Panzanella Salad is the perfect meal on sweltering summer days. Tangy, light, and bursting with fresh herbal tones, this salad is loaded with summer veggies, creamy mozzarella, and ciabatta bread all tossed in a delicious balsamic vinaigrette.

This bread salad is a great appetizer, a beautiful fresh lunch dish or the perfect side dish next to practically any of your favorite grilling recipes!

Panzanella on a wooden board with tomatoes on the side

A Perfect Tuscan Bread Salad

I love the flavors in a good fresh Italian Salad. I often combine the same flavors with pasta to create a crowd pleasing Italian Pasta Salad for bbqs and potlucks or bread to enjoy the perfect Panzanella Salad!

What is Panzanella? Panzanella is a Tuscan bread salad, usually dressed with a balsamic and olive oil vinaigrette. Traditionally, it was made with cubes of stale bread.

Panzanella ingredients on a board

Panzanella Ingredients

  • Bread: I use a fresh loaf of ciabatta bread torn into pieces and oven dried. You can use leftover bread loaves or even homemade croutons, if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Veggies: Juicy ripe tomatoes (cherry or grape tomatoes are best), crisp cucumbers, plenty of fresh basil and oregano.
  • Bold Flavors: creamy mozzarella cheese, and red onions & olives.
  • Dressing: A simple mixture of balsamic and olive oil is all you need. You can use flavored oils, balsamic glaze, or even red wine vinegar.
  • Additional Options: Capers, sliced radishes or shredded romaine are great options.

Panzanella on a wooden board

How to Make Panzanella

This panzanella salad recipe is super simple to prepare. I try to choose a variety of colors of tomatoes, you can get them at most supermarkets. Just follow these steps for this delightful summer salad:

  1. Tear ciabatta bread into bite sized pieces and toss with olive oil to coat, then bake until slightly dried.
  2. In a separate bowl or decanter, prepare the dressing by mixing balsamic vinegar with olive oil
  3. Place all the salad ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with dressing. Gently toss.

Try a Greek Version: For this variation, use crumbled feta cheese instead of mozzarella, add in bell peppers and use red wine vinegar instead of balsamic.

Panzanella in a wooden bowl

What to Serve with Panzanella

Panzanella bread salad is perfect for picnics or dining al fresco. Try pairing it with sausage and peppers or serve it with any marinated and flame-roasted meat, such as grilled chicken breasts or beef kabobs.

Why stop there! There are so many delicious things to grill this summer. Try some zesty grilled pork chops or this juicy grilled honey mustard chicken!

Side Salads Perfect for Summer:

Panzanella on a wooden board with tomatoes on the side
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Easy Panzanella Salad

A tangy and light classic bread salad bursting with fresh herbal flavors!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 6 cups ciabatta bread torn into pieces
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound tomatoes
  • ¼ red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs basil, oregano and/or parsley
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella cocktail sized
  • 1 cup cucumbers sliced
  • ½ cup kalamata olives pitted


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Place bread in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt & pepper.
  • Bake until lightly browned and dried, 10-12 minutes. Cool.
  • Whisk together ¼ cup of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl and drizzle with dressing.
  • Gently toss and let sit 15 minutes tossing occasionally.
  • Top with herbs and fresh pepper. Serve.
5 from 4 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 253 | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 327mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 610IU | Vitamin C: 8.7mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. This delicious and easy to make panzanella salad recipe looks really amazing. One of the best ever panzanella salad recipe i have ever tried. Thanks for sharing this recipe with all of us. 5 stars