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This Summer’s Favorite Appetizer: Tomato Bruschetta with Ricotta 🍅
Every year, I fall head over heels with a new summer shareable (Grilled Peach Burrata Salad! Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon! The Ultimate Grilled Vegetable Platter!). Easy, low-effort appetizers are the BEST, especially on long, warm summer days when friends are coming over or you’re craving something delicious to munch on.
This Whipped Ricotta Bruschetta is my most recent obsession…dare I say it’s my favorite appetizer ever?! I will never prep bruschetta another way! This recipe is the best of classic tomato bruschetta made from juicy summer tomatoes & fresh basil with a creamy-dreamy twist thanks to whipped ricotta cheese.
If you come to my house for an al fresco dinner there is a 100% chance I will serve this whipped ricotta bruschetta – sorry not sorry! 😉 I love it because it’s seriously easy to make yet super flavorful & impressive. All I have to do is pick tomatoes & fresh basil from my garden, do some chopping, & whip the ricotta. No cooking, minimal prep, & filled with crave-worthy summer staples…all in 25 minutes or less! You’re going to love it.
Whipped Ricotta Bruschetta Recipe Highlights
This ricotta bruschetta recipe is the ONLY bruschetta recipe you need from here on out! It’s…
A CLASSIC, REINVENTED. The classic tomato bruschetta you know & love with my secret salty ingredient (capers!) served over a big swoopy pile of creamy whipped ricotta. The best twist for iconic tomato bruschetta!
QUICK & EASY. Don’t feel like cooking on a hot summer day? This no-cook, 25-minute whipped ricotta bruschetta appetizer is an easy & irresistible addition to a summer dinner spread.
A SUMMER SHOWSTOPPER. The balance of textures & flavors in ricotta bruschetta makes it an easy-yet-impressive dish to share. You’ll want to serve it all summer long – or until you’ve run out of tomatoes in your garden!
My favorite summer shareable yet! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Whipped Ricotta Bruschetta with Summer Tomatoes, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!
What is Bruschetta?
Fun fact! ⇢ The Italian term “bruschetta” actually refers to grilled bread served with plenty of toppings as an antipasto. 🤓 Somewhere along the way, Americans got to know “bruschetta” as the tomato relish often served on top of toasted bread. For the sake of this recipe, we’ll continue to refer to bruschetta as the tomato topping since that’s what most often comes to mind here in the States.
How to pronounce bruschetta? In my years working in an Italian restaurant, I was trained to say “bru-skay-tah” or “bru-skeh-tah.” Use this traditional pronunciation to impress!
Is bruschetta the bread or the topping? In Italy, “bruschetta” refers to grilled or toasted bread rubbed with garlic & olive oil. This bread is the vessel for tons of different toppings like tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini, cured meats, beans, or cheese. Pretty much anything on bread makes a satisfying Italian antipasto!
Crostini vs. bruschetta. ⇢ Bruschetta & crostini are both pieces of bread but the difference is in their preparation. Bruschetta is often made with wide slices of rustic Italian bread, which is typically grilled (its name comes from the Italian word “bruscare,” which translates to “to roast over coals”). Crostini is typically made from a small round bread like a baguette & it’s usually toasted. Bruschetta is heartier & more filling since it’s larger than crostini.
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
Here’s what you need to make the best-ever whipped ricotta bruschetta appetizer…
- Tomatoes – I like to use plum or Campari tomatoes, which have a perfect balance of sweetness, acidity & pure tomato flavor. I always grab Sunset Grown Campari Tomatoes when I see them at the grocery store. They seriously always taste like peak summer tomatoes no matter the time of year since they’re greenhouse grown & vine-ripened!
- Aromatics – Namely, diced shallot & plenty of fresh basil for a ton of aromatic flavor.
- Capers – My secret ingredient! Capers add a briny bite that balances out the sweet & fresh summer tomatoes & basil. Feel free to skip them if you don’t like the extra saltiness!
- Extra-virgin olive oil – Don’t skimp on the good stuff here! A good quality extra-virgin olive oil makes ALL the difference in tomato bruschetta with ricotta. DeLallo EVOO is always our go-to.
- Aged balsamic vinegar – You don’t need anything super fancy or expensive here, but make sure it’s an aged balsamic, which has a much richer depth of flavor!
- Whole milk ricotta cheese – You can find a tub of ricotta in the soft cheese section of most grocery stores. Whole milk ricotta has the perfect texture for whipping, but you can also use part-skim ricotta if you prefer. Regardless, be sure to avoid fat-free ricotta here – it doesn’t whip up into the creamy, dreamy texture we’re looking for in tomato bruschetta with ricotta.
How to Make Bruschetta
This tomato bruschetta has been my go-to recipe for the past 10+ years! It’s based on a version we served at a summer resort I worked at during college. I was smitten after my first bite & everyone who tries it raves about it.
