Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

"Why throw away the rest of that good, dense loaf you picked up at the bakery the other day? This is what the Italians do with day-old (or older) bread. Simply delicious!!!"
photo by Izy Hossack photo by Izy Hossack
photo by Izy Hossack
photo by Izy Hossack photo by Izy Hossack
photo by Izy Hossack photo by Izy Hossack
photo by dianegrapegrower photo by dianegrapegrower
Ready In:


  • 2 tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely minced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaf, torn into small pieces
  • 12 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more as needed
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 -8 slices thick country bread, torn into bite-size pieces (sourdough is good - dense, bakery bread)


  • In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, garlic and basil.
  • Drizzle with the 1/2 cup olive oil and the 3 tblsps vinegar, season with salt and pepper and toss well.
  • Place half of the bread in a wide, shallow bowl.
  • Spoon half of the tomato mixture over the bread.
  • Layer the remaining bread on top and then the remaining tomato mixture.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Just before serving, toss the salad and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
  • If the bread seems dry, add a little oil or vinegar.
  • Serve immediately.

Questions & Replies

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  1. annagram54
    I just noticed that when I clicked on print for this recipe, the recipe showed up but my notes, which should have been at the bottom, did not? Anyone know how to correct? never answers questions like this.


  1. DSimone
    I've been making this salad for year ! It is such a fresh choice for the summer. I mix all ingredients except the bread and let sit for about a half hour while preparing the rest of my meal. I do skip the vinegar ....the other flavors meld so well together it doesn't need the extra punch of vinegar. I add the bread last so that it stays crunchy. I tried adding grilled shrimp which turned this into a light meal on its own!
  2. Annette1
    Great panzanella salad.Good served on the side with steak.Great way to use day old bread
  3. Peg629
    This was just so good! I scaled it all back for 2 but now we know what all the fuss is about. For the bread, we had just enough Italian bread from recipe #95086 left over. So good, so fresh, light. TY for the recipe.
  4. JustJanS
    I enjoyed this more than Russell, but then I love panzanella where as he can't get over the "soggy bread". I'll keep trying to conver him though! I though this was so yummy, such nice dressing, and just the right amount of it.
  5. ozdancedolphin
    i have only one question, what is this dish for? like is it a lunch or dinner? or is it appropriate for dinner or is it a party dish? please help me answer my question!!


  1. Ilysse
    Good variation on an Italian classic. I used left over homemade Italian bread and home grown veggies. I added a red bell pepper to the mix, replaced the red onion with a vidalia onion and used homegrown arugula rather then basil. I also added a can of chopped anchovies. I used balsamic vinegar and doubled everything. I didn't refrigerate for a whole hour, I just left it sitting while I cleaned up the kitchen, set the table, etc. Everyone enjoyed it.


<style>body { background: url(""); background-repeat: repeat-y; }</style> OK, here goes. I live in Athens, Greece. I moved out here many, many years ago from Ottawa, Canada - so I am blessed in having two wonderful heritages! I suffer from compulsive obsessive behaviour with regard to food and my psychiatrist thought it would be a good idea to find a 'society' where many have the same problem and try to find a cure. So far, I've copied a couple of thousand recipes from this site and my psychiatrist has thrown the towel in and refuses to answer the phone when I call. What did I do wrong? Got 3 kids that keep me on the go - 10 and under at this point (2008) - I may not get round to updating this for a few years, so you'll have to do your own maths. I teach English full-time and Greek Cookery part-time. I would like to make the cooking part of it full-time and the English Grammar part of it part-time. That's all for now.
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