Take your Bruschetta to new heights by transforming it into mini grilled cheese sandwiches!
I know, why can’t bruschetta just be bruschetta!? 🤣 Well my friend, simply put – two slices of bread are better than one! That and bruschetta invites itself so perfectly to copious amounts of cheese, it’d be rude not to turn it into a sandwich! Follow me…
Well, more of a filling in this instance. But nevertheless, it’s so simple to make! It only requires a few (but good quality) ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Tomato – The backbone of bruschetta! Try and get your hands on some nice ripe tomatoes. Roma, Cherry Tomatoes, Vine-ripened – any variety will do the job.
- Red Onion – This is a slightly less traditional addition, but still certainly not uncommon. I love adding it for a nice tangy contrast to the sweet tomatoes.
- Basil – Must be fresh! No other herbs can sub, basil gives bruschetta it’s classic flavour.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – We’ll be using more of this in a sec to brush the bread, but I also like adding a small amount with the topping, just to give it a silky, velvety texture.
- Salt & Pepper – Bring out the best in these simple ingredients with a good pinch of seasoning.
Reducing Excess Moisture
Typically you’d want the bruschetta topping to be nice and juicy, but since we’re using it as a sandwich filling we want to remove some of the moisture, just so you’re not left with a soggy sandwich! As such I recommend:
- Patting the chopped tomato dry with paper towels before mixing in the other ingredients.
- Don’t leave the mix sitting around after you’ve seasoned it. The salt will start drawing out moisture pretty quickly, and will turn the mix soupy if it’s left.
Can I make this ahead of time?
You can, just don’t add salt until just before you’re ready to start making the sandwiches. Just tightly cover in the fridge overnight and season before serving.
Process shots: gather ingredients, add to mixing bowl (step 1), stir to combine (photo step 2).
When it comes to making the sandwiches it’s pretty straight forward from here!
What Bread to use?
You want a rustic style of bread, something fairly long, thin and fairly firm. I personally love using Ciabatta, but French Baguette and Sourdough also work really nicely.
What Cheese to use?
You want a cheese that’ll compliment the bruschetta mix and not overpower it. As such I love using a combo of mozzarella and parmesan. The mozzarella is subtle enough to let the bruschetta mix shine and gives you the cheese pull we all came here for. Whilst the parmesan adds a nice punch of flavour.
Process shots: brush bread with extra virgin olive oil (photo 1), flip one slice over (photo 2), top with mozzarella (photo 3), top with bruschetta mix (photo 4), sprinkle over parmesan (photo 5), add bread oil side up (photo 6).
Bruschetta Grilled Cheese
When it comes to cooking the sandwiches I typically use a griddle pan, just to get those classic char lines. However a regular pan will work just as well. Here it’s really a trade off between the char lines and cheese melting. You can fry the sandwiches at a high heat to get the char marks, but the mozzarella won’t be as gooey. Or you can lower the heat slightly and a fry little longer to melt the cheese right through. Up to you!
Rubbing with Garlic
Just like traditional bruschetta, I recommend rubbing the bread with a garlic clove after it’s fried. This gives a gorgeous punch of flavour! The rough texture of the bread breaks down the garlic enough for it to spread its goodness all over. Careful though, you only need a small slathering – a little goes a long way with raw garlic!
Process shots: add sandwich to griddle pan (photo 1), fry then flip and rub with garlic (photo 2).
Serving Bruschetta Sandwiches
Once it’s cooked, just place the sandwich garlic-side-down so you can rub the other side.
I usually serve these wherever you’d usually serve bruschetta! Parties, gatherings, as an appetizer etc. In all cases I recommend finishing with a good drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these bruschetta sandwiches shall we?!
How to make Bruschetta Sandwiches (Full Recipe & Video)
Bruschetta Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Medium Sized Mixing Bowl & Spatula
- Griddle or Frying Pan & Spatula/Turner
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Paper Towels
- 1x 10.5oz/300g loaf of Ciabatta, divided into 16 slices (see notes)
- 1x 4.5oz/125g ball of Fresh Mozzarella, thinly sliced and patted dry with paper towels
- 1/3 cup / 30g freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup / 60ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 10.5oz / 300g good quality fresh Tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 small Red Onion, finely diced
- 1/2 small bunch (approx 2 heaped tbsp) Fresh Basil, finely diced
- 1 clove of Garlic, peeled
- Balsamic Glaze, to serve (see notes)
- Once you've diced your tomato, use paper towels to press down whilst on the chopping board, just to soak up some moisture. Place into a mixing bowl with red onion, basil, 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Brush one side of all of the slices of ciabatta with extra virgin olive oil. Flip half of them over so they're oil-side-down. Place mozzarella on top, then top with the bruschetta mix, then finish parmesan. Place the oil slice on top (oil-side-up) and gently push down to secure the filling.
- Add to a griddle or frying pan over medium heat (medium high if you want some char, the cheese just may not be as melted). Once golden and lightly charred on one side, flip over and gently rub the top with a clove of garlic. Fry the other side then place garlic-side-down on a serving board. Rub the top with garlic.
- Depending on pan size, you will need to do this in two batches. Serve by drizzling individual sandwiches with balsamic glaze!
Your Private Notes:
For more similar recipes check out these beauties:
Italian Inspired Sandwiches
- The ULTIMATE Ciabatta Sandwich
- Sausage and Peppers Sandwich
- Antipasto Sandwich
- Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese
- Pesto Grilled Cheese
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