Homemade crostini are easy and quick to make plus so much fresher than store bought! Serve with your favorite crostini toppings - tomatoes, cheese, meats - they are all fantastic.
Basic Steps for Making Homemade Crostini
It is almost embarrassing how easy crostini are to make. This basic crostini recipe only uses 2 ingredients; a baguette and olive oil. That's it!
- Slice your bread - baguette, French, Italian, rustic - they all work great.
- Brush with olive oil.
- Bake or grill until golden brown and crispy.
We want the the bread to get crispy and toasty but not hard. Baking the bread too long will make them dry and hard. Since a topping is going on the crostini, there is a little wiggle room for baking time but keep an eye on them and check them as the bake time is reached.
Crostini vs. Bruschetta
We hear people use these two words interchangeably. While they are similar there is a difference. Is it a big difference? NO! Is it a crucial difference? NO! Is it a 'recipe destroyer' if used incorrectly? Absolutely not!
Bottom line - they are both slices of bread, brushed with oil, and grilled or toasted.
What is Bruschetta
Bruschetta definitions differ a little. Some definitions say a thick slice of bread, a large slice of bread, or Italian bread. The consensus is that bruschetta is large pieces of toasted, sliced bread, whether it is sliced thick or thin. They are then topped with different toppings
Many use the term bruschetta to mean toasted bread with a tomato garlic mixture on top. While this is true, the bruschetta part is actually just the toasty bread.
What is Crostini
Crostini actually means small pieces of toasted bread or little toasts. They are usually served with a topping as an appetizer.
Differences Between Crostini and Bruschetta
The main difference is the size of the bread. That's it! The same bread, toasting method, and oil can be used when making crostini and bruschetta. If you make "small pieces" you have crostini, perfect for an appetizer. If you make larger pieces you have bruschetta, perfect for a side or heavier bites. Cut larger pieces of bread into smaller pieces - you go from bruschetta to crostini!
So, calling something a bruschetta instead of a crostini or a crostini instead of a bruschetta really isn't a crucial issue. Who knows, maybe this will be a winning question in a trivia game and you'll be the hero because you know the answer!
Cutting Bread for Crostini
When slicing a baguette for homemade crostini we like slicing in one of two ways.
Slice straight across the bread so you have a more roundish slice or slice at an angle so you have more of an oval slice. They both work great. We like the look of slicing at an angle especially if serving the crostini in a dish or basket. They can stand up in the dish and be arranged to look great.
Equipment We Used
We used a heavy duty baking sheet and a Silpat nonstick silicone baking mat to line our sheet pan. No silpat? A piece of parchment paper also works great. We love the silpat mats because they are reusable. Just wash, dry and use again!
A pastry brush or Misto Oil Sprayer is also useful for getting the olive oil on the bread in this easy homemade crostini recipe. You want just enough oil to crisp the bread but not so much that is oily after toasting.
Our Favorite Riffs
Making crispy crostini at home, besides being so easy and delicious, allows for variety.
- Flavored Olive Oil. There are so many infused olive oils available now - or make your own! These crostini would be especially good with garlic or herb infused oils.
- Butter. We also love these with butter instead of olive oil. Just lightly spread butter on the sliced bread and toast as directed.
- Fresh Herbs. Add some chopped fresh herbs to olive oil before brushing on the bread slices.
- Fresh Garlic. We like placing a clove or two of peeled garlic in the olive oil and letting it sit for up to an hour before brushing the oil on the bread. No time to wait for the garlic and oil to sit? Brush the oil on the bread and then rub a clove of garlic over the bread and oil for a very subtle garlic flavor.
- Kosher Salt. Sprinkle a bit of coarse kosher salt on the bread after brushing with the olive oil.
- Black Pepper. A sprinkle of black pepper adds a unique flavor to any crostini.
Time Saver Tips
While we frequently use a pastry brush for the olive oil, we also love using our Misto Oil Sprayer to coat the bread with the oil. Make sure the Misto Sprayer stays pressurized to maintain a steady, light spray of oil. Olive oil can also be lightly drizzled over the bread slices, just be careful to not get too much on the bread.
Save a little time by purchasing pre-sliced baguettes. Most bakeries and grocery store bakery sections will either slice them for you or have them already sliced.
Make Ahead Tips
These are great made ahead of time. Crostini will last up to three days in an airtight container but are definitely fresher if used within 24 hours. We like to make them the morning of or day before they are needed. If storing them, completely cool the crostini and place them in an airtight container on the counter until ready to use.
While crostini are great served at room temperature they can also be heated before serving. Heat in a 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit oven for a couple minutes until warm. Leaving them in too long will dry them out and make them hard to eat.
Why Use Crostini Instead of Bread
We now know that crostini are small, toasty, delicious slices of bread. Using crunchy crostini instead of just bread adds texture to appetizers plus crostini makes most appetizers seem more formal or fancy and just plain exciting! Crostini works especially good if your topping is soft like cheese, tomatoes, or spreads.
Some Favorite Crostini Recipes
Strawberry Goat Cheese Crostini
Easy Arugula and Blistered Tomato Crostini
Blackberry Goat Cheese Crostini
Some Common FAQ's
The bread should be slightly crisp and golden brown. It should not be hard.
Crostini can be served warm or room temperature. Top each crostini with your topping of choice and serve on a platter or serve crostini in a basket with a dish of toppings on the side.
We recommend using almost any fresh bread - think from the bakery section or homemade breads. Baguettes (perfect size!), French bread, sourdough, rustic breads, Italian bread, and flavored breads will all work. If using a larger piece cut into smaller 'crostini sized pieces' either before or after toasting. While processed sandwich breads will work in a pinch they would be our last choice for type of bread to use.
We don't recommend freezing baked crostini. There is a risk of them getting dry, tough, or soggy if frozen. If you are not ready to make the crostini yet, slice and freeze the bread. When ready to make them thaw the bread, brush with oil, and bake. They are so fast freezing isn't necessary.
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 24-30 pieces 1x
Homemade Crostini are so easy and quick to make plus so much fresher than store bought! Ready in just 15 minutes.
- 1 baguette
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice baguette into ¼ - ½ inch slices. Slice straight across the loaf or at an angle.
- Lay baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle, spray, or brush each slice with olive oil.
- Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Remove from oven. Serve immediately or cool completely and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Cut your baguette straight across the loaf or at an angle for a slightly larger crostini.
Crostini is best eaten within 24 hours but will last up to 3 days in an airtight container on the counter.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 crostini
- Calories: 11
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 5 mg
- Fat: 1 g
- Trans Fat:
- Carbohydrates: 0.4 g
- Protein: 0.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: appetizer, bread, toast
Leave a Reply