This classic vegan bruschetta recipe is easy to make with fresh juicy tomatoes, garlic, and olives for the best Italian flavor served on crispy baguette slices or ciabatta crostini! It’s naturally vegan and makes a delicious appetizer for a light lunch, dinner, brunch or bbq parties in summer!
My favorite go-to easy Bruschetta Recipe
Fresh and flavorful bruschetta or crostini is one of my favorite things to eat during the warmer days. It is light and satisfying at the same time and a great way to use up homegrown juicy tomatoes. However, since fresh tomatoes are basically available everywhere all year round, you can always make this easy tomato garlic bruschetta recipe! It’s super simple and as delicious as the classic bruschetta appetizer you’ll find at an Italian restaurant!
What are Bruschetta and Crostini?
Bruschetta and crostini are both an appetizer (starter dish, entree) originated in Italy. They are both bread preparations, consisting of sliced bread that is brushed with olive oil and often rubbed with garlic and salt, then baked or grilled until crisp. The difference between bruschetta and crostini is actually the bread used. While bruschettas, from the Italian word “bruscare” are traditionally made by toasting whole slices of rustic Italian bread like ciabatta, crostini are made from a smaller, round, finer-textured white bread like French baguette.
Most people usually think of bruschetta as the tomato salad mixture on top, however, the word bruschetta actually refers to the toasted bread. The most popular bruschetta topping is a mixture of diced fresh tomatoes, garlic and/or onions, basil, and balsamic vinegar. But there are also other variations, including mozzarella or other cheese, mushrooms, beans, cured meat, etc.
Which tomatoes are the best?
Actually, there’s no rule which kind of tomatoes are best for making bruschetta. Whether beefsteak tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, small cocktail, grape, or cherry tomatoes – There are hundreds of tomato varieties that are amazing! Just remember: the better the tomatoes, the better the flavor will be. So I highly recommend using the freshest, ripest, and juiciest tomatoes you can find around for the best aroma!
Ingredients for this Vegan Bruschetta Recipe
- Tomatoes: Use the freshest, ripest, and most flavorful tomatoes you can find for making the best bruschetta.
- Garlic: Make sure the garlic is pressed or minced for the tomato mixture. However, you could also rub your warm toasted bread with whole garlic cloves for more garlicky flavor.
- Kalamata Olives: These are just optional but will add an amazing flavor to the tomato salad topping!
- Olive oil: I prefer extra virgin olive oil but basically any oil will work.
- Sea salt: You can also use kosher or regular salt if you wish.
- Black pepper: Adds a bit of spice.
- Balsamic vinegar: or Lemon juice for a little tang.
- Basil: Use fresh basil for the best flavor!
- Bread: I like ciabatta or baguette best, but you can use your favorite bread (see suggestions below).
- Optional Toppings: Feel free to add vegan mozzarella, vegan parmesan, tofu feta, or other dairy-free cheese you like!
How to make Bruschetta
Step 1: Making Tomato Salad
Start by making the tomato topping. You can do this up to 2 days in advance. First, rinse and dice the tomatoes. Then transfer them to a medium mixing bowl, leaving the stems, tomato seeds, and juice behind on the chopping board. Add the pressed garlic, chopped kalamata olives (if using), 1-2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste and gently toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate to marinate while you prepare the baguette or other dishes (*see serving suggestions).
Step 2: Toasting Baguette or Ciabatta
Just before serving, preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (optional for easier clean up). Slice the baguette into approx. 1/2-inch thick slices. Lightly brush the top of each slice with olive oil and arrange them in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet. Bake them on the medium/top rack for 5-8 minutes, until they’re crispy and lightly golden-browned around the edges.
Step 3: Serve!
Place the toasted baguette crostini slices on a platter and top each toast with tomato salad, leaving excess juice behind (you can use the juice as salad vinegar). Drizzle your vegan bruschetta with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar as desired and garnish with fresh basil. Enjoy immediately while the bread is still warm and crisp!
