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!
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!
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.
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:
- End of Summer Orzo Salad
- Eggplant, Tomato, Kale & Bacon Panini
- Ridiculously Amazing Asian Ramen Salad
- Caprese Panzanella
- Crusted Goat Cheese Spring Panzanella Salad
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!
- 2 1/2 cups herbed focaccia bread, cubed
- 1 cup quartered cucumbers
- 1/2 red onion, sliced into half moons
- 3/4 cup red grape tomatoes, quartered
- 3/4 cup yellow grape tomatoes, quartered
- 8 ounces mozzarella balls
- leaves Handful of fresh basil, julienned
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 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!
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.