This vegan bruschetta recipe features the classic combination of fresh tomatoes with basil, garlic and balsamic vinegar. Simple and quick to make, but absolutely delicious! Makes for a stress-free and stunning appetizer or finger food to serve at parties or to enjoy as a fresh and light lunch. 100% vegan and easy to make gluten-free.
I wanted to make the most of what's left from tomato season, so I made vegan bruschetta using fresh tomatoes and basil. It is one of our favorite appetizers!
Whenever I make a simple vegan pesto flatbread, I'll garnish it off with a fresh tomato bruschetta topping to brighten up the meal. But typically, a bruschetta is served simply over bread or crostini for a quick snack or meal.
This fresh bruschetta recipe highlights fresh tomatoes, which is a must-to-make when tomatoes are in season. The tomato bruschetta mix is filled with fresh flavors from red onion, garlic and basil and the flavors are perfectly balanced with a touch of tangy balsamic vinegar.
This recipe truly makes for a treat!
Plus, it is so easy and quick to prepare. Aside from toasting the bread, all you have to do is mix the bruschetta topping ingredients, then garnish the bread and enjoy. Everything can be done in less than 15 minutes.
Makes for a beautiful Italian-inspired simple appetizer or finger food for when you are hosting, but we love it as a light lunch with a cup of soup. You can use the extra bruschetta toppings over salads, pizza, and avocado toasts or simply scoop with crackers, just like a pico de Gallo, but Italian-style.
Let me know if you gave it a try! ❤️
Why you will love this recipe
- Easy and quick recipe that packs a huge amount of fresh flavors
- Healthy and low-fat
- Great as finger food, lunch, side dish or even as a small full meal
- Versatile and easy to customize
- Perfect appetizer recipe that's eye-catching and appetizing
- Vegan, vegetarian and easy-to-make gluten-free
Best types of bread for making tomato bruschetta
You can use many different kinds of bread to make bruschetta as long as the bread is hearty, not too soft and on the denser side. A nice crunchy bread is great for bruschetta! This kind of bread will prevent the juicy bruschetta mixture from turning the bread mushy too quickly once assembled.
Great bread ideas include:
- French baguette
- Sourdough baguette
- Whole wheat sourdough
- Italian bread
What you will need
You will only need a handful of simple fresh ingredients. See below for swaps and yummy add-on ideas!
- Bread: I used whole wheat sourdough bread for making these bruschetta.
- Fresh ripe tomatoes: Roma tomatoes are a great choice for fresh bruschetta since they have a sturdy flesh with not many seeds and watery interiors. This creates a bruschetta mix that's not super juicy and can prevent your bread from turning mushy too quickly. Sweet cherry tomatoes are another great choice for their delicious sweet taste.
- Red onion: you can also use yellow (stronger in taste) or sweet onion if you prefer. I like using red onion for its milder taste and the nice pop of purple color that peaks through the bruschetta topping.
- Fresh garlic: I included one clove in the mixture, although feel free to add more to taste. You will also need another clove of garlic for brushing on the bread.
- Fresh basil: fresh herbs are better than dried basil in this case. Fresh oregano would also be great!
- Balsamic vinegar: adds amazing sweet and tangy flavor to the bruschetta mix.
- Olive oil: optional, I added a tiny amount in the bruschetta mix and also to brush over the bread, but you don't have to add any. If using, then go for a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Optional: balsamic glaze. I like to finish up by drizzling some sweet glaze over the bruschetta. Balsamic glazes are easy to find in most grocery stores, but you can also make your own balsamic reduction from regular balsamic vinegar!
How to make a vegan tomato basil bruschetta
This is such a quick and easy recipe that can be done within 15 minutes. I recommend starting by making the tomato topping so it has some time to marinate while you prepare the bread.
Make the tomato bruschetta topping
Dice the tomatoes and red onion in small cubes, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the crushed garlic, chopped basil, balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil (½-1 tablespoon, optional).
Add a pinch of sea salt and stir to combine. Taste and add more balsamic vinegar or garlic as you wish. Set aside to marinate.
Prepare the bread
While the tomatoes are marinating, then slice your bread (thick slices) and brush a little olive oil over the bread (optional, can be made oil-free). Warm up a large skillet (non-stick pan or skillet work) on medium-high heat and then, add the bread with the oil surface facing down.
Toast the bread until it turns golden brown, then remove and place on a plate or serving board with the toasted part facing up.
Assemble and serve
Slice a clove of garlic in half lengthwise and then, rub the sliced part against the slices of bread. The toasted bread acts like a mini grater and will help grab some of the garlic flavor.
Then, pile the tomato mixture over the bread.
