This amazing flatbread bruschetta recipe is so easy and quick to make. It includes pizza dough, pesto sauce and a simple garlicky tomato topping mixture. Such a fun and tasty Italian style vegan dinner recipe that you can make under 30 minutes.
Ok, this has gotta be on your "recipes to try" list: easy flatbread bruschetta!
Wow, it is so so good. Almost like a pizza, but without the cheese, swapping the classic tomato sauce for pesto and using a homemade fresh tomato basil bruschetta mix for garnishing. Yes, this recipe is fully dairy-free & plant-based, but you won't miss the cheese at all as it is packed with layers of flavors.
The warm savory pesto flatbread pairs just so perfectly with the chilled and fresh garlicky tomatoes. Then, top with a sweet balsamic glaze for a final touch. I mean, can this sound more yummy?
It can definitely be served as bruschetta bites as an appetizer, especially if you slice in small portions so people can grab-and-go, but we love it for dinner with a side salad.
There is so much flavor and texture going on, all complementing each other, I think this is my new favorite dinner recipe ✌️.
Many kinds of breads can be used when making tomato bruschetta, but in this case we are just going to be using regular pizza dough. I actually bought pizza dough at the store just to make it easier, so feel-free to do the same! Make or also buy the vegan pesto, then all you need to prep is the super easy bruschetta topping mix. Or why not, you could even buy the bruschetta tomato mix at the store so all you have to do is assemble and bake. What a fun weeknight dinner idea made under 30 minutes.
Really, this recipe is super easy! Hope you give it a try! ❤️
I have mistaken what bruschetta really means for so long, so I thought I would share a side note here just in case you were in the same boat as me!
"Bruschetta" means roasted bread in Italian, so the word bruschetta actually refers to the bread part of the recipe, not the tomato garnishing itself.
The tomato mixture we typically use when making bruschetta simply is the most popular one we know/see around. You would still call "bruschetta" any kind of Italian style roasted bread that's topped with a completely different garnishing, such as olive or artichoke bruschetta for example.
Why this recipe works
- Easy to customize
- Makes for a quick dinner recipe great to serve during the week
- Can make every component from scratch (flatbread-pesto-tomato mix) OR buy each of them and then assemble, depending on how much time you got to make it
- Healthy and super filling
- 100% dairy-free & vegan
- Serve for dinner, appetizer, finger food, apero-fancy-snacking-food, etc
What you'll need to make it
Once more, feel free to make each part from scratch, but you can also skip some of the step by buying them in the grocery store. Keep reading for tips on brands to use.
- Pizza dough: Easy to find in most grocery stores and neighborhood markets. You can also make pizza dough easily at home. I have been using this pizza dough recipe from Ricardo Cuisine for years and it works so well every time.
- Vegan pesto: You can easily make you own pesto recipe using a food processor. Here is one of my favorite homemade version using walnuts for added healthy omega-3: vegan walnut pesto. If you prefer buying it for a super quick recipe, then you can try using this vegan pesto from the brand Gotham Greens, although richer and made using oil.
- Fresh tomatoes: used to make the bruschetta topping mix. I love using a sweeter kind of tomatoes, such as cherry or cocktail tomatoes, but choose whatever you can find especially if the tomatoes are not in season. Also, Roma tomatoes would work well since they are not as watery. In any case, definitely use fresh tomatoes, not canned!
- Fresh basil: complement the pesto and is amazing in bruschetta mix to add freshness.
- Garlic: I used one large clove, but feel free to add more if you want a stronger garlic flavor.
- Red onion: or shallot or green onion or yellow onion.
- Balsamic vinegar: just a little bit to add a nice tang to the bruschetta mixture.
- Balsamic glaze or reduction: totally non essential, but if you have some, then garnish the flatbread with a sweet glaze. I love the balsamic glaze from the brand 365.
How to make flatbread bruschetta
Make the flatbread
Pre-heat the oven to 425º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Then, divide the ball of dough in 2, which will give you 2 flatbreads to bake.
Lightly flour a clean counter + a rollin pin and press/stretch/roll each of the ball into a long oval shape or rectangular. Take your time and keep working the dough until it remains in the shape you are looking for (pizza dough can be so "bouncy"!), which can take a few minutes.
Transfer the 2 flatbreads over your prepared baking sheet and poke a few holes with a fork to try prevent large bubbles from forming. Also spray olive or avocado oil over to help crisp the flatbreads, although this is optional.
Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes watching carefully. You are looking for a flatbread that's slightly crispy and browned.
Make the bruschetta
While the flatbreads are baking, you should have enough time to prep the bruschetta topping mix.
Simply dice the tomatoes and onion and add to a bowl. Add the crushed garlic, chopped basil, balsamic vinegar and a good pinch of salt. Stir to combine, taste to adjust flavors and set aside until ready to use.
Once the flatbreads are done baking, take them out and spread some pesto over. Bake for 4-5 minutes extra just to warm up the pesto.
Then, when ready to serve, transfer the tomato mixture over both flatbreads trying not to add too much of the liquid that's accumulating into your bowl. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over and add more fresh basil (or arugula) if desired.
Slice in triangles or squares and serve right away!
Watch how to make it
Stove top flatbread bruschetta
I actually tested this flatbread recipe on the stove top as opposed to using the oven and it worked out well!
In that case, divide the pizza dough in 4 instead of 2 and shape them in oval/rectangular as well (smaller fits better in the pan and is easier to flip/manipulate).
Then, warm up a non-stick pan on medium heat (with a little refined coconut oil) and cook each flatbread for 3-4 minutes on each side or until they look done, bubbly and slightly browned. You can poke the bubbles that form as you cook them.
Then, spread with the pesto, cover and let cook for 1-2 more minutes (just to warm up the pesto slightly). Set aside and cook the next flatbread (you can keep them warm in the oven at low heat until all the flatbreads are done).
