This vegan bruschetta recipe is loaded with fresh flavors from veggies like tomato and basil. It’s a classic appetizer that’s simple to make and only uses basic ingredients! Bruschetta is one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations and I’m sure you’ll love it too.
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Is Bruschetta Vegan?
Bruschetta recipes are commonly vegan, but it depends on which ingredients are used. While bruschetta is typically made with olive oil, many restaurants use butter or garlic butter when preparing bruschetta.
People also commonly add cheese or (less often) meat to bruschetta recipes.
Luckily, it’s easy to prepare vegan bruschetta if you avoid cheese and stick to olive oil. The other ingredients are very customizable, but I love to combine tomatoes with fresh basil, garlic and onions!
Veggie Bruschetta Ingredients
This recipe uses very basic ingredients that come together to create a truly spectacular and flavorful appetizer!
- Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are the base for my bruschetta topping. I select Roma tomatoes for this recipe as they have fewer seeds which leads to less waste. You’ll remove tomato seeds for this recipe so the bruschetta topping doesn’t get watery.
- Fresh basil: Nothing is better than fresh basil, in my opinion, and the combo of basil and tomato is a perfect match! When measuring basil, measure whole leaves then slice them. If you slice the basil first, you’ll end up with a ton of basil in your bruschetta mix, not that there’s anything wrong with that!
- Onion: For some bite and slight crunch in the bruschetta topping, I like to add finely chopped onion. Any type of onion can work, but I love the look and flavor of red onion in this recipe. Although you’ll bake the bruschetta topping, the onions remain quite raw after only 15 minutes in an oven. A raw, more pungent onion flavor certainly comes through in the final dish.
- Garlic: Just like with the onion, garlic is a must-have for me in this recipe. I love the sharp garlic flavor, and like onion, the garlic won’t fully cook when baked. Adjust the amount of garlic to your taste preference as raw-ish garlic is quite pungent!
- Balsamic vinegar: This recipe uses mostly fresh vegetables and herbs for flavor (aside from some balsamic vinegar). This delicious, dark vinegar has a slightly sweet profile that works beautifully with the fresh tomatoes and basil.
- Olive oil: This is a classic ingredient used to make bruschetta and the fat content adds a beautiful flavor to the bruschetta topping.
- Salt: Bring all the flavors together with some salt!
- Baguette: While bruschetta is traditionally served on sliced bread, I’ve always used a baguette to get smaller, appetizer-sized pieces. Bruschetta is technically meant to be a grilled bread appetizer; however, you can use the tomato-basil mix in lots of other ways including on any type of bread or baguette you like.
How to Make Dairy Free Bruschetta
This is a very simple recipe to make, but there are a few important tips to ensure a tasty bruschetta topping.
Step 1: Prep Bruschetta
The first step is to prep your bruschetta topping. Get a large mixing bowl ready.
Start with the Roma tomatoes. You’ll need to remove the seedy, watery portion of the tomatoes (use a spoon to scrape it out) before chopping them. You can chop the tomato into larger chunks or small pieces, depending on your preference, and add to the mixing bowl.
Next, measure your fresh basil when the leaves are whole. Then, chop the basil leaves and add to your tomatoes.
After that, finely chop some onion. I recommend chopping into very small pieces so they are evenly mixed throughout the tomato and you don’t end up with a large piece of raw onion in any bite (unless that’s what you want). Add the onion to your mixing bowl.
Next, finely mince or crush some garlic. As with onion, you likely don’t want any large pieces of garlic in any one bite. I use a garlic press to ensure the garlic is as finely minced as possible. Add the garlic to your mixing bowl.
The smaller your onion and garlic pieces are, the more they’ll cook in a limited baking time.
Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt to your bowl and toss everything together until evenly mixed.
Set the mixture aside while you slice a baguette. It’s best to let the bruschetta topping sit for at least 5 minutes if you can. After this time, you’ll notice some liquid in the bottom of your bowl. This is excess water from the tomatoes that’s released after tossing with salt. You can drain this liquid away which helps ensure your bruschetta won’t be watery.
Step 2: Assemble and Bake
Preheat your oven to 350 °F and prep a baking tray by covering it with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
If you like, you can lightly brush one side of the baguette pieces with olive oil. Oil used for this optional step isn’t accounted for in the ingredient list below.