You can sprinkle some coarse salt and ground black pepper over and drizzle a balsamic glaze. Add more fresh basil if you want, then serve and enjoy right away.
How to toast the bread in the oven
If you prefer, you can grill the bread using the oven as opposed to using the stove:
- Preheat the oven to 400º and place the oven rack on the top part.
- Brush the sliced bread with a little olive oil.
- Place bread over the baking sheet with the brushed part facing up.
- Grill in the oven for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown (watch carefully).
- This recipe is at its best when using good quality fresh produce. Look for ripe tomatoes and fresh bright green basil.
- If you use regular red tomatoes (not Roma tomatoes), then you might want to remove the seeds and watery interior first so that the bruschetta topping mix does not turn too watery, which can make the bread become soggy quickly.
- When transferring the tomato topping over the bread, then you can leave some of the extra moisture back in the bowl, again, so the bread does not turn too soggy.
- If you have the time, make the bruschetta topping one hour before serving so the flavors can marinate and blend together.
These vegan bruschetta are great for entertaining and for serving at your next family gathering. It will disappear in minutes! You can make the bruschetta into easy-to-grab small bites, such as using baguette bread, and make a beautiful platter also serving alongside olives, hummus dip with crackers, nuts, falafel, dried fruits, etc.
We also love it as a simple lunch: it comes together so easily and makes for a light and fresh meal that's packed with nutrients.
If serving as an appetizer, then pair with an Italian-style main course, such as:
- White sauce lasagna
- Creamy vegan spinach pasta
- Easy pasta al pesto
- Oat milk alfredo pasta sauce
- Creamy green pasta sauce
You can make your bruschetta just the way you want by tweaking the ingredients to your taste, it is so forgiving and versatile!
I like mine not too garlicky, but feel free to adjust the amount of garlic if you love the raw taste of it.
Here are a few more ingredients you can add to your bruschetta mix:
- Kalamata olives (chopped)
- Fresh oregano
- Vegan parmesan
- Nutritional yeast
- Red pepper flakes
- White beans
- Vegan feta cheese
When serving the bruschetta, you can also spread some vegan pesto or hummus on the bread before garnishing it with the tomato mix. Or, use the bruschetta to garnish avocado toast for a delicious and filling lunch!
Storage and make-ahead tips
Once you assemble the bruschetta over the bread, then it is best to enjoy it right away since the water from the mixture will eventually turn the bread soft and soggy.
That being said, you can make the tomato basil mixture ahead of time (up to 2-3 hours ahead) and keep it in the fridge until ready to use. This can be handy if serving at a gathering so you can make the mix before the guests arrive.
If you do have leftover bruschetta mix, then you can keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. The mixture will not be as fresh, but still be pretty good.
It is easy to make this recipe completely gluten-free simply by using GF bread. The rest of the ingredients are naturally GF!
There are a few things you could do to ensure the best result and help the bread not absorb too much moisture from the tomatoes: 1- enjoy right away after served, 2- remove the extra watery interior of your tomatoes and discard, 3- toast your bread until golden brown and 4- when scooping the mixture over the bread, try not to grab too much liquid.
Related recipes to try
- Mediterranean avocado toasts
- Cucumber pico de gallo
- High-protein guacamole
- Roasted habanero salsa with mango
- Pineapple pico de gallo
- Flatbread bruschetta with pesto
I hope you like this vegan bruschetta recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Vegan Tomato Bruschetta
- 6-8 slices sturdy bread - such as French baguette or Ciabatta bread
- 1½ cup fresh tomatoes (Roma tomatoes work best) - diced, remove watery interior if necessary
- ¼ cup red onion - finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic - divided, one crushed for the tomato mix and one to rub on the bread
- ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½-1 tbsp olive oil - optional, plus more for brushing on bread
- 1 handful fresh basil - finely sliced
- salt - to taste
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, ONE of the cloves of garlic (crushed), balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, olive oil (if using, optional) and salt to taste. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Slice the bread and then, brush a little olive oil over it (optional, can be made oil-free). Then, use a large pan to toast the bread with the brushed surface facing down. Toast on medium-high heat watching carefully until browned to your liking.
- Once the bread is done, then slice the other clove of garlic lengthwise and brush its surface over the toasted bread. Garnish with the bruschetta tomato mix, drizzle with balsamic glaze if you have some, sprinkle some coarse salt, then serve and enjoy right away.
- Storage tips: once assembled, then these bruschetta are best enjoyed right away (the bread will turn soggy over time). You can make the tomato topping mixture up to 2-3 hours ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.
- You can also toast the bread in the oven at 400º for about 7-10 minutes.
- More ingredients you can add to the tomato mixture include kalamata olives, capers, white beans and red pepper flakes. Check out the blog post for more ideas!