These Italian Ricotta Roasted Red Pepper Crostini are an easy yet delicious appetizer that can be served hours ahead of time! Made with only 5 ingredients, this appetizer will have you spending more time enjoying the party and less time in the kitchen!
Crostini is one of my absolute favorite appetizers to make. It is super easy, quick and the perfect bite-sized party food!
If you’ve never had ricotta cheese with your crostini, you are missing out! It is a creamy and rich ingredient that goes so well with just about anything. And if you’re crostini is super crispy, it is a win-win.
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.
I found two ingredients in the back of our fridge and had a whole baguette in the freezer so I knew right away I wanted to whip up a CROSTINI!
How to make crostini
Crostini is super simple!
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 extra virgin olive oil
Step 1: Cut your baguette into 1/2″ slices.
Step 2: Brush olive oil onto both sides each slice. This will help to brown your crostini while giving it flavor.
Step 3: Bake at 375º for 8-9 minutes or until your crostini is lightly browned and crisp.
Step 4: While your crostini is still warm, rub a clove of garlic over the top of each. (A little goes a long way!)
Step 5: Wait for your crostini to cool off completely then spread a nice dollop of whole milk ricotta cheese onto each slice.
Step 6: Add chopped roasted red peppers on top and basil.
Step 7: Serve within an hour!
|These mistakes can make or break your crostini so make sure to NOT:
- Cut your bread too thick
- Under-toast your bread
- Over-toast your bread
- Not use olive oil.
- Top your crostini when they are warm.
- Prepare you crostini too far in advance.
- Not let your crostini cool on a wire rack.
A good crostini is crisp but will not fall apart into 1,000 pieces when you bite into it. Just make sure you don’t turn it into a crouton.
Topping your crostini while it’s still warm will cause it to be soggy. Also, not letting it cool on a rack will make the bottom of your bread soft which is not what we want.
Can you make crostini ahead of time?
Probably the most commonly asked question.
And the answer is yes!!!
This is why crostini is my go-to appetizer!
With that said, 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 to 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.
Other appetizers you might like:
Ricotta Cheese Roasted Red Pepper Crostini
- 1 long Italian baguette
- 16 oz. Fresh Ricotta Cheese
- 1 12 oz. Jar Roasted Red Peppers
- 1 Large Garlic Clove
- 1/2 Cup Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves
- 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 your bread slices 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°F for 8-9 minutes or until lightly browned.
- In the meantime, chop up your roasted red peppers and peal your garlic clove. And add the salt to your ricotta cheese and set aside.
- When the crostini are done, lightly rub the garlic clove onto one side. Do this while still warm! Just a few rubs across each piece are enough.
- Add a dollop of ricotta onto each slice followed by a spoonful of the red peppers.
- Finish with a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with basil.*Invest in a good pepper grinder. It tastes better and looks fancier.
- Crostini are best served within an hour of topping.
- 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 right before serving.