Zucchini bruschetta is an impressive appetizer that couldn’t be simpler.  Slices of zucchini are roasted until charred, placed on a toasted slice of bread topped with lemon ricotta, and finished with shaved caciocavallo cheese, flaky sea salt, and hand-torn basil.  Perfect for gatherings alongside your other favorite appetizers!

Closeup shot of zucchini bruschetta on wooden board.

If you’re looking to impress someone, or hosting a gathering, zucchini bruschetta is the way to go.

These bruschette are so easy to make, require just a few ingredients, and can be ready in about 35 minutes.

The combination of caciocavallo cheese, basil, and zucchini is classic, and mimics the combo found in spaghetti alla Nerano, and the addition of lemon ricotta elevates the already incredible flavor.

Zucchini bruschetta is perfect served with other appetizers like caponata and peperonata (which can both be spread on toasted bread), and roasted cherry tomato crostini with ricotta.

Ingredients shown: extra virgin olive oil, flaky salt, garlic, caciocavallo cheese, ricotta, lemon, basil, bread, and zucchini.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Preheat the oven to 450f and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice 3 medium-sized zucchini into 1/8″ rounds and spread onto the baking sheets.  Drizzle 1/4 cup work of extra virgin olive oil on top of the zucchini and use a pastry brush to evenly distribute.  Top with 1/2 teaspoon worth of kosher salt and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until charred and wilted.  Note: A mandoline works well here, but take your time and you will have great results with a knife.

Zucchini bruschetta recipe process shot collage group number one.

  1. Cut a loaf of wide crusty bread into 12 1/4-inch thick slices on the diagonal and place them onto a baking sheet.  Using a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of olive oil onto each piece and toast in the oven for 4-5 minutes or until warm and golden.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of drained ricotta with the zest of one lemon and whip until smooth and airy.

Recipe process shot collage group number two.

  1. Remove the bread from the oven and rub 1 garlic clove lightly onto each piece.  Let the bread cool for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Spread a thin layer of the lemon-whipped ricotta onto each slice.

Recipe process shot collage group number three.

  1. Top each slice with the roasted zucchini, shaved caciocavallo (about 1 ounce worth total), about 10 hand-torn basil leaves, and a few flakes of sea salt.  A small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil would be great too.  Serve the zucchini bruschetta immediately and enjoy!

Zucchini bruschetta on wooden board with a bowl of flaky sea salt in the background.

Top tips

  • Bread. Since bruschetta is usually made with larger bread, we recommend using a rustic loaf of Italian bread.  However, you could use a baguette to make smaller, bite-sized crostini.
  • Ricotta.  The ricotta should be drained overnight, especially if using a high-moisture brand like Polly-O.  This helps prevent soggy bruschetta.  While we used a hand whisk here to whip the ricotta, you can also use a hand mixer for an airier texture.
  • Zucchini. If possible, use small or medium-sized zucchini.  They will have fewer seeds and the slices will fit better onto the bread.  The zucchini rounds can be pan-seared, and though they might be a bit tastier this way, roasting is much easier.
  • Cheese. We used shaved caciocavallo cheese on our bruschetta with zucchini, but if you cannot find caciocavallo, you can use shaved Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano cheese.

Overhead shot of zucchini bruschetta on wooden board with basil leaves spread around it.

More snacks and apps

Here are a few more of our favorite snacks that are great to serve alongside zucchini bruschetta and are always huge hits at gatherings!

If you’ve enjoyed this zucchini bruschetta recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and leave a review.

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Zucchini Bruschetta

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 bruschetta
Zucchini bruschetta with whipped lemon ricotta, roasted zucchini, shaved caciocavallo cheese, hand-torn basil, and flaky sea salt is a simple but decadent appetizer that's just perfect for gatherings!

Ingredients 

  • 3 medium zucchini sliced into 1/8" rounds
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta drained overnight
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 10 large slices crusty bread 1/4 inch diagonal slices
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 10 large basil leaves hand torn
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt for finishing
  • 1 ounce caciocavallo shaved

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 450f.
  • Toss the zucchini slices with 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt. Spread the zucchini slices out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes or until wilted and charred.
  • Meanwhile, whip the ricotta and lemon zest until smooth with a whisk or hand blender.
  • Cut a loaf of wide crusty bread into 12 1/4-inch thick diagonal pieces.
  • Lay the bread pieces out on a baking sheet and spread a thin layer of olive oil onto each piece. Toast the bread in the oven for 4-5 minutes or until warmed through and golden.
  • Remove the bread and lightly rub the garlic clove lightly onto each piece. Let the bread cool for 3-4 minutes then spread a thin layer of the whipped lemon ricotta onto each piece. Top with a layer of roasted zucchini and add a couple of pieces of hand-torn basil.
  • Drizzle a touch of extra virgin olive oil onto the zucchini bruschetta and sprinkle with grated caciocavallo and a few pieces of flaky sea salt. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Smaller zucchini work well for this recipe.  They have less water and will brown well when roasted.
  • Pecorino Romano or parmesan can be subbed for the caciocavallo cheese.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days but the bruschetta are best eaten right away.

Nutrition

Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.8g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12.1g | Saturated Fat: 3.5g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 221mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.8g | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Tonight was a Sip and Feast party! Appetizers were your delicious Zuchinni Bruschetta (they were definitely a hit and they’ll be making multiple repeat performances). Thank you for the tip about draining the ricotta overnight! I used shaved Parmigiano Reggiano as it’s what I had on hand but, I’d like to try it with the Caciocavallo since I’ve never tasted it but, since you recommend it I will hunt for it the next time I make these (which will likely be soon since everyone raved over them!). For an entree we enjoyed your delectable Roast Chicken and Potatoes (I can’t remember if it’s my 4th or 5th time making this because 1) It’s THAT good and 2) It’s super easy!!). I served it alongside your simple yet delicious Sauteed Spinach with Garlic and, because we were good and ate our veggies (the Zucchini and Spinach you know), we feasted on the ONLY Flourless Chocolate Cake I will ever make again! It was a Sip & Feast FEAST!

    1. Hi Judy, I’m so honored you had a Sip and Feast party! It’s great to hear that you enjoyed the bruschetta as well as the others and I truly appreciate the comment!