Discover a new world of quick and easy appetizers with these delicious bruschetta and crostini recipes and topping guide.
How to Make Delicious Bruschetta and Crostini Recipes with Helpful Toppings Guide
There’s no one way to make amazing bruschetta and crostini, but if you’ve never made it before, here are some delicious recipes and topping guide to help you on your way.
I am fond of bruschetta and for good reason. It’s one of the easiest appetizers I know of to make for any occasion.
You can prepare most of the ingredients ahead of time, sometimes even a day or more in advance.
Then when it’s time to serve all you have to do is bring out all the toppings, including making the toasted bruschetta and crostini and whola! instant party!
You don’t even have to limit when you serve bruschetta. Think of it as your one-stop appetizer for almost any gathering including:
- anniversary parties
- wedding and baby showers
- birthday parties
- gals’ soirees
- guy’s night out
- kids snacks and parties
- pool parties
- work parties and more!
What is Bruschetta and Crostini
To put it bluntly, both bruschetta and crostini are basically toast with toppings. But it’s how the bread is sliced, as well as, the toppings that makes all the difference between a ho hum bruschetta or crostini and an out-of-this-world one.
Still, if you’ve never made bruschetta or crostini, here’s a bit of background—just in case.
Traditionally, bruschetta is toasted whole slices of bread that is traditionally browned over coals (although not always). Crostini, on the other hand, are sliced toasted rounds. You’ll find in many relaxed foodie circles that many folks use these terms interchangeably.
Bruschetta is considered an antipasto or appetizer dish from Italy. Diners usually rub toasted bread with garlic, followed by a drizzle (or two) of olive oil. The bruschetta may or may not be topped with chopped tomatoes, mashed beans or a mix of sliced fresh or cured meats, chunks of seafood and/or cheese, hard or soft.
However, here in the U.S., bruschetta is considered a canapé. Usually, these small bites are served as hors d’oeuvres with drinks (alcoholic or not) and before the main dish. Note: the bread may or may not be toasted and most often a variety of one or more ingredients are placed on the bread.
Keep in mind that you can serve bruschetta or crostini as an appetizer or as a meal in itself. You decide.
Easy Entertaining – Crostini/Bruschetta Bar Ideas
Crostini and Bruschetta Bars are becoming more popular today because of how easy it is to set it up and the ease of keeping it refilled during special occasions.
Just like a buffet, you’ll need to provide a number of tasty toppings so that guests and/or family members can pick and choose their favorite, layer and nosh at will.
Here’s an informative video that shares some ways how you too can set up a crostini or bruschetta bar at home.
Tips for Making Bruschetta Ahead of Time
Here are some quick and easy tips to keep bruschetta and crostini fresh for your party:
• Toast your bread or rounds on the day of, close to the time you plan to serve.
• Or, slice and freeze bread and rounds in advance of needing it. Then, when guests drop by or you need an appetizer for an impromptu party, you have bread at the ready. Toast and serve. (See Video below.)
Crostini – An Appetizer for Unexpected Guests
See how easy it is to prepare on-the-spot appetizers with crostini that have been sliced and frozen ahead of time.
Easy Bruschetta Topping Ideas
Keep in mind that the sky’s the limit on mixing and matching ingredients. Even the idea of sweet and savory can be had all by varying the different layers of ingredients.
But that being said, bruschetta is meant to be an easy dining solution, so you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff if you don’t have all of the ingredients listed above.
The idea is to keep your menu simple.
So try mixing and matching one or more of these easy bruschetta topping ideas at your next gathering:
- roasted peppers
- grilled corn
- garlic: fresh, roasted
- onions: fresh, sautéed
- tomatoes: fresh, marinated, sautéed
- fig jam
- lignon berries
- fruit preserves
- fruit jams
- smoked bacon
- roasted beef, chicken, ham, lamb
- raw beef
- dried and/or aged meats
- cooked shrimp
- smoked or raw salmon
- goat cheese
- cream cheese, flavored or plain
- blue cheese
Gluten Free Bruschetta-like Options:
- gluten-free bread–all types toasted
- Asturi Bruschettini
- pattypan rounds (see Recipe below)
- chickpea crackers
- rice cakes
- Schär Crostini
Easy Bruschetta Appetizers for Parties
As mentioned above, there are so many ways to make an amazingly delicious bruschetta. Here are some recipe ideas to whet your appetite:
1. Roasted Pattypan with Tomatoes and Basil Recipe (Gluten-Free Recipe)
4. Poached Egg and Salmon Bruschetta
5. Black Olive Tapenade Bruschetta
6. Roasted Vegetable Crostini with Melted Cheese
7. Roasted Pumpkin and Feta Bruschetta
8. Italian Pesto Bruschetta
RELATED: Mixed Herb and Nut Pesto Recipe
9. Goat Cheese and Fig Jam Bruschetta
10. Comfit of Onion Bruschetta
11. Strawberry Mascarpone Crostini
For more delicious appetizer ideas, be sure to check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Recipe Section.