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There’s bruschetta on toasted bread, and then there’s bruschetta on smokey cream cheese-smeared toasted bread. The latter is where it’s at, and I’m not being biased. (I swear!)

I have proof to back it up.

My husband and I hosted a cookout for the 4th of July. I served up a large tray of these Bruschetta Crostini with Smoked Kipper Cream Cheese as a pre-dinner app; for anyone who might not like fish, I  made up an extra tray with regular cream cheese. Guess which tray turned up empty first?

Some people don’t realize how much they enjoy fish until it’s presented to them in a covert way. (Like with cheese and carbs!) And for anyone who already loves fish, these bites are a total dream from the get-go.

Easy entertaining: Bruschetta Crostini with Smoked Kipper Cream Cheese.

I love entertaining, but I’ll be the first to admit that I go overboard sometimes. I’m the type of person who will excitedly plan for four different dishes in order to fill bellies and make people happy—all at the expense of my sanity. Is anyone else like this? Tell me someone else is like this.

With that in mind, this appetizer is a godsend. You don’t have to spend much time with prep, there’s little cooking involved, and you can get everything ready in advance which makes it perfect for people who like to keep things simple and folks, like me, who tend to be a little extra.

Another thing I love about this recipe is that you can show off your summer bounty. If you have a garden blooming in your backyard, go ahead and incorporate your homegrown tomatoes and basil.

Traditionally-smoked Kipper Snacks.

We should probably talk about smoked kippers, because they’re underrated and I’m eager to push them into the spotlight. Despite the fact that I’ve now used them in an appetizer twice (in this recipe, and in this Smoked Fish Dip With Spinach), they’re extremely versatile. Thanks to the smokiness, I used them to replace bacon in my pescetarian-friendly clam chowder!

King Oscar’s Kipper Snacks are high quality boneless wild-caught herring fillets. They’re traditionally smoked and they’ve been made this way for centuries. They’re all-natural and you never have to worry about any artificial smoke flavoring—that glorious smokey flavor is for real.

Which is why they’re so perfect when blended into a soft cream cheese.

When you’re not enjoying these crave-worthy crostini, you can enjoy kipper snacks on crackers or with eggs. (They make for a mean scramble.)

If you make this dish, snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme! I love seeing your creations, and you could be featured in my monthly newsletter <3

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Bruschetta Crostini with Smoked Kipper Cream Cheese

This crowd-pleasing Bruschetta Crostini changes things up with a smear of Smoked Kipper Cream Cheese. They're perfect for summer entertaining!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 14 servings
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  • 1 fresh baguette, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 cup soft cream cheese
  • 3.25 oz can of kipper snacks
  • 4 plump Roma tomatoes, diced, You can substitute with 1 pint of grape/cherry tomatoes; simply slice them in half.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chiffonade or roughly chopped basil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste


  • Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Slice the baguette and place the slices onto a baking sheet. Bake them for about 5-7 minutes, or until just lightly toasted. (You want a nice crisp, but you don't want them to be too hard.) When done, set aside.
  • Place the cream cheese in a bowl, then add the kipper snacks. You can drain the oil or add it to the cream cheese mixture depending on how strong of a smokey, fishy flavor you want. With a fork, mix and mash the kipper snacks into the cream cheese, breaking the fillets apart, and creating a cohesive mixture. Set aside. (If you're making this in advance, wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge.)
  • In a large bowl, add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, a pinch of salt and a few cracks of pepper, to taste. Gently toss the mixture to coat and set aside. (Again, if you're making this in advance, wrap the bowl in plastic and place it in the fridge.)
  • Smear about 2 teaspoons worth (give or take) of the cream cheese mixture over each baguette slice, then top each slice with a tablespoon of the bruschetta mixture.
  • Garnish the finished crostini with more fresh basil and serve.
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