Home RecipesAppetizers Pan con Tomate (Traditional Spanish Tomato Bread)

Pan con Tomate (Traditional Spanish Tomato Bread)

by Lorena

Pan con Tomate (pa amb tomàquet) is a simple Catalan dish that consists of bread, garlic, tomato and olive oil. The pan con tomate recipe has very few ingredients and the steps are easy, but there are a few tips that you need to nail it at home. It’s one of my favorite things to have as an appetizer or starter.

The origin of Pan con Tomate

The origin of Pan con Tomate is disputed but the first written record of its existence was found in Cataluña, Spain. Pa amb tomàquet (its name in Catalan) was first created as a way to salvage stale bread. They would slice it and rub it with tomato to moisten it and bring it back to life. Nowadays, we don’t use stale bread but toast a slice of crusty bread instead. It’s a Spanish classic and you can find it in many Spanish restaurants around the world, especially where you can find Spanish tapas. The first time that I had one was at a Spanish restaurant here in Chile and I was in love. However, when I had it in Spain, I really got it. This Catalan Tomato Bread has lots of flavours and textures that will leave you wanting more and more. It’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy the tomato season.


This Pan con Tomate recipe has very few ingredients which means that they must be good quality. When the ingredients are few they really shine through! Here are a few notes of the basic ingredients that you will need to make this classic Spanish Tomato Bread:

  • Bread: When it comes to choosing the bread for you Pan con Tomate, the best bread is crusty bread. You want to look for those rustic bread loaves or even a ciabatta or baguette. The bread slices can be done across the direction of the bread if it’s a loaf or across it if the bread is narrow like a baguette.
  • Garlic: We use fresh garlic cloves to rub onto our bread. Raw garlic might sound a bit strong, but you can control how much of it transfers to the bread by pressing harder or softer when you rub it.
  • Tomatoes: For this recipe, the best tomatoes are extra-ripe fresh tomatoes. You will know you’re holding ripe tomatoes when you press them slightly and they feel soft. So soft in fact that you might think they wouldn’t hold their shape if cut for a salad. These juicy tomatoes will leave behind all that tomato pulp on the bread which is exactly what we’re looking for. It’s the perfect way to use fresh summer tomatoes!
  • Olive oil: You definitely want to use good olive oil to finish your Pa Amb Tomaquèt. We’re looking for that peppery, fresh flavour that you find in good quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt: You can use flaky sea salt to sprinkle your Pan con Tomate or go for a fine salt route. I do think that you can feel the difference with the flaky salt, though. If you’re wondering, this is my favourite.
  • Pepper: Try to go for freshly milled black pepper for that final touch to the recipe.

How to make the best Pan con Tomate

Once you have all your ingredients ready, making Pan con Tomate is very easy. First, you will toast slices of bread. You can do this in the oven or in a toaster. The bread should be golden brown. Once the slices cool down, it’s time to rub a garlic clove on the surface of the toasted bread. If you want a stronger garlic flavour, rub the clove of garlic pushing it down gently. If you only want a slight garlic flavour, rub it slightly over the bread. The next step is to cut the tomatoes in half across and rub the tomato onto the bread. The tomato pulp should adhere to the toasted bread and you should be left with only the tomato skin. Half a tomato should be enough for 1-2 slices of bread, depending on their size. To finish, we drizzle extra-virgin olive oil on top and season with flaky salt and black pepper. The tomato juices will start to soak the bread so it’s important to eat it freshly-made.

Making a pan con tomate bar

Since this is an appetizer, it’s great for a dinner party. As I mentioned before, the best way to eat Pan con Tomate is freshly-made. So, how can we make it so that everyone can eat a fresh slice? One option is to have the toasted bread slices, halved tomatoes, peeled garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper available. Everyone can assemble their own and eat it right there. This can be a bit messy, though. People might need lots of napkins. A less traditional option would be to have grated tomato pulp in a dish to spread on the bread. In this case, I would have the toasted bread already rubbed with garlic and have the grated tomato in a dish next to it. To grate the tomato you cut it in half and use the large holes of a box grater until you only have the skin left. Guests would add the tomato to their slice of bread, drizzle it with olive oil and finish it with salt and pepper. 

Pan con Tomate Recipe (Pa Amb Tomàquet)

Pan con Tomate (pa amb tomàquet) is a simple Catalan dish that consists of bread, garlic, tomato and olive oil. 
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: banana bread, catalan, catalonia, pan con tomate, spain, tomato
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal


  • 8 slices of bread from a loaf or ciabatta, baguette or other crusty bread
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 kg tomatoes extremely ripe (soft to the touch)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flaky salt or fine salt
  • Pepper


  • Toast the bread slices in the oven or a toaster until they're golden brown.
  • Once cool, rub the slices with a garlic clove. The harder you rub it, the stronger the garlic flavour will be.
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and rub them onto the bread to release pulp and juice.
  • Finish the Pan con Tomate with a generous drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CravingsJournal or tag #RecipeCJ!

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

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