Learn how to make Garlic Crostini! These crunchy mini toasts rubbed with fresh garlic are super easy to make, and they're the perfect base for all sorts of creative toppings ... this is one appetizer that no one can resist!
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
When it comes to party appetizers, I love experimenting with different flavors and textures. Yet, I often find myself returning to the time-tested classics.
But sometimes when you give those classic recipes even the tiniest of tweaks, they turn out even better ... like this amazing Garlic Crostini! These crispy toasted bread slices are the perfect underpinning for all sorts of savory toppings, and they're simple to make.
If you're a garlic fan, you're going to love this flavorful twist on my classic Crostini recipe! The addition of fresh garlic makes these crunchy toasts even more delicious than the original version, and they're just as versatile.
This is the ultimate appetizer base. Top these crispy toasted bread slices with everything from veggies to cheese, or serve them alongside your favorite dips. Best of all, they're quick and easy to make. You can even prepare these garlic toasts in advance, making them perfect for low stress parties.
Ready to get started? Then just keep reading for all the details!
This recipe uses simple ingredients that probably already have in your pantry! Here's what you'll need:
- Bread - Choose a with high-quality bread for this crunchy appetizer base. Baguettes work best, but any long, thin loaf can be used. And stale bread is fine ... this recipe is the perfect way to use leftover bread!
- Olive Oil - Before baking, you'll brush the bread with extra virgin olive oil. The oil adds flavor and helps the bread get crispy.
- Garlic - After the bread has been toasted, you'll rub it with fresh garlic.
- Salt - A pinch of kosher salt gives these mini toasts a delicious boost of flavor.
As long as you use a baguette (which is traditionally made with flour, water, yeast, and salt), this recipe is naturally vegetarian, vegan, and dairy free. To make the recipe gluten free, simply choose a GF baguette.
You'll Also Need
Before getting started, grab a cutting board and a sharp serrated knife, which you'll use to cut the bread into thin slices. You'll also need a pastry brush for brushing the bread with oil before baking, and you'll need a large baking sheet or two (these sheet pans are my fave!) for baking the bread.
How to Make Garlic Crostini
This garlic rubbed crostini couldn't be easier to make! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Slice bread. Start by slicing the bread into ¼-inch thick slices. A ½-pound (255 gram) baguette should yield about 40 slices total. Tip: Slice the bread on an angle. That way, you'll have more space for toppings.
- Brush with oil. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet (in a single layer), and brush both sides with olive oil. Then lightly sprinkle the slices with salt on one side.
- Bake. Cook the bread until it is lightly browned on the edges and crisp throughout. Tip: Because the bread is sliced quite thin, there's no need to flip the slices as they cook.
- Rub with garlic. Once the bread is toasted, remove it from your oven. Then rub it with the cut side of a halved garlic clove.
So simple, right? And now it's time for the best part ... choosing the perfect toppings for your homemade Garlic Crostini!
This recipe is easy to customize with different ingredients! Here are a few to try:
- Butter - Replace the olive oil with melted butter to give the garlic toasts a rich, buttery, garlic bread-esque flavor.
- Herbs - Before brushing it on the bread, mix the oil with a little Italian seasoning or a mixture of your favorite dried herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, etc.
- Parmesan - Sprinkle the bread slices lightly with freshly grated parmesan cheese before baking.
- Garlic Powder - This recipe works best with fresh garlic, but if you're in a pinch, give the toasts a light sprinkle of garlic powder before baking instead.
Time for the fun part ... choosing the perfect toppings! You can pair this crunchy Garlic Bread Crostini with almost anything savory. Start by trying one of my crostini recipes, then check out the other ideas I'm sharing below (feel free to mix and match topping ideas!):
- Tomato Basil Crostini - This delicious fresh tomato topping takes minutes to make, but the flavor can't be beat!
- Whipped Goat Cheese Crostini - Perfect for goat cheese lovers, this yummy version is topped with hot honey and thyme, an irresistible combination.
- Mushroom Crostini - Crunchy toasts topped with creamy cheese and garlicky sautéed mushrooms make a mouthwatering topper.
