Divine Dinner Party

Free Bruschetta Recipes:
Easy Italian Bruschetta and Creative Bruschettas

If you're hosting a dinner party or arranging a typical Italian dinner, free bruschetta recipes like the ones you'll find here will seem like a lifesaver.

After all, bruschetta is a practically perfect appetizer. It's pretty but unpretentious. It can mostly be made ahead of time. It's fresh, it's flavorful, and it's cheap. What other appetizer recipe could say all that?

The easy Italian bruschetta recipes you'll find here are all quite different, from a standard and simple Italian bruschetta, to roasted veggie bruschetta or bruschetta with other fun ingredients. You'll find something here for any Italian dinner party-- or a not-so-Italian one.

The Origins of Bruschetta

Bruschetta comes to us from Central Italy where it's chiefly eaten as an appetizer or snack. The most basic bruschetta begins with tomatoes, good quality olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and onions. But where you take this dish from that foundation is open to lots of unique flavor profiles!

Bruschetta Wine Pairings: Traditionally, any of these free bruschetta recipes should be paired with a slightly acid red wine (like Barbera, Pinot Noir, or Red Zin) because of the tomatoes. However, if your particular twist on bruschetta is tomato-free, then you have more options. Check here for some ideas on pairing wine with food, or the different dry red wine types that'll taste great with bruschetta.

Traditional Italian Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Traditional and Easy Italian Bruschetta RecipeThis is the first of my free bruschetta recipes because this is THE classic (and easy!) Italian bruschetta recipe. This one is fresh, tangy, full of flavor, and it's really for garlic lovers. Talk about some rich Italian flavors!

Recipe serves about 6.

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6 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
3/4 C. fresh chopped basil
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1-2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, halved
6-1" thick slices fresh Italian bread (ciabatta is good), grilled or toasted
1/3 C. shaved fresh parmesan

Instructions: 1. Slice the tomatoes in half across the middle and give them a gentle squeeze to get rid of excess liquid. Don't squeeze out all the seeds-- just some of the tomato water.

2. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Put them in a mixing bowl, adding the basil, the one clove of minced garlic, the salt and pepper, the olive oil and vinegar. Set aside.

3. Toast the Italian bread slices using your oven, grill, toaster or even a Panini press. Rub one side of each piece with the fresh garlic clove while the bread is hot.

4. Divide this free bruschetta recipe evenly among your 6 slices of bread, top with parmesan shavings, and serve.

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Pepper Bruschetta Recipe

Bruschetta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and PeppersBruschetta translates as "roasting over coals" (which traditionally refers to the roasted/grilled bread that bruschetta is served on) so devising a few nice roasted versions isn't too much of a reach.

This easy Italian bruschetta recipe is a bit more complex than a simple and traditional bruschetta, but it comes together remarkably quickly. Most of the hard stuff is done ahead of time. The result? A flavorful, impressive bruschetta that gives the dish a slightly different twist.

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1 sweet bell pepper cut in half and seeded
1 banana pepper, halved and seeded
12 cherry tomatoes (whole)
4 clove garlic, sliced
2 Vidalia onions
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper and salt, to taste
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
Balsamic vinegar, as needed

Instructions: 1. Take all your vegetables (except basil) and put them in a bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Move them to a roasting dish (preheat your oven to broil).

2. Put the vegetables in the oven, watching them carefully and stirring occasionally. When they get that blackened appearance turn off the broiler and leave in the still-warm oven about 5 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.

3. Now put the vegetable mix through a food processor and process until slightly chunky. (You can also chop veggies by hand and leave the tomatoes whole if you prefer a chunkier mix-- this is what I usually do, as it's prettier this way.) Stir in basil and balsamic vinegar to taste. Add more salt and pepper as needed.

4. Adorn toast points or crackers with your veggie mixture, topped with a parsley leaf or olive slice for garnish.

Note: some people prefer to remove the blackened parts from the vegetables before blending. Whether you do or not is purely personal tastes-- I like the flavor, so I leave them on. Either way, this is one of my favorite free bruschetta recipes!

Deconstructed Caprese Bruschetta Recipe

Ensalata Caprese Bruschetta Recipe Idea- Creative Bruschetta
I love a traditional Italian caprese salad. And I love bruschetta just as much! The combination of both? Basically my personal idea of heaven.

Bruschetta is typically thought of as having chopped and minced bits so that the flavor of everything comes into your mouth at one time. But in this flavorful free bruschetta recipe, you get something of a deconstructed version. It uses whole tomato slices, herbs and cheese-- just like a deconstructed version of enslata caprese. Hence the name!

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6 Thick slices grilled or toasted Italian bread
2 cloves garlic, halved
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
12 slices of fresh, ripe tomato
12 slices of fresh mozzarella or seasoned goat cheese
12 large fresh basil leaves

Instructions: 1. Rub bread with cut half of garlic while still hot.

2. In this order, place two mozzarella slices, two tomato slices and two basil leaves on each bread slice. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Serve this easy Italian bruschetta recipe right away so the bread stays crisp.

More Ideas for Homemade Bruschetta Recipes

As you can see from my favorite free bruschetta recipes above, bruschetta is a very flexible dish that allows you to tinker with a wide variety of flavors and textures. Looking for a few more ideas? Play around by combining bruschetta with a few other flavors you love. Some creative bruschetta recipes that I've tried and enjoyed are:

Meals or Appetizers:

  • Egg salad bruschetta on toasted egg bread
  • Dill-garlic lentil bruschetta over rye
  • Chopped tuna-soy sashimi bruschetta with avocado
  • Chopped thin-sliced honey ham, pineapple, basil, mozzarella, and tomato-- just like Hawaiian pizza!

Dessert Bruschetta Recipes:

  • Minced melons and berries with sweetened cream cheese over cinnamon bread
  • Strawberries with honey and ricotta on toasted, sliced brioche

Its flexibility is one of the great beauties of bruschetta-- it can be sweet, savory, and nearly everything in-between. Just use a little creativity! Don't be afraid to experiment when you have leftovers of this and that, trying those bites on various types of bread. Soon you'll be sharing your own free bruschetta recipes with friends and family

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