This Panzanella Salad is the perfect fresh, flavourful and filling salad made in the classic Italian way – with toasted bread, juicy tomatoes, and fresh herbs!
We LOVE to travel and Italy is one place we haven’t visited in awhile. It’s on my travel bucket list again for so many reasons, not the least of which is the food!! This Panzanella Salad recipe is one of our favourite Italian recipes ever and I just know you’re going to LOVE it as much as we do!
One thing I love about this Panzanella salad is how perfect it is for lunch AND entertaining. Every time I host over lunch this Panzanella salad makes its way onto the table along with a small charcuterie board or some smoked salmon, and a light dessert like these cheesecake cups. It’s the perfect light lunch that’s PACKED with so much flavour and it’s one of those impressive recipes that nobody will ever guess is just a snap to make.
And if you’re looking for some cute dishes, these blue heart bowls are my new FAVOURITE kitchen items from my friend Alexandra’s ceramics shop called BLOP. If you love beautiful things for the kitchen you’re definitely going to want to check out her shop, or follow her on Instagram @blop.ro where she posts all her beautiful ceramics! Give her a follow and tell her I sent you.
Ingredients for Panzanella Salad
- day-old ciabatta bread (or sourdough bread)
- mixed cherry tomatoes
- fresh basil
- red onion
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- garlic powder (or fresh garlic)
How to Make Panzanella Salad
Follow these pro-tips for the perfect Panzanella Salad every time!
- Start with day-old bread
Day-old crusty bread toasts to the perfect texture to soak up all the juices from the fresh tomatoes.
- Rip the bread, don’t cut it.
Ripping the bread creates fewer crumbs and it makes for a more beautiful and rustic presentation.
- Go for ripe tomatoes.
Juicy, ripe tomatoes are the most flavourful, and using mixed cherry tomatoes (yellow, orange and red) makes this salad even more beautiful!
- Choose fresh basil.
Ripping up the fresh basil leaves helps them release their oils and adds so much flavour to the salad!
- Thinly slice the onions.
Thinly sliced onions help prevent the onion flavour from overpowering the other flavours in this dish. Slice them as thin as you can!
- Enjoy immediately.
This salad is best enjoyed on the day it’s made. If you want to make it ahead of time, make the toasted bread and keep it separate from the tomatoes, etc. until you’re ready to serve, otherwise you’ll be left with a soggy mess.
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Unfortunately Panzanella Salad is really only good for a few hours after it’s assembled. To make it ahead of time, simply toast the bread and store it in an airtight container, combining it with the tomato part of the salad only right before serving.
I hope you love this fresh salad recipe as much as we do! Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite salad recipe? I’d love to know!
Looking for more delicious healthy salads? You’ll LOVE these!
- Italian Chopped Salad Recipe
- Winter Citrus Salad Recipe
- Pomegranate Kale Quinoa Salad Recipe
- White Bean and Tomato Salad Recipe
- Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe
- Greek Chickpea Salad Recipe
- Asian Cucumber and Carrot Salad Recipe
Watch the video below to see exactly how I make this recipe. You can find more delicious recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
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- 1 large salad bowl
- 8 cups ciabatta or sourdough bread cubes ripped by hand into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or use 2 cloves of fresh garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cups mixed cherry tomatoes
- 1 small red onion
- 1/4 cup basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar balsamic vinegar also works
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a large sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper.
- Rip the bread into chunks about 1 1/2 inches in size and add them to a large bowl.
- Add the garlic powder, salt, dried basil, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss well to coat.
- Toast the bread on the pan in a single layer, baking it for about 15-20 minutes or until it's crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the pan.
- While the bread is toasting, slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to your salad bowl.
- Slice the red onion and add it in with the tomatoes.
- Rip the basil leaves by hand and add them, along with the 1 teaspoons of salt, the olive oil and red wine vinegar.
- Toss the tomato mixture together until well blended.
- Once the bread has cooled, add it to the bowl with the tomatoes, toss very well and serve immediately.