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Panzanella Salad on a white bowl

Panzanella Salad recipe

This Panzanella Salad is a traditional dish and is simply an Italian bread salad. It's delicious and easy to make! This hearty Italian bread salad might be something that the whole family can enjoy.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4


Simple Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 T. tomato juice from salted tomatoes see instructions below
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 t. seasoning mixture leftover from toasting the bread, see above
  • 1 t. honey preferably local

Remaining Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium red onion , sliced thin
  • 1 lb. fresh cherry heirloom, or grape tomatoes, cut in half or into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil , divided
  • 8 oz. Ciabatta or other crusty Italian bread , sliced 3/4” thick or in small pieces
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 1/4 t. black pepper
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 c. fresh basil leaves , rinsed and patted dry, torn into bite-sized pieces


  • Place the sliced red onion in a large bowl and set a metal colander on top.
  • Add the tomatoes to the colander and sprinkle with a teaspoon salt. Gently toss to combine and set aside for 20-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, sea salt, and black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange the bread slices in the skillet and drizzle the remaining olive oil on top. After this, sprinkle with the garlic and onion powder mixture and heat until the bread is nicely toasted on the bottom, approximately 4-5 minutes.
  • Turn the bread and sprinkle additional seasoning mixture on top. Continue heating until the bite-size pieces of bread until evenly browned, approximately 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and tear the bread into bite-sized pieces. Place the torn bread chunks in a bowl and set aside.
  • Remove the colander from the large bowl and carefully drain out the tomato juice in the bowl to use in the vinaigrette. Set aside.

Preparing your Panzanella Salad

  • Prepare the easy vinaigrette by combining two tablespoons of the reserved tomato juice with the remaining dressing ingredients in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside.
  • Add the softened red onion, fresh basil, and toasted bread chunks to the seasoned tomatoes and gently toss to combine.
  • Drizzle a little of the vinaigrette on top of the salad and toss gently to combine. After this, transfer to a large serving bowl or platter and serve immediately with the remaining dressing on the side. Enjoy!


  1. Reserve some of the seasoning mixture to add to the vinaigrette.
Keyword Salad