- Avocado - Make mini avocado toasts by mashing an avocado with a little lemon juice and salt. Spread this mixture over the bread, then top with a drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with Everything Bagel Seasoning or crushed red pepper flakes, layer on sliced tomatoes, and / or top with crumbled feta.
- Other Vegetables - You can use almost any fresh, pickled, sautéed, marinated, or Roasted Veggies as a topping. Try roasted asparagus, caramelized onions, Roast Grape Tomatoes, mashed peas, roasted sweet potatoes or carrots, Homemade Pickled Onions, sautéed or roasted bell peppers, roasted or pickled cauliflower, marinated artichokes, and more.
- Dips + Spreads - Pair the Garlic Crostini with your favorite dips and spreads. They'll go with pretty much anything, including creamy recipes, like Dill Dip, Cream Cheese Dip, Baked Ricotta Dip, Caramelized Onion Dip, and Whipped Goat Cheese, classic dips, like Guacamole or Hummus (try this Roasted Garlic Hummus, too), and unique dips and spreads, like this Vegetarian Buffalo Dip, Baked Feta Dip, zesty Romesco Sauce, or this yummy Artichoke Spread.
- Pesto - Spread pesto over the bread or drizzle it over another topping. Any kind of pesto will work, from classic Basil Pesto, as well as unique flavors, like Rosemary, Macadamia, Cilantro, or Kale Pesto. You could even use Pesto Mayo!
- Olives - Briny olives are an easy way to add tons of flavor. Enjoy them on their own, or pair them with other toppings, like fresh tomatoes. Tapenade would also be tasty.
- Roasted Garlic - For a quick snack or app, spread these bite-sized toasts with homemade Roasted Garlic.
- Capers - Salty capers make a wonderful garnish! They pair well with anything that needs a little burst of flavor, like fresh veggies or mild cheese.
- Herbs - A sprinkle of fresh herbs (such as thyme, basil, rosemary, chives, parsley, dill, etc.) make an excellent finishing touch and is a great way to brighten the flavor of other toppings, too.
- Nuts - Add a little pinch of crunchy chopped nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, pistachios, almonds, and more, to one of the other toppings before serving.
Tip: Make sure to add your toppings (especially juicy ones, like tomatoes) right before serving. That way, your Crostini will stay crisp. You could also serve the toppings and toasts separately, and let your guests serve themselves.
Store any leftover Garlic Crostini Bread in an airtight container (such as a zip top bag) at room temperature. They'll taste best when eaten within a few days, but will stay fresh for up to two weeks (as long as they are completely dry and crisp throughout). You may also freeze the toasts up to two months.
Looking for similar recipes? Check out all of my vegetarian appetizer recipes, or try one of these tasty ideas next:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Crostini are small, thin slices of bread (typically, from a baguette) that have been brushed with olive oil, then baked until crisp. They're served as an appetizer with various toppings, including as veggies, cheeses, dips, and more.
Crostini and bruschetta are similar, but different types of toast. Crostini is usually made with a baguette that's been sliced thin and brushed with olive oil, then baked until crisp. Bruschetta is more often made with rustic-style bread, sliced a little thicker, and rubbed with garlic. Traditionally, bruschetta is prepared on the grill, which gives the finished bread a little char.
Crostini can be served hot, room temperature, or cold, depending on the toppings. It's often eaten at room temperature, which makes it perfect for parties!
Crostini should be crunchy, but not necessarily hard. If your Crostini is too hard, try slicing it thinner (about ¼-inch thick is best), or choose a bread with a lighter texture.
Crostini, which means "little toasts" in Italian, are small slices of toasted bread. The singular version of crostini is crostino.
- 1 (½-pound / 255 gram) baguette (see note)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- 1 large clove garlic, halved
- Serrated Knife
- Pastry Brush
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Using serrated knife, slice baguette thinly on an angle, ¼-inch thick.
- Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet in a single layer (you may need more than one). Brush lightly with olive oil. Flip, then brush the other side with oil.
- Sprinkle slices lightly with salt.
- Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until crisp throughout and lightly golden (no need to flip).
- When cool enough to handle, rub cut side of garlic over toasted bread.
- Serve with your choice of toppings. Enjoy!