Fresh Tomato Bruschetta

How to make our favorite homemade bruschetta with tomatoes and basil. Plus, five easy tips for how to make it best. Jump to the Fresh Tomato Bruschetta Recipe

Fresh Tomato Bruschetta with basil

How to Make the Best Bruschetta

We like things to be simple — wholesome ingredients, fresh flavors, and few ingredients. So when we find something we love, we make it often. Did you know most people have five to ten recipes they rotate throughout the year? We’re no different, which is why we make this simple bruschetta recipe with tomato and fresh basil all the time — especially during the summer.

Tomato Bruschetta

The recipe is simple, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it better. Here are five easy tips for making it best.

If you can, grill the bread. You don’t need to do this outside, although it’s a great option. Since we make this so often, we’ll reach for our indoor grill pan. It works beautifully and creates just enough smoke to add a little flavor to the bread itself. Grilling the bread is less about the grill marks and more about the smoky flavor you achieve. If you can not grill the bread, toast it.

The moment the bread comes off the grill, give it a quick rub with a peeled garlic clove. The garlic practically melts into the warm bread. Not only is this the more authentic way to make bruschetta, but it also tastes much better than if you were to mince garlic and add it to the tomatoes. The amount you rub onto the bread is up to you — we keep it pretty light.

Rubbing toasted bread with a fresh garlic clove

Use the best tomatoes you can find. During the summer, we are inundated with sweet, plump tomatoes. In other months though, you might need to look a little harder. When we’re in the mood for tomato bruschetta outside of summer, we do have one go-to — Look for Kumato tomatoes, we’ve found them to be pretty 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.

Use room temperature tomatoes. It’s essential that you don’t refrigerate the tomatoes you plan to use for this (or most things). 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 the tomatoes. Before doing anything else, we chop the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Not only that, but we leave them alone for about 10 minutes. As the tomatoes sit, they become extra flavorful. They also release some of their juices — this is perfect for when we’re topping the bread later. We do this for our easy tomato salad, too.

Adding olive oil, salt and pepper to chopped fresh tomatoes

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 if you have it on hand, some fresh basil. (Parsley or even chives would work, as well).

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!

More Light and Easy Recipes

Recipe updated, originally posted August 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne

Fresh Tomato Bruschetta

  • PREP
  • COOK

This simple bruschetta recipe with tomato 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. They also release some of their juices, which is perfect for spooning onto the bread later.

Makes 3 servings, 2 bruschetta each

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

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

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 basil leaves, thinly sliced

Six 1/2-inch thick slices Italian or French bread

2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole


    Halve tomatoes then remove and discard the majority of the seeds. Chop 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 the olive oil and the basil. Stir and let sit 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium heat or prepare an outdoor grill for medium heat. Drizzle bread slices with the remaining tablespoon of oil and grill 2 to 3 minutes on each side until warmed through and grill marks appear.

    Rub one side of the bread while still warm with garlic — two to three strokes per bread slice should do it.

    Stir the tomatoes one more time; taste then adjust with more salt or pepper as needed. Spoon a generous amount onto each bread slice. Drizzle a little of the juice remaining at the bottom of the bowl over tomatoes and enjoy.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Canned Tomatoes: If you do not have access to sweet, ripe tomatoes, use high quality canned whole tomatoes. Reserve the juice for another recipe and chop up the whole tomatoes for the bruschetta. We love San Marzano tomatoes and have also been very happy with canned Muir Glen tomatoes.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

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

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter with easy, delicious, and fresh recipes and receive our eCookbook with 16 of our most loved recipes for free! Click Go to signup for free!

28 comments… Leave a Comment
  • George April 5, 2016, 8:45 pm

    Hi. Congratulations for an authentic receipe. This is the taste I was looking for. I did try this receipe today and after eating almost a full bread I just can’t get it out of my head. It will be with me for the whole summer. Thank you.
    PS: trick is hot bread when you rub garlic. This brings all the flavour you need without the burn…

  • azitapa seyon September 25, 2015, 9:45 am

    WOW!! YUMMY!!

  • Sabrina Gagliano March 21, 2015, 12:48 am

    The grilled bread was an excellent idea! I loved the flavor it brought and very creative on the garlic idea also. I added a couple of things to the tomatoes. I did use a little olive oil as suggested, but also balsamic vinegar gave it a kick and mozzarella chunks, it is one of my husband’s favorite recipe. 5 Stars

  • Carol Sellers March 13, 2015, 5:04 pm

    Thank you for being so generous and sharing your cooking ideas and especially for sending the videos and your instructions. I enjoy learning about how to make food more interesting in a visual sense. But because of my present daily demands the most I can do is make a quick watch and hope I pick up some improvements along the way in my daily cooking. In other words, I watch it and like it, but don’t always have time to make it. Plus I’m a strong habitual pressure cooker lady. I love fast, healthy, and economical cooking best. You both seem so nice and I sure hope you are finding huge rewards in the business of cooking!!!!

    Sincere Best Regards for your Career Always!

    • Joanne March 17, 2015, 10:59 am

      Hi Carol, thank you so much for your note! We love that you enjoy our videos 🙂 Thanks again for you kind words!

  • Luca September 24, 2014, 10:54 pm

    Very good! I tried accompanied with an appletini

  • Amber July 3, 2014, 7:09 pm

    I completely agree about grilling the bread ! I do mine on a gas grill and find the best results come with turning all the burners on medium, placing the oiled bread on half the grill for 30 seconds or so and then flipping over, turning off the burners on the side the bread is on, closing the lid and leaving for a few minutes.

  • Fl_Grace July 3, 2014, 11:49 am

    Thank you for the grilling tip, this adds a visual and palate yumminess.

  • Kathy April 30, 2014, 4:20 pm

    I noticed Resturants r using a spread of cream cheese on top of toasted bread the tomatoes. I think it is taste good!

  • Glenda Lavery February 19, 2014, 10:18 pm

    Easy, yummy, not ingredient intense….absolutely beautiful

  • Laurie October 31, 2013, 9:08 am

    Can this be made the day before? How far ahead and how do you store it?

    • Joanne October 31, 2013, 9:40 am

      Hi Laurie, As bruschetta sits, the tomatoes become softer and softer. You can make it in advance, but it is really best eaten the same day. For the best bruschetta, we would stick to no more than 4 hours in advance. Hope that helps!

  • Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste September 18, 2013, 10:01 am

    Bruschetta is my go-to appetizer! Love those gorgeous grill marks on the bread 🙂

    • Joanne September 18, 2013, 11:40 am

      Thanks 🙂

  • Anna September 7, 2013, 12:07 pm

    What is the yellow in the bruschetta ? Yellow bell pepper ? Corn ?


    • Joanne September 7, 2013, 2:25 pm

      Hi there — We used both yellow and red tomatoes. All red or all yellow are great. (Although, some diced bell pepper added would be lovely).

  • Rh September 3, 2013, 1:07 am

    Came out great! I didn’t grill it enough but I will next time.

  • Liezl August 15, 2013, 8:33 am

    One of my favourites. Sometimes simple is better. Love the colours in yours!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar August 12, 2013, 8:20 pm

    Love this!! Such a good, classic, appetizer.


Leave a Comment/Review

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our Comment Guidelines. You must be at least 16 years old to post a comment. All comments are governed by our Privacy Policy & Terms.

* Required fields (Email address will not be published)

Did you make it? How was it?:


Previous Post: Next Post: