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  • Writer's pictureJameel Khan

The Perfect Panzanella Salad Recipe

Updated: Sep 18

With this easy and delicious panzanella salad recipe, you can enjoy a delicious mix of perfectly ripe tomatoes, hearty Italian bread, and a tangy dressing. Find out how to get the right texture by drying and cooking the bread in the oven with a bit of olive oil. Prepare to improve your cooking skills and learn how to make the best panzanella salad.

Traditional Ingredients and Variations

Traditional Ingredients and Variations

On a serving plate, Panzanella salad Panzanella salad is a famous Italian dish that comes from Tuscany. It shows how simple and elegant Italian food can be. Even though tomatoes are the main ingredient in this salad, it is important to remember that panzanella is not just a tomato salad with croutons. It is a bread salad that can be made better with different kinds of vegetables, but in this recipe, I like to stick to the traditional form with tomatoes.

Mediterranean Culinary Traditions

In the Mediterranean area, where being resourceful and making use of leftovers is important, the idea of bread salads is popular. If you've had my delicious fattoush salad, you've seen another great way to use old bread, like pita, to make something new. Also, bread is used in many different ways in Mediterranean food, from light soups like gazpacho to hearty dishes like ribollita. And don't forget the sweet treats, like sopapillas and bread puddings that come in a huge variety.

Benefits of Panzanella Salad

Benefits of Panzanella Salad

Panzanella salad has a good mix of textures and tastes that will take your taste buds to the sunny hills of Italy. So, get your ingredients together, follow the steps exactly, and get ready to enjoy the delicious harmony of flavors that panzanella salad has to give.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Panzanella Salad

With these step-by-step steps, you can learn how to make a delicious panzanella salad. Find out how to make the perfect salad by toasting the bread, salting the tomatoes, and making a delicious sauce. If you follow these steps, you'll be able to make a delicious panzanella salad that will please your guests and take your meal to the next level.

Step 1: Preparing the Bread

Toast the bread and let it dry: Tear up the bread and spread the pieces on a big baking sheet. Let the bread sit out in the open for a few hours or all night so it can dry out. When the bread is done, drizzle it with a lot of good olive oil and put it in an oven that has already been cooked to 400 degrees F. Toast the bread for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sides get crispy and the bread is still chewy in the middle.

Step 2: Salting the Tomatoes

To salt the tomatoes, cut them up and put the pieces in a strainer. Add a pinch of kosher salt to the tomatoes and toss them gently. Let the tomatoes sit for 10 to 15 minutes while you toast the bread. This will let the salt bring out the natural taste of the tomatoes.

Step 3: Making the Dressing

Prepare the dressing by mixing 1/4 cup of red wine, 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, minced fresh garlic (one to two cloves), fresh thyme, and a squeeze of Dijon mustard with the tomato juice in a big bowl. Use kosher salt to season. Whisk the ingredients together until they are well mixed, making a dressing that is spicy and full of flavor.

Step 4: Combining the Ingredients

Mix the bread, tomatoes, and dressing: Mix the dressing with the salted tomatoes, toasted bread cubes, onions, fresh basil, and mozzarella. Toss the ingredients gently to make sure they are all covered with the dressing and that the tastes blend well together.

Step 5: Letting the Salad Sit

Let the salad sit for a few minutes. This will give the tastes a chance to mix and the bread a chance to soak up the dressing. The salad should sit for 20 to 30 minutes before being served. This lets the dressing soak into the bread, giving it a rich taste without making it too soggy.

Step 6: Serving the Salad

Serve, and have fun: After letting the panzanella salad sit for a while, put it on plates or a big platter to serve. Your senses will be drawn in by the bright colors and tempting smells. Now, the salad is ready to taste and enjoy.

Suggestions for Pairing Panzanella Salad

Suggestions for Pairing: When tomatoes are in season in the summer, Panzanella salad is the perfect side dish. It goes well with different foods and can be made in different ways. Think about the following ways to serve:

  • For a refreshing and filling meal on a BBQ night, serve panzanella salad with grilled chicken, salmon kabobs, or anything else you like to cook.

  • Italian Menu: Start your Italian meal with a Panzanella salad, which goes well with foods like sundried tomato pasta, eggplant Parmesan, chicken pesto, or your favorite fish dish.

  • Summer BBQ: Add Panzanella salad to the plan for your next barbecue to make it more special. It adds a burst of flavors and textures to grilled chicken kabobs, lamb burgers, or delicious grilled shrimp.


Now that you know how to make Panzanella salad, you can enjoy its bright colors, interesting textures, and delicious mix of tastes. This bright and sunny Tuscan bread salad will be the highlight of your summer meals. Have fun!

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