Simple yet delicious is the best way to describe this strawberry bruschetta with balsamic glaze. It only takes 10 minutes and a handful of fresh ingredients to put this elegant appetizer on the table. The combination of sweet and juicy strawberries, velvety cream cheese, peppery basil and tangy balsamic reduction results in a scrumptious Italian-inspired appetizer.
Traditional Italian bruschetta is generally made with garlic, tomatoes and olive oil, but nowadays comes with endless variations like this bruschetta with blue cheese and figs. This bruschetta with strawberries, cream cheese and balsamic glaze is a sweeter version of the authentic recipe. It is great in spring or summertime when the strawberries are perfectly ripe and beautifully sweet. A balsamic glaze bruschetta with strawberries makes a great appetizer for a summer barbecue or a light lunch and it can even be served as a dessert.
Which ingredients to use
- Strawberries: Use fresh and ripe strawberries which are juicy, sweet and just delicious. Chop into quarters of finely sliced, as you prefer.
- French baguette: For making a good bruschetta the bread should be good for grilling and preferably have a hard crust. It should also be easy to cut into even slices. The best types of bread to use are baguette, ciabatta, Tuscan loaf or rustic farm bread. I have used baguette for this bruschetta recipe.
- Olive oil: Grill the bruschetta with a good quality extra virgin olive oil for some extra Mediterranean flavour.
- Cream cheese: Smooth and velvety cream cheese combines perfectly with strawberries. For variations you can also use mascarpone, ricotta, vegan cream cheese or spreadable goat’s cheese.
- Basil leaves: As with the tomato bruschetta, fresh basil adds a hint of pepper and freshness to this bruschetta recipe.
- Balsamic glaze: Don’t leave out the balsamic glaze or balsamic reduction. The tangy aroma will bring together and balance out all the flavours. You can also opt to use store-bought balsamic reduction or use your own homemade balsamic glaze. It’s so easy to make and you can store it in the fridge to be used for other recipes. Here is my recipe for homemade balsamic glaze.
How to make strawberry bruschetta
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Prepare the bread: Slice the baguette into 3/4 inches (or 2 cm) thick slices and brush each side with olive oil. Don’t use too much so as not to make it too oily. Half a teaspoon per side will do.
- Grill in the oven: Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet or parchment paper and put them in a preheated oven at 400°F or 200°C. Grill each side for 4 minutes. Put aside to cool down.
- Grill in the pan: If you opt to grill the bread in the pan, preferably use a grill pan. No need to add extra oil. Heat the grill pan to medium heat and grill each side for 2 minutes until golden brown. Put the bread aside to cool down after grilling.
- Prepare the strawberry mixture: Clean and hull the strawberries and cut into quarters. Place the chopped strawberries in a mixing bowl. Add roughly chopped basil leaves and balsamic reduction. Mix well.
- Assemble the bruschetta: Evenly spread a layer of cream cheese on the cooled down bruschetta and top with the strawberry mixture. Optionally, add extra basil leaves and a drizzle of balsamic glaze to taste.
How to serve
This balsamic glaze bruschetta with strawberries and cream cheese is perfect to serve as a refreshing appetizer on a warm summer day. It is great served as a finger food during a garden party or a family dinner and also works great for a lunch or light dinner. It can even be served as a dessert.
Interesting tips & Tricks
Yes, you can prepare this dish ahead of time but the assembly of the bruschetta is best done just before serving. The bread can be grilled and the strawberries cleaned and chopped, but don’t mix them in advance with the balsamic glaze as they will become soggy.
Can I replace the balsamic glaze?
Yes, for a sweeter version you can drizzle some honey, maple syrup or other syrup instead of balsamic reduction.
Do I need to use olive oil?
No, you can perfectly dry grill the bread or use butter, coconut oil or another oil instead. But, the olive oil does bring that wonderful Mediterranean flair to this dish.
Can I replace the strawberries with other fruit?
Yes, you can keep the recipe as is and replace the strawberries with other berries (blueberries, black berries), mango, peach, cherries,… Or make a mixture of different fruits.
More recipes with fruit to enjoy
- Strawberry stuffed French toast
- Strawberry tomato burrata salad
- Persimmon Caprese salad
- Spicy grilled pineapple spears
- Homemade mango salsa
- Watermelon salad
- Grilled mango and chicken wraps
Strawberry bruschetta with balsamic glaze
- ½ French loaf or baguette sliced into ¾'' slices (or 2 cm)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup (or 6 oz / 170 grams) strawberries hulled and chopped
- ½ cup (or 4 oz / 120 grams) cream cheese (Note 1)
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze (Note 2)
For grilling the bruschetta
- Drizzle or brush the baguette slices with olive oil on each side.
- Grilling in an oven: Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Place the bread on a baking sheet and grill each side for 4 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- Grilling in a grill pan: Heat a grill pan to medium heat and add the bread slices. Grill until both sides are lightly toasted. Count on about 2 minutes per side. Set aside to cool.
For assembling the strawberry bruschetta
- Clean, hull and chop the strawberries in quarters.
- In a bowl, mix the chopped strawberries, basil leaves and balsamic glaze.
- Spread the cream cheese evenly over the grilled baguette slices and top with the strawberry mixture.
- Top with additional fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of balsamic glaze to taste. Serve immediately.
- Cream cheese: As an alternative to cream cheese you can use mascarpone, ricotta or vegan cream spread.
- Balsamic glaze: Use either store bought balsamic glaze or make your own homemade balsamic glaze.