This easy bruschetta recipe will bring the taste of Italy straight to your home for you and your guests! Give this delicious Crab Bruschetta appetizer a try today!
I love to serve Crab Bruschetta when I have guests over, but what is bruschetta? Bruschetta is a dish that originates in Italy. It’s made up of toasted garlic bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and salt.
There are multiple different versions of bruschetta out there. Bruschetta toppings seem to typically consist of tomatoes, cured meats, cheese, vegetables and beans!
I decided to do a little research and find out a little background history on bruschetta and where it’s derived from. There’s no surprise to know that bruschetta originates from Italy all the way back in the 16th century, however there is evidence of traces of bruschetta all the way back in Ancient Rome times.
The classic farmers recipe from the Etruscan age is made from a slice of bread that is brushed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. The one we’re used to and the most commonly found is made from tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, and garlic.
Bruschetta is such a perfect and classic dish, but here in Baltimore, we like to add CRAB! Usually served as an appetizer, I’ve been known to eat it as my main meal as long as I add a protein, sometimes shrimp, but most of the time it is crab.
Buttery crab meat is light, doesn’t overpower the natural flavors of the vegetables and kicks up of the “elegance level” a few notches.
Why You’ll Love This Crab Bruschetta Recipe
Crispy garlic toasts smothered in ripe tomato, a little olive oil and meaty crab- what’s not to love!
- Quick and easy – As long as you have all the ingredients ready to go, you can have this appetizer ready in only 15 minutes of less!
- Perfect for parties – Any finger foods make great recipes for parties, but this one is particularly sophisticated in flavor.
- Simple ingredients – The ingredient list for this recipe is relatively short and all things are easily found at the store.
Made with fresh ingredients, this classic Italian snack is going to be a winner for any occasion that you serve it for.
- Grape tomatoes – You can use whichever colors you’d like, but I like to use red, yellow or mixed. Make sure they’re quartered so they fit better onto the bread slices.
- Basil leaves – Fresh basil leaves make all the difference. The flavor and freshness is out of this world.
- Garlic cloves – Definitely mince your own garlic rather than buying the pre-minced jar of garlic from the grocery store.
- Extra virgin olive oil – I like to use a good quality olive oil here. There aren’t many ingredients in this appetizer, so quality matters.
- Balsamic vinegar – Same here, I like to use a good quality balsamic here.
- Salt and pepper – I like to use a blend of coarse kosher salt and finely ground black pepper.
- Lump blue crab meat – Large chunks of meat, the beauty is the large pieces used for crab meat cocktails or delicious to pop in your mouth plain, very tasty and moist.
- Garlic toasts – Most grocers will carry garlic toasts pre-made, but you can easily make your own by cutting a French baguette into slices. Baste with a light extra virgin olive oil mixture, blended with garlic cloves and dried parsley. Bake until crunchy.
- Toppings – These are both optional, but I like to drizzle a little balsamic reduction on top. I also like to sprinkle a little bit of maldon sea salt.
How to Make Crab Bruschetta
You are going to love how easy it is to make this crab bruschetta recipe! Only 15 minutes from start to finish.
- Combine ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, black pepper and crab meat. Toss gently.
- Toss in crab. Add the crab meat and toss lightly to prevent breaking the lumps.
- Divide onto toasts. Evenly divide the crab mixture between the garlic toasts.
- Add garnishes. Drizzle with balsamic reduction sauce and/or a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt, if desired.
What to Serve with Crab Bruschetta
Because this is meant to be an appetizer, this bruschetta is best served with other fun party foods. Finger foods like pinwheels, chips and dips, sliders or cheese boards are all great options. Of course you can serve it as a starter to any fresh seafood main course.
Personally, I like to serve mine on a platter with meat and cheeses. The last time I made it, I served it with fresh mozzarella cheese slices and thinly sliced prosciutto. They both pair well with the balsamic glaze garnish too.
While I like this crab bruschetta recipe exactly as written, there are plenty of ways you can make it your own.
- Serve warm – You can also add shredded mozzarella cheese and pop it under the broiler for a few minutes to serve hot and melty.
- Main meal – Add on top of a larger piece of toasted bread and serve with a spring salad and Balsamic Vinaigrette for a light dinner.
- Seasoning – If you’d like to add a little more flavor, Old Bay or extra garlic would both be great additions.
- Heat – If you’re like me and like a little spice in your life, you can sprinkle some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper onto the bruschetta.
- Citrus – Citrus flavors also pair really well with seafood, so feel free to sprinkle a little lemon juice or lemon zest on top.
Storage and Freezing
Storage: Keeping bruschetta for too long will make the garlic toasts a little soggy. The best way to store would be to store each component separately in the refrigerator. Either in airtight containers or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
Freezing: Fresh crab freezes best when it’s not “picked” first. I do not recommend freezing the entire crab bruschetta.
More Appetizer Ideas
- One-Pot Chicken Bruschetta Pasta
- Tomato Bruschetta
- Bacon, Pear and Fig Panini
- Italian Chicken Panini
Crab Bruschetta Recipe
- 2 pints grape tomatoes , red, yellow or mixed and quartered
- 16 basil leaves , roughly chopped
- 5 cloves garlic , minced
- 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper finely ground
- 1 cup lump blue crab meat
- 24 garlic toasts * (crostini)
- balsamic reduction , optional
- maldon sea salt , optional
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, black pepper and crab meat. Toss gently.
- Add the crab meat and toss lightly to prevent breaking the lumps.
- Evenly divide the crab mixture between the garlic toasts.
- Drizzle with balsamic reduction sauce and/or a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt, if desired.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.