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This panzanella salad recipe is a healthy and delicious traditional Italian vegetarian summer meal with a tangy vinaigrette dresing. Perfect for summer gatherings, parties, and BBQs. 

Panzanella (Tuscan Tomato and Bread Salad)

Panzanella is a classic Tuscan tomato and bread salad that's fresh, flavorful, and makes a healthy light meal or side salad. Perfect for easy summer entertaining!

Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Keyword panzanella salad recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Inactive time: 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Author Natasha Bull

Ingredients

Croutons:

  • 1/2 regular-sized baguette or 1 small baguette (preferably ciabatta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Dash of Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Salad:

  • 12 ounces assorted tomatoes cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 English cucumber diced
  • 1 bell pepper (I used orange) diced
  • Red onion chopped, to taste (start with 1/4 med. onion)
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • Handful fresh basil chopped 
  • Parmesan shaved, to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  2. Cut bread into 1" pieces. Add to a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and garlic powder. Bake for 15-20 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, prep the dressing by adding all the dressing ingredients to a jar. Shake well and set aside. 
  4. Prepare the remaining ingredients.
  5. Allow the croutons to cool for about 5 minutes, then toss them with the rest of the salad ingredients and dressing (shake well before adding it). 
  6. Let the salad sit for 30 minutes prior to serving. The croutons will soak in the dressing and tomato juices, and that's when the magic happens!

Recipe Notes

  • Serves 2 for an entree-sized salad and 4+ as an appetizer/side salad. I recommend using a whole baguette if you double the recipe.