Panzanella or “Bread Salad” is a versatile recipe loaded with cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives. It’s great on its own, or alongside your favorite grilled meat. Since cucumbers and tomatoes are delicious year-round, this Panzanella recipe is great in the summer when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen, or in the cooler months when you’re craving a lighter, easy to prepare meal.
You love bread, I know. I love bread too. So a dish with bread as the star is the perfect dish for me and you!
The thing is, there are a few other ingredients in this dish that are pretty terrific too…cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, olives. How can something so simple and so basic be sooo goood?
Panzanella makes a delicious vegetarian weeknight supper. Going meatless on Mondays? Try this Panzanella. But if a protein packed dinner is more your style, try it with some chopped up grilled chicken.
This Panzanella is also great for parties, tailgates, and potlucks. It’s that good and that versatile!
how do i make panzanella?
First, you want to get your favorite loaf of bread and cut it into cubes. I’ve made this recipe with ciabatta and French breads. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over them and toast it in the oven for about 25 minutes.
Next your going to halve some cherry or grape tomatoes. I love using a mix of colors, but you could make it with just red ones. If you’d rather use vine ripe or another variety, that works fine too!
I like to use English cucumbers for this Panzanella. The peel isn’t tough, so it saves me a step. I also like to take the seeds out like this (please ignore my desperate need for a manicure):
All you have to do is take a spoon and run it along the inside of the cucumber.
After you have the cucumbers seeded and sliced, slice some red onion as paper thin as you can get them. Then chop up some olives. I like to chop mine pretty small so I can get a little taste of olive in every bite!
When the bread comes out of the oven, place it in a bowl. Add the prepared ingredients. Now let’s make the vinaigrette….it really easy. Just add all the ingredients together in a mason jar and shake. Or use a small bowl and whisk. Pour it over the bread mixture, top with some sliced basil, toss it all together and you’re done!
- Try black or green olives (or a combination) instead of Kalamata olives.
- Add red and/or green pepper
- Try adding raw zucchini or yellow squash
- Try a different cheese such as fresh mozzarella, queso fresco, halloumi, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, or sharp cheddar.
Other Salad Recipes you might like
- 1 - 14 ounce loaf of bread such as French Italian, Ciabatta, or Sourdough cut into cubes
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1 English cucumber seeds removed, halved, and sliced
- ¼ red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup Kalamata olives black olives work well too
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil or Italian parsley sliced thin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta or grated parmesan cheese optional
- For the vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Heat oven to 250 degrees.
- Cut bread into one inch cubes then place them in a large bowl.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over the bread, tossing the cubes with your hands or tongs to coat.
- Line a sheet pan with the cubed bread. Toast for 25 minutes. Set aside when done.
- While bread is in the oven, prepare the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives, and basil.
- To prepare the salad, add bread to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, and herbs. Toss to combine. Pour vinaigrette over the salad, toss gently to coat. Top with cheese if using.
For the vinaigrette:
- Add all ingredients to a mason jar or small bowl. Shake or whisk until well combined.
If you made this Panzanella recipe, or any other recipe on the blog, don’t forget to leave a rating and a comment below. I love hearing from my readers! You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!