To serve, top each flatbread with the bruschetta tomato mix and drizzle the balsamic glaze over (if using).
Balsamic glaze tips
Balsamic glaze simply is balsamic vinegar that was reduced to a thicker consistency. It often has a little brown sugar added to it and usually has a pourable caramel-like texture. It has an amazing sweet flavor that's also less vinegary than regular balsamic vinegar.
You will find store-bought balsamic glaze in grocery stores easily. OR, you can also make your own balsamic glaze by reducing regular balsamic vinegar on the stove.
Missing the cheese?
If you really wanted to add a cheesy component to this recipe, then feel free to top the flatbread with one of these vegan cheese recipes:
- If the pizza dough was chilled in the fridge, then take it out of the fridge for about 1 hour before using, if possible. I find it easier to manipulate and shape the dough if not super cold.
- When rolling the dough, try to really create a long oval or even rectangular-ish shape so they might both fit on the same baking sheet. If they don't fit, that's fine, simply use 2 baking sheets.
- Pizza dough is super bouncy, I often get a little frustrated when shaping it, ha! I actually like using a rolling pin for this recipe, but be sure to flour the pin or it will stick to it badly.
- When transferring the tomato mix over the flatbread, try not to carry too much liquid over the bread or it can turn it soggy pretty quickly. You can use a fork instead of a spoon if that's easier to drain the excess water as you go.
- This recipe is super quick if you prep each component ahead, such as the dough, pesto and even the bruschetta topping mix. Bake + assemble at the last minute for a speedy dinner.
We LOVE this recipe for dinner. Our kids adore pesto, so they absolutely love this recipe and we mostly just eat it like pizza, which is always a big hit for my family.
I think this recipe goes beautifully with a side salad to lightly up the meal a bit. Serve with this kale salad, cucumber carrot salad or a fresh watermelon cucumber salad to add more veggies and freshness to your meal.
We also love it with a creamy soup such as this zucchini potato soup or creamy squash soup to dip in the flatbread in.
If serving in the summer, then this flatbread calls for something fresh and bubbly ❤️. Try pairing with these watermelon mojito or strawberry mojito mocktails. If serving during fall or the winter, then take full advantage of the fresh cranberries around and make a bubbly cranberry orange fizzy mocktail to serve alongside this flatbread.
This flatbread recipe is best eaten when just prepared. The tomato mixture will release more juice over time, which can turn the underneath bread soggy.
If you do have some leftovers, then keep in an air-tight container for 1-2 days. Do not freeze!
If you know ahead of time that you will end up with more food that you can eat, then I would recommend to store the pesto flatbread leftovers + tomato mixture leftovers in a container apart in the fridge. Then, you can reheat the pesto flatbread for a few minutes in a hot oven and top with the bruschetta mixture and balsamic glaze just when ready to eat.
More flatbread or pizza recipes
- Vegan bagel pizza bites
- Vegan white pizza with mushrooms
- Buckwheat pizza crust
- Italian focaccia with tomatoes and olives
More easy vegan dinner recipes to try
- Vegan rice paper rolls
- Eggplant curry
- Gochujang pasta
- Bok choy tofu stir fry
- Green pasta sauce
- Vegan Tray Bake
- Quick Sesame Kale Noodles
- Jackfruit curry
- Healthy vegetable stir-fry
- Vegan warm couscous vegetable salad
I hope you like this flatbread 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!
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Flatbread Bruschetta with Pesto and Balsamic
- 1 batch of pizza dough (about 16 oz) - store-bought or homemade
- avocado oil spray (or olive oil) - for spraying/brushing over the dough
- 1 cup vegan pesto - store-bought or homemade
- 1½ cups cherry or cocktail tomatoes - finely diced
- 2-4 tbsp red onion - finely diced
- 1 large clove of garlic - crushed
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 15 leaves of fresh basil - chopped, plus more for serving
- salt - to taste
- drizzle of balsamic glaze or reduction - optional
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 425º.
- Divide the pizza dough in 2 equal portions. Then, shape/stretch both dough into a long oval or rectangular shape of about ¼ inch thick. You can use a floured rolling pin to help shape them and then transfer them both over the prepared baking sheet. They should both fit on the baking sheet.
- Then, use a fork to poke the dough a few times to prevent large bubbles to form while baking and spray some avocado or brush a little olive oil over.
- Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes or until they start to brown.
- While the flatbreads are in the oven, then it is a good time to make the bruschetta tomato mix. Simply combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, balsamic vinegar and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Take the flatbreads out of the oven and spread a generous amount of vegan pesto over. Then, bake for about 3-4 more minutes just to warm up the pesto.
- When done, dollop the bruschetta topping mix over the flatbreads (try not to add too much water that's accumulating in the bowl), drizzle some balsamic glaze over and add more chopped basil if you want (or arugula). Slice and enjoy right away!
- You can find already made pizza dough in most grocery stores OR make your own. I use this homemade pizza dough recipe.
- You can make your own vegan pesto or also buy it at the grocery store. Just make sure there is no parmesan cheese added for a vegan recipe. Most store-bought pesto contain a fair amount of olive oil, but are great to make dinner super quick and convenient, so we use them sometimes. If you want to avoid added oil, then you can easily make your own! I love this vegan walnut pesto that's made without oil.
- This recipe is best enjoyed when just made. The tomatoes release juice as they rest and may turn the underneath flatbread soggy. If you do have leftovers, then keep in the fridge for 1-2 days.
- Don't underestimate the addition of balsamic glaze, it adds an amazing sweetness to this recipe. I love this balsamic glaze from the brand 365, but you can also make your own balsamic glaze using regular balsamic vinegar and a little brown sugar.
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