Scoop a heaping amount of bruschetta onto each baguette slice, then place on the baking tray. If you brushed one side of the baguette with olive oil, this is the side to place down on your baking mat (extra oil creates a deliciously crisp, golden-brown bottom to bruschetta pieces).
Continue prepping the bruschetta until all baguette slices are topped with the tomato-basil mix.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the baguette’s bottoms are nicely crisp.
Carefully transfer the bruschetta to a serving platter (to serve right away), or onto a wire cooling rack. The cooling rack prevents toasted baguette slices from getting soggy.
How to Create a Balanced Vegan Meal
This recipe is intended to be an appetizer, or possibly a side dish, to a main meal.
While bruschetta provides some vegetables, healthy fats and carbohydrates, it lacks protein. I consider a balanced meal one that contains protein, carbs, fats and lots of veggies (or fruits).
For nutritional balance, you can serve this before or alongside a main meal that contains a good source of protein. It’s also fine to occasionally consume a meal that’s lower in protein content if you generally consume enough protein throughout the day.
Check out my recipe variations below as some contain protein and could turn the bruschetta into a more filling meal!
Easy Veggie Bruschetta Variations
There are endless variations you can make from this recipe. You can add vegetables or herbs to the bruschetta topping, you can leave out or replace ingredients you don’t like or you can mix this with other recipes.
Some tasty ingredients you can try adding to the bruschetta mix are:
- Vegan feta cheese
- White beans
You can also add some tasty ingredients to the baguette before topping with the bruschetta:
- Pesto sauce
- Caramelized onions
- Vegan cream cheese
- Vegan goat cheese
And lastly, why not top the bruschetta with a sprinkle of vegan parmesan or a drizzle of balsamic reduction?!
How to Store Leftover Bruschetta
You should transfer any bruschetta pieces that aren’t eaten immediately onto a wire cooling rack once out of the oven. They can cool to room temperature on your rack before transferring to an airtight container.
Refrigerate leftover bruschetta for up to 5 days. The baguette is likely to become soggy when stored, so it’s best to make an amount you’re ready to eat at once. If you don’t want to prepare all the baguette pieces, refrigerate the bruschetta topping (tomato and basil mixture) in a container then slice the baguette and bake the bruschetta when you’re ready to eat it!
To reheat, place the bruschetta back onto a baking tray and warm in an oven at 350 °F. You can reheat leftovers in a microwave, but the baguette will likely become soggy.
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
- Silicone baking mat (or parchment paper)
- Wire cooling rack (optional)
- 3 cups Roma tomato (about 6 or 7 medium)
- ½ cup fresh basil
- ¼ cup onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 baguette
Step 1: Prep Bruschetta
- Cut your Roma tomatoes in half and scoop out the seedy portion. Dice the remaining tomato flesh into evenly-sized pieces (can be as large or small as you like). Add to a large mixing bowl.3 cups Roma tomato
- Wash the basil and remove large stems. Measure before chopping into small pieces. If you chop before you measure, you’ll end up with a more basil-heavy bruschetta.½ cup fresh basil
- Finely mince onion.¼ cup onion
- Finely mince or crush garlic.2 cloves garlic
- Add the basil, onion and garlic to your tomatoes in the mixing bowl along with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt.1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt
- Toss the bruschetta topping until evenly mixed.
- Allow veggies to sit for 5 minutes while you slice the baguette.1 baguette
- After 5 minutes, there will be some liquid in the bottom of the bowl. Strain this excess liquid away.
Step 2: Assemble and Bake
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F and prep a baking tray by covering it with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- If you like, you can lightly brush olive oil onto one side of the baguette (this is optional; oil is not included in the ingredient list above).
- Scoop a heaping amount of bruschetta topping onto each slice of baguette, then place on your tray. If you brushed one side with oil, this is the side to place down on the baking tray (add bruschetta to the side without oil).
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the bottoms of each baguette slice are nicely toasted and crispy.
- When out of the oven, transfer to a serving platter right away. If not serving immediately, transfer to a wire cooling rack to prevent the bottoms from getting soggy.
More Vegan Appetizer Recipes
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.
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