Recipe by Chef Cindy
If you love tomatoes and bread, why not put the two together 🍅 & 🥖 and form a Panzanella Salad! This is one of the easiest salads to make and is always a big hit. There are many variations of Panzanella Salad, but this recipe is a Summer Fresh Gluten-Free Panzanella Salad. If you do not have any dietary restrictions, use whatever bread you like. Preferably, firm & crusty so it can still hold together when soaking up the juice of the tomatoes. So delicious!
Panzanella Salad, originated in Italy “panmolle” and is a Tuscan chopped salad of soaked stale bread, onions and tomatoes. It often includes cucumbers, sometimes basil and is dressed with olive oil and vinegar.
Do I have to use “stale” bread to make Panzanella?
You do not have to use stale bread! If you use fresh bread and simply toast it in an oven. That way, the bread is still soft on the inside but crispy on the outside and tastes so much better!
How long can Panzanella stay fresh, and what can I do with the leftovers?
If you want to make it ahead of time, prepare and mix all of the ingredients except for the bread. I like to eat it within a half hour of mixing the bread in. It soaks in just the right amount of the juices without become too mushy but some people enjoy it even hours later. I haven’t tried this yet, but leftovers from the night before, can be blended in a food processor and probably be made into a delicious soup. I will give a link for that in the future, when I give it a try.
What other ingredients taste good in Panzanella Salad?
There are many versions of Panzanella salad, so here’s your chance to get creative. You can mix in any of the following:
- Red, Yellow & Green Bell Peppers
- Sourdough, Italian, Ciabatta, French Baguette, Rosemary Bread
- Chopped Greens – Spinach, Arugula, Dandelion
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Asiago Cheese
Can Panzanella Salad be a meal? What can I serve with Panzanella Salad?
Yes, Panzanella Salad can easily be a meal just by adding your favorite protein. My preference is to add garbanzo beans to the salad or prepare it with a side protein such as a vegan sausage or burger. Of course – meat, poultry, seafood also works if you are not on a plant-based diet!
How to make Summer Fresh Gluten-Free Panzanella Salad – Panzanella Ingredients
1- Start with fresh tomatoes
Try and choose local, seasonal, organic red & yellow juicy tomatoes
These are from a Long Island, NY local CSA – learn more here.
2- Choose your bread
This is a delicious gluten-free bread that is sold in most markets
You can find it in the freezer section
Cut your bread into cubes & toast in the oven until crispy
3- Prep the rest of your salad ingredients
Seed & slice the cucumbers
Cut the tomatoes into chunks
Halve the cherry tomatoes, slice the red onions, chop the basil & garlic and mix all the ingredients and you have Panzanella Salad!
Interested in growing your own tomatoes, check out for TMF Resources/Garden!
Craving more salad recipes?
To see the original post for this recipe click on the link below:
Gluten-Free Panzanella SaladPrint Recipe
- 1 ½ loaf of gluten-free bread about 3 cups
- olive oil spray
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt & ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ english cucumber
- 3-4 large ripe red tomatoes
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sungold
- ½ red onion sliced thin
- 20 leaves fresh basil chopped
- 1 tsp fresh garlic chopped
- 3 tbsp champagne vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- Cut the bread into cubes. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Spray with olive oil and season with garlic, salt & pepper. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
- While bread is toasting, prep other ingredients. Peel, halve, seed & slice the cucumber. Cut the tomatoes into large chunks.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes. Thinly slice the red onions. Chop the basil.
- Prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together.
- Place all ingredients (except bread) in a large bowl and mixing thoroughly with the dressing.
- When ready to serve, add toasted bread to the serving bowl and gently stir in the tomato mixture. It is best to serve within a half hour of mixing.
- The traditional Panzanella is made with "stale" Italian Bread, no need to toast
- Capers & bell peppers are another great addition to the recipe