Crostini make a great base for so many types of appetizers. Learn how to make the BEST Homemade Crostini for a fraction of what you'd pay at the grocery store or gourmet shop!
I love having a stash of homemade crostini tucked away for easy, quick appetizers. Crostini also pairs well with soups and salads and make a delicious little crispy snack. Although it's tempting to pick up a box or bag of crostini at the grocery store or gourmet shop, you can save lots of money by making them yourself and they taste so much better than anything you can buy.
What is crostini?
Crostini is an Italian word that's translated as "little crusts" in English. Crostini consists of small slices of bread that are brushed with oil and toasted until golden and crisp in the oven or on the grill. These crispy little toasts are often used as a base for savory dips and spreads.
Probably the most classic topping for crostini is a simple combination of chopped tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and fresh basil. This delicious, fresh appetizer is often called bruschetta.
How do you make crostini?
It honestly couldn't be easier. These are the steps:
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F, Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, if you like an easy cleanup.
- Using a sharp serrated knife, cut a baguette into ¼-inch slices. (Sometimes I also use my Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread for long thin crostini, not conventional but fun for dips and spreads.)
- Arrange your sliced bread on the prepared sheet pan.
- Lightly brush the bread slices with extra virgin olive oil.
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden and crisp.
Because we love homemade crostini so much and really want you to see how easy it is, we created a short video, demonstrating the steps:
What's the best bread for crostini?
A crusty, firm baguette works well for crostini. I often use La Brea baguettes which are available across the U.S. at many larger grocery stores. I've also used baguettes from the Costco bakery section which come in a package of two and are very reasonably priced. I don't like using baguettes from most grocery store bakeries as they're squishy and don't have the greatest texture.
We'll be referring back to these Homemade Crostini frequently as we share more appetizer posts. Coming up we have a delicious Any Time Bruschetta recipe that works well in the summertime when your tomato vines are overflowing, but it's also fabulous other times of the year, using store-bought grape or cherry tomatoes.
You might want to go ahead and make a batch of these crostini so you'll be all set. But be sure to stash them away off the beaten path as they are super tempting and there may be none left when you go to look.
Café Tips for making homemade crostini
- It's fine to use day-old bread for crostini. One of our local fancy gourmet shops uses all their stale bread to make crostini and then sells them for a fancy price. Making crostini is a great way to use up that bread that's getting a little past prime.
- You'll need a good sharp, serrated knife to cut your bread for crostini. I've found that serrated knives, no matter how expensive, tend to get dull fairly quickly and they aren't as easy to sharpen as regular knives. The chefs at America's Test Kitchen recommend this knife sharpener and this inexpensive serrated knife (I just ordered it!) earned the top spot in their testing.
- If you prefer larger crostini, just slice your bread on a sharp angle.
- In addition to using good bread for making homemade crostini, be sure to also use a good olive oil. Since the ingredient list is short, you want each one to shine and taste delicious. What's a good olive oil? You don't have to pay a fortune for good olive oil. America's Test Kitchen test 10 supermarket olive oils. They found California Olive Ranch and Bertolli were their top two choices. I personally love Costco's Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is also one of the top choices of chefs like Samin Nosrat, the chef who stars in Netflix's"Salt Fat Acid Heat."
- Don't forget a touch of salt when making these homemade crostini. A sprinkle of salt goes a long way to enhance the flavor of both the bread and the oil. If you plan to use a salty topping for your crostini, go with a very scant salting. I also like to use a light sprinkle of black pepper but that's optional.
- Crostini can be stored in an airtight container for a week to 10 days. If they lose some of their crunchiness, you can always pop them back in a 350˚F oven for 4-6 minutes to re-crisp them.
- One classic crostini technique for adding additional flavor is to slice a clove of garlic in half and rub the cut side across the surface of the baked crostini, adding a nice garlic flavor.
Thought for the day:
The LORD is my light and my salvation,
who shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations, and ideas for variations.
- 1 sturdy crusty baguette (I really like La Brea and baguettes for crostini)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt or flaky sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper optional
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a sheet pan, if desired, with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
Slice the baguette into ¼-½-inch slices. If you would like larger (longer) crostini, slice the bread on the diagonal. You should get right around 24 slices.
Place the slices on the prepared sheet pan in a single layer then lightly brush both sides of the slices with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional).
Bake the crostini until golden and crisp.
Serve and enjoy!
Crostini will keep well in an airtight container for a week to 10 days. If crostini lose some of their crispness, you can reheat them (again in a single layer on a sheet pan) for 4-6 minutes at 350˚F.
Crostini are also delicious when prepared on the grill as they get a slight smoky flavor. To grill crostini, place the oiled slices directly on the grill and turn with a tongs when the underside is golden. I like to slice my crostini on a long angle when grilling so they are larger and don’t slip through the grates.
Grilled crostini are delicious served warm for appetizers, as an accompaniment to soups and salads and as a dinner bread.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn't have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.
Terri Bridges says
I saw where you can refrigerate thes for up to 10 days. Can they also be frozen.?
Chris Scheuer says
Hi Terri, yes, you can freeze these.
Looks like another great recipe, Chris - but being a baguette fanatic, there's a high probability I won't be making it. I'm the one who frequently cuts (rips) off a chunk of baguette, dips it in hummus, and proclaims (to self) that supper is a done deal.🤗 hangs head in shame. Sigh.
But maybe if I buy more than my usual 4-6...
Chris Scheuer says
Ha! Maybe save one and give this recipe a try. It's really great toasted like this!
There is a problem with this recipe!!! They are so tasty that hardly any made it to the tin for later!! YUMMY
Chris Scheuer says
Haha, Barb! So true!
Rita DelPercio says
Chris you forgot to give us the recipe for the tomatos to be put on the crostini.
Chris Scheuer says
Hi Rita, that recipe's actually coming next week. I wanted to post the crostini separately because we'll be using it in the future with lots of other appetizers.