/Panzanella

Panzanella

My friends, don’t sleep on this simple Panzanella salad! It’s a quick and delicious way to use up day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, and other summer produce. For the ultimate convenience, you can even prep the ingredients ahead of time. What’s not to love?!?!

Overhead shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl with wood serving spoons next to it.

What Is Panzanella?

Panzanella is a hearty Tuscan salad and an OG food waste recipe. It was created by Italian peasants to keep stale bread out of the trash and to use up garden produce before it spoiled. It can be made with almost any combination of fruits and veggies, but traditionally, the stars of the show are juicy summer tomatoes and crusty bread that’s had time to absorb the salad’s tangy dressing.

Ingredients You’ll Need

You’ll need some day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, some fresh greens, and any other summer fruit and veg you want to take advantage of. You can dress it with your favorite bottled dressing, or you can use our easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Beth and I added mozzarella pearls because, YES. Then we just drizzled it with a little olive oil and vinegar that we emulsified in a mason jar. (That’s just chef-speak for shaking the ever-living life out of it until the oil and vinegar transform into a creamy dressing.)

How Long Does Panzanella Last?

While it lives forever in my dreams, in real life, Panzanella doesn’t last longer than a day. You’ll need to make it an hour or so before serving to give the bread time to soak up the dressing.

Can I Meal-Prep Panzanella?

I’ve had lots of success prepping Panzanella components ahead of time. Chop and toast the bread, cool it, then store it in an air-tight container with a folded paper towel in it to absorb humidity. Slice and salt the tomatoes and store them in an airtight container as well. The salt forces them to release their juices, which you can then incorporate into your dressing. Chop the rest of your ingredients and also store them in your fridge in an airtight container. Then it’s as easy as mixing everything together with greens and dressing. Toasted bread will stay fresh at room temperature for a few days. Chopped produce will also stay fresh for a few days in the fridge.

Forty-five degree shot of panzanella salad in a white bowll.
Overhead shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl with wood serving spoons next to it.

Panzanella

This scrumptious Panzanella salad is a quick and delicious way to use up day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, and other summer produce. For the ultimate convenience, you can even prep the ingredients ahead of time.
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $13.54 recipe / $2.26 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 6 2 cups each
Calories 254kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread, cubed $2.00
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided $0.64
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes $3.49
  • 1 nectarine $0.90
  • 1 cucumber $0.69
  • 1/2 red onion $0.40
  • 10 oz. baby spring mix $3.49
  • 4 oz. mozzarella pearls $1.75
  • 1 tsp salt $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.10

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Slice the bread into 2 x 2-inch cubes and place in the sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to combine. Bake until toasted, about 20 minutes.
  • While the bread toasts, wash all of the produce. Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the cucumber in 1/2 inch thick quarter rounds. Slice the nectarine in 1/2 inch thick slices. Slice the red onion in 1/4 inch thick half moons.
  • Once the bread has toasted, pull it from the oven, and allow it to cool.
  • Add the toasted bread to a very large bowl and top with salad greens. Top the greens with tomatoes, nectarines, cucumbers, red onions, and mozzarella pearls.
  • Add remaining olive oil, vinegar, and salt to a small mason jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid. Close the lid tightly and shake the oil and vinegar until combined. Dress the salad. Toss to coat.
  • Let the salad sit for at least an hour to allow the bread to soak up the dressing. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 664mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl with wood serving spoons next to it.

How to Make Panzanella- Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of cubed bread in a sheet pan being dressed with olive oil .

Slice three cups of day-old (or fresh) bread into 2 x 2-inch cubes and place in the sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to combine. Bake until toasted, about 20 minutes.

Overhead shot of chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and nectarines on a wood cutting board.

While the bread toasts, wash all of the produce. Slice the pint of cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the cucumber in 1/2 inch thick quarter rounds. Slice the nectarine into 1/2 inch thick slices. Slice half of a red onion in 1/4 inch thick half moons.

Overhead shot of panzanella salad croutons in a sheet pan.

Once the bread has toasted, pull it from the oven, and allow it to cool.

Overhead shot of panzanella salad components.in a white bowl.

Add the toasted bread to a very large bowl and top with 10 oz. of salad greens. Top the greens with tomatoes, nectarines, cucumbers, and red onions. Finish with mozzarella pearls (not pictured here.)

Overhead shot of panzanella salad being dressed in a white bowl with wood serving spoons next to it.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the tablespoon of vinegar, and the teaspoon of salt to a small mason jar or another container with a tight-fitting lid. Close the lid tightly and shake the oil and vinegar until combined. Dress the salad. Toss to coat.

Overhead shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl.

Let the salad sit for at least an hour to allow the bread to soak up the dressing. Serve and enjoy!

Side shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl.

Check out these other great summer salads

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