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Prepare your ingredients. Core & dice the tomatoes, chop your shallots & capers, & slice the fresh basil leaves so everything is ready to go. Tomato Bruschetta Tip! ⇢ Basil leaves are super delicate, so be gentle so as not to bruise them. I like to roll a bundle of leaves together & then carefully slice into thin strips (i.e. chiffonade).
Mix the bruschetta. Add the tomatoes, shallot, fresh basil, capers, EVOO, & aged balsamic vinegar to a bowl & season with salt, pepper, & crushed red pepper flakes. Taste & adjust to your liking & stir gently to combine.
Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes. Once the tomato bruschetta flavor is to your liking it’s important to let it sit & marinate. Try to resist the temptation to eat it right away! Why? ⇢ The longer it sits, the more the tomato bruschetta flavors meld together. 😋
*Have Fun With It!
Making tomato bruschetta is pretty forgiving! It’s the sort of thing you can eyeball & adjust based on your tastes – so no pressure here! If you like extra tang, be generous with the balsamic. If you prefer an extra bite, add more shallots or capers for a stronger flavor. Simply taste & adjust as you go.
Meal Prep Tip!
I don’t suggest letting this tomato bruschetta sit too long, but you can prep the ingredients in advance to make it come together faster. Cut the tomatoes & finely chop the shallot up to 2 days in advance. Then all you have to do is toss the tomato bruschetta together – easy! Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more guidance.
Tomato Bruschetta Tips & FAQs
What are the best tomatoes for bruschetta?
I prefer to use plum or Campari tomatoes in any tomato bruschetta recipe. I find these tomatoes have a good amount of juicy flesh & the perfect sweet & acidic tomato flavor. Vine-ripened Sunset Grown Campari Tomatoes always taste like the perfect summer tomato to me. If you’re growing tomatoes in your home garden, definitely use those for peak flavor!
How do you cut tomatoes for bruschetta?
Core the tomatoes with a knife & then dice. If you’re using smaller plum tomatoes, you can half or quarter each one. A larger Campari tomato needs a bit more chopping. It all comes down to how big of a tomato bite you want in your tomato bruschetta!
Do you take the seeds out of tomatoes for bruschetta?
Taking out the tomato seeds is ideal because it removes extra moisture, but I find it to be a bit fussy. The #lazygirl in me likes to save the time & effort – I typically just leave ‘em in. Your tomato bruschetta will still be super delicious! If you’d like to remove the seeds, feel free to do so.
Why is my bruschetta watery?
“Watery” tomato bruschetta could come from a variety of factors. Poor quality, out-of-season tomatoes may be full of moisture but little flavor, or all the moisture from those little seeds may come into play. Salting the tomatoes also brings out the natural moisture from the tomato flesh. No matter the reason, I don’t worry too much about it. Juicy summer tomatoes are the BEST & I’ll take as much as I can get. If you’d like to drain off any liquid for a prettier presentation, feel free to do so.
How to Make Whipped Ricotta for Tomato Bruschetta
Quickly whipping ricotta takes this already fantastic soft cheese to a new level of deliciousness. What is whipped ricotta & why is it awesome? ⇢ Whipping ricotta in a food processor whips air into the cheese, making it extra light, creamy, & super spreadable. This texture is the perfect complement to juicy, sweet, acidic tomatoes. It’s a simple step that makes a big difference!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Don’t skip this component! Whipped ricotta is what takes this recipe above & beyond any ol’ average tomato bruschetta. It adds a layer of decadence to a classic summer app & seriously could not be any easier – we’re talking 5 minutes, tops! Here’s what you’ll do…
Mix the ricotta with olive oil & salt. The olive oil gives ricotta a smooth creaminess while the salt brings out its flavor. Prep Tip! ⇢ Save a bowl & add everything straight into your food processor.
Whip in a food processor. Let the food processor run for at least 2-3 minutes to get a seriously full light & creamy texture. Be patient – it pays off!
Scrape down the sides & continue until light & creamy. If you need to, stop the food processor to scrape down any ricotta on the sides so everything gets evenly whipped & creamy. After a few minutes, you will have perfect whipped ricotta!
Meal Prep Tip!
Feel free to prep in advance – store whipped ricotta in your fridge for up to 2 days. Prepping ahead makes serving ricotta bruschetta even easier! Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more guidance.
Whipped ricotta bruschetta is the type of summer appetizer best enjoyed by being shared. You will LOVE watching your guests dip into this for seconds, thirds, & fourths…it is THAT good!
To prepare, start by spreading a big dollop of whipped ricotta over a large plate or platter. This doesn’t have to be perfect (in fact, the more rustic the better!). Spoon the summer tomato bruschetta over top, & fancy it up with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or more thinly sliced basil if you like. SO simple, SO good.
