Published Jun 06, 2013•Updated Jun 15, 2023
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Ripe tomatoes, fragrant herbs, and super creamy ricotta cheese are spooned onto crisp toasted bread for an appetizer that is simple, fresh, and easy-to-make. Once you learn how to make ricotta bruschetta, you’ll want to enjoy it all summer long.
When tomato season arrives, making bruschetta is a must. What better way to take advantage of all that fresh, brightly colored summer produce?
Making bruschetta couldn’t be easier, in fact, it’s one of the easiest appetizers you can make. All you need to do is toast a few slices of bread, spoon on a little creamy ricotta, and top with the fragrant tomato, basil, and garlic mixture.
A plate of bruschetta will disappear just as soon as you set it down in front of your guests. This crowd-favorite is the answer to all of your summer entertaining needs.
What is bruschetta?
Bruschetta is an Italian appetizer that is made by toasting or grilling bread, and then topping it with fresh ingredients like tomatoes, garlic, herbs, cheese, and sometimes meats like prosciutto. The name ‘bruschetta’ comes from the Italian word for ‘toast’, which is ‘bruscare’. This versatile appetizer uses some of Italy’s most popular ingredients to create a timeless dish that can be enjoyed all year long.
How to Make It
- Toast the bread. Place the sliced bread on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake 5 to 10 minutes; the top will be crisp and golden.
- Make the topping. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Assemble. Spoon ricotta onto the bread, followed by the tomato mixture. Serve immediately.
- French Bread – Soft and chewy French bread provides a great canvas for the bruschetta topping. This thick bread absorbs all of the juice from the tomatoes so every bite is full of flavor.
- Olive Oil – A drizzle of olive oil helps the bread crisp up in the oven. Extra virgin or regular olive oil will work.
- Diced Tomatoes – Roma is a popular tomato to use with bruschetta, but any ripe, in-season tomato can be used.
- Garlic – Wonderfully aromatic garlic provides an aromatic punch, and is a nice contrast with the tomatoes and creamy ricotta cheese.
- Fresh Basil Leaves – There’s no substitute for the vibrant flavor of fresh basil leaves. Skip the dried basil, and always use fresh leaves.
- Balsamic Vinegar – Balsamic vinegar has a deep rustic flavor that’s a little sour and a little sweet. Save your aged balsamic for drizzling over salads, and use a standard variety to mix in with the tomatoes.
- Kosher Salt, Black Pepper – Basic pantry staples to enhance the fresh flavors in the bruschetta topping.
- Whole Milk Ricotta – When you use whole milk ricotta, each bite of toasted bread has the most amazing creamy texture. Fat-free ricotta has no milk fat, and will be less flavorful than the whole milk varieties.
You can save some prep time in the kitchen by cutting the tomatoes and mincing the garlic the day before you need them. Store them together in an airtight container for a robust garlic taste, or separately for a more mild garlicky taste.
How to Store
While bruschetta is best enjoyed the day it’s made, you can store any leftover tomato mixture for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Serve the leftovers alongside grilled chicken, enjoy with crackers, pita, or over a simple salad.
- Rub the side of the bread with a piece of cut garlic before toasting for more aromatics.
- Use ripe tomatoes. Bruschetta can be made all year long, but if you’re making this appetizer outside of peak tomato season, take extra care to choose the ripest tomatoes you can find.
- Use different herbs – Try chopped chives, rosemary, or oregano with the tomato ricotta bruschetta.
- Try a new bread – Italian bread, herb-infused loaves, ciabatta, and sourdough are great alternatives to toasted French bread.
- Add more cheese – Sprinkle the bruschetta with grated parmesan cheese for more cheesy flavor.
There are so many wines that go with bruschetta. Chianti Classico (or any Sangiovese wine), Barbera, Dolcetto, and Zinfandel go well with the tomatoes in this appetizer. The addition of creamy ricotta means that Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino, and Albarino also work. Because bruschetta is often served during the summer, try a dry, crisp rosé!
While you can use any type of tomato when learning how to make bruschetta, roma tomatoes are the most popular because they are less juicy than other varieties. Less juice in the tomatoes will help keep the bruschetta from getting soggy.
More Summer Recipes
- Summer Berry Cobbler
- Nectarine, Arugula and Crispy Pancetta Summer Salad
- Muffin Pan Strawberry Shortcakes
- Slow-Cooker Brown Sugar Baked Beans
- Watermelon, Feta and Arugula Salad
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Instant Pot Italian Pasta Salad
- BBQ Pulled Chicken
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Ricotta Bruschetta Recipe
- Mixing Bowl
- Grill Pan or Half Sheet Pan
- 1 loaf French bread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 cups diced tomatoes (any type will work; use about 8 roma tomatoes, or 3 regular tomatoes of any color)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Slice the french bread into 1/2-inch slices and spread them out on a baking sheet. Drizzle the bread with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil (no need to measure it, but just lightly drizzle all of the bread slices).
- Bake the bread without turning it, until golden and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Spread each slice of baguette with a spoonful of ricotta. Top with a spoonful of the tomato mixture. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.