This Bruschetta Pomodoro is an easy and simple Italian recipe that can be served as a side dish, appetizer or snack. It uses fresh ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen, and will taste even better than what you get in the restaurants!
This refreshing and delightful Italian bruschetta recipe is often served during the summer months, when fresh tomatoes are in season or grown in our backyard gardens.
If you’ve never made your own bruschetta, you’ll see how easy it is to make. This is one of my favorite Italian side dishes and I hope it becomes one of yours too.
About Bruschetta Pomodoro
Bruschetta, pronounced bru-sketta, originated in Italy, and there are several different theories as to where it came from. Some believe that it was created in the northern regions, while others believe that it comes from the south. There are even some who believe that bruschetta originated in Sicily.
Bruschetta means ‘little toasts’ in Italian – consisting of the bread, garlic and olive oil. Pomodoro means ‘tomato’, so when put together we end up with a delicious recipe for Italian bruschetta.
There are many types of bruschetta, and I’ll explain that a bit later further down. However, for this recipe, we’ll be focusing on authentic bruschetta pomodoro.
Ingredients Used for Bruschetta Pomodoro
The secret to making a deliciously authentic bruschetta pomodoro is to use fresh ingredients. Without fresh ingredients, the flavor will not exist and you’ll be disappointed.
Fresh tomatoes – You can use any kind of fresh tomatoes, however try varieties that are meaty such as Roma or San Marzano.
Fresh Basil – I grow my basil indoors all year, so fresh basil is never a problem. Do not use dried basil. Go to the store and buy fresh basil if you don’t have any in your garden.
Extra virgin olive oil – Do not use regular olive oil; it needs to be extra virgin, ideally cold pressed. Most Italians will only use this type anyway as it has more flavor and is perfect for topping salads or recipes like this.
Garlic – Use fresh garlic, not from a jar or dried.
Baguette – make sure to use a long baguette.
Balsamic Vinegar (optional) – I include this because some readers will insist on using balsamic vinegar in this recipe. I’ve used it with and without, so I’ve made it optional. But for a pomodoro recipe, you can use just tomatoes.
Additional Topping Ideas for Bruschetta
There are other toppings that can be added to bruschetta, such as pesto spreads, roasted red pepper, olives, onion (according to this bruschetta definition by LaCucina), or shredded mozzarella cheese. But if you do use them, then this is no longer a pomodoro bruschetta recipe, my favorite way to eat it!
How to Prepare Bruschetta Pomodoro
To make this recipe requires very few steps, and it is best to prepare them the day of serving. Follow these steps below and use my printable recipe card at the end of this post if you’d like to print it out.
Prepare the Bread
First, you preheat the oven to a high temperature of 450F. While it is heating, prepare your bread by slicing the baguette into ½ inch diagonal slices. This gives the elegant slant to the sides of the bread – you’ll see it in my images.
I have found that baking the bread first prevents the tomatoes from causing the bread to become soggy.
Prepare the Bruschetta Tomato Mixture
Meanwhile, make the bruschetta marinade by mixing the tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar (optional) together. The balsamic vinegar is 100% optional and not always used in an authentic pomodoro recipe. Sometimes I add it, while other times I don’t.
Set the mixture aside in a strainer and let the excess juices of the tomatoes drip into a bowl. We do not want that much liquid because it will cause the bread to become too soggy.
Bake and Season the Bread
Next you’ll bake the bread slices on a cookie sheet for 4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
When done, take the garlic cloves and crush them with a wide knife to smash them, or slice them in half so the insides are exposed. Rub the interior of the garlic gently on the top side of each slice.
I do not use chopped or minced garlic since we only want a hint of garlic. It would be too overpowering otherwise. This is why we don’t add garlic to the marinade mixture.
Drizzle or brush the olive oil over the garlic seasoned toasted bread. We don’t toast the olive oil with the bread because we don’t want to lose the flavor of the oil as it cooks at a high temperature.
When ready to serve, top the slices of bread with the marinated bruschetta tomato mixture and add another light drizzle of the olive oil.
Ways to Serve Bruschetta
To serve the bruschetta, it is best to do so while the bread is still warm and not cold. Since these are topped with tomatoes, make sure you provide plates and even a fork to make it easy to eat should any toppings fall off.
Your friends and family will appreciate it.
