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Authentic Italian Bruschetta Al Pomodoro — this recipe came straight from Italy, along with all our tips and tricks!

This antipasto starts with olive oil brushed bread, grilled and rubbed with fresh garlic. Bruschetta toppings can vary from a tomato mixture (the recipe we’re sharing today!) to beans, cured meats, vegetables, cheeses, etc.

Check out the other recipes I was generously given while traveling through Italy — this GelatoApple Fennel SaladBeef Ragu, and Pepperoni Saporiti.


How To Pronounce Bruschetta?

broo·skeh·tuh (this is a helpful way to practice)

Overhead image of Bruschetta


If you follow me on Instagram, you might have caught a glimpse of our recent trip to Italy. We were able to visit Venice, Rome, Naples, the Almalfi Coast (Positano, Amalfi, Ravello), Pisa, Siena, Pompeii, and finally Florence.

While we were in Italy we took a few local cooking classes and learned to make so many different Italian dishes and desserts. One of the cooking classes (my favorite one!) took place in the countryside near Siena in Le Pietre Vive farmhouse. The cooking class was in an adorable kitchen surrounded by a large farm, livestock, and tons of olive trees. (Most of the ingredients we used were grown/produced right on the farm.) Our teacher, Nonna Ciana, couldn’t be a cuter grandma! She spoke little English, but was accompanied by a very entertaining translator.

Nonna Ciana taught us how to make a few authentic Italian dishes (and a dessert). We spent nearly four hours cooking in her kitchen before sitting down to enjoy the best meal I had while in Italy! For the appetizer, we made three varieties of easy bruschetta. 

Process shots-- images of the tomatoes being chopped

What Is Italian Bruschetta?

Bruschetta is a classic antipasto (appetizer) originating from Italy that consists of grilled bread, and is topped with ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and olive oil.

The three different varieties of Bruschetta we made were fett’unta (bruschetta with olive oil), bruschetta with pecorino cheese and chili honey, and bruschetta al pomodoro (bruschetta with tomatoes). All three were absolutely delicious – especially for how simple they were to create – but my favorite was the bruschetta al pomodoro! 


  • For bruschetta with olive oil: Grill or broil slices of bread, rub with a clove of garlic, top with extra virgin olive oil, and finish with a sprinkle of salt. Add some fresh thyme too if desired.
  • For bruschetta with cheese and chili honey: Grill or boil slices of bread, rub with a clove of garlic, top with a slice of pecorino cheese, and add a drizzle of honey. (Use saffron honey, chili honey, or truffle honey for a fun twist).
  • We love this appetizer so much, we created two delicious main dishes inspired by it — this Bruschetta Chicken and this Bruschetta Pasta!
  • Try this bruschetta with balsamic glaze, either homemade or purchased glaze. Make bruschetta mozzarella by adding diced mozzarella pearls to the tomato mixture and adding a balsamic glaze.

Process shots of Bruschetta-- image of the tomatoes, basil, oil, and salt being added to a bowl

Bruschetta Ingredients

You can make outstanding dishes with just a few really good quality ingredients. You don’t need a hundred ingredients combined with complicated techniques to make delicious food!

This sentiment was emphasized over and over again in each cooking class and especially by Nonna Ciana. Each dish we prepared required very few ingredients, but those ingredients were always the best available. Garden fresh and perfectly ripe tomatoes, good quality extra-virgin olive oil, real garlic cloves, garden grown basil, etc. For bruschetta bread, we love ciabatta or a good French baguette best!

And this is the case with Bruschetta — it requires few ingredients, but use very best ingredients available for the best possible flavor.

Process shots of the bread being broiled or grilled

Here are all the top tips from our Italian cooking class:

How To Make Bruschetta

  1. Pro-tip: Prepare the tomato mixture at least an hour in advance to allow the flavors to develop and the juice to drain to the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Tear the basil into smaller pieces with your hands instead of cutting with a knife. This will keep the basil fresher and looking bright/vibrant for much longer. The tears don’t need to be perfect, just quickly tear off smallish pieces of basil and add to a bowl.
  3. Cut the tomatoes into very small and as even-sized pieces as possible.
  4. Toss together the chopped tomatoes and ripped basil into a bowl and then create a dome in the bowl with the tomatoes and basil. Drizzle the olive oil and salt over it all and don’t stir. Let that stand at room temperature until ready to top the bread.
  5. Toast or grill the bread until crisp but not browned, and as soon as you remove it from the oven, rub the cut side of a garlic clove on BOTH sides of the bread.
  6. Drain the accumulated juices from the tomato mixture and spoon the chopped tomatoes on top of the warm bread right before serving.

Process shots of Bruschetta- image of the garlic being spread over the bread

Bruschetta FAQs

1Is Bruschetta the bread or the topping?

The word “bruschetta” actually refers to the toasted bread. Typically the tomato-topping is associated, but the toppings can vary and the appetizer can still be called Bruschetta.

