Food Hack: It Betta Be Bruschetta!


Spontaneity keeps college interesting. After all, part of dorm life is never knowing who will stop by next or what you and your roommates will decide to do.

My boyfriend calls this “It betta be bruschetta,” because the simple Italian appetizer is his go-to dish for entertaining on the fly. When our plans get rained out and date night becomes dinner at his place? He betta bring out the bruschetta.

When it’s time to class up the average dorm party? Betta bust out the bruschetta.

What makes this dish so easy to prepare in a moment’s notice is Nate’s secret ingredient. He trades olive oil, basil, salt and pepper for one simple student mainstay: Italian dressing.


Super-Fast Bruschetta

Utensils required: cutting board, knife, small bowl, spoon, baking sheet, oven, oven mitts, aluminum foil (optional)

Ingredients (serves 8-10):

  • 1 loaf Italian bread cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cubed into 1/8-inch chunks
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Italian dressing
  • Bow tie (optional, but it adds to the class, Nate says)

Time commitment: 5 minutes to prepare, 30 minutes to set, 5 minutes to heat (40 minutes total)


1. Once your tomatoes and onions are chopped, place them into a bowl and pour in the Italian dressing. Lightly stir the mixture so that the produce is completely coated.

2. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes, and turn the oven onto its “broil” setting.

3. Lay out each of the bread slices onto an aluminum-foil covered baking sheet. It’s okay if they’re touching.

4. Take 1-2 tablespoons of the tomato-onion mix and add it to the center of each slice of bread. Congratulations! You’re on you’re way to crispy, toasted bruschetta-y goodness.

5. Let the tomato-topped bread toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Congratulations! Your bread is now bruschetta!

(Food Geek Note: Did you know that “bruschetta” is really the toasted bread, not the topping? In fact, any savory topping can be used, which is why bruschetta on some menus can be topped with anything from avocado to chicken liver. Tomatoes, basil and onions are what Americans tend to be most familiar with, though.)

6. Finally, add the bruschetta to your finest plastic plate or upside-down Frisbee and enjoy your arrival to class. Oh, and don’t forget the bow tie.

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