Bruschetta Bar with all the best toppings for the ultimate summer party appetizer! Easy, delicious build-your-own bruschetta!

bruschetta bar on large board with variety of cheeses, meats and crostini

The easiest – and most delicious – way to entertain all summer long is this build-your-own (and prep ahead!) Bruschetta Bar!

It’s not really a recipe but more ideas – great for simple entertaining or a light dinner on a hot summer evening.

Toasted or grilled garlicky bread, a variety of toppings like my classic fresh Tomato Basil and an assortment of cheeses and cured meats.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

  • Bruschetta is a delicious appetizer from basic ingredients, perfect for lazy summer days.
  • Fresh tomato bruschetta is a great way to entertain all summer and it’s always a hit.
  • Prep ahead before your next dinner party. This easy appetizer always looks impressive!
  • Bruschetta is a perfect snack too – guaranteed to satisfy all your taste buds!
  • Leftover tomato basil topping stored in an airtight container in the fridge (up to 2 days) can be added to pasta too.

WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE A BRUSCHETTA BAR?

overhead view - bruschetta bar with variety of toppings
  • large board or tray
  • bread for toasted baguette slices (more below)
  • olive oil
  • garlic cloves
  • your favorite toppings (more on this below)

WHAT’S THE BEST BREAD FOR BRUSCHETTA?

Several bread options work well (just cut larger slices in half or thirds).

  • French baguette or French bread loaf
  • Sourdough loaf
  • Italian bread
  • Ciabatta

HOW TO MAKE CLASSIC TOMATO BASIL TOPPING:

overhead view bruschetta bar on wood board with variety of cheeses and meats

TIP: drain excess juice from extra juicy tomatoes.

  • 4-5 roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced (or use multi colored cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves rough chopped
  • 1 fresh garlic clove minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • pinch of fresh cracked black pepper

Seed and finely dice ripe tomatoes then transfer to a medium bowl.

Add remaining ingredients then gently toss to combine.

Let it sit for 5-10 minutes so the flavors come together.

HOW TO MAKE CROSTINI FOR THE BRUSCHETTA BAR:

Grilled or toasted bread – crostini – is the vessel upon which all those fabulous toppings will be added! Here’s how to do it.

Toasted/Baked Crostini:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Brush both sides of the sliced bread with olive oil then transfer to the baking sheet.

Bake 4-6 minutes then turn and bake another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven then gently rub the garlic cloves over the toasted bread.

Grilled Crostini:

Preheat the grill to medium high heat.

Brush both sides of the the sliced bread with olive oil.

Place bread directly on the grates. Grill 2-4 minutes or until golden grill marks appear.

Turn the bread over and continue grilling another minute or so.

Remove from the heat then gently rub the garlic cloves over the top.

BEST BRUSCHETTA BAR TOPPINGS FOR YOUR NEXT PARTY:

This classic Italian appetizer has so many variations!

Let’s have fun and get creative!

closeup of crostini with mozzarella, prosciutto and balsamic vinegar over bruschetta bar
  1. Fresh classic tomato bruschetta. burrata and basil
  2. Pesto, basil leaf and prosciutto
  3. Goat cheese, blackberry jam, fresh blackberries, mint leaves and honey drizzle
  4. Fresh tomato bruschetta, mozzarella cheeses, basil and balsamic reduction
  5. Pesto, sun-dried tomato and basil
  6. Apple, prosciutto and balsamic glaze
  7. Salami, basil leaf and provolone cheese
  8. Mascarpone cheese, fig jam and prosciutto
  9. Boursin cheese and salami or prosciutto
  10. Creamy goat cheese, caramelized onion, mushrooms and parmesan cheese
  11. Creamy ricotta cheese and mixed grilled vegetables

HOW TO SET UP A MAKE YOUR OWN BRUSCHETTA BAR:

overhead view of bruschetta bar on large board.
  • Fill a few small bowls with tomato basil and other toppings then place on a large board or tray.
  • Add cheeses, meats and fruit around the bowls.
  • Arrange grilled or toasted bread around the toppings then dig in!

BEST MAIN DISHES WITH A BRUSCHETTA BAR:

A Bruschetta bar can be an entire meal by itself but for a heartier meal, these are a few favorites:

Enjoy!

pinterest pin for bruschetta bar - overhead view


Tried this easy Bruschetta recipe? Leave a comment, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating and TAG ME on social media! @agoudalife or #agoudalife

bruschetta bar on large board with variety of cheeses, meats and crostini

Bruschetta Bar

How to build the best Bruschetta Bar plus the best topping ideas for the ultimate summer party appetizer or light summer meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories

Equipment

  • large board
  • bread or baguette see below for bread options
  • olive oil
  • whole garlic cloves
  • your favorite toppings see below

Ingredients
  

Bread:

  • French, Italian or Sourdough baguette OR loaf
  • Ciabatta bread (cut larger slices in half or thirds)

Tomato Basil Topping:

  • 4-5 ripe roma tomatoes seeded and finely diced (can use cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves rough chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • pinch fresh cracked black pepper

Cheeses: (choose 2-3 – not all)

  • burrata
  • fresh mozzarella
  • goat cheese
  • provolone
  • mascarpone
  • boursin
  • ricotta

Meats (choose 1-2 – not all)

  • prosciutto
  • salami
  • soppressta
  • mortadella

Toppings:

  • tomato basil (see ingredients above)
  • pesto
  • blackberry (or other) jam
  • honey
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • grilled vegetables
  • Fresh classic tomato bruschetta

Instructions
 

Tomato Basil Topping:

  • Seed and finely dice ripe tomatoes then transfer to a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients then gently toss to combine. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes so the flavors come together.

Crostini:

  • For BAKED CROSTINI, preheat the oven to 400 degrees then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Brush both sides of the sliced bread with olive oil then transfer to the baking sheet. Bake 5-7 minutes then turn and bake another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven then gently rub the garlic cloves over the toasted bread.
  • For GRILLED CROSTINI follow instructions above grilling over medium high heat for 2-4 minutes per side or until golden with crispy grill marks. Remove and rub garlic over the toasted bread.

Set Up:

  • Fill a few small bowls with tomato basil and other toppings then place on a large board or tray. Add cheeses, meats and fruit around the bowls. Arrange grilled or toasted bread around the toppings. Dig in!

Topping Combination Suggestions:

  • 1 Fresh classic tomato bruschetta
    2. Burrata and basil pesto, basil leaf and prosciutto
    3. Goat cheese, blackberry jam, fresh blackberries, mint and honey
    4. Fresh tomato bruschetta, mozzarella cheeses, basil and balsami
    5. Pesto, sun-dried tomato and basil
    6. Apple, prosciutto and balsamic glaze
    7. Salami, basil leaf and provolone cheese
    8. Mascarpone cheese, fig jam and prosciutto
    9. Boursin cheese and salami or prosciutto
    10. Goat cheese, caramelized onion, mushrooms and parmesan
    11. Ricotta cheese and mixed grilled vegetables
Keyword bruschetta, bruschetta bar, bruschetta board, italian appetizers, best bruschetta
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