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.
*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.