How to Make Crostini

5 from 8 votes
↓ Jump to Recipe 6

This post may contain affiliate links | disclosure policy

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.

Crostini on a platter with cherry tomato topping.

Recipe Science

  • Slicing bread thinly for crostini maximizes surface area, allowing for rapid moisture evaporation in the oven, resulting in a crisp texture.
  • Toasting the bread slices at high heat triggers the Maillard reaction, enhancing flavor through browning and creating a crunchy base suitable for toppings.
  • Adding toppings like cheese or vegetables after partially toasting the bread allows it to cook or melt perfectly without over-browning the bread base.

Why It Works

When hosting a gathering, I like to transform a crusty loaf of no-knead bread into a tasty appetizer. This easy crostini recipe uses toasted baguette slices seasoned and baked until light and crisp. This method yields maximum texture contrast for crunchy bites.

The slices are sturdy enough to be topped with a versatile antipasto, your favorite dip, or creamy spread. Preparing them takes only a few minutes, and toasting them takes about 10 minutes! Make a tray beforehand for a quick snack or hors d’oeuvres for a party.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients needed to make this crostini recipe.
  • Bread: The best bread for crostini is a baguette or crusty, slender loaf about 2 ½ to 3 inches wide. Use a freshly baked loaf or one a few days old—the more stale the bread, the dryer and easier it will be to cut. Making homemade crostini is a great way to use up old bread.
  • Oil: Brush both sides of the bread with good-quality extra-virgin olive oil. This will add a fruity flavor to the surface.
  • Seasoning: Season with salt and pepper, or leave the crostini plain if you have flavorful toppings.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Bread: Sourdough, French, multi-grain, or gluten-free bread can be used for any recipe for crostini. I find that the lighter loaves, instead of dense and chewy, yield a crisp and brittle texture after toasting, similar to croutons but not completely dried out. They’re easier to eat, although if you enjoy more chew, go with artisan loaves.
  • Fat: Brush with melted butter, clarified butter, ghee, avocado oil, or coconut oil.
  • Seasoning: Garlic or onion powder will give it an earthy allium note. Alternatively, slice a garlic clove in half and rub it on the crisp toast. You can also experiment with a sprinkle of basil or thyme.

How to Make Crostini

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Set the heat to 350ºF (177ºC). Drying the slices in a moderate oven lightly toasts the surface and dries out the crumb.

Person slicing a bread loaf with a knife.

Step 2: Slice the 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 it still has a sturdy structure. You can also cut on a bias or diagonal to slightly increase surface area.

I recommend using a serrated knife as their teeth help to cut through the crusty surface. You’ll need to cut wider loaves in half to make smaller pieces. Any larger, it becomes a meal like avocado toast rather than a two- to three-bite appetizer.

Person brushing oil on bread slices.
Person sprinkling salt on oiled bread.

Step 3: Oil and Season

Brush the sliced bread with the olive oil, coating both sides. The fat also helps make it crisper when toasting. I like to season with kosher salt and pepper before baking.

Pro Tip: The seasoning sticks better to the oil, and the heat enhances the flavor better than applying it afterward. The sodium granules dissolve, and black pepper becomes more fragrant.

Oiled crostini lined up on a baking sheet.

Step 4: Toast the Bread

Bake the slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet for even cooking. 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 gently dry out the bread further, leave it on the warm sheet pan until cooled.

Slices of toasted bread with oil and seasoning.

Step 5: Garnish and Serve

Your little crostini toasts are now the perfect base for topping. Here are a few suggestions: Goat cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and onions. Smoked salmon with chive cream cheese. Whipped ricotta and bruschetta topping or cherry tomatoes

Dips and Spreads to Serve with Crostini

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a crostini?

Thinly sliced pieces of bread that are toasted or grilled. These Italian-inspired antipasti are called “little toasts” as they are meant to be small, flavorful appetizers. Typically, you 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, and seafood.

What’s the difference between bruschetta and crostini?