2What do you serve with Bruschetta?

  • Serve with soup and salad (this Italian Salad or Garden Salad)
  • Make this appetizer part of an antipasto platter or cheese board. Add in a serving bowl of homemade pesto!
  • Serve with a big pasta salad (like this Mediterranean Pasta Salad).
  • Serve before a simple pasta dish.

3What type of bread is best for Bruschetta?

Any kind of rustic bread is great! Here are a few things to look for:

  • Neutral flavor
  • Good crust
  • Able to be grilled or broiled and topped with tomato mixture without falling

Our favorites:

  • Ciabatta
  • French baguettes
  • Sourdough

4How is Bruschetta traditionally served?

Bruschetta is traditionally served as a snack or appetizer.

5Do you eat Bruschetta hot or cold?

You can serve Bruschetta hot or cold. We like the bread to be warm from the grill (or oven) with room temperature tomatoes — delish!

Overhead image of the appetizer ready to be enjoyed

More Crave-Worthy Tomato Dishes:

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5 from 5 votes
Authentic Italian Bruschetta Al Pomodoro -- this recipe came straight from Italy, along with our tips and tricks!
Print Recipe


5 from 5 votes
Authentic Italian Bruschetta Al Pomodoro -- this recipe came straight from Italy, along with our tips and tricks!
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Italian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword bruscetta recipe, bruschetta
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Marinate Tomato Mixture 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 7 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 325kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $6.23


  • 2-1/2 cups flavorful tomatoes very ripe, diced (Note 1) (~3 tomatoes)
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, separated
  • Any rustic Italian loaf, sliced into thick coins (Note 2)
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, sliced in half
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves, ripped into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Optional, for topping: Flaky Maldon Sea Salt, balsamic reduction


  • TOMATOES: Dice the tomatoes into very small, even-sized pieces and place in a medium sized bowl. With your hands (don't use a knife), rip the basil leaves into small pieces. Gently stir together the tomatoes and basil and then form a dome with the mixture.
  • TOMATOES CONT.: Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over the dome and then sprinkle salt (to taste) on top (I start with 1/2 tsp fine sea salt). Do not stir in the olive oil or salt. Set aside, uncovered, at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour to marinate.
  • GRILL OR BROIL BREAD: Slice the bread 1-inch thick and then brush the top of one side with the remaining 2-3 tablespoons of oil. GRILL bread slices on a cleaned charcoal grill (oiled side down) until golden brown and lightly marked with grill lines (about 30 seconds in a 450 degrees F grill) OR BROIL: Set your oven rack about 6-inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler to high. Place bread (oiled side up) on baking sheet and broil for 1-2 minutes (watch carefully) and then remove from the oven.
  • INFUSE BREAD WITH GARLIC: Slice a raw garlic clove in half. Gently rub the grilled slices of bread (both sides) with the cut end of the raw garlic clove.
  • ENJOY: Taste the marinated tomatoes and add a touch more salt if needed. Use a slotted spoon to top each slice of bread with the marinated tomatoes (Note 3). If desired, drizzle on a touch more oil or a balsamic glaze. Enjoy immediately while the bread is still slightly warm.


Recipe Notes

Note 1: Tomatoes: The better/riper the tomatoes, the better this will taste! Use ripe garden tomatoes if possible. If it's winter time, we'd recommend cherry/grape tomatoes instead -- about 1 pint.
Note 2: Bread: Any kind of rustic bread is great! Here are a few things to look for: neutral flavor, good crust, able to be grilled or broiled and topped with tomato mixture without falling. Our favorites: ciabatta, French baguette, sourdough
Note 3: Adding tomato mixture to bread: Top warmed bread slices only with what you'll be eating right away otherwise the bread will get soggy quickly. For serving, set toasted bread separate from tomatoes to allow guests to top their bread and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 10serving | Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 287mg | Potassium: 241mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I foresee making this often this summer using garden fresh tomatoes! I found it interesting there are different types of bruschetta…I thought it always had tomatoes!

  2. 5 stars
    When I moved to Spain I soon realized that Spaniards love to eat toasted bread with olive oil and pureed/grated tomatoes! It is pretty much the same as Italian bruschetta minus basil and that beautiful presentation 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    My kids fell in love with bruschetta during a trip to Tuscany. I was looking for a recipe to make it at home and this one is the most authentic tasting. The whole family loved it.

  4. Ooh, making this now. Just to confirm, we grill only one side of bread, but apply garlic to both sides? Your pictures look amazing!

  5. 5 stars
    Hey! I made this last night and it was fantastic! I spent a semester in Italy and wanted something authentic. Every recipe I found had balsamic vinegar in it (WHY?!) until I came across your recipe. I knew it was authentic when I saw the instructions, especially to tear the basil. Rubbing garlic on the bread gave it the perfect garlicky touch. Thank you so much!

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