When planning for how much you will need, it is best to estimate 2 to 3 slices per serving.
To keep the bruschetta warm, place in the oven which should be turned off or set to very low. Do not cover the bread. Pull out when ready to serve. It will be delicious!!
Common Questions about Making Bruschetta al Pomodoro
As with many of my Italian recipes, I stress that fact that you can be as flexible as you like. I do my best to provide authentic processes and methods, but it in the end it’s about providing you with easy Italian recipes that you will love and make your own.
Here are some common questions you may have that I can answer.
Can you make Bruschetta with Grape Tomatoes
Yes, you can make bruschetta al pomodoro with grape tomatoes, in fact I would recommend using grape tomatoes over canned tomatoes. However, try to avoid too many seeds from getting in the mixture.
Dice the tomatoes just as you would any other fresh tomato.
Using Canned Tomatoes for Bruschetta
I recommend avoiding this for a few reasons. First, the flavor of canned tomatoes is completely different from fresh tomatoes. Second, you have a lot more liquid to deal with. Thirdly, the canned tomatoes may not be diced finely enough.
You can try it none the less, however I prefer using canned tomatoes in baked fresh tomato pizza baguettes like we do in my ciabatta pizza recipe.
How far in advance can you make bruschetta?
I recommend making the bruschetta right before serving. However, you can prebake the bread and create the bruschetta marinade early. Reheat the bread in the oven prior to topping with the marinade.
Is bruschetta served hot or cold?
Bruschetta is best served warm, neither hot nor cold. It tastes best when the baked bread is warm and the tomato mixture is cold. It tastes delicious!
Can you freeze bruschetta?
It is not recommended to freeze Italian bruschetta.
How long is bruschetta good for?
Once prepared, the bruschetta can last for a few hours. Because the bread will eventually soak up the tomato juices, it is best to use as soon as possible. You can however, reheat the bruschetta al pomodoro (with tomatoes) in a toaster oven or regular oven.
What type of bread to use for bruschetta?
The best bread to use for bruschetta is a baguette. Not a big wide loaf of artisan bread, but rather long and narrow baguettes.
How to eat bruschetta without bread?
If you’re looking to cut back on your carbs or gluten and can’t eat bread, try my zucchini bruschetta recipe that uses slices of zucchini instead of bread.
Pico de gallo vs bruschetta
Do not confuse pico de gallo with bruschetta. Pico de gallo is a combination of diced tomatoes, onions, and often cilantro, more traditionally known for Mexican cuisine. Bruschetta does not use onion or cilantro, but rather basil and garlic.
Similar Recipes You May Enjoy
Garbanzo Bean Salad – Enjoy this healthy salad that is loaded with healthy vegetables!
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Please let me know in the comments below!
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Delicious Italian Bruschetta Pomodoro is one of my favorite Italian side dishes. You don't have to go to a restaurant to eat it. This recipe is so easy to make you'll be surprised!
- 1 loaf Long baguette
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3-4 medium freshly chopped tomatoes drained
- handful shredded fresh basil
- drizzle extra virgin olive oil
- drizzle balsamic vinegar optional
- pinch salt optional
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Slice the bread into 1/2 inch slices.
In a separate bowl, mix the tomatoes, basil and optional balsamic vinegar and set aside.
Bake the bread slices for 4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Remove from oven and rub the garlic gently on the bread.
Drizzle or brush the olive oil over the bread.
Top the slices with the tomato mixture just prior to serving – this helps keep the bread from getting soggy.
Give one small drizzle of olive oil over the tomatoes- this part is optional, I just think it helps spread the flavor.
Serve warm if possible.
- There is a trick to rubbing the garlic on the bread – you need to crush the garlic first so the juices are able to be spread (just peel the garlic and then press it with a wide knife to make it go splat). Then gently rub the bread with the crushed garlic.
- Many online recipes use cheese; this recipe doesn’t. It is meant to be simple, traditionally omitting the balsamic vinegar, although I made it optional.
- To serve warm ahead of time, simply reheat in the oven for a few minutes if the tomatoes have already been added. Either way they will still be enjoyed.
- It is very important you drain excess juices of the tomatoes so the bread doesn’t become soggy.
- Experiment and make this recipe your own! Enjoy!
This post was originally posted August, 2019. Updated January 2023.