Both are Italian antipasti served with a variety of savory or sweet toppings. Crostini are smaller pieces of toast topped or served with a dip. Bruschetta means “roast over coals” or “to toast.” It’s usually thicker pieces of grilled bread, rubbed on the surface 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.

Can you grill the bread?

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.

Can you make crostini in advance?

Yes, the toasts can be made about 5 to 7 days before serving. 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 for 2 to 3 hours before serving and refrigerated. Any longer or chilling overnight will soften the bread.

Can crostini be served hot or cold?

The toast is typically cooled before use, but it can also be enjoyed warm out of the oven. Cold toppings like cream cheese and smoked salmon work well for a chilled appetizer, while warm toppings like caramelized onions or sauteed mushrooms make an excellent savory starter.

How do I keep crostini from getting soggy?

Bread brushed with olive oil before toasting acts as a lipid barrier to moisture. You can also add a fat-containing spread like butter, goat cheese, cream cheese, mashed avocado, or aioli to prevent juices from wet ingredients from making the toast soggy.

More Bread Recipes

If you tried this tutorial for How to Make Crostini, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Easy Crostini Recipe

Crostini is an easy appetizer with thin baguette slices lightly toasted until golden brown and crispy. Customize with various toppings.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 baguette
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions 

  • Heat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the middle position. Heat to 350ºF (177ºC).
  • Slice the Loaf – Using a serrated knife, cut ½-inch thick slices, about 24 pieces.
  • Oil and Season – Brush each side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, using more as needed.
  • Toast the Bread – Arrange the slices on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until dry and lightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes flipping halfway through. Cool on the sheet tray.
  • To Serve – Serve the crostini with desired dips, spread, or toppings.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Storing: Crostini 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.
  • Make Ahead: Refrigerate crostini with toppings for up to 2 to 3 hours. Sitting any longer or chilling overnight will make the bread soggy.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 24 servings
Calories 48kcal (2%)Carbohydrates 5g (2%)Protein 1g (2%)Fat 3g (5%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 2gSodium 112mg (5%)Potassium 12mgFiber 1g (4%)Sugar 1g (1%)Vitamin A 1IUCalcium 8mg (1%)Iron 1mg (6%)

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!

Tag @jessica_gavin

Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

Quick & Easy Meals in Under 30 Minutes!
Get 25 simple meals your whole family will love.
Jessica Gavin standing in the kitchen

You May Also Like

Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




6 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Chrsitine Potthast says

    Dear Jessica, thank you so much for your reply. That is perfect. My party is on Thursday and I can’t wait to try the crostinis. – For toppings, I am planing to go with cucumber & smoked salmon and the mushroom recipe as shown in your photos. I also bought a pesto spread on the Farmers Market. Maybe, I use that for tomatoes. – You say the crostini can be prepared in advance. … If I toast the baguette a few hours before the guests arrive and add spread and toppings an hour or so in advance, I should be fine, right?

    Thank you so much for your advice. It is greatly appreciated.
    Christine

  2. Christine says

    Hello Jessica, in your recipe above, there is a photo of a dip that looks delicious but I can’t find the recipe. It looks like it may be made from cream cheese. I believe there are also capers and chives in it. I am planing a dinner for some friends with your stuffed chicken breast and crostinis as appetizers. I am looking for toppings for the crostini. You have great suggestions in this recipe that I will use. Can you maybe, help with the recipe of that delicious looking dip as well?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Christine- It’s a cream cheese spread that you can add different toppings to like cucumber and smoked salmon. Here is the recipe: 4 ounces softened cream cheese, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon capers (drained and roughly chopped), 1 1/2 teaspoons sliced chives, 1 teaspoon chopped dill. Just mix it all together! I also have a smoked salmon dip on my website that would be great for crostini.

  3. Judy says

    Hi Jessica,

    I found this interesting and want to give this a try. I have never made Crostini. Next time we have a few people over I will try this out. It sounds good and you never fail. The best recipes always.

    xo
    Judy