Summer Tomatoes Panzanella Salad

5 from 3 votes
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A plate of Panzanella Salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and a basil

To clarify right from the get-go, panzanella is actually a bread salad, not a tomato salad. This summertime favourite was created to use up stale bread in the age old tradition of waste not, want not. Panzanella is not meant to be a low carb salad, the entire purpose is to toast up those bread cubes and use them.

You can, of course, use as little or as much bread as you like in this recipe. I had a loaf that I needed to use up so I toasted a LOT of bread cubes for the salad, but it did end up being around 50% bread and 50% vegetables. That for us was the perfect balance as it was lunch for us one day – with nothing else accompanying it.

A plate of Summer Panzanella Salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and a basil

How to Make Panzanella Salad

  • Whisk together the vinaigrette
  • Combine all of the other ingredients in a large bowl
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the ingredients and toss to coat
  • Let the salad sit for 30 minutes or until the bread cubes start to soften on the outside but not all the way into the middle you still want crunch
  • Serve

There are so many ways to make panzanella and I’m not claiming mine is authentic in any way, shape or form.  I prefer tomatoes with cucumbers and a ton of basil – and surprise, surprise, my vinaigrette included white wine. I didn’t include onions and some panzanella salad recipes even use anchovies, something else I had no interest in adding!

I also turned my bread cubes into what are basically garlic butter croutons – and they were so utterly fantastic that I was glad I made the entire loaf! I had some leftover that we used on soup the following day. much to my delight. There’s nothing like a two for one recipe.

close up Summer Panzanella Salad

Tips and Tricks for Making Panzanella Salad

  • This salad is, of course, the best with fresh from the garden tomatoes. I prefer the cherry tomatoes for mine as they are usually what I grow, but you can dice up whatever you have handy.
  • The vinaigrette itself is very easy to play around with and I suggest that you make it to taste. Add more or less garlic if preferred, less salt, more Dijon, whatever works for your tastebuds.
  • Another note : this is NOT a low calorie salad, but I suggest that you ignore calories and think of all that fabulous olive oil and fresh veggies you are getting into your system!

Happy cooking babes!



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Summer Tomatoes Panzanella

Delicious summer tomato panzanella salad! Garlic buttered bread cubes take this panzanella salad to the next level!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Total Time
55 minutes
6 servings
Karlynn Johnston


Garlic Bread Cubes

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small French bread/baguette cut into 1 inch cubes ( around 8 cups)
  • 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder


  • 1 English cucumber sliced into cubes
  • 4 cups of tomatoes sliced
  • 1/4 cup of ribbon sliced basil or more to taste, I love basil!


  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic


  • Pre-heat your oven to 350 °F.
  • Whisk together the butter, olive oil and garlic powder. ( Using minced garlic doesn’t work, as it cooks too long in the oven and burns!)
  • Place the bread cubes in a large bowl, then pour the butter mixture over top. Toss until they are coated.
  • Scatter out evenly on a large baking sheet in one layer then bake in the oven until golden brown and crispy. Remove and cool.
  • Combine the vegetables and bread cubes in a large bowl. Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together,  then pour over top.
  • Toss the salad to mix. Let sit for 30 minutes or until the bread cubes start to soften up – but aren’t soggy.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 618kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 45g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 814mg, Potassium: 407mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1170IU, Vitamin C: 15.5mg, Calcium: 53mg, Iron: 3.1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Summer Tomatoes Panzanella Salad. This rustic Italian bread salad is a perfect dish to load up with vegetables. #salad #tomatoes #cucumbers #italian

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. ROSALINE Linhart says

    Loved the panzanella salad…. who can go wrong with tomatoes and basil…. I grow basil in the same pot as my tomatoes.. for some reason the tomatoes always taste better and all summer I have fresh basil right outside my door..
    just an additional comment….. For our July 1st and 3 other birthdays including my 80th I went retro and made a Harvey Wallbanger cake..most of the guests had never had it before…needless to say it was a big hit, as were the drinks made to match…couldn’t waste all that lovely vodka and Galliano….

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      I am so glad that you made the Harvey Wallbanger cake! Sounds like it was a hit!5 stars

  2. Julie Culshaw says

    This looks wonderful. I shall have to try it for sure. thanks.

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