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.
This delicate Panzanella Salad won’t weigh you down. For more light and refreshing salads like this one try Mouthwatering Watermelon Salad with Feta, Caprese Salad or Chilled Cucumber Tomato Salad.
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.