These Italian Easy Ricotta Roasted Red Pepper Crostini are an easy yet delicious appetizer that can be served hours ahead of time! These crostini are made with only 5 ingredients so you can spend more time enjoying the party and less time in the kitchen!
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How To Make Crostini
Crostini is one of my absolute favorite appetizers to make. It is super easy, quick and the perfect bite-sized party food!
These cute little crostini were a last minute appetizer choice that resulted from having minimal ingredients in
the fridge and a hungry belly in the other room…(The hubby) So I needed a light midday snack to appease him until dinner time that wouldn’t take too long..hmm..
I found these two ingredients in the back of the fridge and had a whole baguette in the freezer so I knew right away, CROSTINI! (BTW, the roasted red peppers last a while unopened so buy a few and key on hand!)
And voila! An easy Italian crostini comin’ rightttt up!
So how DO you make crostini anyway??
All you need is…
- a quality long Italian baguette (fresh or day-old)
- a sharp serrated knife is a must! You don’t know what your missing until you have one… (See the knife below from Amazon, it has awesome ratings)
- Some good olive oil
Then cut your baguette into 1/2″ slices, brush on some olive oil, bake at 375º for 8-9 minutes and top with whatever your heart desires!
Just DON’T make these all too common crostini mistakes:
- Cut your bread too thick
- Under-toast your bread
- Over-toast your bread
- Don’t use olive oil.
I know, I know…”not too toasty but justttt toasty enough” right?! What are we? Goldilocks?!
Just stick to the 8-9 minute mark and you will be fine!!
And remember, when in doubt, TAKE THEM OUT!
You can always pop them back in the oven for another minute or two if they feel too soft in the middle but you cannot fix them if you bake them too long.
If you do, you will get an overly crisp crostini which will just fall apart into a billion crumbs when eating. No bueno!
So remember, your goal is 8 minutes at 375º (on the MIDDLE rack)! If longer is needed, pop them back in and stay close by!
“Can crostini be made ahead of time? If so, how long?”
Probably the most commonly asked question.
And the answer is yes!!!
This is why crostini is my go-to appetizer!
I recommend not preparing them more than a few hours ahead of time. They could get soggy depending what you put on them and you have to keep in mind the toppings possibly going bad. With that said, I’ve never had an issue leaving them out for the entire party but I would err on the side of caution if using shellfish or meat.
If you are taking the crostini to-go and topping them elsewhere, you do NOT want to place them in your storage container while they are hot/warm!!!!! They will turn soft and rubbery and ruin the entire crostini.
Instead, wait until they are completely at room temperature first. Then pack away.
They will not be the same as right out of the oven but it is your next best option.
The crostini I made here I left out for 2-3 hours and they were STILL crisp and delicious!!!
I would also NOT recommend refrigerating your crostini. They will lose their crispness for sure. If you worry that your toppings will go bad, refrigerate them separately THEN top the baked crostini as guests arrive.
OR better yet, make a crostini bar and let your guests top the crostini themselves!
How long can you keep crostini?
When I hear this question, I am assuming we are all wondering how long we can keep baked crostini if we have leftovers.
Bread that has been toasted in the oven THEN sealed in a bag overnight will always turned out tough or rubbery the next day or even hours later.
After a few hours, toss them! Reheating crostini never turns out the same especially the next day.
Freezing them is the next best option but still will not give you that perfectly crisp crostini.
Check out my other popular bite-sized appetizer!
Here are the kitchen tools similar to what I used for this recipe!
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Place on a baking sheet and bake for 8-9 minutes at 375 degrees F on the middle rack.
Pin this Easy Ricotta Roasted Red Pepper Crostini by clicking the photo below!
Easy Ricotta Roasted Red Pepper Crostini
- 1 long good Italian baguette
- 2 cups (16 oz.) Fresh Ricotta Cheese ((the best you can find))
- 1 12 oz. Jar Roasted Red Peppers
- 1 Large Garlic Clove
- 1/2 Cup Good Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Herbs (*Optional* I recommend parsley or basil)
- 1/4 Tsp. Salt
- Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- Cut your baguette into 1/2" slices using a GOOD serrated knife. You don't want squished slices!
- Lay onto a baking sheet and brush both sides of the bread with the olive oil. I like to pour the olive oil into a small bowl for this. (Brushing is easier and more effective than drizzling in my opinion.)
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-9 minutes or until just browned on the bottom.
- In the meantime, chop up your roasted red peppers and peal your garlic clove. And add the salt to your ricotta cheese. Set aside. *If you choose to add fresh herbs, chop them up finely and mix into the red pepper now.
- When the crostini are done, lightly rub the garlic clove onto one side of each. Do this while still warm! Just a few rubs across each piece are enough!
- Shmear a dollop of ricotta onto each slice followed by a spoonful of the red pepper mixture. Finish with a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. (Invest in a good pepper grinder. It tastes better and looks better than regular ole' pepper!)
- These crostini are best served warm but are great at room temperature for up to a few hours.
- This recipe is all about the ingredients so don't buy the cheapest ingredients! Get the best bread, ricotta and olive oil you can find.
- Do not refrigerate or pre-bake your crostini the night before. If your planning on preparing this recipe somewhere else, bake your crostini and allow to cool completely before placing in an air tight bag. OR cut the slices ahead of time and pop in the oven when you get there! Then top with the cheese and peppers.