Crisp Garlic Crostini provides the perfect base for all your favorite appetizers. Made from a simple baguette, fresh garlic, and fruity olive oil, this easy crostini recipe is a super flavorful and delicious way to support a variety of ingredients!
These are the best homemade crostinis to add to your cheese board, use as a sidekick for dips, or to serve as an easy appetizer with various toppings.
I was inspired to create this recipe around the holidays after looking for a toast to serve with my baked brie with jam. I love that the garlic flavor is not overpowering and the crispy texture works perfectly with the creamy cheese. These little toasts also pair well with my favorite chicken tortellini soup and creamy fish chowder.
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What is Crostini?
Crostini are "little crusts" or "little toasts" in Italian. They are thin slices of bread, typically brushed with olive oil and toasted until crisp.
Here in the U.S. we typically top crostini with creamy spreads and tapenades or serve them alongside dips and charcuterie boards.
With a few simple ingredients, you can create the perfect base for all your favorite spreads, dips, and appetizers. This recipe is also a great way to use stale bread.
- Baguette - I like to use a French baguette, but any artisanal elongated crusty bread is ideal for this garlic crostini recipe. These can be found at a local bakery or in the bakery section of your grocery store.
- Olive Oil - A little olive oil gives the crostini flavor and color. Choose a light olive oil or neutral flavored oil, that way it won't compete with the garlic flavor.
- Garlic cloves - For best results, use large fresh garlic cloves from a head of garlic instead of peeled and packaged garlic. The flavor is much stronger when you use the cloves from garlic bulbs.
- Flaky sea salt - For garnish and extra flavor.
See the recipe card at the bottom of the page for exact ingredient amounts.
Move the oven rack to the third position below the broiler. Turn the broiler on high.
Using a serrated knife, slice the baguette into even slices no wider than ½ inch.
Lay the baguette slices in a single layer on a sheet pan. Depending on the size of your baguette, you may need to work in batches.
Lightly brush each slice of bread with olive oil. Flip over and repeat.
Put the bread under the broiler and close the door. Broil until golden brown around the edges, 1-2 minutes. Do not walk away.
Once browned around the edges, remove the pan from the oven. Flip over each little toast, and return the sheet pan to the oven. Broil the second side for 30-60 seconds until golden brown. Keep a close eye on the crostini, because they can burn quickly.
Once all the baguette slices are toasted, immediately remove the pan from the oven and turn off the broiler.
While the crostinis are still warm, but cool enough to handle, slice a clove of garlic in half lengthwise and rub the cut end over the toasts.
Apply light pressure so that the garlic grates on the surface of the crostini. I recommend rubbing both sides of the bread for extra flavor.
Return the toasts to the oven that is turned off, but still warm and let them heat for 1 minute, with the door closed.
TIP: This will help take the spiciness out of the garlic.
Sprinkle the toasts with flaky sea salt and allow them to cool to room temperature before serving.
Hint: I like to start rubbing the garlic clove along the crisp edges of the crostini first to get the garlic juices flowing. There should be almost nothing left of the garlic cloves when you're done.
- Bread - Any long, skinny, crusty bread is perfect for this recipe. But in a pinch, a loaf of sourdough, Italian bread, or a French bread loaf can be substituted. Just slice the loaf into ½" thick slices and then cut those slices in half to make them smaller.
- Garlic - You can substitute minced garlic for whole cloves. Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic to the oil and let it sit for five minutes before brushing on the baguette slices.
- Olive oil - Vegetable oil or any neutral flavored oil can be substituted for olive oil.
- Parmesan Cheese - Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to the top of the toasts after rubbing them with garlic.
- Make it spicy - Add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes or cracked black pepper to the crostinis after toasting.
- Add herbs - Mix in some dried Italian seasoning to the oil before brushing the bread, or sprinkle on thinly sliced fresh basil leaves after broiling.
- A large baking sheet - I use a standard half sheet pan to toast the bread. Depending on the size of the baguette, I need two sheet pans to lay out the bread in a single layer.
- Pastry brush - This helps to brush the olive oil on the baguette slices evenly. This is my favorite silicone pastry brush that I use all the time in my kitchen.
Leftover garlic crostinis can be stored in an airtight container or zip top bag at room temperature for 2-3 days.
To refresh crostinis, toast lightly in the toaster oven until crisp or reheat in the oven at 375F degrees for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Serving Suggestions and Toppings
However, my absolute favorite way to serve crostini is with my baked brie and jam recipe. This is a delicious appetizer to serve around the holidays in addition to my ham and cheese crescent rolls, and homemade chex mix.
Get creative with different toppings! Here are a few suggestions:
- Top with diced cherry or grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil.
- Add a dollop of creamy goat cheese or ricotta and drizzle with honey, walnuts, and fresh herbs.
- Layer crostini with prosciutto and sliced melon, drizzled with balsamic glaze.
Do not walk away from the oven while the toasts are broiling. They can burn super easily if not watched.
Crostini are typically smaller than bruschetta, using a thin, elongated bread like a baguette. Bruschetta and crostini are both brushed with olive oil, toasted, and in this case both are rubbed with garlic. Bruschetta is typically topped with tomatoes and herbs, whereas crostini are little toasts that can be used for dipping or topped with a variety of spreads and ingredients.
Crostini should be crisp and crunchy all the way through, but not too hard to eat.
Make sure to toast the bread until crisp. When selecting toppings, keep wetter ingredients like tomatoes or melon sprinkled on the top of something else. Place a leaf of basil, a slice of cheese, or a thin slice of prosciutto on the toast directly to add as a moisture barrier. Also try not to add spreads too early before serving, as those will make the toasts soggy.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with Garlic Crostini:
- 1 baguette (10-12 ounces) loaf
- 2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil
- Flaky sea salt
- Move the oven rack to the third position below the broiler. Set the broiler to high.
- Slice the baguette into ½-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a sheet pan. Depending on the size of your baguette, you may need two pans.
- Brush both sides of the bread slices with the olive oil. You may need an extra tablespoon of oil if your baguette is on the large side.
- Broil the baguette slices for 1-2 minutes with the door closed until golden brown around the edges.
- Flip each toast and broil the second side for 30-90 seconds until the bread is golden and toasted. Watch closely to prevent burning. Remove the pan from the oven and turn off the broiler.
- Cut a clove of garlic in half lenghtwise and rub the cut end of the clove all over the warm toasts. Flip the toasts over and rub the underside with garlic as well.
- Return the crostini to the oven that is off, but still warm and heat for 1 minute. This will tone down the spiciness of the garlic. After heating, sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 17Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 16mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g