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Summer Panzanella

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Summer panzanella is one of my favorite ways to use summer’s fresh produce! It’s light, refreshing, and it’s basically the best kind of salad ever because it involves crunchy bread and lots of textures and flavors!

A delightfully light and refreshing summer panzanella salad for your dinner table! This is a great way to use up all the abundant summer produce and a great dinner side item or even as an entree!

Okay, so I’ve been OBSESSED with panzanella this summer.

I know it’s been around for ages but this summer, I’m on a grilled/crunchy bread kick and have wanted to incorporate it in all my meals.

This summer panzanella checks off every item on my list: summer produce, grilled bread, basil, and cheese.

You literally toss this all together with olive oil, salt, and pepper and it makes it the most light and refreshing salad for summer!

You can make this ahead of time (more information on that below) or you can make it and eat it immediately!

Summer is almost over so take advantage and make this summer panzanella now and see why I’m so obsessed!

A delightfully light and refreshing summer panzanella salad for your dinner table! This is a great way to use up all the abundant summer produce and a great dinner side item or even as an entree!

What is panzanella?

Panzanella is a Tuscan chopped salad of bread and tomatoes that is popular in the summer.

Over time, everyone has created their own versions of panzanella salad. It’s basically a bread salad.

75% croutons and 25% produce.

I can stand behind that ratio because I’m always the one to pick off the croutons off a salad, haha

Can you make panzanella ahead of time?

This depends on what type of bread you like.

I love my bread crunchy and not soggy so I tend to make my panzanella salad and immediately eat it.

Plus, eating it immediately lets you get the warmth of the bread distributed throughout the produce.

However, I know people like to prep because you may be bringing this to a party or potluck.

Personally, if I were to make this ahead of time, I would put everything in separate bowls — probably all the produce in one and the toasted bread in another.

Then put it together right before the party.

However, if you want to toss it all together ahead of time, that won’t be bad either but just know that the bread at the bottom of the bowl might end up being a bit soggy.

A delightfully light and refreshing summer panzanella salad for your dinner table! This is a great way to use up all the abundant summer produce and a great dinner side item or even as an entree!

Panzanella for two

Jason and I ate this whole salad that you see pictured above.

It LOOKS like a lot of food but I think it’s because of the big chunks of bread.

Certainly, everyone’s serving size is a bit different.

Jason and I can eat A LOT whereas some people might not be able to eat the whole thing.

Whether you’re eating this panzanella for two or six, the fact of the matter remains: summer panzanella is 100% needed on your summer menu!

Variations of panzanella

If you don’t like all the ingredients I put in my summer panzanella, feel free to sub out and sub in whatever you like. I just picked a bunch of summer’s best produce.

Watch me make this summer panzanella here:

If you like this summer panzanella recipe, you may like these:

Summer Panzanella

This summer panzanella is a refreshing and light summer salad that you will absolutely get hooked on! It's a great way to use up all that abundant summer produce!
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Julie Chiou
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  • 2 ½ cups (592 g) herbed focaccia bread, cubed
  • 1 cup (133 g) quartered cucumbers
  • ½ red onion, sliced into half moons
  • ¾ cup (112 g) red grape tomatoes, quartered
  • ¾ cup (112 g) yellow grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 8 ounces (227 g) mozzarella balls
  • leaves Handful of fresh basil, julienned

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.


  • Preheat oven to 375 °F (191 °C)
  • Place cubed bread onto a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake cubed bread on the middle rack for 10 minutes, until lightly toasted and crisp.
  • In a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and toss to mix up. Drizzle more olive oil on top and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Recipe Notes

We've grilled the bread (sliced the loaf in half and drizzled olive oil, salt and pepper on top) before but we also have toasted this in the oven. Either way you choose to do it is fine.


Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 245 kcal | Carbohydrates: 22 g | Protein: 13 g | Fat: 10 g | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 2 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: panzanella
Recipe Rating


Friday 17th of August 2018

This looks yummy and going on my make list this weekend. I'm going to put a portion aside (separating the bread and veggies) for my daughters lunch on Monday.


Thursday 31st of August 2017

Salad was AMAZING! Such a great summer meal xoxo!

Gaby Dalkin

Friday 19th of May 2017

So many gorgeous colors and flavors!!


Monday 8th of May 2017

Have a family picnic coming up and this will make a nice addition to the menu.

Stephen Rennick

Tuesday 6th of September 2016

Very nice presentation and yummy recipe. Thanks for the pride you take in your blog RECIPES. Honestly, I'm not sure about the banter, but it sounds like you really got your feelings hurt. Rejoice in the fact that you are an artful cook, and willing to generously share your talent. Best wishes.........