Tomato Toast with Basil Mayonnaise

tomato toast with basil mayonnaise

Tomato Toast with Basil Mayonnaise is the official lunch (or snack) for the month of August. It’s healthy and comforting at the same time, and oh-so-easy to put together. Stash extra basil mayo in the fridge for summery salads and sandwiches all month long.

tomato toast sliced in half on a white plate

So what did you have for lunch yesterday? If you can’t remember, you didn’t have this tomato toast, I can guarantee you that.

If you already love the classic Southern tomato sandwich with mayonnaise, then this will be a delicious change of pace. This easy meal/snack is a lovely way to launch into August, when amazing tomatoes are suddenly the norm. Even my Instacart shoppers are bringing me great specimens (yes, I’m still shopping remotely, which is a huge challenge, I can tell you, considering my livelihood depends on sharing fabulous food with you all 😉 ) If you have garden tomatoes, this is your moment. I highly recommend this simple recipe, it’ll give your avocado toast a run for its money.

Spreading basil mayonnaise on toast

I can’t really say whether it’s the juicy summer tomatoes or the basil mayo that should get top billing in this recipe

but I suspect it might be the basil mayo. It’s a 3 ingredient wonder that would upgrade a whole lot of recipes. Think about using it in chicken salad, pasta salad, or as a sandwich spread. Grant likes it on burgers, I make tuna salad with it.

making basil mayonnaise in a glass jar

How to make basil mayonnaise

There are no cut and dried amounts here, just make it to your taste. I used about 15 basil leaves to half a cup of mayo. But basil has a fairly delicate flavor so you really can’t put too much in.

  • Start with your favorite mayonnaise. Make sure it’s real mayonnaise, not some salad dressing alternative. If you’re feeling gourmet, make your own mayonnaise (it only takes a minute!)
  • Stack up a bunch of basil leaves, roll them up tight like a cigar, and very thinly slice them with a sharp knife. The fancy term is chiffonade, and it’s a great way to cut basil without bruising it.
  • Add the basil to the mayo, separating the delicate ribbons with your fingers as you add them, along with a teaspoon of lemon juice. Stir well and refrigerate until needed.
  • I add a touch of lemon juice to my mayo, but this is personal preference, and not necessary.
  • If you’re really into this, you could also use even more basil and blend it with an immersion blender. You’ll end up with a fragrant silky green mayo.

basil mayo in a glass jar

How to make Tomato Toast

Now comes the fun part!

  1. Toast a thick slice of your favorite bread. I chose a classic white bread for tradition’s sake, but any bread you love will work. Toast it in the toaster, or just in a dry pan on the stove. Make sure it gets nice and golden on both sides.
  2. Slather one side with your basil mayo. Don’t hold back.
  3. Top with thin slices of the best tomatoes you can find.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and slice in half  with a serrated knife.
  5. Devour.

making tomato toast sandwiches with white bread, tomatoes, and basil mayonnaise

Open faced sandwiches are a versatile concept

Whether you grab them and go, or sit down with a knife and fork, this easy meal can morph depending on what you’ve got, and what you love. The Scandinavians have been doing it for generations, and they’ve turned it into a cozy winter tradition, too, so no need to save these for summer only.

  • Try soft spreadable cheese like goat cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, or Boursin instead of the mayo
  • Add thin slices of mozzarella along with the tomatoes
  • Top with crispy bacon
  • Add wafer thin slices of cucumber or red onion

tomato toast with basil mayonnaise

Other tomato and toast combos to love ~

tomato toast with basil mayo and a glass of water




tomato toast with basil mayonnaise
5 from 6 votes

Tomato Toast with Basil Mayonnaise

Course lunch
Cuisine American
Author Sue Moran


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 8 slices bread
  • 3-4 ripe tomatoes
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • sea salt


  • Put the mayo in a small bowl or jar. Stack the basil leaves and then roll them into a tight 'cigar'. Slice the roll very thinly with a sharp knife. Add the basil to the mayo, loosening up the ribbons with your fingers. Blend together with the lemon juice and refrigerate until needed.
  • Toast the bread in a toaster or in a pan on the stove. Be sure to toast both sides.
  • Slice the tomatoes thinly.
  • Spread a generous layer of mayo on each slice or bread and top with tomato slices, slightly overlapping depending on size. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediatley.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

tomato toast pin

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    June 12, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    5 stars
    I read your post on my Kindle before I got up and decided this is what we are having for breakfast! I was hoping my basil plants were big enough to harvest some leaves. We live in a part of the country that gets a slow start. The basil had grown and we had a lovely breakfast. No homegrown tomatoes, but still very tasty sandwiches with some good juicy tomatoes from Whole Foods.

  • Reply
    2 sisters recipes
    August 14, 2020 at 8:00 am

    Love this ode Sue! I’m making this today for lunch! Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    August 5, 2020 at 9:15 am

    5 stars
    Sue, we were looking for something fresh and new for breakfast. Yummm!!! We love your idea with our homemade bread toasted. We then took it up a notch and placed a fried egg or a sage sausage breakfast patty on top, Used it on our BLT. Or with a few slices of avocado. Then we really went wild, Every spring, I also grow French Tarragon, Pizza Oregano and Siam Basil in pots on my deck. Now it seems the possibilities are endless. Thanks. We truly enjoy all your recipes. Barb and Dennis

  • Reply
    Mary M Petrie
    August 4, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Hi Sue,

    How long does the basil mayonnaise last when refrigerated. This sounds so yummy!


  • Reply
    August 4, 2020 at 11:52 am

    5 stars
    So, because I always plant too many tomatoes in the garden, I make tomato bread (using the juice of those that ripen before I can eat them all). I think your recipe would be amazing made with tomato bread! (Maybe even use a bit of the basil mayo to grill the bread before spreading on more for the sandwich?)

  • Reply
    August 4, 2020 at 8:19 am

    When I was a child, my father grew the biggest, sweetest tomatoes in the world! My favorite breakfast then and now became broiled tomato sandwiches. Use lots of mayo. Select a large, very ripe tomato. You want just one thick, tomato slice for your sandwich if possible. Lots of salt and pepper. Then broil on both sides. I use my toaster oven. The tomato cooks slightly and it’s heaven! You might want to eat this over the sink as the juice drools down your arm!

    • Reply
      August 4, 2020 at 8:21 am

      That really does sound heavenly, and a good reason to get a toaster oven 🙂

  • Reply
    August 4, 2020 at 5:44 am

    How about mixing some pesto with the mayo then drizzling with balsamic glaze? I’ve been making grilled cheese with smoked gouda, pesto and fresh tomato slice, too.

    • Reply
      August 4, 2020 at 5:53 am

      Yum 🙂 I’ve been making grilled cheese and tomatoes as well, so good.

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