Panzanella Salad is a perfect marriage of summer sun ripened tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and spinach tossed together with toasted bread and a light but flavorful dressing. This light but flavor packed salad is SO GOOD, and perfect for your next BBQ, potluck or dinner tonight.
What is Panzanella Salad?
Panzanella Salad a traditional Italian bread salad. Customarily it was made with chopped stale bread, onions, cucumbers and tomatoes soaked in a flavorful vinaigrette. Garden fresh basil added a splash of color and zest, creating the colors of the Italian flag, red, green and white. This Panzanella Recipe is wonderful nod to the traditional salad with a little bit of a fresh twist.
Panzanella Salad is so easy and fresh you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried it before. A step away from your typical green salads it’s a bright and unique addition to any meal. Pair with a protein and fresh fruit for a filling, yet healthy meal.
Panzanella Salad Ingredients:
- Italian Loaf: No sandwich bread here. Look for sturdy, crusty Italian or French bread, with lots of holes inside. Day old bread is perfect.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is the oil of choice for this Italian staple
- Italian seasoning: Look for this blend in spice isle
- Mixed Tomatoes: Mixed tomatoes make for a more colorful and unique taste. Sub with regular tomatoes if you can’t find mixed tomatoes.
- Red Onion: Red onions have nice kick that makes the salad irresistible.
- Spinach: Can use basil here if you prefer
- Cucumber: English cucumbers are a favorite in this salad
- Red wine vinegar: Balances with the tomatoes for perfection
- Salt and Pepper: To taste.
- Balsamic glaze: This is optional but I love the extra zing.
How to Make a Panzanella Salad:
- Toast: Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and Italian seasoning, bake at 400 for 12-15 min till nice golden brown.
- Combine: In a medium bowl toss the tomatoes, onion, spinach, cucumber and bread together.
- Whisk: In a separate bowl whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper.
- Toss: Gently toss all the ingredients together and let sit for at least 20 min to meld the flavors.
Panzanella Salad is very flexible, so make it to your liking.
- Peppers: Add red, yellow or orange peppers, roast them first for extra pizzazz.
- Tomatoes: Use cherry tomatoes or romas if you can’t find mixed tomatoes.
- Cheese: You can add freshly grated Parmesan or add in fresh mozzarella balls.
- More Ideas: Stir in capers or pepperoncini for zin or for a lighter onion flavor use shallots.
What to Serve with Panzanella Salad:
This is such an amazing salad it can easily be served on it’s own or as a side dish. With veggies and bread all in one dish, pairing it with a simple protein is all you need.
- Grilled or roasted Chicken
- Any kind of Fish or Shrimp
- Your favorite pasta dish (especially tasty with a nice pesto or lemon garlic pasta)
- Grilled steak
More Delicious Salad Recipes to Try:
- Healthy and Delicious Tabouli Salad
- The Best Antipasto Salad
- Summer Corn Salad
- Greek Salad with the Best Dressing
- Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- 1 loaf Italian sourdough or French bread, cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 pound mixed tomatoes sliced
- 1/2 red onion sliced
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cucumber sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- balsamic glaze optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Toast until golden for 12-15 minutes.
- In a medium sized bowl add the tomatoes, red onion, spinach, cucumber and bread. In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, red wine, salt and pepper. Toss until coated. Drizzle with balsamic glaze if desired.