Crispy Panzanella Salad Recipe

Crispy panzanella salad is easy and delicious idea for vegan lunch. Serve it on a side with grilling dishes. Best Italian salad recipe to try this summer!

There are many panzanella variations, we offer our vegan recipe that we tested and loved! This is one of the best vegan salad ideas that we want to share with you. The combination of crunchy bread with vegetables makes it our go-to summer salad recipe!

Panzanella salad in a white bowl, served with a fork and a napkin

Looking for Italian salad recipes to try this summer? This bread salad is enough for lunch for two people. But if you serve crispy panzanella salad on a side, it will can be shared with 3-4 people.

Panzanella bread salad is one of the best summer salad recipes to try! Delicious salad in a bowl.

What is panzanella salad

You’d like to know first about the name of the salad, right? When you hear panzanella, you should know it is an Italian salad with bread. It consists of two words – pane (bread) and zanella (soup bowl). So basically it is a bread salad recipe served in a soup bowl.

Summer salad recipe is popular in Tuscan. It is also called panmolle.

We love this Italian salad, because it is beautiful, colorful and tasty. It fully represents the colors of Italy!

Panzanella salad in a bowl, served with tomatoes on the table

Ingredients for Italian salad – panzanella

Simple ingredient, big flavors in dressing. First of all, you will need few pieces of stale bread. I used ciabatta bread, cut it in square pieces, drizzled with olive oil. Of course can’t imagine Italian dish without olive oil! Then bake these ciabatta bread for 10 minutes until crispy, but not brown.

Then just add veggies you have and serve!

Ok, just kidding. I will specify the vegetables. Panzanella main ingredients are stale bread, onion and summer tomatoes.

For the best panzanella salad (to our taste), you will need small cherry torrito tomatoes. They are less watery, sweet and easy to cut. But you can also cut large fresh tomatoes.

Other vegetables to include in our delicious summer panzanella salad are cucumber, red onion, red and yellow bell pepper.

Add greens such as basil, but I used Italian salad mix, as I didn’t have basil. It turned out crispy and fresh!

Finish the salad with capers. They add a lovely lemony-salty touch.

What can you add more in panzanella salad? You can try add mozzarella, olives instead of capers.

Holding a bowl with panzanella salad in hands

How to make panzanella salad

Just mix all ingredients mentioned above!

But let’s speak about bread cubes, that make this Italian salad special. Use the white baguette, ciabatta or other Italian bread of your choice. Batter use a slightly stale bread, but you can use a fresh one, too.

You can cook the bread on the pan, but to my mind is better to bake in the oven. This will ensure it will bake evenly and will be crunchy.

Don’t over-bake, it needs just 10 -15 minutes to make it crispy, but not dry. Use olive oil for baking.

I recommend adding bread cubes just before serving the salad, so it doesn’t loose crunchiness. It will also soak all the dressing if you add it early.

Dressing for Italian salad

You can use this dressing for any summer salad with vegetables and greens! To make dressing for panzanella salad, you will need olive oil, salt, pepper, a touch of Dijon mustard and grape vinegar. Also add finely minced garlic.

I recommend using high quality olive oil, because it makes the difference!

If you plan to serve panzanella salad with chicken, you should try our Whole roasted chicken recipe.

How to store and serve bread salad

I recommend to enjoy this salad fresh, it is perfect for two people. But you can double the ingredients to serve it as a side dish for your summer party.

Store the salad up to 3 days in the fridge, but it is the most delicious on the first day! If you want to make it ahead, then cut the veggies in the salad bowl, make the dressing and leave it aside.

Also you can make the baked crunchy bread and store it in the box at room temperature. Just add the bread, the Italian dressing and mix before you’re ready to eat it. Let it infuse just for 10 minutes and enjoy!

