How to Make Bruschetta – the Easy, Make Ahead Way!

Want to know how to make bruschetta the easy, make ahead way? You’re in the right place! Intensely delicious – this bruschetta recipe is simple, easy to follow and perfect for when you need to be that bit more organised! I mean, who wants to be rushing round doing food prep when you could be making yourself look fabulous instead?!

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

The problem: You’re hosting a party and you want to do as much in advance as possible. You also know that bruschetta is a ‘make right before serving thing’ to stop it from going soggy, so you never make it. This makes you sad because you LOVE it.

The solution: This bruschetta recipe guarantees soggy free, crazy delicious bruschetta that can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Allowing you to enjoy more fun and less work! Sounds good right??

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

When is the best time of year to make bruschetta?

Pretty much always! We’re lucky enough to have vast amounts of fresh produce imports, meaning we have great tomatoes all year round. That being said, Summer is a perfect time to enjoy the freshest bruschetta. Why? Because that’s when our British tomatoes are at their absolute best!

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

What are the best tomatoes for bruschetta?

I like to use on the vine tomatoes when they’re at their most ripe, but you could also use heirloom tomatoes, home grown, or whatever you can get your hands on. It’ll be delicious no matter what you choose!

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

How to make Bruschetta in advance

You can make the topping up to 2 days in advance and the crispy baguette slices the day before. If the baguette slices begin to soften at all, you can crisp them back up by popping them into the oven for a few minutes.

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

How to serve bruschetta

I recommend topping the baguette slices right before serving to prevent them from going soggy too quick. Alternatively, you can serve the baguette and topping separately then allow your guests to assemble them instead. 

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

Can you make bruschetta gluten free?

Bruschetta topping is naturally gluten free but obviously the baguette isn’t. If you can find a good gluten free baguette from your local bakery or supermarket, great! If not, serve them with gluten free crackers instead.

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

Can I use dried basil?

Absolutely not! If you want amazing tasting bruschetta, only fresh basil will do.

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

How to make the best bruschetta

You’ll want to allow the topping to marinade in the fridge over night (up to 2 days) then drain through a seive. This will round out the flavours and eliminate any excess liquid.

I also highly recommend oiling both sides of the baguette for a super crispy bruschetta base!

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

How to stop bruschetta from going soggy

The answer to this is actually simpler than you’d think. We know tomatoes have a high water content and we need to get rid of it. How? Salt!

All you need to do is prepare the vegetables, stir through some salt and wait. 24-48 hours later, not only will the flavours be much more complex and mellow, but the salt will have drawn out a lot of the moisture. Simply sieve to drain then serve. You could also serve the crispy baguette slices separately to the bruschetta topping, allowing your guests to assemble. DIY bruschetta!

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

How to Make Bruschetta (The make ahead way!)

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

Here is what you will need to make 24 servings.

  • 6 Medium Ripe Tomatoes on the Vine, deseeded and diced
  • 1/2 Medium Onion, finely diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and minced
  • Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • 1 x French Baguette
  • 5 – 6 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Glaze, to serve (optional)

 

Essential Equipment

  • Large Bowl
  • Sieve
  • Pastry Brush
  • Large Baking Sheet

 

Up to 48 hours before serving…

First, deseed and dice the tomatoes (6 x medium ripe) and place them into a large bowl.

Deseeded chopped tomato in a glass bowl

Then add the diced onion (1/2 medium), minced garlic (2 x cloves) and chopped basil (handful). 

Deseeded chopped tomato in a glass bowl with diced onion, garlic and basil

Next, add the salt (1/2 tsp) and sugar (pinch) and give it a really thorough mix.

Bruschetta topping in a large bowl with a spoon

Cover with two layers of cling film (or you’ll stink out your fridge!) and place into the fridge to marinade for up to 2 days.

Up to 24 hours before serving…

Cut the baguette into slices, approximately 2cm thick. Any thinner and they might break apart, any thicker and you might hurt your guests jaws!

A large baguette being sliced with a bread knife on a green chopping board

Preheat your oven to 210°C/Fan 200°C.

Using around 4 tbsp of the olive oil, brush each slice on both sides. (This will make them super crispy!) Then place them onto a large baking tray.

Slices of baguette being brushed on both sides with olive oil then placed onto a baking sheet

Oiled baguette slices on a large baking sheet

Bake in the preheated oven for 6 – 8 minutes until crisp and golden. Allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, take the bruschetta topping out the fridge and strain through a sieve. See all that liquid pouring out?! That’s going to stop your bruschetta from going soggy too quick…

Bruschetta topping in a seive, draining over a large bowl

Just before serving…

Add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil to the tomato mixture and mix well. Now all you have to do is top the baguette slices with the tomatoes and arrange on a serving plate.

Alternatively, you could save time (and stop them from going soggy) by serving the baguette slices on a plate and the tomato mixture in a bowl next to them. That way your guests can top the bruschetta themselves! 

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

The final touch…

For a final flare of flavour – serve with a balsamic glaze to drizzle over the top. It’s seriously delicious!

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

Have you made this recipe? I want to know!

Will you be making some CRAZY delicious bruschetta at your next party? I’d love to know if you are! Send me your pics and comments on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or email me at emma@kitchenmason.com.

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bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

bruschetta topped with a basil leaf on a white serving plate

How to Make Bruschetta - the Easy, Make Ahead Way!

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes

Avoid soggy bottoms with this CRAZY delicious, make ahead Bruschetta recipe!

Ingredients

  • 6 Medium Ripe Tomatoes on the Vine, deseeded and diced
  • 1/2 Medium Onion, finely diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and minced
  • Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • 1 x French Baguette
  • 5 – 6 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • Balsamic Glaze, to serve (optional)

Essential Equipment

  • Large Bowl
  • Sieve
  • Pastry Brush
  • Large Baking Sheet

Instructions

  1. Mix together the diced tomatoes, diced onion, minced garlic, chopped basil, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Cover and place in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  3. Preheat your oven to 210°C/Fan 200°C.
  4. (Up to 1 day before serving) Cut the baguette into 2cm slices and brush both sides with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes until golden and crisp.
  5. Before serving, strain the tomato topping in a sieve set over a bowl to remove any excess liquid. Discard the liquid then add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the tomatoes and stir thoroughly.
  6. To serve, top each baguette slice with the tomato mixture and arrange on a serving plate. You could also serve the baguette and tomato mixture separately as DIY bruschetta. (To save time and stop them from going soggy.)
  7. Serve with a balsamic glaze to drizzle on top. (Optional.)

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 189Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 131mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

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As featured on Julia’s Simply Southern Meal Plan Monday #196

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Hi, I’m Emma. Let me help you impress with delicious dishes using my easy recipes, step by step pics, tips & videos.