This easy warm bruschetta recipe is perfect for a quick summer appetizer! With fresh cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
Bruschetta! It's like summertime. On toast. WITH CHEESE.
This easy recipe has been a regular on my meal rotation since college. It's a quick, simple appetizer for summer barbecues or an easy dinner on busy weeknights. Sautéing the garlic and tomatoes gives this bruschetta a warm-and-cozy twist.
Order of operations
We're working with garlic, fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and plenty of basil (plus some toasty sourdough or French bread). Here's how it all comes together:
- Toast the bread slices in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil (Short on time? Skip the oven and the olive oil and just use a regular toaster!)
- Sauté some minced garlic and halved cherry tomatoes in a bit of olive oil until they're juuuuuust warmed through.
- Mix the warm tomatoes with torn fresh mozzarella and some fresh basil.
- Assemble! Spoon the tomato mixture over your toast pieces, add optional toppings (we love extra basil and a sprinkle of flakey salt) and enjoy!
As far as the best bread for bruschetta goes, I love using a good sourdough, Asiago Bread, roasted garlic bread, or my trusty Easy Crusty French Bread. You want a hearty, flavorful bread that will hold up well under the weight of the tomatoes and mozzarella. (This is also a great place to use any day-old bread that's starting to get a bit dry or stale!) Use a regular-sized loaf for bigger bruschetta pieces, or use baguette slices for bite-sized appetizers for a crowd.
Basics of Bruschetta
This is a loose interpretation of traditional Italian bruschetta, which typically consists of toasted bread - sometimes rubbed with a clove of fresh garlic - that's topped with fresh tomatoes, a bit of salt, and a drizzle of good olive oil.
Originally an Italian peasant dish from centuries ago, bruschetta toast toppings vary by region. In the United States, we often see bruschetta served with mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar, although the cheese and extra toppings aren't traditional.
Make Ahead Tips
If you're cooking for a crowd, you can make elements of this simple bruschetta recipe ahead of time:
- Slice the bread early. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days or freeze for up to a month.
- Tear or dice the fresh mozzarella. Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- Mince the garlic in advance. Keep it in a small bowl on the counter for a few hours, or in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- Use basil pesto instead of fresh basil if you don't want to worry about finding or slicing fresh herbs!
Riffs and Substitutions
This bruschetta recipe is VERY forgiving: feel free to mix up the toppings however you like! (Pro tip: There is no wrong way to do cheese + tomatoes + herbs on toast. It's all delicious.)
- Swap the mozzarella for goat cheese, parmesan, or feta. This recipe is also great with burrata or ricotta cheese (just spread the cheese over each toast piece and top with tomatoes instead of stirring it all together!)
- Stir some diced avocado or artichoke hearts into the tomato mixture, or sauté some butter beans or chick peas along with the tomatoes to make it a bit heartier!
- Top with a drizzle of honey or balsamic glaze for an extra pop of flavor.
- Add chopped pistachios or walnuts as a topping for some more texture.
Video: How to make warm bruschetta
More Summer Appetizer Ideas
A quick and easy warm bruschetta recipe - perfect for summer appetizers!
To toast the bread
- 8 slices crusty bread (we love sourdough or our Easy Crusty Bread!)
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the tomato mixture
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn or diced into small pieces
- Flakey sea salt (we like Maldon Salt!)
- Fresh chopped basil
- Balsamic reduction/glaze, honey, or hot honey
Toast the bread:
- Heat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake 5-7 minutes until crisp and very lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
Make the tomato mixture:
- Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic, stir, and sauté for 30-60 seconds until fragrant.
- Stir in cherry tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes until tomatoes are warmed through and have begun to soften.
- Pour warmed tomatoes into a medium mixing bowl. Add basil and mozzarella and stir to combine.
- Spread tomato mixture over toasted bread. Top with a pinch of flakey salt and extra basil. Serve immediately.
Measure with your heart. This is a very forgiving, very “un-recipe” recipe. Don't worry about getting the measurements perfect: you can eyeball everything! Scale things up or down to suit your personal tastes, and use as many bread slices as you like.
Toasting the bread. You don’t have to toast your bread in the oven – brush olive oil over each slice and char them on the grill or omit the olive oil and use a regular toaster!
Additions and Substitutions. Use crumbled goat cheese, shaved parmesan, or crumbled feta instead of mozzarella (or omit the cheese entirely for a vegan bruschetta). Sauté some butter beans or chick peas along with the tomatoes to make this a bit heartier. Add diced avocado to the tomato mixture. Top with chopped pistachios for texture. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze, honey, or hot honey if you like.
This recipe is also great with this easy asiago bread!
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 443
- Sugar: 2.2 g
- Sodium: 215.7 mg
- Fat: 4.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 78 g
- Protein: 21.9 g
- Cholesterol: 5.1 mg
Keywords: bruschetta, crostini, appetizer, summer