These 10-minute crostini pizza appetizers are quick to make and simply delicious! Each mini toast is brushed with olive oil, layered with marinara and melted cheeses, and topped with fresh herbs and balsamic.
Every bite of these pizza crostinis are cheesy, crispy, and slightly garlicky!
What are crostinis? Crostini means “little toasts”. They are an Italian appetizer that is made up of toasted or grilled bread slices, and topped with anything you like! Cheese, fruit, honey, bruschetta, or in this case – pizza toppings.
I grew up with my mom always making crostinis as a snack for us when we were kids. She would brush the bread with olive oil, pre-toast them in the oven, and usually melt different cheese over top! I loved when she made them.
These specific crostinis are like cheesy pizza bread – which is definitely a level up from garlic bread. You can serve them up for a party appetizer, or serve them alongside your favorite meal. They’re so easy to make and require just a handful of ingredients!
Ingredients You Need
You’ll need just a handful of pantry ingredients and cheeses to make this recipe happen. Here’s the full list: ciabatta bread, marinara/pizza sauce, olive oil, mozzarella cheese, parmesan, fresh basil, garlic powder, and balsamic vinegar/balsamic glaze.
How to Make Crostini Pizza
Pre-bake crostini’s: First, preheat the oven to 375F. Brush both sides of bread slices with olive oil and sprinkle of garlic powder, bake for 3 minutes on both sides.
Layer: on each crostini spread a thin layer of sauce, add mozzarella slices, and parmesan cheese over top.
Bake: for 4 minutes and then broil on HIGH for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve with fresh basil, a drizzle of balsamic, and red pepper flakes if desired!
Extra Tips for Success & Recipe Variations
Types of bread to use for crostini’s: you can use many different types of bread to make this recipe. My personal recommendations are a french baguette, ciabatta, or any type of crusty bread that isn’t too wide when sliced. You want to keep the size of bread smaller since they are “mini” toasts.
Types of cheeses to use: you can also use provolone cheese, havarti, asiago, or a pizza cheese blend.
Herbs & spices for toppings: utilize your spice cabinet and use dried herbs & spices to top your pizzas and add more flavor! We love using an extra pinch of garlic powder, red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and cracked black pepper.
Balsamic vinegar vs balsamic glaze: you can use regular balsamic vinegar to drizzle over your crostini, which has a bit more of a vinegar tang but adds lovely flavor! You can also use balsamic glaze instead which is a bit sweeter in taste and thicker in its consistency.
Add extra toppings: you can also add extra toppings to your mini pizzas like pepperoni, cooked Italian sausage, roasted vegetables, sliced black olives, and spinach leaves. Add toppings after layering crostini with sauce and cheese for the last bake.
Recipes For Pizza Lovers
Love pizza as much as we do? You may also be a fan of these recipes as well:
Caprese Crostini Pizzas
- 8 ciabatta bread slices (1/2-inch in thickness)
- 8 mozzarella cheese slices (or 1 cup pre-shredded)
- 1-2 Tablespoons oil
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
- 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes *optional
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Toast bread slices: arrange sliced bread on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush both sides of bread with olive oil then sprinkle bread slices with garlic powder. Bake for 3 minutes on each side. Tip: if you do not have a basting brush, you can dip your fingers into the oil and rub the oil evenly onto the bread using your hands.
- Add toppings: remove bread slices from oven and layer with marinara, mozzarella slices, and parmesan cheese.
- Final bake: Then add crostinis back into the oven with toppings and bake for additional 4 minutes, then broil on HIGH for 1-2 minutes. When cheeses have melted, remove pan from the oven. Top with chopped fresh basil, a small drizzle of balsamic, red pepper flakes, and serve!