Crostini is a quick and easy appetizer with thin baguette slices lightly toasted until golden brown and crispy. Customize this fancy handheld snack to your liking with various toppings.
Table of Contents
Transform a crusty loaf of bread into a tasty appetizer. This easy crostini recipe uses toasted baguette slices, which are seasoned and baked until light and crisp. This method yields maximum texture contrast for crunchy bites.
The slices are sturdy enough to be topped for a versatile antipasto or used for dipping in your favorite spread. It only takes a few minutes to prepare and about 10 minutes to toast! Make a tray ahead of time to serve as a quick snack or hors d’oeuvres for a party. Check out my delicious serving options to wow your guests.
What is crostini?
They are thinly sliced pieces of bread that are toasted or grilled to yield a crisp texture. These Italian-inspired antipasti are called “little toasts” as they are meant to be small, flavorful appetizers.
You typically brush them with olive oil before cooking, which boosts the taste and crispiness. I like to serve them on the side of dips and spreads or topped with cheese, vegetables, fruit, seafood, or other protein.
Use a baguette or crusty French bread that is slender in shape. You’ll need to cut larger loaves in half to make smaller pieces. The length should be about 2 ½ to 3-inches and about 2-inches wide. Any larger and it becomes a meal like avocado toast, rather than a two to three bite appetizer.
I find that the lighter loaves, instead of dense and chewy, yield crisp and brittle texture after toasting, similar to croutons but not completely dried out. It’s easier to eat, although if you enjoy more chew, go with artisan loaves.
Fresh vs. stale bread
You can use either a freshly baked loaf or one that’s a few days old—the staler the bread, the dryer, and easier to cut. Making crostini is a great way to use up old bread.
Cut slices of baguette crosswise into just under ½-inch thick to give even rounds. This size makes it much easier to bite into but still has a sturdy structure. You can also cut on a bias or diagonal to give slightly more surface area. I recommend using a serrated knife as their teeth help to cut through the crusty surface.
Brush both sides with a good quality extra-virgin olive oil with a fruity taste that will add flavor to the surface. The fat also helps make it crisper when toasting. I like to season with kosher salt and pepper before baking. The seasoning sticks better to the oil, and the heat enhances the flavor better than applying afterward.
The sodium granules dissolve, and black pepper becomes more fragrant. You can keep it simple with just olive oil. Alternatively, some garlic or onion powder will give it an earthy allium note.
Toasting the bread
For even cooking, bake the slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. I use a moderate temperature of 350ºF (177ºC). The goal is to dry out as much moisture in the crumb as possible while achieving a lightly browned surface.
It takes about 5 minutes per side, flipping halfway through. To further gently dry out the bread, leave it on the warm sheet pan until cooled down. Your little crostini toasts are now the perfect base for topping or dipping.
Dips and spreads to serve with
- Hot spinach artichoke dip
- Spinach dip
- Buffalo chicken dip
- Minty pea hummus
- Roasted beet hummus
- Tzatziki sauce
Crostini topping suggestions
- Goat cheese and sauteed mushrooms and onions
- Smoked salmon with chive cream cheese
- Whipped ricotta and bruschetta topping
- Pickled cucumbers or onions
Both are Italian antipasti served with a variety of savory or sweet toppings. Crostini are smaller pieces of little toasts often topped or served with a dip. Bruschetta means “roast over coals” or “to toast,” usually thicker pieces of grilled bread for a more charred flavor or baked at a higher temperature. Slices of fresh garlic are rubbed on the surface for more robust aromas. It’s popular to top with fresh tomatoes.
Yes! Heat the barbecue or a grill pan over medium-high heat for a smoky flavor on the toast. Once hot, toast until light char marks form. This process will take about 2 to 4 minutes per side.
Yes, the toasts can be made about 5 to 7 days before serving. Make sure to store in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze and defrost them before use. It’s best to top right before serving and enjoy within an hour. Alternatively, they can be topped 2 to 3 hours before serving and refrigerated. Any longer or chilling overnight will soften the bread.
The toast is typically cooled down before use. However, it could be enjoyed when warm out of the oven. Cold toppings like cream cheese and smoked salmon work well for a chilled appetizer. Warm toppings like caramelized onions or sauteed mushrooms make for an excellent savory starter.
How do you keep crostini from getting soggy?
Brushing olive oil on the bread slices before toasting acts as a lipid barrier to moisture. You can also add a spread on top that contains fat like goat cheese, cream cheese, mashed avocado, or aioli to prevent juices from wet ingredients making the toast soggy.
Easy Crostini Recipe
- 1 baguette, cut into ½-inch thick slices, about 24 pieces
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed for brushing
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt, more as needed for seasoning, optional
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed for seasoning, optional
- Set the oven rack to the middle position. Heat to 350ºF (177ºC).
- Brush each side of bread slices with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper (if using).
- Arrange slices in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dry, lightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Flip halfway through baking. Cool on the sheet tray.
- Serve with desired dips, spread, or toppings.
- Storing: Toasts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 to 7 days. It can be frozen for up to 30 days and defrosted before use. Refrigerate crostini with toppings for up to 2 to 3 hours. Sitting any longer or chilling overnight will make the bread soggy.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
Tried this recipe?
Tag me on Instagram. I'd love to see how it turns out!