5 Minute Pan Con Tomate

Spanish tomato bread (vegan recipe)

a white plate sits on a marble counter. with two slices of pan con tomate.

Pan con Tomate is made with just 5 ingredients and is considered the must-have breakfast staple for those in Spain. It’s also sometimes served as a tapas so is a great healthy snack option too. Check out this vegan recipe that’s quick and easy to make at home. This recipe can be easily prepared in around 5 minutes.

ingredients used to make pan con tomate are laid out on a white marble counter top

What you’ll need to make Pan con tomate

  • 1-2 large fresh tomatoes, cut in half
  • 60ml/2 fl oz good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt flakes
  • 2 cloves of garlic (skin peeled)
  • Loaf of fresh bread (sliced thick)

Equipment Needed


  • An oven grill
  • A box grater


Tapas for 4 people 

Ready In:

Prepare 5 minutes

cook 5 minutes

Skill Level

Very Easy

Serve with:

A good coffee or breakfast juice

About This Recipe

Pan con tomate is traditionally a very humble dish. Its pure simplicity and just 5 ingredients allow us to make this dish in just a few minutes and with virtually no cooking necessary! When using the freshest ingredients, this dish really shines and the perfect combination of fresh zesty tomato spread onto toasted bread, drizzled with golden olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. The end result will really send the taste buds to foodie heaven! 

Traveling through Spain, you’ll discover the humble pan con tomate served everywhere in many different forms. It is usually served at breakfast time, or as a mid-morning snack or tapas, although it’s also not uncommon to find it served alongside a caña later into the evening along many bars in Madrid and Barcelona (the dish is called Pa amb Tomàquet in the latter).

Some ripe red tomatoes hang from a rustic vine with some cloth tied to a spike.

No matter where you have the opportunity to try pan con tomate, there are 5 simple ingredients that go into making it: bread, tomato, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Using the most premium ingredients you can get your hands on is a must!

  • Extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Bread
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes

Spanish Tomatoes

The key to getting the most flavor out of your tomatoes is to use a fresh variety that’s very ripe and contains plenty of juice. Also, avoid tomatoes that have been refrigerated, as they are more difficult to extract the pulp. Use a tomato variety such as a beefsteak tomato or other large and very ripe tomatoes as they’ll have the sweetest pulp flavor.

hundres of vine tomaoes lay on the ground

Spanish Tomato Varieties

For hundreds of years, Spain has had a very healthy relationship with the tomato and they lay homage to the humble fruit in many recipes. The annual La Tomatina festival is one such example; the state-sponsored food fight is held in the Valencian town of Buñol and is a day-long extravaganza of chucking tonnes of fruit at anyone nearby!

Besides throwing the fruit in a jovial display of affection, the humble tomato is cherished in many recipes in Spanish cooking. Besides pan con tomate, there are few other recipes that demand such good quality tomatoes used as a base ingredient (Gazpacho would be one). 

From the Spanish mountainous zones of the north to the warm fertile plains of Andalusia, Spanish tomato cultivation is on par with a national pastime and included hundreds of varieties. Here are a few to look out for in your local greengrocer or supermarket.

Montserrat Tomato

With its lobed appearance and peculiar shape, the Montserrat tomato is as full-flavored and juicy as you can get. Hailing from the Catalonia region, it is grown abundantly throughout Spain, but can be more difficult to source elsewhere.

The fruit has a sensational juicy flavor that when combined with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, the combination is irresistible.

Raf (on-vine) tomatoes

Raf tomatoes are found almost everywhere and are usually sold on the vine. When ripe, they’re juicy, sweet, and packed full of flavor, making their pulp ideal for use in the pan con tomate recipe.

Plum and baby-plum tomatoes

a variety of differnt tomatoes are laid out on a white background

If you’re looking to use the healthiest tomatoes, then baby plum tomatoes are an excellent choice. Plum and baby-plum tomatoes are usually bright red, very sweet, and oval-shaped and can be easily found in local grocery stores the world over. As these are considerably smaller than normal tomatoes, be careful grating them for the pulp.

Buffalo Tomatoes

Another tomato with excellent nutritional value (they’re all pretty good, to be honest) is the Buffalo tomato. They are large, bright red, and often carry a slightly meaty flesh that full of flavor and nutrients.

Hanging Tomatoes from Catalonia

Hanging tomatoes (or tomaquets de penjar in Catalan)  are commonly grown in Alcalà de Xivert, where they are then strung into tight bundles of 20-30 tomatoes. These bundles can then be kept fresh for anywhere up to 6 months to a year after harvest. They are extra juicy and protected by a thick skin.

A small glass half filled with olive oil sits on top of a granite worktop

Use extra-virgin olive oil

Using the best quality extra-virgin olive oil will yield optimum results for pan con tomate, after all, there are only 5 ingredients and no cooking involved so the trick here is to ensure each ingredient is of the best quality you can find! 

