We don’t know who first came up with the idea to eat tomatoes on top of toast, but Italian cuisine developed it into an art.
At its core, that is what bruschetta is. Marinated tomatoes served on top of bread fried with garlic.
Bruschetta is an antipasto, which literally means ‘before the meal’.
You can consider it as an appetizer, though Italians don’t exactly see it that way.
In Italian culture, the start of the four or five-course meal is signaled by serving antipasti.
Antipasti are served on antipasto platters, consisting of a selection of cured meats, cheese, dips and bread.
If you’re wondering what to serve with bruschetta, keep on reading.
Why Should You Consider Serving Side Dishes with Bruschetta?
If you are serving a traditional Italian five-course meal, then bruschetta would be served on a platter.
You would arrange the bruschetta along with other antipasti to get the meal started before the main course.
However, you are free to eat antipasto anytime you like.
Bruschetta makes a great snack or hors d’oeuvre; you don’t need to serve it specifically as part of a meal.
On the other hand, you could add more to the bruschetta to make it a whole meal.
Open your mind as we lay out for you the best side dishes to serve with bruschetta.
What to Serve with Bruschetta? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Here are the top 7 side dishes that you can serve with bruschetta for wholesome Italian meal:
1 – Antipasto Platter
For our first option, let’s consider what you need to make a traditional antipasto platter.
Bruschetta, of course, is the main attraction on your platter, but you need to surround it with a selection of meats, vegetables, and cheese.
- Meats – Gather a selection of cured meats you can serve cold, such as salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, or sausages.
- Cheese – Offer some of your favorite cheeses, like mozzarella balls, Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan), or gouda. You could also marinate or top off the cheese with olive oil and spices.
- Olives – Olives are an essential part of any Italian meal.
- Vegetables – Add a variety of fresh, roasted, and pickled vegetables. Bell peppers, stuffed tomatoes, grilled mushrooms are all great choices.
2 – Pesto
This is a great dip that will add a fresh, herbal taste to your bruschetta.
Pesto will transport you straight to a Mediterranean summer when it hits your mouth.
This is an excellent option if you want a healthy and fresh condiment that works for many purposes.
Pesto is an Italian term for any uncooked sauce made by crushing or grinding ingredients to a paste.
Here are some common ingredients:
- Fresh basil.
- Parmesan or similar cheese.
- Pine Nuts or Other Nuts/Seeds.
- Extra-virgin olive oil.
- Fresh garlic.
- Lemon Juice.
3 – Wine and Cheese
We think bruschetta makes a beautiful companion to a glass of wine and a slice of cheese.
We are moving away from the traditional use of antipasto here; let’s see how versatile bruschetta can be.
You have definitely heard about pairing wine and cheese together; couples have surely used them.
Pairing bruschetta with wine and cheese will make a lovely picnic or add variety to a wine-tasting.
Red wines are the best to serve with antipasto and cheese, but it doesn’t go with meats.
There is a whole art dedicated to pairing wines, so we won’t go into all that.
4 – Soup
Soup is a great option to serve with bruschetta if you only want a light meal, and it goes just as well after an antipasto platter in a large meal.
Our recommended soup is mushroom soup.
It’s healthy, delicious, and easy to make.
All you need is mushrooms, leeks, vegetable stock, butter and some spices.
The resulting soup is thick and creamy, perfect for serving with bread.
5 – Grilled Vegetable Salad
If you are health-conscious, there is probably no better food to eat than a nutritious salad.
If you don’t like vegetables, this salad may just change your mind.
You can pair your bruschetta with any salad you like, from fresh greens to roasted peppers; most salads will be fine.
Grilled salad is easy, simply pick out your choice of veggies and grill them.
Good choices are bell peppers, eggplant, asparagus, broccoli, and artichokes.
Drizzle the veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then grill them up nicely.
6 – Pasta Salad
Adding pasta to a salad is a wonderful choice for something more filling than plain veggies.
You still get all the health benefits of a regular salad, and the pasta makes it more of a meal.
You can use the same vegetables as the grilled salad and add any fresh herbs you prefer.
Cook the pasta while you cut the veggies, then mix it all together and pour salad dressing over it.
Grate cheese over the whole thing to round up your dish.
7 – Pasta Arrabiata
We know this is a list of side dishes, but bruschetta often works best as a starter course for a meal.
If you’ve ever had antipasto, you know that it just leaves you hungering after a good pasta dish.
There are a tremendous amount of simple pasta recipes you can follow.
Never think that simple means bland; however, you would be amazed at how a little effort creates impressive results.
Pasta Arrabiata is a straightforward dish to make, with only a few ingredients needed.
All you need is pasta, olive oil, canned tomatoes, parsley and spices.
Preparation is a simple matter of preparing the sauce and tossing the pasta with it.
Antipasti like bruschetta are typically served as a starter course, but you can eat it however you like.
It’s simple to make, healthy and delicious.
If you’ve never tried it before, have a go at making it yourself.
You do not need to eat bruschetta only as a starter; it goes well on almost any occasion, as an hors d’oeuvres or a companion to wine.
If you need an idea for a picnic date, you can be sure that bruschetta will not let you down.
If you master this dish, you can be sure to impress your guests whatever the occasion.