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Grilled Bread with Tomatoes and Ricotta

5 from 8 votes

Simple, humble, and knock-your-socks-off delicious, Grilled Bread with Tomatoes and Ricotta is all about stellar ingredients and amazing flavors. Garden-fresh tomatoes pair perfectly with the crusty bread and sweet ricotta, and this show-stopping dish is perfect as an appetizer, a light meal, or just a way to enjoy fresh, local tomatoes.

grilled bread with tomato and ricotta on a black plate

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Not quite bruschetta and not quite a pan con tomate (Spanish tomato bread), this simple dish makes use of the best ingredients, including local, vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes, bakery-fresh sourdough bread, and creamy ricotta.

Put together and served with the bread still warm, you’ll get a flavor explosion plus a variety of textures and temperatures. Crispy bread, creamy ricotta and firm tomatoes combine perfectly in this dish which is both elegant and delicious.

What you’ll love about this recipe


  • Stunning color and flavor!
  • Perfect for tomato lovers
  • Easy to find ingredients

What You Need To Make Grilled Bread with Tomato & Ricotta

  • Fresh bread – Sourdough is my first pick. I love the tanginess of the bread paired with the sweentess of the ricotta.
  • Tomatoes – Get the best, freshest tomatoes you can find. I use big, gorgeous heirloom beefsteak tomatoes.
  • Ricotta – Spring for the good stuff. Look for extra smooth ricotta, and go for full fat for the best flavor.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – Now’s the time to use the good stuff. a drizzle is all it takes.
  • Fresh basil – Tomatoes and basil go hand-in-hand, and this dish sings with the added pop of freshness from the basil.
  • Black pepper – A few grinds of fresh black pepper is all it takes.
  • Salt – Use your best finishing salt for this dish. Alternatively, coarse kosher salt will work nicely.

How To Make This Tomato Bread Recipe

For a full list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

It couldn’t be easier to make this ricotta appetizer recipe. Here’s how:

  1. Have the bakery slice the bread in thick slices, or slice it yourself.
  2. Brush both sides of the bread with the olive oil – a pastry brush works wonders for this. Then, lightly grill the bread so that it is smoky and crispy but not too hard and crunchy.
  3. Use a sharp knife to cut thick slices of tomatoes. They shouldn’t be quite as thick as the bread, but not too thin, either. Aim for about 1/3-inch thick slices.
  4. Spread the ricotta in a fairly even and thick layer over the toasted bread. Make sure you go right to the edges! An offset spatula is a big help with jobs like this.
  5. Nestle the tomatoes on top of the ricotta, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top, and add a few grinds of black pepper. Tear or chiffonade the basil and sprinkle it over the top.
  6. That’s it! Enjoy!

How To Grill Bread

  • On a BBQ – After brushing the bread with oil, grill the bread over a low heat for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
  • In a cast-iron pan – No grill? Heat up a cast-iron pan until it is nearly smoking hot, then toast the oiled bread slices for 30-40 seconds per side until toasty.
  • In the toaster – Go ahead, toast that bread in your toaster! Oil it after toasting, or oil it first and then toast it in your air fryer or toaster oven.

How to Chiffonade Basil

Chiffonade is a fancy knife sill that turns basil leaves into thin ribbons. It’s easy to do. Here’s how:

  1. Stack large, washed basil leaves on top of each other. Start with 4-5 leaves.
  2. Roll the leaves into a fairly tight cylinder. Don’t press too hard or you’ll bruise the leaves.
  3. Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice through the rolled basil starting at the open end, to create thin ribbons.
wedges of grilled bread with tomato and ricotta on a white plate

what is Finishing Salt?

Finishing salt is an all-natural and unrefined salt that is used to top a dish. You don’t want to cook with this kind of salt as it is often more expensive.

Finishing salts are also usually coarse salts, with larger grains that show up easily on food. A sprinkle is all it takes.

Look for names like flake salt, fleur de sel, or sea salt (Maldon is an affordable brand.)

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • With an easy tomato recipe like this, every ingredient needs to be the best it can be!
  • Don’t salt the tomatoes until you’re ready to serve as the salt will draw out some of the liquid
  • The bread can be grilled ahead of time, up to a few hours before.
  • If you can’t chiffonade the basil, tear it into small pieces.
  • No basil? A sprinkle of Italian seasoning will also be tasty.

Make it a meal

A lovely glass of wine is all you need with this tomato bread with basil! And, many times in the summer, that’s my whole meal. But, if you’re serving this as a tomato appetizer, then consider tasty main dishes like Sausage & Broccoli Rabe Pasta, Chicken Marsala Meatballs, or Smoked Tri Tip. Another favorite are these Stuffed Pork Chops, and this MS Sin Pasta is so creamy, it’s perfect with this bread. I also just like other small bites like these chicken liver recipes. Yum!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is grilled bread with tomatoes and ricotta easy?

Yes! Once you’ve got the bread grilled, it’s just a matter of assembling this dish. Easy peasy!

Can I make toasted bread with tomatoes and basil ahead of time?

You can get the bread ready, slice the tomatoes, and prepare the basil ahead of time, but I wouldn’t assemble this dish until you’re ready to eat, or the tomatoes will sog your bread.

Can I add cheese?

Sure! Top your Spanish grilled bread with tomato with a few sprinkles of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or go for Manchego, another fabulous cheese that’s similar to Parmesan.

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Step By STep Process

grilled bread with tomato and ricotta on a black plate
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5 from 8 votes

Grilled Bread with Tomato & Ricotta

This humble recipe combines the best of fresh, grilled bread, juicy tomatoes, and fresh ricotta to create a mouthwatering appetizer or light meal.
Course Appetizers
Cuisine European
Keyword grilled bread, grilled bread with tomatoes, ricotta, tomatoes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 309kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1 large tomato
  • basil leaves
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper

Instructions

  • Have the bakery slice the bread in thick slices, or slice it yourself.
  • Brush both sides of the bread with half of the olive oil – a pastry brush works wonders for this. Then, lightly grill the bread so that it is smoky and crispy but not too hard and crunchy.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut thick slices of tomatoes. They shouldn't be quite as thick as the bread, but not too thin, either. Aim for about 1/3-inch thick slices.
  • Spread the ricotta in a fairly even and thick layer over the toasted bread. Make sure you go right to the edges! An offset spatula is a big help with jobs like this.
  • Nestle the tomatoes on top of the ricotta, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top, and add a few grinds of black pepper. Tear or chiffonade the basil and sprinkle it over the top.
  • That's it! Enjoy!

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • With an easy tomato recipe like this, every ingredient needs to be the best it can be!
  • Don’t salt the tomatoes until you’re ready to serve as the salt will draw out some of the liquid
  • The bread can be grilled ahead of time, up to a few hours before.
  • If you can’t chiffonade the basil, tear it into small pieces.
  • No basil? A sprinkle of Italian seasoning will also be tasty.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 366mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 516IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 3mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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By Chef Jenn

3 thoughts on “Grilled Bread with Tomatoes and Ricotta”

  1. 5 stars
    I am always struggling for lunch recipes but this is one I need to add to my regular rotation. I can’t wait to make it again (and again and again) with farmers market tomatoes.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    This grilled bread with tomatoes recipe brings back so many memories! I remember my mother making this when we had fresh tomatoes come out of the garden. I just love your recipe!!

    Reply

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