Pan con tomate (“bread with tomato”) is an easy Spanish tapas recipe! It’s quite possibly the best way to use a ripe tomato…period.

Pan Con Tomate

Got a ripe summer tomato? Here’s quite possibly one of the best ways to use it…in the world. Try Pan Con Tomate, a Spanish tapas recipe with only a few ingredients but immeasurably massive flavor. Take one bite and it’s like ingesting the pure soul of a tomato: all its memories of growing plump in the summer sun. This transcendental summer tomato recipe will make you a quick convert.

What is pan con tomate?

Pan con tomate translates to “bread with tomato,” a Spanish dish that consists of toasted bread topped with tomato pulp, garlic and olive oil. It’s served throughout Spain as tapas or a snack, and it’s especially common in Catalan cuisine where it’s called Pa amb tomàquet.

I fell in love with pan con tomate when I lived in Madrid in university, then again when Alex and I visited Spain recently. Many tapas-style restaurants have popped up in the US since then that have imported the concept. It’s important to honor the heritage of this incredible dish: Spanish cuisine, which has also brought us iconic dishes like paella, sangria, gazpacho, and more.

Pan con tomate

Ingredients for pan con tomate

Pan con tomate is one summer’s best concepts: this Spanish recipe uses just 5 ingredients with no real cooking involved! It’s best for when you’ve got a big, juicy summer tomato. One bite, and you’ll be happy dancing with the explosive flavors! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Bread
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt

Grill or broil the bread

The bread for pan con tomate can be grilled or toasted in the broiler. Either way, spread the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and salt before cooking it. Here are the pros and cons to each method:

  • Grilled bread: Grilled bread is very traditional and adds a charred flavor. This is best flavor-wise, but it does take time to preheat the grill.
  • Broiled bread: Broiled bread doesn’t have a charred flavor, but it’s quick and easy in the broiler! Broiling gets it nice and crispy, with dark edges.
Pan con tomate

Grate the tomatoes

How to get that beautiful tomato essence in pan con tomate? You’ll grate the tomatoes. Yes, grab a box grater and use the large holes to grate the tomato into a bowl. You’ll feel like you’re destroying it! But take one taste of the pulp, and it will make your tastebuds sing! Season it with a few pinches of kosher salt.

Rub the bread with garlic

The other key to pan con tomate is seasoning the bread with garlic. Unlike a bruschetta where you mince the garlic, with this Spanish tapas recipe you’ll rub the garlic right onto the toast.

  • Peel the garlic and slice it in half.
  • Take the cut side and rub it right onto the bread. You won’t see anything on the bread, and it will feel like you haven’t done anything. But one taste and you’ll see that it’s infused with the intoxicating aroma of fresh garlic!
Pan con tomate

Make pan con tomate right before serving

Take one bite of pan con tomate, and it’s absolute magic: the crunch of the bread, the juicy tomato pulp, and the golden rich drizzle of olive oil. In fact, you’ll want to eat it every day. But here’s the thing: the tomatoes do make the bread soggy over time. So it’s best to eat this treat right away!

If you’re serving this as a tapas appetizer at a party, try to avoid letting it sit out on a table for hours. Pass it around or have people enjoy it right as it comes out of the kitchen. If you want to make it in advance, here’s what to do:

  • Grate the tomatoes and refrigerate the pulp. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
  • Toast the bread and assemble right before serving. You’ll want to keep that bread deliciously crunchy!

More Spanish recipes

If you’ve followed us for a while, you’ll know we love studying traditional Spanish recipes. Here are a few of our favorites to make at home:

This pan con tomato recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Pan Con Tomate


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Pan con tomate (“bread with tomato”) is an easy Spanish tapas recipe! It’s quite possibly the best way to use a ripe tomato…period.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 rustic baguette (8 slices)
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes (1 pound)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Grill or broil the bread: Cut bread into 1/2-inch slices cut on the bias. Place the slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil onto each slice, followed by a sprinkle of kosher salt. Grill the bread or broil it on high until the bread until toasted and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. (As a quicker method, you can use a toaster.)
  2. Grate the tomato: Meanwhile, use the large holes of a box grater to grate the tomatoes into a bowl, discarding the skins (you will get about 1 cup pup). Season the grated tomatoes with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste.
  3. Serve: When the bread is done, rub each piece of bread with the cut side of the garlic (this will infuse a large amount of garlic flavor into the toast). Spoon the tomato pulp onto each slice. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately. The bread becomes soggy after a few minutes, so top with the tomatoes directly before serving.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Keywords: Pan con tomate

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment

  1. Hi luv this, had it in Spain, & made it here in US but had forgotten about this method till I saw your site. Original bruschetta also just rubbed garlic on the grilled bread. Mincing the garlic is probably modern thing or an American thing. My Italian mother never minced garlic. She used it whole to infuse olive oil.