The Perfect Panzanella Salad

5 from 8 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This Panzanella salad is simple, fresh, and summery, perfect for tomato season. It combines fresh, juicy tomatoes with toasted bread, mozzarella, and a simple salad dressing.

A bowl with freshly made panzanella salad

This tomato and bread salad (also called panmolle) originates in sunny Tuscany. It is super simple to prepare, needs just a few ingredients, and is perfect for using day-old or stale bread. If you need a delicious, refreshing side or main during the summer months, this is it! I love serving it as a side dish to any cookout or BBQ, as it pairs well with grilled veggies and proteins. You can also enjoy it alongside heartier dishes like pasta, lasagna, and eggplant parmesan.

Ingredients

Ingredients for panzanella salad
  • Tomatoes: This classic panzanella salad uses juicy, ripe tomatoes, such as Heirloom tomatoes, Campari, or even smaller cherry tomatoes. You can also choose different colors.
  • Bread: I recommend using the best crusty loaf you can find. Sourdough works great, but you can also use stale bread.
  • Mozzarella: For a creamy texture, use fresh mozzarella (Fior di Latte). Alternatively, you can use burrata.
  • Red onion and garlic
  • Fresh basil: A wonderful garnish added right before serving.
  • The vinaigrette: White wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and black pepper.

How to make panzanella salad

Prepare the bread: First, slice the bread into 1-inch cubes. Toss with oil and coat all the pieces well. Then bake in the oven or the air fryer for 10-15 minutes at 350ºF/180ºC until lightly toasted with a crisp shell and slightly chewy middle. If using stale bread, adjust the toasting time so it doesn’t become too crispy.

Prepare the remaining ingredients: While the bread toasts, chop the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and place them in a large bowl. Lightly salt them and set them aside for a few minutes—this will improve their texture and flavor.

Next, thinly slice the red onion and mince the garlic. Prepare the dressing by combining the garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Tear or slice the mozzarella. If wanted, slice the basil leaves.

Preparing ingredients to make a salad

Assemble the salad: Once the bread has cooled, add it to the bowl with the tomatoes. Add the red onion, mozzarella, basil, and the dressing. Toss to combine. This Tuscan bread salad is now ready to enjoy for lunch or dinner. You can also leave it to marinate for about 30 minutes to allow all the flavors to meld and enhance the overall flavor.

Recipe tips

  • Use the best bread (sourdough) and vibrant tomatoes. Mix in halved cherry tomatoes for added color and flavor.
  • Generously coat the bread cubes in olive oil before toasting them to ensure flavor and crispiness.
  • Briefly salt tomatoes before assembling the salad to enhance their natural flavors.
  • Serve immediately or allow to sit for 30 minutes so the bread absorbs the flavors.
A bowl with freshly made panzanella salad

If you try this panzanella recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

The Perfect Panzanella Salad

5 from 8 votes
By: Samira
This Panzanella salad is simple, fresh, and summery, perfect for tomato season. It combines fresh, juicy tomatoes with toasted bread, mozzarella, and a simple salad dressing.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 
 

  • 4-5 tomatoes vine-ripened, roma, heirloom, plum, or cherry all work
  • 4 slices day-old bread sourdough or country bread, ciabatta, baguette
  • 1-2 balls fresh mozzarella
  • 1 red onion small
  • few basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin, divided
  • 3 Tbsp vinegar white wine, red wine, or balsamic
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Alternatively, use an air fryer and preheat if needed.
  • Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. Toss them with half the olive oil and coat well.
  • Bake the bread cubes for 10-15 minutes until lightly toasted. Once done, set aside for a few minutes to cool.
  • Chop the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a bowl and salt them.
  • Thinly slice the red onion. Tear or slice the mozzarella. If wanted, slice the basil leaves.
  • Mince the garlic and prepare the dressing by combining the garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the cooled bread to the bowl with the tomatoes. Add the onion, mozzarella, basil, and dressing, then toss to combine.
    Enjoy the Panzanella salad immediately, or for maximum flavor, let it soak up the delicious marinade for about 30 minutes.

Notes

To store: It’s best to enjoy this salad on the same day it was made so the bread doesn’t become too soggy. If you have any leftovers, transfer them to an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for 1-2 days. 
Check the blog post for more tips!
Course: Appetizer, Main, Side
Cuisine: Italian
Freezer friendly: No
Shelf life: 1-2 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 414kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Sodium: 586mg, Potassium: 759mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 2090IU, Vitamin C: 38mg, Calcium: 72mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 8 votes (7 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




1 Comment

  1. indianewsagency says:

    5 stars
    Your blog is the best, you have awesome posts. We Provide India’s all Online Hindi News with Live Updates. Especially for Politics, Sports, Bollywood, Lifestyle, State, Cities, Business, Jobs, Spirituality, astrologers, and much more. Get all the latest news and updates on Fact in Hindi, Read online interesting facts and top viral news on India News. agency.

    Regards