Panzanella Bread Salad
Panzanella Bread Salad

Do you have ripe summer tomatoes? Bread from the day before? Make this classic Tuscan Panzanella Salad recipe! This is a great recipe to prepare for a summertime potluck or garden party, or make for dinner and serve with grilled chicken.

O joys of summer! Topping the list are fresh, ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil, which grow the more you chop. (Have you ever noticed that basil is like a hydra? Cut off a stem and two will grow in its place.)

Anyway, the heat has come, the garden has finally started acting like summer, and this classic Tuscan bread salad is a perfect thing to make with the bounty.

What is panzanella salad?

Panzanella really is a way to use up hardened crusty bread and celebrate perfect summer tomatoes. It’s a cooling summer salad that relies on the bread as the “filler” to soak up the juice of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, as well as the extra virgin olive oil you drizzle over everything.

Once a pauper’s dish, panzanella is quite the trend. Once you’ve done it, you’ll see why! It’s a great way to showcase wonderful, fresh summer produce.

That’s why you should only prepare it in the summer and only use the best and freshest ingredients. With so few ingredients, you want everyone to shine.

Panzanella tastes best if left to rest for a while (at least 30 minutes) before serving. This gives the bread enough time to soak up the juice from the tomatoes and meld the flavors of the salad.

You can make the salad a few hours in advance and keep it at room temperature, making panzanella an excellent salad for picnics and outdoor potlucks.

If you must continue, refrigerate and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

What to serve with panzanella

Serve panzanella salad as an accompaniment to your summer favorites – grilled chicken, grilled fish or shrimp, and grilled steak. For a vegetarian version with a little more protein, try tossing in some chickpeas or top the salad with chopped hard-boiled eggs just before serving.

suggestions and additions

Here are a few variations of panzanella that you might want to try:

  • Add mozzarella cubes
  • Drizzle with red wine vinegar
  • Fold in shredded chicken
  • Fold in the sliced ​​prosciutto or small pieces of salami
  • Add other veggies like chopped avocados, peppers, or fresh corn on the cob
  • Top with a fried or poached egg

Try these other summer salads

  • Caprese salad with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella
  • Fattoush Bread Salad
  • Greek pasta salad
  • Pasta salad with corn, bacon and buttermilk ranch dressing
  • Tomato, onion and avocado salad

Panzanella bread salad

preparation time
15 minutes

30 minutes

total time
45 minutes

up to 8 servings

When cutting the tomatoes, remove some of the seeds and liquid. Your panzanella will be juicy enough. Leave the crusts on the bread pieces; They stay tougher and give the panzanella more substance.

If you don’t have stale bread laying around, you can take fresh crusty bread, cut it into large cubes, place the cubes on a baking sheet and place in a 300°F oven for 5-10 minutes, until the outside edges have dried out a bit ( not roasted, just dried). Using fresh bread without doing this can cause the bread to turn to mush in the salad.


  • 4 cups tomatoescut into large pieces hunk

  • 4 cups Day old (slightly dry and hard) crispy bread (Italian or French bread), cut into it hunk the same size as the tomatoes (see recipe note)

  • 1 cucumberskinned and cored, cut into large chunks

  • 1/2 red Onionchopped

  • 1 bunch fresh basiltorn into small pieces

  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup good quality Extra virgin olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix everything together and leave to marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

    Note, if you’re adding meat, eggs, or cheese to this salad, refrigerate if preparing ahead of time and bring to room temperature to serve.

nutritional information (per serving)
196 calories
14g Fat
15g carbohydrates
3g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!