of the warm grilled bread with garlic – two to three strokes per slice should do it.

    5Stir and taste the tomatoes, then adjust with more salt or pepper as needed.

    6Spoon a generous amount of tomatoes onto each bread slice. Drizzle a little of the juice remaining at the bottom of the bowl over the tomatoes and enjoy.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Canned tomatoes: If you cannot access sweet, ripe tomatoes, use high-quality canned whole tomatoes. Reserve the juice for another recipe and chop the whole tomatoes for the bruschetta. We love San Marzano tomatoes and have also been very happy with canned Muir Glen tomatoes.
  • Balsamic vinegar: For an extra kick of flavor, stir 1 to 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar into the tomatoes. Or, after assembling the bruschetta, drizzle over a balsamic glaze.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 2 bruschetta / Calories 169 / Protein 4 g / Carbohydrate 18 g / Dietary Fiber 2 g / Total Sugars 3 g / Total Fat 10 g / Saturated Fat 1 g / Cholesterol 0 mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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35 comments… Leave a Review
  • Adrina Thong September 17, 2019, 1:32 am

    I hv try out this recipe it’s easy step n came out very nice n delicious. Thks u for the great recipe….

    • Joanne September 13, 2023, 6:59 pm

      We are happy you enjoyed it!

  • Maryse Charbonneau April 14, 2019, 8:41 am

    I always keep basil flavored olive oil at reach of hand for when I don’t have the fresh herb. Fits perfectly in this recipe!

    • Joanne September 13, 2023, 6:59 pm

      Great tip!

  • Lori July 29, 2018, 9:59 pm

    We added red onions and broiled both sides of the bread in the oven. Loved it!!

    • Joanne September 13, 2023, 6:59 pm

      Yum! Grilled or toasted bread is essential. So glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  • Joanna January 15, 2018, 5:17 pm

    Thank you for your recipe. I was looking for good bruschetta recipe for a while. My husband said it tastes amazing. I love it!!! It took us back to our holiday xx

    • Joanne September 13, 2023, 7:00 pm

      Oh wow, I love that this recipe reminded you of your holiday. I’m so glad you gave it a try.

  • Susan Miller October 7, 2017, 12:12 pm

    I have made this several times and it is always a huge hit. It’s so easy and is the perfect go to dish for our summer parties.. Think I’ll make some today… Thank you Inspired Taste…

    • Joanne September 13, 2023, 7:00 pm

      Excellent idea, Susan!

  • Vicki July 18, 2017, 9:13 pm

    I made this today. I put the bread under the broiler on low. Later I made it by grilling the bread. Either way worked great. Rubbing the garlic was perfect! The tomatoes were delicious and I made them just the way you described. I also added some fresh cold sliced mozzarella for protein.

    • Joanne September 13, 2023, 7:01 pm

      You definitely cannot go wrong with adding some mozzarella to this! We are thrilled you enjoyed the recipe and thank you for coming back and leaving a review.


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