Perfect Italian Salad Recipe: Panzanella salad

Perfect Italian Salad Recipe: Panzanella salad

A few weeks ago I shared the recipe for Italian Shrimp with Canellini beans.  I loved the freshness of that recipe using fresh tomatoes that you can find all year round. As an accompaniment I also made this Panzanella Salad that reminds me of summer days. If you can find Campari Tomatoes at your grocery store, you will have the flavors of summer all year round with this simple yet flavorful salad. This is the perfect Italian Salad to compliment a lot of entrees especially Italian recipes.


Perfect Italian Salad Recipe: Panzanella salad

Panzanella Salad is not a typical salad, there is no lettuce. Instead of big chunks of wonderful veggies and big chunks of toasted bread, all drenched in a flavorful dressing. You can even dress it about 30 minutes before serving to all the flavors to marry.


Get the best bread you can find, it will make a difference to start off with a crusty bread that you toast additionally on the stove top. Beware if you family is like mine, they will start eating these homemade croutons before the salad is even assembled.


Now for the veggies. Cut up chunks of sweet peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes for this filling salad.

I like to make salad dressings in the glass cruet but use mason jars as well. You can really get a good shake versus whisking it in a bowl.


There is no rhyme or reason to assembling this Panzanella Salad. Just dump everything in and allow the ingredients to absorb the yumminess of the dressing.


Since there is no lettuce to wilt, you can also enjoy this salad the next day, assuming you have leftovers.


panzanella salad

Panzanella Salad

Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

The perfect and fresh Italian Salad you can make all year round but achieve the great summer flavors


  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 small loaf of Ciabatta Bread, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes Use Campari Tomatoes when out of season
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 small red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 3/4 cup fresh Basil, coarsely chopped

For the vinaigrette

  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Red Wine vinegar
  • 2 TB Balsamic Vinegar
  • 5 oz good olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat 2 TB oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread ; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
  2. For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper,, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.
Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 244Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 0mgSodium 174mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 2g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline.

Panzanella Salad Recipe –Barefoot Contessa

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What salad reminds you of summer?


  1. I’ve never had Panzanella Salad, but I definitely want to now. This salad looks so delicious. Thank you for the recipe. I’ve added it to my Pinterest Board so I do not lose the recipe.

  2. This sounds and looks so good. I definitely have to try it when our fresh veggies are ready in the garden.

  3. Thank you for the wonderful and delicious looking Panzanella Salad. I am not a good cook and don’t have many recipes and maybe that’s why I have never heard of Panzanella Salad. I am certainly going to give it a try because I think I can make it and it looks scrumptious.

  4. I am a sucker for a good salad and this one sounds AMAZING… Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. This looks like a fantastic option for my lunches at the office. I’m always looking for something new, and this looks like it would keep so well!

  6. Looks yummy! I love this salad

  7. I love this salad and it looks like such a healthy salad and it looks so delicious! I want to make this for a Spring salad. I know that my family would love to try this out! thanks for sharing.

  8. This looks amazing. So fresh! Cannot wait to try it.

  9. It’s certainly a pretty salad. It’s just bursting with color (and I’m sure flavor too!).

  10. I will give them a try, and if need be I will add more dressing.

  11. I have been eating more salad lately. I may have to give this one a try.

  12. The Campari tomatoes are so amazing and available all year round.

  13. I never had it growing up either, but so glad I found it. (I am Italian as well)

  14. I saw this recipe yesterday on Facebook and bookmarked it so I wouldn’t lose it. This is something I would love and am going to make real soon. I love salads and this looks like a good one.

  15. Oh my yummy goodness, this is a salad I would want to eat several times a week.

  16. I am going to have to try this salad out and let you know how it turns out. This looks so yummy.

  17. Oh my gosh, that salad looks amazing! I’d have to do it sans bread, but it’d still be yummy!

  18. This looks like a light and tasty salad perfect for a picnic or cookout. My italian family would love it

  19. That looks incredible! I want to make a salad like this! It looks like a full meal!

  20. This looks delicious. I want to try it.

  21. This looks so good! There’s nothing like a fresh, tasty salad.

  22. Wow! This looks so good. I love making a salad like this in the Summer!

  23. This looks like an interesting Salad. I’m not too fond of Lettuce so I know i would enjoy this ( especially the hearty helping of Salad Dressing )

  24. Oh my goodness this looks so amazing. I really could go for a bowl of this right now!

  25. I don’t generally like tomatoes, but I can eat them like this. I wouldn’t put one on a hamburger, but a whole baby tomato in a salad is delicious.

  26. Wow, this looks delicious! I’m definitely pinning this salad recipe for future reference. 🙂

  27. That sounds like one heck of a salad. I would LOVE some of this right now.

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