Bruschetta Bar

It’s official. It’s going to be a Bruschetta Bar kinda summer. It’s my latest and most favorite way to entertain and I’m 100% sure that you’re all going to love the concept. Are you on board? Great… here’s the deal…

Throwing a dinner party can be a lot of work! Am I right? And sometimes you want to have everyone over for a little impromptu bash and not spend the entire day slaving away in the kitchen. Bruschetta Bars are the answer. It’s essentially the best of the best when it comes to tapas style eating. Grilled bread, tons of vegetables, different kinds of sauces, meats, various cheeses…. and voila… your dinner party is done.

How To: Bruschetta Bar // What's Gaby Cooking

Last month I cooked the inaugural Bruschetta Bar party at my best friends house. It was a mega success and I can promise it will be one of many this coming summer. (and they may all be at his house, because I’m quite excellent at inviting myself over for meals!)

It all starts with a few key ingredients – and one of the most important is grilled bread. This is essential! From there, we can build it up with any kind of assorted toppings you’d like. I’m currently loving an assortment of: Basil Vinaigrette, Red Pepper Sauce, Tomato Confit, Pea Pesto, fresh arugula, charred corn, caramelized onions, caramelized mushrooms, Burrata, ricotta, goat cheese, prosciutto and thinly sliced salami. Obviously you can mix and match different toppings with different sauces and go to TOWN!

Here’s the best part – you can assign some of these topping bowls to friends! So while you might make the grilled bread and the sauces, you can have people bring over caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, different kinds of cheeses and meats, etc. How brilliant is that?

Then when it comes time to eat you can all make your own personalized concoction from the Bruschetta Bar and dig in. It’s an interactive dinner, which makes for the best kinds of dinner parties if you ask me!

Bruschetta Bar

Bruschetta Bar


  • 1 large loaf of bread, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 recipe Basil Vinaigrette
  • 1 recipe Saffron Tomato Confit
  • 1 recipe Red Pepper Sauce
  • 1 recipe Spring Pea Pesto
  • 1 handful fresh arugula
  • 1 cup charred corn (you can take an extra shortcut and grab a bag of frozen charred corn at Trader Jpe's)
  • 1/2 cup caramelized onions
  • 1/2 cup sautéed mushrooms
  • assorted cheeses
  • assorted meats


  1. Heat a grill over medium high heat.
  2. Generously drizzle the bread with olive oil on both sides. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the slices of bread to the grill and grill for a few moments until grill marks are present. Flip and continue to grill the bread on the other side for a minute more. Remove and set aside.
  3. Remove the garlic from it's paper and carefully rub the garlic on the toasted bread to give it an extra layer of flavor.
  4. Arrange the toppings on a large platter or table and serve with the grilled bread.

Photo Credit: Matt Armendariz

Food Styling Credit: Adam Pearson

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  1. I love this idea! I am addicted to bruschetta everywhere we go. I can’t have pork, but even veggie bruschettas are ridiculously good. I DEFINITELY need to add this to the menu for upcoming summer parties. Have you been to Fig & Olive in West Hollywood? Their crostini, which is similar enough to bruschetta, is amazing and looks lovely too. Here’s a dinner we had there, if you’re interested in seeing:

    I like the idea of personalized, make-your-own bruschettas for a party. Thanks for the idea!

  2. What a grand idea for a potluck party!!! Something for everyone! I can see grilling bread in the near future…..

  3. OK well it’s official, I need to perfect a good homemade crusty gluten-free bread so we can have a bruschetta party this summer at my place 😉

    Oh and shit, these photos are perfection!!

  4. I flipped when I saw this cause it’s already on the menu for a large garden party I’m having! I’m adding a big old fruit platter and cheese board and of course lots of wine! Nicely done!

  5. love this idea as a part time private chef this would work out great for for appetizers courses and that way i could concentrate more on the main course. cant wait to try it out on the next job/party..

  6. This looks delicious, trying to figure out how to replicate for a large event this fall. Looks lovely

  7. Oh holy smoke, this looks amazing! And yes, bruschetta bar sounds like the answer, as whenever my friends and I arrange pot-luck dinner, we always end up with tonnes of food! Whereas here, here things are in control, and there are so many nifty and tasty little components, the perfect indulgence over catching up with near and dear ones :) x

  8. Taking inspiration from this post, I made a similar spread for a 50-person party this weekend and everyone raved!! Costco had small trays of cured Italian meats which went perfectly. Can’t wait to make this again!

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  10. I love this idea! What kind of board did you use for presentation and can you recommend items for a “winter” bruschetta bar?

    1. I just use an old reclaimed wood paddle for this one! Found it at a flea market. You could also do it on a marble slab!

      Winter Bruschetta Bar coming your way soon!

  11. I’m loving this idea! Perfect party for making things ahead of time and then actually enjoying everyone’s company! We host a lot of potlucks, and this is wonderful inspiration! Thank you!

  12. Where did you find the oversized cutting board? I have been looking everywhere for a big slab or board like that, and no luck.

    1. it was from this random store in Chelsea Market in NYC! I find them on Ebay a lot – and in random thrift stores :)

  13. I didn’t have Matt + Adam to style mine, and I didn’t have the giant slab board, but I improvised with a big piece of paper and some wax paper to keep things from soaking through. This was incredibly easy to put together and I was really pleased with the results. The recipes were all delicious and all my guests loved it. Thanks for the great idea!

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