Whipped ricotta bruschetta is best enjoyed fresh because with time the liquid from the tomato bruschetta bleeds into the ricotta cheese. It tastes totally fine but loses some of its picturesque appeal. So plan to dip into it right away!
What to dip in whipped ricotta bruschetta:
- Grilled bread – My absolute favorite, per the meaning of “bruschetta!” Get a loaf of rustic Italian bread or your fave sourdough & cut it into thick slices. Brush each slice with olive oil & grill for a few minutes per side. Once grilled, rub a clove of garlic onto the bread for extra flavor. Dip the grilled bread right into the whipped ricotta bruschetta or spoon a bit of everything on top of each slice!
- Crostini – Ideal if you prefer to use your oven! Slice a baguette into rounds, brush with olive oil & garlic, then bake until golden. Crostini are crispy, crunchy, & super easy to dip right into the ricotta bruschetta.
- Crackers – Perfect if you’re in a pinch! Crackers are just as delish & don’t require any cooking (a big win on a hot summer day). Choose your fave & dip right in!
I can’t wait for you to try this Whipped Ricotta Bruschetta with Summer Tomatoes! It’s the PWWB House bruschetta for a reason, & I’m pretty sure you’re going to be utterly obsessed. If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy snacking!
More Recipes Like This:
Simple Summer Snacks & Appetizers
Once the warm weather season rolls around, I’m always on the search for an EPIC summer sharable: impressive but easy to throw together on a whim, festive but made with ingredients I usually keep on hand, & absolutely crave-worthy but unfussy to prepare. This Whipped Ricotta Bruschetta ticks all those boxes, & then some! It’s my house bruschetta for a reason – you’re going to be obsessed.
There are 2 things this recipe above & beyond any ol’ average tomato bruschetta:
- Tomatoes. This is my go-to bruschetta, inspired by a similar version served at a summer resort were I used to work. It has the best balance of savory-sweet & a little bit of capers add the best brine-y pop of flavor. For best results, be sure to use the nicest plum or Campari tomatoes you can find. I’m obsessed with Sunset Grown Campari Tomatoes, which are greenhouse grown & vine ripened so they always taste like a peak summer tomato.
- Whipped ricotta. Using a food processor to whip air into soft, mild ricotta cheese creates the most incredible creamy, dreamy texture. It’s so simple, but adds a ton of wow-factor. For best results, use either full-fat or part-skim ricotta – your choice!
Swoop the ricotta on a plate, top it with the tomatoes, & serve alongside grilled bread, this whipped ricotta bruschetta is one you’ll come back to time & time again!
- 16 ounces plum tomatoes or Campari tomatoes, cored & diced
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons chopped)
- large handful fresh basil (roughly 12-16 leaves), finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (part-skim works too, avoid fat-free)
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- for serving, as desired: grilled bread or crostini, balsamic glaze or reduced balsamic, thinly sliced basil, etc.
- Prep the tomato bruschetta: Add the tomatoes, shallot, capers, basil, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, & aged balsamic vinegar to a bowl. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes as desired. Gently stir to combine. Taste & adjust seasoning as desired. Set aside to marinate about 30 minutes or transfer to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Whip the ricotta cheese: Add the ricotta cheese to a food processor with the remaining 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Season with a good pinch of kosher salt. Let the processor run until the ricotta is whipped with a light & creamy texture – this takes a full 2-3 minutes so be patient & stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed. Taste & adjust seasoning as desired. Set aside for serving or transfer to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Serve: Spread the whipped ricotta over a large plate or serving platter. Spoon the tomato bruschetta over top. Garnish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze/reduced balsamic & thinly sliced basil & serve immediately with grilled bread, crostini, or crackers as desired. Enjoy!
- Grilled bread: I love serving this tomato bruschetta & whipped ricotta cheese with grilled sourdough or Italian bread. (Fun fact! ⇢The Italian term ‘bruschetta’ actually refers to the toasted or grilled bread, not the tomato relish it’s often served with!) Slice the bread into good 1/2-inch pieces, brush liberally with olive oil, then grill over medium-high heat for 2 minutes per side. While the bread is still hot, rub it against the cut side of a sliced garlic clove for extra flavor. For more guidance, check out our full blog post covering everything you need to know about How to Grill Bread.
- Make-Ahead & Storage: The tomato bruschetta & whipped ricotta cheese can both be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Store in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. The tomato bruschetta with whipped ricotta is best enjoyed fresh once assembled (the liquid of the bruschetta bleeds into the ricotta as it sits for a longer period of time), though you can certainly store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Keywords: whipped ricotta bruschetta, bruschetta with cheese, tomato bruschetta recipe, appetizer, tomatoes, basil, easy, best, summer, for a party, crostini, toast
Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by KJ & Company, Kate Poskochil