Cherry Tomato Bruschetta with Fresh Herbs



This Cherry Tomato Bruschetta with Fresh Herbs is a traditional Italian antipasto bursting with delicious fresh Mediterranean flavors. It's simple to prepare and makes a great appetizer, healthy snack, or even a light lunch.

About Bruschetta

Bruschetta is a traditional Italian dish, typically made of grilled bread topped with a flavorful mixture of fresh herbs and vegetables. The possibilities for toppings are endless, allowing for creativity and customization based on personal preferences.

This recipe works wonderfully any time of the year, but it is especially delightful in the summer when fresh tomatoes and basil are in abundance. If you have a garden, picking your own ingredients can be a fun and rewarding experience. However, store-bought ingredients work just as well.

Topping Variations

While this recipe features cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs, bruschetta can be topped with a variety of savory ingredients. Feel free to get creative by adding olives, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, greens, or even a bean mixture. These toppings not only enhance the flavor but also contribute to the nutritional value of the dish.

In this recipe, the garlic is sautéed to release its fragrant flavor, which blends beautifully with the warm olive oil. This simple step adds a rich depth of flavor to the bruschetta.

This bruschetta is packed with antioxidant-rich superfoods. You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for rare and expensive “superfoods,” some of the humblest foods that we use every day are some of the most nutritious.   


Tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant lycopene that gives them their red coloring. Lycopene has anti-cancer benefits and is good for the heart. It can help protect cells from damage, reducing the risk of certain cancers. Lycopene may also help lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. Tomatoes are high in a lot of other nutrients as well, like vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which all act as antioxidants in the body. Tomatoes also contain B-vitamins and many trace minerals including potassium and magnesium.


Garlic is the Allium plant family along with onion, leeks, chives, and others. These veggies are detoxifying and offer anti-cancer and cardiovascular benefits. One of the compounds responsible for the health benefits is called allicin. Eating either raw or cooked garlic has been shown to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels, support the immune system, and have anti-inflammatory benefits. In one study, participants who regularly ate garlic,  fruits and vegetables, had 35% lower colon cancer risk.

Olive Oil

A staple of the Mediterranean diet is olive oil. It is high in monounsaturated fats making it a heart healthy oil. Extra-virgin olive oil has a high number of antioxidants that help to lower inflammation. Consuming olive oil may be protective against strokes and heart disease. Olive oil also contains vitamin E and vitamin K. Both these vitamins have antioxidant properties. In addition, vitamin K is good for bone health. 


Using fresh herbs is a great way to add in some extra nutrition into a dish. Fresh basil is packed with nutrients like vitamin K and vitamin A. It also contains some minerals like manganese and copper. Basil has a lot of antioxidants and can help to reduce inflammation in the body. It may also have anti-cancer and heart protective benefits.   

Make it a Meal! 

To turn this Cherry Tomato Bruschetta with Fresh Herbs recipe from an appetizer into a meal you can bulk it up with some plant proteins to make a fresh and satisfying dish. When making the topping, you can add in some white beans, chickpeas, or black-eyed peas. You could also crumble in some tofu or tempeh. Cook the added ingredients with the garlic and tomatoes and season to taste. Serve the same way you normally would over the toasted baguette and enjoy!  


  •  3 tablespoons olive oil
  •  4 cloves garlic, minced
  •  2 pints red cherry tomatoes
  •  1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  •  16 whole fresh basil leaves, torn 
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  1 whole baguette


  1. In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add in the garlic and stir, cooking for about one minute, until golden. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes, until warm, mashing lightly to burst open. 
  2. Place the cooked garlic and tomatoes in a medium-sized mixing bowl and add balsamic, basil, salt and pepper. 
  3. Cut the baguette into 1/4 inch thick diagonal slices. Paint each with a thin coating of olive oil and broil until golden brown on both sides; about 2-3 minutes on each side.
  4. To serve, spoon tomato mixture generously over the slices of bread. Serve warm on a platter as a first course or appetizer.

About the Author

Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN, CSO, is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr.