Who doesn’t love golden, crisp crostini? Crostini is crusty bread brushed with olive oil, toasted in the oven or in the grill to perfection. I love how it shatters between my teeth, offering the perfect contrast to a creamy spread or dip.
The word crostini means “little crusts” in Italian. I typically associate crostini with party appetizers and cheese plates, but you don’t have to throw a party to enjoy these little toasts.
For example, you can resuscitate a stale baguette by turning it into crostini. You can whip together a fun lunch or snack in no time with crostini and condiments from your fridge. Or you can make an everyday dinner more festive by starting with a round of crostini and a creamy spread. Crostini is the answer!
I recently baked up some crostini to accompany my caponata recipe. As I consulted my bruschetta recipe for guidance, I realized that I must not be the only person wondering how to make crostini. So here I am, waxing poetic about Italian toasts. Did you know that the singular form of crostini is crostino?
Today, I’m sharing all my best crostini topping suggestions and a simple, foolproof recipe for homemade crostini. Do tell me how you enjoy your crostini in the comments!
Watch How to Make Crostini
Crostini Tips & Tricks
Here’s everything you might like to know about crostini before you get started:
- Start with good bread. Baguette is preferred, or any elongated crusty bread should do.
- No worries if your bread is stale—your crostini will turn out just as well. (Do not use bread with any signs of mold, however.)
- A serrated knife works best for slicing bread. I suggest slicing your bread reasonably thin, about 1/2-inch thick or just under—any thinner, and your bread might fall apart.
- For larger crostini with more room for toppings, slice your bread on the diagonal (as shown in these photos).
- Or for smaller, more bite-sized appetizers, cut the slices straight across (perpendicular to the long edge).
- No need to flip your toasts while baking. Mine always turn out nicely golden on both sides regardless.
- The crostini are done when they’re golden on top and sound sort of hollow when you give them a little tap.
- Finish your crostini with a light sprinkle of salt and any additional toppings you might enjoy. Keep reading for topping suggestions!
Crostini Temperatures & Timing
When I’m preparing for parties, I often need to throw crostini on an open oven rack while I’m baking something else. This works out great as long as the timing is adjusted accordingly. I only suggest that you don’t use the broiler because they vary considerably and you could easily burn your toasts. Here are my notes:
- 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit)
- 8 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees
- 6 to 9 minutes at 450 degrees
You can also grill your crostini, for some smoky flavor and grill marks. It’s quite simple. Just see the recipe notes for guidance.
Dips & Spreads for Crostini
This crostini is sturdy and makes an excellent dipping vehicle. Or, simply slather the top with something creamy. You can’t go wrong with room-temperature goat cheese or other soft cheeses.
- Avocado Pesto
- Baked Goat Cheese with Tomato Sauce
- Caponata (shown above)
- Creamy Homemade Hummus or Green Goddess Hummus
- Pimento Cheese
- Spicy Red Pepper & Feta Dip
Additional Crostini Toppings
Pile on any of the following:
- Cheese, sliced
- Fruit or jam
- Peppers, pickled or roasted
- Pickles or any sort of pickled vegetables
- Pitted olives or tapenade
- Roasted Garlic
- Roasted vegetables: Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, etc.
- Thick balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
- Torn fresh, leafy herbs (basil, dill, parsley, etc.)
- Tomates, sliced
More Crostini Appetizer Recipes
Here are some fun crostini-based appetizers I’ve developed over the years:
- Cranberry Crostini (Perfect for Thanksgiving)
- Pear, Raspberry and Goat Cheese Crostini
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Crostini with White Bean Pesto in Love Real Food (page 112)
- Roasted Grape Crostini with Brie and Fresh Thyme
- Roasted Strawberry, Basil, and Goat Cheese Crostini in Love Real Food (page 115)
- Tomato Basil Bruschetta with Balsamic Drizzle
How do you like your crostini? Please let me know in the comments! I love hearing from you.
How to Make Crostini
- Prep Time: 6 minutes
- Cook Time: 9 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 24 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Baked or grilled
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegetarian
Learn how to make golden, toasted crostini in this simple recipe! They’re easy to make in the oven (or on the grill, see note). Crostini are the perfect base for your party appetizers or a fun light meal with accompaniments. Recipe yields 16 to 24 little toasts, depending on the baguette length (demi or full size).
- 1 baguette (crusty French bread)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
- Flaky sea salt or fine salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven (or a gas grill*) to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up, if desired. If your baking sheet is smaller than mine, you may need to make the toast in two batches.
- Slice your baguette on the diagonal into pieces no wider than ½-inch. I can usually fit 20 to 24 slices on my large baking sheet; you might have some bread left over. Lightly brush both sides of each slice with olive oil (this will require about 2 to 3 tablespoons oil).
- Place the slices in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet and bake them on the middle rack for 6 to 9 minutes, until they’re crisp and nicely golden on top. Sprinkle the toasts lightly with salt. Transfer the toasts to a serving platter, if desired, and use as desired.
Recipe adapted from my Tomato Bruschetta and crostini-based appetizers in my cookbook, Love Real Food.
*How to grill crostini: Simply brush the slices with olive oil as directed and place them directly on the grill grates with tongs. Cover and let the bread toast for about 3 minutes. When the undersides are golden, with nice grill marks, carefully flip them with tongs and repeat on the other side. Transfer to a large serving platter and top as desired.
Alternate baking temps and timing: Sometimes, you’ll want to bake crostini on an available oven rack while roasting something else. If baking at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, your crostini will be ready in 10 to 12 minutes. If baking at 400, they’ll be done in 8 to 10 minutes.
I love these suggestions. Being a new widow, Ilike simple, healthy and easy.
Hi Valarie, I’m sorry for your loss. I’m glad you love the suggestions.
I like to serve crostini with romesco sauce layered over homemade ricotta. Always a hit and I can’t stop eating it!
That sounds amazing, Patty! I can understand why you can’t stop eating it.
My favorite toppings are either a mushroom and walnut pate or apple butter with extra sharp cheddar!
Delicious, Gwyn! Thank you for sharing.
Googling mushroom and walnut pate right now.
This recipe is great!! I had to comment saying how I read the comment about the apple butter and extra sharp cheddar combo and well I couldn’t stop thinking about it so off to the store I went. Well Oh My Gooooodness what a great combo, thank you for the idea
Beautiful photos – for just toasted slices of baguette, these look amazing! I love crostini with so many things including romesco and muhammara, but anything avocado is always a sure-fire winner. I’m looking forward to trying your spicy feta and peppers recipe.
Yes, I did know one crostini is a crostino – and one biscotti is a biscotto and one blini is a blin:).
Yes, my spicy feta dip would be delicious! Thank you for sharing, Sasha.
Thanks for all the different cooking methods! I like to dice up a Honeycrisp apple and microwave for a couple of minutes covered. Then I put crumbly Gorgonzola, the apples and a drizzle of honey on the crostini. So good!
I LOVE crostini so thanks for leaving a lot of topping/appetizer ideas with it. All I’ve ever used crostini for so far is your bruschetta recipe. Because the crusts of crostini make the top of my mouth raw, I like to cut them off after toasting and use them for a panzanella. It turns my crostini more into “bites”, but hey, it still tastes awesome. I’ve been following your blog for awhile and am always impressed with your recipes.
Thank you for sharing, Kristi! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and review.
My favorite Crostini has been homemade toasted baguette smothered with goat cheese flavored with fresh thyme and topped with roasted garden sun gold tomatoes. We have been alternating between crostini, your bruschetta and panzanella both on homemade Pane Tuscano. Your 450 bread toasting suggestion has been amazing, no more babysitting the broiler.
That sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing, Kristin.
I have crostini probably once a week for lunch right now! I love to slather it with garlic hummus and chopped Greek olives, or fresh pimento cheese with a ton of fresh-cracked black pepper.
Last week I sautéed zucchini noodles, heirloom tomatoes, and olives in tomato sauce, then threw it in a bowl with black-truffle burrata, and dipped my crostini into it. SO. GOOD.
This was great! I made the roasted pepper and feta dip as well!
I made a small batch to see if I could make it as yummy looking as your looks. My teen son and husband ate all 10, before I got a chance to take a picture or taste them. I had prepared some different toppings. I could not believe they did this to me. So all I can say, I guess they were amazing, since I did not get to taste them. By the way, I bbq them on the grill instead of baking them in the oven. I must add, for me( who is not good on the grill), so at first I burned a few crostini.
I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing, Ivory. Sounds like you need to make them again.
How long can you store these?
I find these are best right away.
My favourite way to enjoy crostini is to spread with good quality ricotta cheese and drizzle it with maple syrup. It’s delicious
Can I toast the bread ahead of time and add toppings when ready to serve.
Elizabeth @ Bowl of Delicious
Thanks for this super simple easy crostini recipe! I’m making strawberry bruschetta and needed to know the time and temp for the crostini for it. Your recipe was perfect for timing and I love that you said to oil BOTH sides of the bread. To make mine extra crispy without burning them I left them in the oven after I turned it off for about 10 minutes. I also rubbed the cut side of a half clove of garlic over each one after I took out of the oven.
I’m happy you found it helpful! Thank you for your review, Elizabeth.
For an informal get-together, I served your wonderful crostini. I sliced fresh mozzarella and offered small bowls of olive tapenade, marinated grape tomatoes, roasted red peppers, balsamic-glazed pearl onions, and marinated mushrooms.
It was ridiculously simple and everyone was impressed.
Sounds like a delicious combination! Thanks for sharing, Sue.
Great article on crostini. I live in the Madison area and there is a fantastic crostini sandwich place here. I didn’t know what it was so looked it up and found this site, thanks! Was wondering though, which spread is shown in the picture right above the dips and spreads header? Doesn’t have a label, can you provide? Looks terrific.
Hi Brendan, dips and sauces can be found in this section. I hope that helps!
First time making homemade crostini. I was entertain and served it with a homemade olive tamponade, they delicious. Thanks!
You’re welcome, Maura!
I love eating crostini with cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onion, drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper. :D
Jessica L Contreras
Perfect! I’m making brie and fig jam crostini for a Wine Night with friends this Friday.
Do you suggest toast it fresh that day, or could I toast them the day before and store in an airtight container?
Hi! They are best fresh. But you can try it the later. They may be extra hard. Let me know how it turns out for you!
So easy & nice, especially when you have the oven on for other things. Thanks!
Crostini burned to a crisp in 6 mins at 450. Threw them all out. Timing off.
Hi Jean, I’m sorry to hear that. How thick did you cut them? Where were they in your oven?
Making this crostini to serve with your baked spinach and artichoke dip on Christmas as one of the appetizers. Perfect combination! Thanks for all your great recipes!
That does sound like the perfect combination! Thank you for sharing.
Thank You Kathryne! Hubby and I smoked a salmon and this will make the perfect base for my smoked salmon appetizer. Using your recipe for Quick pickled onions too! Happy New Year! Hope 2022 is wonderful for you and yours.
Happy New Year, Robin!
Tonight I’m making a platter of crostini with fig jam, caramelized onions, Point Reyes blue cheese and a small pinch of fresh thyme. Very yummy. :)
I added a little garlic powder to the olive oil .. then brushed both sides of bread slices.. delicious!
I’m going to use this crostini receipe to serve with saucy meatballs for an entree for an Italian dinner party this weekend. Thank you :)
Lovely write up!
I’d like some guidance as to how long these might keep. I’ve toyed with the idea of cutting up old baguettes before they harden or spoil to save for making crostini when the need arises, instead of throwing out the loaf. Would it be better to cut and bake to dry out, and add olive oil when I’m ready to use it, or could I season it (OO, salt, maybe pepper) before storing?
My first try at making homemade crostini. Simple and easy and so delicious with my jalapeno peach cheese spread.
Thank you for your help and advice
First time to make crostini. When I tried to rub the garlic on the fresh out of the oven crostini, I broke 2 (maybe I was rubbing too hard or maybe it was too crunchy?) But those 2 gave me a bite to eat before the party began. ;) I whipped equal amounts goat cheese + cream cheese and spread it on the crostini. Placed a thin slice of beef tenderloin and topped with a small dollop of pesto. It was the first dish emptied at the party – thanks for sharing.
I love crostini with a good fondue. For Solstice celebration tonight, I’ll be serving crostini with baked brie and fig as well as a mushroom herb gouda fondue.
Thanks so much for the various bake temperature/times. Your recipes always have the extra details like make ahead, storing, freezing etc which I just love. Especially when you are trying to pull together a large meal, these come in so handy.
Great recipe! Came out perfect. I put a thin spread of cream cheese and then bruschetta. So amazing!
Great to hear, Cat! That sounds delicious.
Turned out perfect, best way to use up old baguette that you might get on special or for free from school. Kids loved them to.
Great to hear, Joce! I appreciate your review.