Bruschetta is a classic Italian appetizer. It’s very simple, but totally delicious. Grilled bread is rubbed with garlic, olive oil, and salt, then finished off with a topping of your choice. Tomatoes are the most common topping, but I’m also partial to a mushroom bruschetta.
After experimenting with loads of different combinations, I’ve come up with 39 delicious sides that pair perfectly with bruschetta.
The best main dishes to serve with bruschetta are spaghetti bolognese, Tuscan white bean soup, and Italian-style meatball kabobs. For a light side, try a cucumber gazpacho, zucchini chips, or an Italian salad. For more tapas style sides, try prosciutto and melon skewers or a meat and cheese platter.
Olives are a staple in Mediterranean cuisine, and you can transform their taste with a simple marinade. This recipe uses bay leaves, garlic, chili, lemon, and parsley to give the olives a fresh and zesty flavor.
The olives need to marinate for at least an hour to take on the flavors, but longer is better so I always aim to prepare these the day before I want to serve them.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a simple, make-ahead option that’s full of flavor.
Italian-style meatball kabobs
Kabobs are one of my favorite summer foods.
They’re fun, filling, and easy to make your own.
These kabos have an italian spin on them with meatballs and a pesto marinade.
Psst… cubes of chicken would also be great with the pesto flavor.
Why we love the recipe: it’s great for a party.
Another great summer side to pair with bruschetta is gazpacho (a cold soup).
Traditional gazpacho is made with tomatoes, but since bruschetta is normally topped with tomatoes I went for a less traditional flavor.
Psst… I have loads more ideas on what to eat with gazpacho here
Why we love the recipe: it’s a no-cook, refreshing option.
Prosciutto and melon skewers
This has to be one of my favorite tapas dishes.
You get a delicious combination of sweet and salty flavors, with some creaminess from the cheese. It’s so simple to make too – you only need four ingredients and a wooden stick.
No melons? Lightly steamed zucchini is a good winter substitute.
Why we love the recipe: it will look great on a brunch spread.
Italian green salad
You can never go wrong with a simple side salad.
This version features chunks of mozzarella, mini pepperonis, garlic croutons, leafy lettuce, and a flavorful Italian dressing that’s got a little bit of everything – sweetness, saltiness, spiciness, and acidity.
Pro tip: to make this low-carb, skip the croutons and add roasted chickpeas instead.
Why we love the recipe: it will allow the bruschetta to shine.
Tuscan white bean soup
Turn your bruschetta into a complete meal with a side of hearty soup.
Tuscan white bean soup is warm, herby, and filled with creamy cannellini beans and nutritious veggies like spinach and carrots.
Why we love the recipe: it’s comfort food heaven.
Stick to the classics with a bruschetta starter followed by a spag bol dinner.
Everyone has their own way of making a bolognese sauce, but this recipe has a secret ingredient… parmesan rinds.
Adding a piece of parmesan rind to the mixture helps mellow out and acidic notes from the tomatoes.
Why we love the recipe: you know everyone is going to love it.
It may seem intimidating to make scallops at home but it’s actually easy.
The best way to ensure your scallops don’t dry out is to brine them before searing them. The brine also brings the scallop’s natural sweetness out (yum!).
Your scallops are done when they have a nice golden crust and opaque flesh.
Why we love the recipe: it’s a gourmet dish you can whip up in a flash.
Fritto misto is the Italian answer to tempura and usually consists of seafood like shrimp and calamari, as well as vegetables.
The key to perfect fritto misto is a light batter and quick frying to keep everything crisp and tender inside. And make sure the oil it hot enough when you add the battered seafood, if it’s too cold the batter will turn out greasy.
Why we love this recipe: it offers variety and is perfect for sharing.
Meat and cheese platter
Planning a party?
Treat your guests to some juicy bruschetta alongside a selection of meats and cheese.
It’s so much fun putting one of these platters together, you just need to make sure you’ve got a good balance of flavors.
You need something savory, sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy.
Why we love the recipe: it’s a gorgeous dish for the holidays.
You can eat bruschetta any time of day, including for breakfast!
Top the toasted bread with a spoonful of scrambled eggs and tomatoes, and you have a quick morning snack ready to go.
You can get creative too, swapping the tomatoes for mushrooms, bacon, or even avocado.
Why we love the recipe: it’s super easy and you probably already have all the ingredients you need.
If you love tomato bruschetta, then you’re going to love the textures of this salad too.
It’s kind of like a deconstructed bruschetta but with other tasty additions like avocado, corn, and basil.
Don’t forget to add those diced shallots for an extra pop of flavor.
Why we love the recipe: it’s an easy summer salad.
Air fryer zucchini chips
Chips are a great light side that won’t take any attention away from your bruschetta.
You could stick with commercial, store-bought chips, but if you have half an hour to spare, why not make your own?
All you need for these chips is some zucchini and half a tablespoon of oil.
Why we love this recipe: each serving only clocks in at 40 calories.
Planning a fancy date night.
This salad is guaranteed to impress.
The octopus is mixed with olives, red onions, and fresh herbs, then tossed in a simple lemon dressing.
And to make things really easy, you can use frozen octopus.
Why we love the recipe: it’s simple but elegant.
If you’re serving an Italian starter or main, tiramisu is a must-have dessert.
There are loads of variations of tiramisu (even a peanut and jelly one!), but I like adding a nutty twist with almond extract and pistachios.
The pistachios add a great crunch to the top to contrast with the rest of the soft, creamy textures.
Why we love the recipe: it’s a delicious spin on a traditional recipe.
What To Serve With Bruschetta [15 Sides]
- 1 portion bruschetta
- Prepare your bruschetta according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: Italian-style meatball kabobs, cucumber gazpacho, prosciutto and melon skewers, Italian green salad, tuscan white bean soup, spaghetti bolognese, pan-seared scallops, meat and cheese platter, scrambled egg, panzanella salad, air fryer zucchini chips, octopus salad, and pistachio tiramisu.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!