Perfect Tomato Bruschetta

My favorite recipe for fresh tomato bruschetta is super simple to make and tastes incredible. You can make this garlicky toasted bread topped with fresh tomatoes and basil in 15 minutes!

Tomato Bruschetta Recipe Video

Bruschetta (pronounced brew-SKET-tah) is an Italian appetizer of toasted or grilled bread rubbed with fresh garlic. In this recipe, we use this garlicky bread as a base for fresh tomatoes with basil.

When I see fresh tomatoes, my mind immediately turns to bruschetta. I love it and honestly could eat it every night of the week, especially during the summer! For more Italian-inspired recipes, see our Caprese salad, Panzanella salad, or this incredible tomato gazpacho (a chilled tomato soup).

Fresh Tomato Bruschetta

Key Ingredients

  • Bread: I use a rustic Italian or French loaf of bread to make bruschetta. It should be soft and chewy, with a little bite around the crust. It also needs to hold up to the tomatoes and their juices.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is key to the best bruschetta. I don’t add garlic to my tomatoes but rub my warm, toasted bread with raw garlic.
  • Tomatoes: Bruschetta is best with ripe summer tomatoes. If you crave bruschetta outside of tomato season, look for cherry tomatoes. We’ve found them to be sweeter and more consistent all year round. I also prefer using room-temperature tomatoes. Something happens after refrigerating tomatoes (they become less flavorful and less tomato-y). We store them on the counter. They taste so much better this way.
  • Olive oil: I use olive oil when toasting my bread and add it to our chopped tomatoes and basil for the bruschetta topping. Use the best olive oil you’ve got.
  • Basil: I love fresh basil in this recipe, but you can leave it out if you don’t have it on hand. Tomato bruschetta without basil is still delicious.

How to Make Tomato Bruschetta

Making bruschetta at home is simple and so delicious! You’ll start with the tomatoes. We want to give our tomatoes time to sit with the olive oil, basil, and salt. They will become much more flavorful as they sit and release some of their incredibly delicious juices. I use the same trick when making my favorite tomato and mozzarella salad.

How to Make Tomato Bruschetta: Adding olive oil, salt and pepper to chopped fresh tomatoes for the bruschetta topping

While the tomatoes sit, you can grill your bread. Use an outdoor grill or a grill pan on the stove. Slice your bread, drizzle with olive oil, and grill until warm and you see some grill marks. Then, rub a raw garlic clove over each grilled bread slice.

Rubbing toasted bread with a fresh garlic clove for bruschetta

To serve, place your garlic-rubbed bread onto a plate and spoon over the tomatoes, drizzling over some of the juices left at the bottom of the bowl (the best part). Then enjoy. I especially love fresh tomato bruschetta served with a light and bubbly cocktail like this Aperol Spritz.

Fresh Tomato Bruschetta with basil

Perfect Tomato Bruschetta

  • PREP
  • COOK

This traditional bruschetta recipe 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

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

2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

8 ounces (226g) ripe fresh tomatoes, at room temperature, 3 to 4 medium tomatoes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 basil leaves, thinly sliced

Salt and fresh ground black pepper


    1Chop the tomatoes into 1/4-inch pieces, 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 the 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), and then place onto a serving plate with the garlic-rubbed side facing up.

    5Stir and taste the tomatoes, then add 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 extra flavor, stir 1 to 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar into the tomatoes. Or, after assembling the bruschetta, drizzle over a balsamic glaze.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
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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