Try This Pan Con Tomate Recipe for a Flavorful Delight!
Pan con tomate (bread with tomato) is a super simple and versatile, yet delicious bite that is appreciated by almost everyone in Spain.
It consists of slices of toasted white bread rubbed with fresh, juicy tomato, dressed with olive oil and salt, and often served with some Serrano ham on top (although not required, highly recommended).
It is a very popular dish that can be found all over Spain.
You’ll see it served for breakfast and almuerzo (a small brunch usually eaten between breakfast and lunch) along with a cup of coffee.
It can also be served as a “pre-appetizer” in restaurants while waiting for the appetizers to arrive (then served along with alioli sauce), or it can easily transition into the rest of the meal along with the main dishes, becoming a sort of a side dish.
Depending on where and when you have it, it may have slightly different names, but it is essentially the same:
- Outside Catalonia (Cataluña): Tostada con tomate (toasted bread with tomato) or Catalana when serrano ham is added.
- In Catalonia (Cataluña): Pan tumaca or Pan tumaca amb pernil if you add serrano ham. Of course, you can also ask for tostada con tomate or con tomate y jamón (serrano ham). Just don’t ask for a “Catalana” if you want it with ham, or you’ll be met with a few raised eyebrows.
- Pre-appetizer/side dish: Pan con tomate. In this case, it usually comes with smaller slices of toasted bread and two sauces: one is the tomato pulp, grated and dressed with olive oil and salt, and the other is alioli.
To make this pan con tomate recipe, here are the ingredients that you will need. Remember: There aren’t many ingredients so the quality of each one is important!
- Baguette – Either half a baguette or 2 slices of sourdough bread.
- Tomatoes – Ripe and juicy tomatoes.
- Olive oil – Good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Salt – To bring out the flavors.
- Serrano or Parma ham – Optional; use thin slices.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
Before you try this recipe for Spanish pan con tomate, read through these recipe tips and variations so that you get the best dish in the end.
- Quality ingredients: This is a simple dish that relies heavily on the quality of its ingredients. Ripe and juicy tomatoes from your local farmer’s market and good quality extra virgin olive oil will make all the difference!
- Type of bread: Fresh bread, try to find one that is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Baguette and sourdough work great. Although it’s usually made with white bread, spelt or whole wheat are also good options. Just skip sandwich bread and highly processed bread.
- Tomatoes: Ripe, juicy tomatoes are the star of the show. The riper and more flavorful, the better. Skip tomato paste or canned tomato sauce. Pan con tomate is only made with fresh tomatoes.
- Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is a key ingredient. If you can’t find it or it’s too expensive where you live, a simpler olive oil will do just fine. Just don’t use any other oil.
- Serrano ham: Optional, but super delicious. If you cannot find Serrano ham, you can also use Italian Parma ham.
- Herbs: You can add herbs, but keep in mind that it won’t be the original recipe. If your tomatoes or olive oil are not top quality, dried oregano or Italian seasoning can go very well with it and help brighten up the flavors.
- Cheese: It is also quite common to have pan con tomate with slices of cheese on top for breakfast. If you want to try this variation, choose either sharp aged cheeses such as Spanish Manchego, Italian Parmesan, or Grana Padano (or a similar cheese).
How to Make Pan Con Tomate – Step by Step Instructions
In this section, we’ll show you exactly how to make this pan con tomate y jamon. You can follow the recipe process photos to track your progress at home.
Of course, the detailed recipe card with the measurements and cooking time can be found at the bottom of this post!
Slice the bread and toast it for about 1 minute or so on each side. You can use a grill pan, a bread toaster, or even an air fryer.
Now prepare the tomato sauce. Wash and dry the tomatoes. Then cut the tomatoes in half.
Next, grate the inside of the tomatoes into a bowl using a fine grater. Do not grate the skin of the tomatoes.
Dress the grated tomato pulp with olive oil and salt. Mix well and set aside.
Make sure the bread is toasted. It should be slightly crispy but not burnt.
Spread the tomato and olive oil sauce on top of the toasted bread.
If you want to use Serrano or Parma ham, place a few thin slices on top of the tomato sauce.
Eat the pan con tomate immediately. Enjoy!
Pan con tomate should be eaten as soon as it is made, otherwise it will become soggy and sad.
If you want to prepare it in advance, simply make the tomato sauce and store it in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days. Toast the bread just before eating.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about this Spanish tomato bread!
Pan con tomate is a Spanish dish of “bread with tomato”. The tomato is grated, mixed with olive oil and salt, and then spread on freshly toasted bread. It is eaten immediately for best taste and texture.
Pan con tomate is originally from Spain. Different regions of Spain have different names for the dish. It is also eaten at different times of the day and for different purposes (e.g. for breakfast, as an appetizer, or as a side dish in a restaurant).
To make pan con tomate, grate the tomato and add extra virgin olive oil. Toast the bread and spread the tomato-oil mixture on top. Adding ham and/or cheese is optional. Eat immediately.
Often pan con tomato is enjoyed on its own, sometimes with a cup of coffee if enjoyed for breakfast or almuerzo. In addition to tomato, you can also enjoy the pan con tomate with serrano ham or manchego cheese.
If you liked this classic Spanish recipe, here are some other classics that you might want to try at home!
- Sopa De Ajo
- Pipirrana (Spanish Salad)
- Pisto (Vegetable Stew)
- Albóndigas en Salsa
- Empanada Gallega
Pan Con Tomate
- 1/2 baguette, or 2 slices of sourdough bread
- 1-2 ripe tomatoes
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- thin slices of Serrano or Parma ham, optional
- Slice the bread and toast it for about 1 minute or so on each side. You can use a grill pan, a bread toaster, or even an air fryer.1/2 baguette
- While the bread is toasting, prepare the tomato sauce. Slice the tomatoes in half and grate the inside into a bowl using a fine grater. Don't grate the tomato skins. Add olive oil and salt to the grated tomato pulp. Mix well and set aside.1-2 ripe tomatoes, 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Make sure the bread is toasted to your liking. It should be slightly crispy but not burnt.
- Spread the tomato and olive oil sauce on top of the toasted bread. If you want to use Serrano or Parma ham, place a few thin slices on top of the tomato sauce.thin slices of Serrano or Parma ham
- Eat immediately. Enjoy!
- Use good quality ingredients – ripe, juicy tomatoes and good quality extra virgin olive oil make all the difference.
- Use fresh crusty bread. Baguette or sourdough work really well. Although it’s usually made with white bread, spelt or whole wheat are also good options. Don’t use sandwich bread or highly processed bread.
- Don’t make pan con tomato with canned tomato sauce or paste.
- Serrano ham is optional, but delicious. If you cannot find Serrano ham, you can also use Italian Parma ham.
- You can add herbs, but then it won’t be traditional anymore. Dried oregano works well.
- It is quite common to have pan con tomate with slices of cheese on top for breakfast. Try it with sharp aged cheeses like Spanish Manchego, Italian Parmesan, or Grana Padano.
- Eat it right after making it, otherwise the tomato bread will get soggy.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.