Everyone loves this roasted tomato and ricotta crostini recipe! It’s not only a crowd-pleasing appetizer but it also makes an amazing vegetarian lunch.

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: Tangy roasted tomatoes, smooth ricotta cheese, and sweet balsamic glaze perfectly balance each other. Top the appetizers with fresh basil if it’s available.

How long it takes: 30 minutes to roast the tomatoes (but you can do it ahead of time)
Equipment you’ll need: small baking sheet
Servings: 12

Several crostini on a bamboo cutting board.
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These roasted tomato crostini are total Rachel food: a roasted vegetable (basically my favorite thing ever after popcorn), creamy cheese (also a winner in my book), and crunchy bread. Who doesn’t love crunchy bread?!

I had my first taste of this combination at my in-law’s house a couple years ago. I think my mother-in-law used a Martha Stewart recipe (and Google confirmed my suspicions). I wanted to re-create these appetizers so I started from scratch, and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.

Closeup of crostini on bamboo cutting board.

Why You’ll Love These Ricotta Crostini

  • Easy to make.These crostini are perfect appetizers because they don’t take long at all to put together. The tomatoes have to roast for 30 minutes but that’s hands off time. While they’re in the oven, toast the bread and spread the ricotta on each slice. Top with the roasted tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic. Easy peasy!
  • Easy to serve. This is an appetizer recipe that is great served hot but it’s also tasty as it cools down to room temperature. In my mind, that’s a necessary trait of appetizers unless you’re planning to serve it straight from the stove (like stovetop spinach dip with sun-dried tomatoes) or from a slow cooker, like this spinach artichoke dip. Who wants to be worrying if your appetizers are hot enough?
  • Embellishments. I like to drizzle these ricotta crostini with balsamic glaze for an extra punch of flavor. That stuff is liquid gold. Bonus points if you make homemade balsamic glaze. A garnish of fresh basil is really good, too. However, as you can tell from my photos, the middle of winter is not a good time to score fresh basil, so my appetizers are basil-less.
Overhead of several crostini arranged on cutting board, with container of fresh cherry tomatoes and sliced bread.

What You’ll Need

  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes: Choose whatever looks the best. A package of tomatoes in assorted colors is fun, too. It’s best if the tomatoes are on the smaller side. I like grape tomatoes because they tend to be sweeter.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Roasting the tomatoes in balsamic vinegar heightens the flavor and concentrates the sweetness of the balsamic.
  • Olive Oil: Any good olive oil is fine. You don’t need to use your fanciest olive oil but you want a fairly decent one.
  • Salt, Pepper, Brown Sugar: These seasonings enhance the flavor of the roasted tomatoes.
  • Ricotta Cheese: I usually buy part-skim ricotta but choose your favorite.
  • Baguette: Thinly slice the baguette to make the crostini. The word crostini basically means “little toasts”. You can toast them plain or brush a bit of olive oil on them before toasting. Learn how to make crostini in your oven, skillet, or a grill pan. It’s easy!
Crostini drizzled with balsamic glaze.

Make It Your Own

  • Buy crostini. If you don’t want to bother with making the toasts, you can buy Italian bread toasts, bagel thins, baked pita chips, etc. They work perfectly with this appetizer idea. Making your own crostini is definitely more economical though.
  • Make it a lunch. If you wanted to translate this irresistible appetizer into a lunch you’ll be looking forward to all day, use a slightly bigger slice of bread (you could stick with the smaller pieces but I’m just trying to make your life easier). Pair them with a nice salad or hot soup.
  • Rather have a dip? Serve the tomatoes, cheese, and crostini separately and have guests assemble their own. A similar idea is this hot Caprese dip which is another of my favorites. It’s made with roasted tomatoes, cream cheese, shredded mozzarella, and fresh mozzarella cheese. It’s pretty amazing too.

More Crostini and Bruschetta

Overhead closeup of single crostini drizzled with balsamic glaze.

Make Ahead Ideas

Toast the bread. Go ahead and toast the bread slices a few days in advance. Make sure the crostini are completely cool before storing in an airtight container or resealable bag.

Roast the tomatoes. If you like, the tomatoes can be roasted a day or two ahead of time. Refrigerate the roasted tomatoes with any pan juices. To serve, allow the tomatoes to come to room temperature or gently warm them in a skillet on the stove or in the oven (or toaster oven) if you prefer them hot. They are great either way.

Storage Tips

Once the appetizers are assembled, they are best eaten right away. If you have leftovers, they should be refrigerated. The toast tends to get a bit soft after awhile.

More Appetizer Recipes


Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Crostini Recipe

4.67 from 3 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Everyone loves this roasted tomato and ricotta crostini recipe! It's not only a crowd-pleasing appetizer but it also makes an amazing vegetarian lunch.
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  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 demi-baguette or half of a baguette, sliced thinly on the diagonal (see note)


  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.
  • In a small bowl, toss tomatoes with vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Place tomato mixture on the foil lined baking sheet.
  • Bake tomatoes for 30 minutes or until tomatoes start to burst, stirring or shaking baking sheet about halfway through cooking. Let cool slightly on pan.
  • Toast baguette slices in a toaster or under the broiler of your oven.
  • Top each toasted bread slice with ricotta and then tomatoes. Drizzle each appetizer with balsamic and olive oil from the sheet pan (see notes). Serve immediately.


  • Learn how to make crostini bread toasts. There are a few different ways so you can choose your favorite method. 
  • If you prefer, buy Italian bread toasts, bagel thins, or a similar product instead of making your own. 
  • A drizzle of balsamic glaze enhances the flavor. If fresh basil is in season, garnish each appetizer with a small basil leaf. 


Serving: 1crostini, Calories: 122kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 194mg, Potassium: 150mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 408IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 82mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.67 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. Bonnie McGinnis says:

    There is something magical about this combination–I love these! They are really delicious with a little fresh basil.

  2. Cookin Canuck says:

    Okay, these are seriously the cutest appetizers and I can only imagine how good they must taste! Perfect for football snacking.

  3. Marnely says:

    We serve something like this when we have parties at the restaurant – people love it! Looks awesome too!

  4. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen says:

    I haven’t stopped thinking about these bites of deliciousness since I opened my email and saw the gorgeous photos! I love the flavor combo and nothing beats ricotta cheese and crunchy bread, my favorite!

  5. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says:

    I could eat things like this all day long. I’m also making a ricotta appetizer today….love that stuff whether it’s savory or sweet!

  6. IoliasCookBook says:

    I love appetizers and this is one of my favorites! Easy and tasty!
    Nice post!

  7. denise says:

    I might add a little garlic, but it’s perfect the way it is.

  8. Olga @ MangoTomato says:

    You can do the same with grapes!!!

  9. TidyMom says:

    I think I might need to make these for lunch! pronto!

  10. Lauren says:

    Yum! Double yum for how easy this sounds with such great ingredients. Ricotta, you have my heart now and forever :p