Appetizers, Toasts

Tomato Bruschetta with Homemade Pesto

June 4, 2019 (Last updated September 7, 2021) · Nicole Triebe

Classic Tomato Bruschetta with Homemade Pesto – Simple, fresh, and seriously delicious. This homemade pesto makes this best bruschetta I’ve ever had!

Growing up, my mom had a beautiful garden and grew fresh tomatoes every year.  She would eat panzanella salads every day for lunch with a simple drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar.  I’d always manage to sneak a few bites without her noticing.  Fresh tomatoes from your garden are the best things about summer! 

After culinary school, I worked at a small Italian restaurant in my home town.  On the weekends, I would come in around 8 am and make the tiramisu in huge batches.  I’d make 8 trays at a time and they’d freeze them and cut as needed.  During the week I would work the hot table or do apps, or really any odd job around the restaurant. 

I fell in love with the classic tomato bruschetta at my restaurant.  In my opinion, there’s no better appetizer than a really good crusty bread and some fresh tomatoes and basil.   Although there are so many different variations these days, I feel like the classic is still the best.  I always use a homemade pesto when I can, because it just makes this appetizer that much better, but store bought is fine.  

If you’re a garlic lover like I am, after your bread is toasted, slice a large clove of garlic in half and rub it on the hot bread.  This is such a super easy snack that you can make in a flash and it will really impress your guests.  This is my favorite bruschetta recipe of all time! Let’s make tomato basil bruschetta!

What do you need to make tomato bruschetta?

The word bruschetta directly translates from the Italian word bruscare, which means ‘to toast’.  Traditional bruschetta similar to the one we’re making today  is composed of toasted Italian bread drenched in olive oil and served typically with garlic or tomatoes.  I’m adding some fresh basil and a little bit of basil pesto to my version today. So you’ll need:

Crusty bread – my favorite to use is a french or Italian baguette (you can read about the differences here)

Tomatoes – either grape sliced in quarters, or diced larger tomatoes of your choice.

Garlic, minced or pressed through a microplane

Basil, cut chiffonade (set some aside for garnish)

Olive oil

Salt + Pepper

Sugar

Homemade basil pesto (store bought is also fine, I prefer Kirkland brand)

Start by combining the sliced tomatoes, garlic, basil, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside on the counter for at least 20 minutes. The flavors will taste best if the ingredients are able to marinate for a bit and really develop.

After the tomatoes have marinated for a bit, slice the baguette in 1/2″ wide slices and on an angle like this.

Classic Tomato Basil Bruschetta | a quick and easy Italian classic!

Preheat the oven to 400 (or if you’d like, you can grill your bread).  Put your bread slices on an oven safe pan and place in the oven until golden brown.  Drizzle with olive oil and slice a clove of garlic in half and rub the cut side on each toast.

Top each toast with a spoonful of basil pesto, goat cheese or freshly grated parmesan (if desired), and bruschetta tomatoes.  Garnish with basil chiffonade and serve! Curious how to easily cut basil chiffonade? Watch the video below!

Classic Tomato Basil Bruschetta | a quick and easy Italian classic!

Can you make bruschetta in advance?

I absolutely encourage making the bruschetta tomatoes in advance, as I mentioned above.  The flavors get better, and it saves some time if you’re having guests over.  You can even toast the bread in advance and store in an airtight container so it doesn’t harden too much.  Wait to assemble the slices until just before guests come over. The bread will get soggy the longer the bruschetta sits, so keep that in mind when menu planning!

Classic Tomato Basil Bruschetta | a quick and easy Italian classic!

If you love this recipe, you’ll love my strawberry goat cheese crostini or my margarita flatbread.

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Tomato Bruschetta

  • Author: Nicole Triebe
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Classic Tomato Bruschetta with Homemade Pesto – Simple, fresh, and seriously delicious. This homemade pesto makes this best bruschetta I’ve ever had!


Ingredients

Scale

4 ripe tomatoes on the vine, chopped and seeded

10 large basil leaves, chiffonade, plus some for garnish (I love Gotham Greens Basil)

3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp sugar

3 tbl olive oil

Homemade pesto


Instructions

Combine first 6 ingredients and set aside for a minimum of 20 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400 (or if you’d like, you can grill your bread).  Put your bread slices on an oven safe pan and place in the oven until golden brown. Once they’re nice and toasty.

Remove from the broiler and set aside.  If you’re a garlic lover like myself, you can slice a clove of garlic in half crosswise (so that you can hold on to the end with no problem) and rub the bread with the garlic.

If you’re serving right away, you can top each toast with a tbl of pesto, bruschetta tomato mix and garnish with Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano or goat cheese and extra basil, or if you’re creating a bruschetta bar, put the bowl of tomatoes in the middle and surround it with your toast points! Enjoy!


Keywords: appetizer; bruschetta

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10 Comments

  • Reply Mandee Pogue May 18, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Girl! You are speaking my foodie love language right here! I love how fresh and vibrant it looks as well! I am going to be heading to the store to make this for sure! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply The Tipsy Housewife May 24, 2018 at 5:18 am

    I’m getting a bunch of tomatoes I can’t wait to make this!

  • Reply dikla May 28, 2018 at 2:12 am

    No way! I had no idea how easy this is ! It looks so good, I can smell the basil! I just want to grab one!

  • Reply camila May 28, 2018 at 2:14 am

    girl this has me craving for bruschetta so much!!! Love your version!! Just lovely!

  • Reply Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness June 3, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Love your presentation! My fiance hates tomatoes, so maybe I will make this for myself when he goes out of town next week 😉

    • Reply Nicole Triebe June 4, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you so much! My wife hates them too! Who did we marry?!?

  • Reply Ali Hanson June 11, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Great ingredients and beautiful photography! We are a house divided on tomatoes fo I have to wait for a party or eat them all myself 🙂

  • Reply Jere Cassidy June 13, 2018 at 3:28 am

    Can’t wait for homegrown tomatoes to try this recipe.

  • Reply Linda | Brunch-n-Bites June 15, 2018 at 4:20 am

    Oh yum! I love how refreshing this bruschetta is and that tomatoes look so good! Checking the pesto recipe now.

  • Reply Alexis June 27, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    I absolutely love bruschetta! I’ve never tried it with pesto though, looking forward to trying this recipe. Yummy!

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