What kind of bread?
You can serve this tomato garlic bruschetta salad on any kind of bread, including homemade bagels, crackers, or even tortillas. As mentioned before, it is often served with French bread like a baguette but I like vegan Italian ciabatta best as it crisps up like crostini!
You can even serve the tomato salad as a kind of salsa dip for vegan burrito samosas, quesadillas, crunchwraps, spinach wraps, or other tortilla recipes. I also like to add the tomato mixture to a fresh salad or a gnocchi or pasta dish. After all, there are so many ways to serve the tomato salad – so get creative!
How to store?
Bruschetta is best eaten fresh but if you have any leftovers, you can use them for the next day’s lunch or dinner. Simply store them in a sealed container and keep in the refrigerator where they will last for about 2-3 days. It’s best to prepare the baguette just before serving because toasted bread is best eaten immediately while it’s warm and crunchy!
This Homemade Vegan Bruschetta recipe is:
- Naturally Vegan
- Can be made with gluten-free bread
- Quick and easy to make
- So delicious!
- Perfect as an appetizer, starter, snack, or side dish for lunch, weeknight dinner, or any time!
More quick and easy appetizer recipes to try:
- Pizza toast with tomatoes and vegan mozzarella
- Asparagus puff pastry bundles
- Japanese onigiri (stuffed rice balls)
- Vegan fried eggs
- Turkish borek with spinach and vegan ‘feta’
- Vegan burrito samosas
- Spinach and artichoke wontons
- Crispy spring rolls
- Summer rolls with peanut sauce
- Vegan egg salad burritos
- Spinach wraps with cashew cheese
- Vegan carrot lox
If you try this easy Italian bruschetta recipe, please leave a comment and a rating on how you liked it! And if you take a picture of your simple snack and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka, because I love to see your remakes! Enjoy!
Vegan Bruschetta RecipeAuthor:
- 2 lbs ripe tomatoes about 6 medium beefsteak tomatoes, but any variety will work
- 2 garlic cloves pressed or minced
- ⅓ cup kalamata olives finely chopped (optional)
- 4 tbsp olive oil divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ciabatta or baguette (gluten-free, as needed) approx. 10.5oz/300g
- lemon juice or balsamic vinegar (to serve)
- fresh basil to garnish
- *Note: Feel free to watch the recipe video for visual instruction!
- Rinse and dice the tomatoes. Then transfer them to a medium mixing bowl, leaving the stems, tomato seeds, and juice behind (see video). Add the pressed garlic, chopped kalamata olives (if using), 1-2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste and gently toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate to marinate while you prepare the baguette or other dishes (*see notes for serving suggestions).
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (optional for easier clean up).
- Slice the baguette into approx. ½-inch thick slices. Lightly brush the top of each slice with olive oil and arrange them in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet. Bake them on the medium/top rack for 5-8 minutes, until they’re crispy and lightly golden-browned around the edges.
- Place the toasted baguette slices on a platter and top each toast with tomato bruschetta salad, leaving excess juice behind (you can use the juice for salad dressing). Drizzle with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar as desired and garnish with fresh basil. Enjoy immediately!
- Tomatoes: You can use any kind of tomatoes such as beefsteak, Roma, heirloom, small cocktail, grape, or cherry tomatoes, etc. Just remember: the riper the tomatoes, the better the flavor will be!
- Make ahead: You can make the tomato bruschetta salad up to 2 days in advance. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The toasted baguette slices taste best when baked just before serving.
- Serving Suggestions: The bruschetta is also delicious on cashew ricotta, hummus, guacamole, or vegan mini mozzarella balls. You can also add some vegan parmesan or crumbled tofu feta on top for more flavor. The tomato salad makes also a great kind of salsa dip for vegan burrito samosas, quesadillas, crunchwraps, spinach wraps, or other tortilla recipes. I also like to add it to a fresh salad or a gnocchi or pasta dish - there are so many options!
- Please read my blog post for further information and helpful tips on this recipe!
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