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A recipe for Simple Panzanella Salad. Ingredients for a Panzenella Salad. Cucumbers, toasted cubed bread, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes. Panzenella Salad is for salad haters. It’s like the best possible case scenario for a salad. This year for my birthday, Jenny made me dinner. She had talked to me about side dishes, and then brought up the word “salad” and asked what kind I liked best. “Meh, I don’t like salad.” I said, and this is how I learned of Panzanella Salad.

The thing with salads is that to me, they will never be as face melting as pork belly sliders or poutine. So why should I waste stomach space on it? I know, I know, I should because it’s good for you. I know. I agree. Still doesn’t mean I like it, or am happy about eating it. I am happy about eating sandwiches, and since Panzanella Salad is basically a salad made of a sandwich, I think it’s the best salad ever.
♥ Teri

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Simple Panzanella Salad
Serves 5 to 7

1 French baguette, cubed
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
6 ounces ciliegine (small mozzarella balls), patted dry and sliced in half
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 hot house cucumber, cubed
balsamic vinaigrette:
1/2 shallot, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/3 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place cubed baguette into a large bowl and sprinkle with thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, and oregano. Gently toss together.
3. Drizzle oil over bread mixture and season with salt and pepper. Toss together until fully combined.
4. Pour mixture onto a baking sheet, in single layer (you may need two baking sheets) and bake for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 to 7 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. (It’s okay if the croutons are still slightly soft when you pull them from the oven, they’ll crisp up eve more once cooled).
5. Set aside and allow croutons to cool completely.
6. In a large mixing bowl combine croutons, mozzarella, tomatoes, and cucumber and toss together. Set aside.
7. For the vinaigrette: Place shallot, garlic, brown sugar, and balsamic in a small bowl and whisk together. While whisking add oil, in a slow and steady drizzle, until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
8. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve, pour vinaigrette over salad and toss together until well coated.
9. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

*Note: Adding the vinaigrette to the salad prior to serving won’t make your croutons soggy! This will just allow the flavors of the salad to marry together before you

  1. Alyse Not Specified Not Specified

    I love the idea of panzanella, but there’s something about the texture/flavor of raw tomatoes and cucumbers that has never settled with me. I’m going to try to whip up a batch subbing zucchini and some other colorful vegetables this weekend — thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Megan Not Specified Not Specified

    Oooh, this salad is totally the sandwich of salads! I totally agree with your salad philosophy, and this looks dreamy.

  3. Barbara | Creative Culinary Not Specified Not Specified

    I posted the same salad this week! Maybe jumping the gun a bit here in Denver because I usually wait til I can harvest fresh from the garden tomatoes but even with just OK tomatoes it was so good. Thinking those homemade croutons have something to do with it? I’ve never added mozzarella to mine but it’s now on the list of things to try; sounds good.

  4. Nicole {Sweet Peony} Not Specified Not Specified

    Gorgeous “salad”! I’ve never actually had panzanella before, but I can tell we’d get along just fine :)

  5. Amy Not Specified Not Specified

    Oh wow, this is my kind of salad. I love the idea of making your own croutons.


    mon amy

  6. Heather (Heather's Dish) Not Specified Not Specified

    what a hearty salad! i love panzanella – the bread makes it :)

  7. Averie @ Averie Cooks Not Specified Not Specified

    That salad would hit the spot big time right now! It just looks so fresh and inviting!

  8. Ashley Not Specified Not Specified

    The little balls of mozzarella are where it’s at! Love this non-leafy-green salad.

  9. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar Not Specified Not Specified

    Oh my! This sounds fabulous!

  10. Lea @ iCooklea Not Specified Not Specified

    Sooooo pretty! Vitamins :)

  11. Lauren Not Specified Not Specified

    I’ve been intimated by the panzanella salad, but this looks so simple. What a perfect summer salad? Do you serve straight from the fridge, cold?

  12. Miki Not Specified Not Specified

    I am definitely going to make this! ;)

  13. Leisa Not Specified Not Specified

    Wow…. this is going to be lunch! Thank you!!

  14. Katie Not Specified Not Specified

    Those tiny mozzarella balls are just gorgeous in that salad. I love all the fresh veggies too.

  15. Kiki Not Specified Not Specified

    Hi there, just wanted to let you know that I passed on the Versatile Blogger Award to you at I wasn’t able to find out whether you’ve received it before, so I hope you haven’t…

  16. ChowGals Not Specified Not Specified

    I adore panzanella salad — but then again, anything is better with chunks of toasty bread :)

  17. joey Not Specified Not Specified

    I love salads that have big chunks of bread in them! I am filing this away to make soon!! Love the seasoned croutons you’ve made here too!

  18. Antionette Not Specified Not Specified

    I’m a salad and bread lover, so I would devour this. Plus tomatoes AND mozzarella? It’s a wrap!

  19. Elena Not Specified Not Specified

    I totally agree with you about salads!
    In Tuscany they use stale bread dipped in water and white vinegar.
    I like your recipe with croutons!

  20. CherylK Not Specified Not Specified

    I adore panzanella. I have a similar recipe (from a Williams Sonoma Tuscan cookbook) that also includes fresh basil and red onion and day old bread that is soaked in water and then squeezed out. It sounds terrible but it’s delicious…the bread is chewy.

    This version looks simple and delicious and I’ll definitely try it!

  21. Emily (New York, NY) Not Specified Not Specified

    I totally agree about salad. I’ve been eating it for lunch these past few days and every time I go to eat lunch I get so sad haha. I’ve never tried panzanella salad to be honest but it looks tasty! I love making my own ‘croutons,’ too! One night, I decided to try to make my own version of buca di beppo’s chopped antipasto salad and I must say, “my” version is certainly the ONLY salad that I can eat as a full meal, multiple times over. It’s so tasty even my brother (whose diet consists of taco bell, burgers, and pizza) will eat it.

  22. Mike Not Specified Not Specified

    YUM!!! We have had this a few times now. Delicious!

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  24. Devin Not Specified Not Specified

    I made a variation of this the other night, based on this recipe, and what I happened to have in the fridge. My boyfriend, our friend, and I gobbled it up for dinner, and I had the leftovers for breakfast!

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  26. Amy Hayes Not Specified Not Specified

    Made this tonight for company and it was SO GOOD and easy. I made everything ahead of time and just tossed it all together when guests arrived. Perfect summer dinner! This will be in regular rotation through the summer. BTW, this served 5 people as a main dish and I served fruit on the side.

  27. Becca Not Specified Not Specified

    We made this panzanella tonight for dinner and LOVED it! A perfect summer salad- simple, refreshing, and satisfying! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  28. Paola Not Specified Not Specified

    I made my own panzanella salad version inspired in your recipe and it was sooooo good! Thank you! :)

    Greetings from Guatemala!

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  32. TMC Not Specified Not Specified

    We eat this salad all the time and I refer this site to everyone b/c of the gorgeous pics. I use Asiago Peppercorn sourdough bread from Trader Joe’s for the croutons – ahh-mazing.

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