The main noticeable difference between standard olive oil and extra-virgin olive oil is in the taste and color. Extra-virgin olive oil is a much deeper color and varies from a golden hue to a lighter green color. Extra-virgin olive oil also retains more of the pure olive taste, with many varieties often having a slight peppery finish

Extra-virgin olive oil is more nutritious too and also has lower levels of acid that can add a bitter taste.

The best bread for pan con tomate

Bread resonates a sense of pride with the Spanish and there are a few different schools of thought on what bread makes the best pan con tomate. Some will swear by thor local artisanal white bread that’s freshly baked by the village baker. 

Others prefer more hearty bread, with some going for wholemeal-styled loaves. Some even use sliced stale bread that’s lightly grilled to get that extra crunch in their morning dose of pan con tomate.

A large loaf of bread sliced in half.

I prefer to use either fresh white ciabatta when making pan con tomate. Either way, the fresher the better! If you can bake your own bread, you’ll notice the difference fresh bread makes!

I usually only lightly toast it under the grill for a couple of minutes right before serving. That way, the delicious olive oil will melt into the soft center of the bread. Soft warm bread also allows for an opportunity to mop up any oil and topping left on the plate.

a large plate holds 4 slices of pan con tomate

Nutrition & Diet

Pan con tomate (Spanish tomato bread) is an excellent example of a nutritious and healthy breakfast dish that’s inspired by ingredients from the Mediterranean diet

Using brown bread that’s prepared from 100% whole wheat is high in fiber and ideal for good health. 

Olive oil is incredibly healthy and full of antioxidants. It benefits your heart, joints, and brain and is potentially the healthiest fat on Earth!

  • Protein 10% 10%
  • Carbs 12% 12%
  • Total Fat 21% 21%
A picture of olives on an olive tree with a blurred countryside in the background
a small plate holds two slices of pan con tomate

Pan con tomate (Spanish tomato bread)

Pan con Tomate is traditionally a very humble dish. Its pure simplicity and just 5 ingredients allow us to make this dish in just a few minutes and with virtually no cooking necessary!
When using the freshest ingredients, this dish really shines and the perfect combination of fresh zesty tomato spread onto toasted bread, drizzled with some delicious golden olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt really sends the taste buds to foodie heaven!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack, tapas
Cuisine breakfast, Mediterranean, spanish
Servings 4 people (tapas)
Calories 293 kcal


  • An oven grill
  • A box grater


  • 1 large fresh tomato cut in half
  • 60 ml good-quality extra-virgin olive oil 2 fl oz
  • Coarse salt flakes
  • 2 cloves of garlic skin peeled
  • Loaf of fresh bread sliced thick


  • (Serves 4-6 slices)
    a large plate holds 4 slices of pan con tomate

Step 1 - Grate tomato

  • Turn on the oven grill to 250°C/482°F.
    An oven gauge turned up to 210c
  • First, Slice tomatoes in half, grate the tomato and peel the garlic cloves.
    1 large fresh tomato, 2 cloves of garlic
    a large rustic chopping board hold some sliced tomatoes and a few cloves of garlic
  • Cut the peeled garlic clove in half and set it aside for use later.
    2 cloves of garlic
    a small glass ramikin sits on a wooden board filled with sliced garlic

Step 2 - Prepare bread

  • Slice Ciabatta in slices lengthwise using a sharp bread knife. Add to the grill for 2-3 minutes.
    Important note: be sure to set a timer, grills will toast the bread very fast so only allow around 2 minutes before checking! Remove bread immediately once lightly toasted.
    Loaf of fresh bread
    a large ciabatta is cut in half on a rustic chopping board

Step 3 - Prepare pan con tomate

  • Drizzle or use a basting brush to coat your toasted bread with a little olive oil.
    60 ml good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
    Some golden slices of bread are being brushed with some olive oil
  • Rub the top of the bread with the piece of garlic.
    2 cloves of garlic
    Some golden slices of toasted bread are being rubbed with a piece of garlic
  • Add a spoonful of the grated tomato.
    1 large fresh tomato
    Grated tomato is added to some slices of toasted bread
  • Sprinkle with salt and add another drizzle of olive oil and serve!
    Coarse salt flakes
    a white plate sits on a marble counter. with two slices of pan con tomate.




Refrigerate any unused grated tomato in an airtight container for up to 2 days. 
Keyword bread, breakfast, healthy, mediterranean, pan con tomate, spanish, tapas, tomato, vegan

Pan con Tomate Cooking Tips and FAQs


Is Pan con Tomate vegan?

Yes, just make sure you use vegan bread and you’ve got yourself a 100% vegan-friendly breakfast or snack.

What do you need to make Pan con Tomate?

Making Pan con Tomate requires an oven grill and a box grater. 

How long does Pan con Tomate take to make?

  • Preparation time: 2 minutes
  • Cook time: 2-3 minutes (depending on your grill)
  • Total time:  5 minutes

What does Pan con Tomate go with?

This recipe is usually served as breakfast or a small snack during the day. Some places in Spain may serve this dish as a tapas.