How to Make Authentic Bruschetta

Authentic Bruschetta on bread

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
213 Calories
14g Fat
20g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 213
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 154mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 4g
Calcium 75mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Bruschetta is one of the simplest and quickest things in the world to make, yet it can be fantastically delicious if you use high-quality ingredients. 

There are many different varieties of bruschetta, though sometimes they might be called crostini or crostoni instead (crostini being small versions made from cross-sections of a baguette and crostoni being very large slices). But the most well-known version is simply grilled slices of bread rubbed with raw garlic and topped with chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, and salt.

Use the freshest, best-quality ingredients you can to make the best bruschetta. Vine-ripened tomatoes are at their best in the summer, but sometimes you can find good hothouse and cherry tomatoes at the grocery store during other times of the year. Because there are only a few ingredients, each one is important. A high-qualty, fruity olive oil is best, and good rustic Tuscan or Italian bread makes a tasty base.

The ideal preparation is to grill the bread slices on a charcoal grill, so bruschetta would be a great starter for any summer cookout or barbecue. A rosato (rosé) or a lambrusco would be a great wine pairing with this summery treat.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 tomatoes (good quality and ripe, or cherry tomatoes; chopped)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (high-quality extra-virgin)
  • 4 slices of Tuscan bread (or any other rustic Italian loaf)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled, sliced in half)
  • Garnish: salt (coarse, flaky; to taste)
  • Garnish: basil leaves (fresh, chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Authentic Bruschetta ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Combine the chopped tomatoes and half of the olive oil in a bowl and toss. Marinate the tomatoes for about 10 minutes at room temperature.

    chopped tomatoes and olive oil in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Toast the bread slices on a charcoal grill until golden-brown and lightly marked with grill lines. You can also toast them in an oven or toaster, or on a griddle or grill pan, if charcoal grilling is not possible. 

    grill pieces of bread, grill marks on bread

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Gently rub the grilled slices of bread with the cut end of the raw garlic clove. 

    rub the grilled slices of bread with the cut end of the raw garlic clove

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Top each slice with the marinated tomatoes. Sprinkling with coarse sea salt and chopped fresh basil leaves. Finish with a light drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

    Authentic Bruschetta on toasted bread

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Recipe Variations

  • If you omit the tomatoes and basil and just drizzle the garlic-rubbed toasted slices with extra-virgin olive oil, you have what is called fettunta (literally, "oily slice") in Tuscany, or the Italian version of garlic bread.
  • Romans top their bruschetta with anchovies and fresh mozzarella.
  • Sicilians might use fresh oregano instead of fresh basil.
  • Another Tuscan favorite is white cannellini beans on top of the bruschetta instead of tomatoes, topped with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • A winter version of Tuscan-style bruschetta incorporates boiled dinosaur kale (also known as Tuscan kale, lacinato kale, or cavolo nero).