Summer salad recipe to try

I think you already included this easy salad recipe in your summer menu? If you’re looking for more summer salad recipes, you should try these:

Hope you’ll enjoy this Italian salad with bread as much as we did! Let us know in the comments below how you like it and let’s stay in touch by subscribing to one of our social media channels.

Panzanella salad in a white bowl

Crispy Panzanella Salad

Recipe AuthorCooking Journey
5 from 7 votes
Italian summer salad that is perfect to enjoy for lunch or on a side. Crispy and fresh combination of ingredients.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2
Calories 602 kcal
  • Baking tray
  • Oven
  • large bowl
  • knife and cutting board

  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 3 slices ciabatta bread
  • 9 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber small, Persian or Lebanese
  • 1/2 red bell pepper seeded
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper seeded
  • 1/2 red onion small
  • 1 handful mixed Italian salad leaves
  • 1 tbsp capers drained
For the dressing
  • 4 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp grape vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper freshly ground

Making this recipe?Mention @cookingjourneyblog or tag #cookingjourneyblog!

Prepare ciabatta
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Cut ciabatta bread into cubes.
    3 slices ciabatta bread
    Cut ciabatta bread into cubes.
  • Place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
    3 tbsp olive oil
    Place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Bake ciabatta for 10-15 minutes. Let it cool before adding to the salad.
    Bakeciabattafor minutes.Letitcoolbeforeaddingtothesalad.
Make the dressing
  • In a small bowl add olive oil, vinegar and mustard.
    4 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp grape vinegar, 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
    In a small bowl add olive oil, vinegar and mustard.
  • Add salt and pepper.
    1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper
    Add salt and pepper.
  • Mince garlic and add it to the dressing.
    1 clove garlic
    Mince garlic and add it to the dressing.
  • Mix and set aside.
    Mix and set aside
Make the salad
  • Put salad leaves in a bowl.
    1 handful mixed Italian salad leaves
    Put salad leaves in a bowl.
  • Cut red bell peppers lengthwise, then cut in half and add to the bowl.
    1/2 red bell pepper
    Cut red bell peppers lengthwise, then cut in half and add to the bowl.
  • Cut yellow bell peppers lengthwise, then cut in half and add to the bowl.
    1/2 yellow bell pepper
    Cut yellow bell peppers lengthwise, then cut in half and add to the bowl.
  • Slice cucumber (remove the ends) and place in the salad bowl.
    1 cucumber
    Slice cucumber (remove the ends) and place in the salad bowl.
  • Cut red onion into slices and add to the bowl.
    1/2 red onion
    Cut red onion into slices and add to the bowl.
  • Cut tomatoes in half, add to the bowl.
    9 cherry tomatoes
    Cut tomatoes in half, add to the bowl.
  • Add capers.
    1 tbsp capers
    Add capers.
  • Add bread cubes.
    Add bread cubes.
  • Add dressing
    Add dressing
  • Mix and serve.
    Mix and serve.
Rate this recipe and leave a comment

Store this salad up to 2 days in the fridge, but keep in mind that it is better to mix in bread just before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Crispy Panzanella Salad
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword easy, summer


  1. Katerina | Once a Foodie

    5 stars
    I am loving the look of this salad! I have always admired but never actually made panzanella salad – and I think now is the time! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

    1. Cooking Journey

      Summer is perfect time to enjoy salads like this! Fresh vegetables, crispy bread – beautiful lunch idea.

  2. Nart at Cooking with Nart

    5 stars
    This salad looks so vibrant and refreshing. Looking for something light to make for dinner tonight and this is going to be it!

  3. 5 stars
    I love Italian cuisine, but I have never heard about Panzanella. It is a new word to learn, it is a new recipe to give a try! It sounds delicious!

  4. Abigail Raines

    5 stars
    Panzanella Salad always screams summer to me! Love the delicious interaction between the bread and fresh components of this salad! A must-make!

  5. 5 stars
    Fantastic salad to make this time of the year. Very excited to try your isntructions – they seem so easy!

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