This tomato bruschetta is a wonderful appetizer or snack that’s easy to whip up in minutes! Toasty bread is topped with a delicious blend of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar, and is a great accompaniment for a casual dinner or a special event.
This delicious vegan bruschetta is a perfect way to use those vine ripened tomatoes and basil from your garden. A simple, but flavorful appetizer that’s perfect for entertaining, for accompanying your favorite Italian meal like my Easy Vegan Lasagna or my Vegan Ravioli.
It’s also a wonderful addition to your picnic basket! Just pack the bread and the topping separately and top the bread just before eating.
You’ll be surprised at how easy this is to make, and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser that will be devoured by your guests!
What is bruschetta?
Traditionally, bruschetta is toasted bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. The term bruschetta is from the Italian, bruscare, meaning “to roast over coals.” Although the origins of bruschetta are not clearly known, it is believed that bruschetta originated in the Lazio and Tuscany regions of Italy.
Bruschetta can be topped with a variety of toppings, and the most classic topping is tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. The tomatoes and basil are a perfect marriage of flavors, and some fresh garlic adds a bit of zing to the topping.
To make this recipe healthy, I’ve left out the olive oil. But it’s not missed at all. The recipe is still bursting with flavor.
Ingredients in this recipe for tomato bruschetta
This vegan tomato bruschetta is made with just a few ingredients, so every ingredient counts. Be sure to use the highest quality ingredients you can find for best flavor.
- Bread – French or Italian breads work nicely for this recipe. Sourdough bread is wonderful, or you can choose whole grain or gluten free bread. Just make sure it is a nice crusty, dense bread; the fluffier sandwich breads will be to soft and will become soggy.
- Tomatoes – these should be nice and ripe for the best flavor. Cherry or grape tomatoes have good flavor year round, but larger tomato varieties work just as well. Using multi colored tomatoes will make your bruschetta even more beautiful!
- Basil – fresh basil gives a wonderful summer herb flavor that perfectly compliments the tomatoes.
- Garlic – Traditionally, the garlic is rubbed on the toasted bread as soon as it comes out of the oven, but I’ve added minced garlic to the topping instead.
- Balsamic vinegar – use a high quality balsamic vinegar for the best flavor
- Salt & Pepper – to taste
How to make bruschetta
Slice the bread into half inch slices. If you’re using a narrow loaf like a baguette, I like to slice it at an angle. This gives nice wide slices to hold lots of this wonderful tomato basil topping.
Toast the bread by placing the slices in the oven at 450 F for about 4 to 6 minutes, then tun and toast the other side. Watch the bread closely to make sure it doesn’t burn. The amount of time it takes to toast varies depending on your oven as well as the moisture content of the bread you’re using.
The bread can also be toasted on a grill, giving it a nice smoky flavor, or in a toaster.
Dice the tomatoes in a small dice. Mine are probably about 1/4 inch cubes. If you are using large tomatoes, remove the seeds when you dice them. If using small tomatoes like cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, quarter the tomatoes, but don’t worry about removing the seeds.
For a less watery bruschetta topping, place the tomatoes in a colander and add the salt. Allow the tomatoes to drain for about 15 to 20 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.
Place the tomatoes in a bowl.
Cut the basil into ribbons by stacking the leaves together, rolling them up, and slicing them thinly.
Either put the garlic through a garlic press, or finely mince it with a knife.
Add the basil, minced garlic, and balsamic vinegar to the bowl with the tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Store in the refrigerator for an hour before serving to help bring out the flavors.
Spoon the tomato mixture onto the toasted bread right before serving and enjoy!
Bruschetta is usually sliced from a larger, dense loaf of bread, while crostini are toasted small rounds of finer textured bread.
This topping is best the first day, after refrigerating for a couple of hours. It will last 3 to 4 days, but the tomatoes will wilt a bit.
Unfortunately, this tomato bruschetta topping does not freeze well. But it is so quick and easy to make, you can have this fresh tomato bruschetta any time you have fresh tomatoes and basil.
When preparing the bruschetta, removing the seeds from the tomatoes will make your topping less watery. Also, add the topping to the bread right before serving. If you top the bread earlier, there will be more time for the tomato juices to soak into the bread.
A large, dense loaf of bread is perfect for bruschetta. French, Italian, or sourdough breads are wonderful. A hearty multigrain bread will also work, and gluten free bread is fine if you are gluten intollerant.
For more Italian recipes see:
- Oil Free Vegan Marinara
- Vegan Ravioli
- Stuffed Shells
- Italian Sausage & Peppers Sandwich
- Pepperoni Pizza Panini
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Tomato Bruschetta Without Oil
- 3 to 4 cups diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic. minced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 loaf crusty bread
- Slice the bread and toast at 450° F for about 4 to 6 minutes. Turn and toast for another 4 to 6 minutes on the other side. You want the bread to have a nice golden brown. Watch carefully to make sure it doesn't burn.
- Dice your tomatoes into a small dice, about ¼ inch. If you're using cherry or grape tomatoes you can just quarter them. With larger tomatoes, your topping will be less watery if you remove the seeds from the tomatoes.
- Stack the basil leaves together and roll them up, Slice the rolled basil to create basil ribbons.
- Put the garlic through a garlic mince, or mince finely with a knife.
- Place all the ingredients and stir together to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour for the flavors to blend
- Serve over toasted slices of baguettes.
Nutrition calculations are approximate.