Authentic Italian Panzanella Salad Recipe

Try our simple Italian Panzanella Salad Recipe to taste the flavors of Tuscany. It’s a light and refreshing dish that’s perfect for warm weather. This salad mixes chunks of old bread with juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and flavorful red onions, all tossed in a zesty dressing.

The best part of Panzanella is how the bread soaks up the tasty juices from the veggies and dressing, creating a mix of textures and flavors. Originally made to use up leftover bread, this salad is now a popular dish in Italian cooking.

You can enjoy it as a light meal or a tasty side dish. Our Panzanella Salad is easy to make and full of authentic Italian flavors. It’s a great way to savor summer with each bite of this delicious salad.

How To Make Authentic Italian Panzanella Salad?

Making Panzanella is very easy and can be ready in just 10 minutes! Here is the recipe for the Italian Panzanella Salad.


  • 2 Thick pieces of old bread
  • 150 g cucumber
  • 16 Small tomatoes (or 2 regular tomatoes)
  • 1 Small red onion
  • 50 g black olives
  • 10 Torn fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tablespoon of high-quality olive oil
  • ½ Tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Dash sea salt
  • 4 tablespoon of grated cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino, Grana Padano, or vegan parmesan)
  • Freshly crushed black pepper


  • Slightly wet the bread with water, but don’t make it too wet. Gently press it to make sure it’s wet all the way through and get rid of extra water. Leave it for a few minutes while you get the rest of the salad ready.
  • Cut the tomatoes and cucumber into small pieces, and thinly slice the onion. Put them all in a big bowl.
  • Cut the bread into small pieces and put them in the salad bowl.
  • Put in the olives and the basil.
  • Mix the oil and lemon juice together until they are combined, then pour it onto the salad.
  • Put in the salt, and carefully combine everything with your hands.
  • Sprinkle the vegan parmesan on top.
  • Finish by adding a few twists of black pepper.
  • Serve right away.

How To Store Panzanella Salad?

Storing Panzanella salad properly ensures it remains fresh and flavorful for as long as possible. Here are the steps and tips to store it effectively:

Separate Components

If you want your salad to stay fresh, keep the bread in a different container than the veggies and dressing. This will keep the bread from getting wet and mushy.

Use Airtight Containers

Put the vegetable mix in a sealed container. If you mixed bread with the vegetables, keep the whole salad in a sealed container to keep it fresh.


Put the salad in the fridge. The veggies can stay fresh for 2-3 days. If you add bread, eat the salad within a day for the best taste and texture.

Storing Bread

If you kept the bread separate, put it in a paper bag or a container with a loose cover to keep it from getting too soft. Don’t use airtight containers for bread, because that can make it too chewy or stale.

Combining Before Serving

Mix the bread and vegetables together, when you’re ready to eat the salad. Let the bread soak up the dressing and vegetable juices for 15-30 minutes before serving to get the right texture.

Additional Tips

Refreshing Leftover Salad: If the bread is too wet, you can lightly toast it in the oven to make it crispy again before adding it back to the salad.

Refreshing Flavor: Add a little olive oil, vinegar, or herbs before serving to make the flavors taste better after storing.

Avoid Freezing: Don’t freeze Panzanella salad because the veggies have lots of water and the bread will get mushy.

What To Serve With Panzanella Salad?

Panzanella salad is a tasty dish that goes well with many different side dishes. Here are some good choices to serve with Panzanella salad:

Chicken: Grilled chicken with a little seasoning goes well with the salad’s fresh flavors.

Steak: A tasty grilled steak makes the meal heartier and more filling.

Pork: Cooked pork chops or tenderloin go well with the zesty and refreshing flavors of Panzanella.

Grilled Shrimp: Shrimp that has been soaked and cooked on a grill is a tasty and light seafood choice.

Fish: Cooked fish like salmon, sea bass, or halibut goes great with the salad.

Scallops: Cooked scallops add a fancy touch and yummy taste that goes well with the salad.

Antipasto Platter: A mix of cured meats, cheeses, olives, and marinated vegetables makes a tasty spread.

Bruschetta: Tomato and basil bruschetta on crunchy toasted bread is a tasty appetizer or side dish.

Caprese Salad: Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil mixed with balsamic reduction go well with Panzanella.

Pasta Primavera: A simple pasta dish with veggies goes well with the salad.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio: Basic pasta with garlic, olive oil, and chili flakes makes the meal tasty and not too heavy.

Pasta Salad: A chilled pasta salad with Italian dressing, vegetables, and herbs goes well with the Panzanella.

Focaccia: The warm, herb-flavored bread goes well with the salad.

Garlic Bread: Crunchy garlic bread has a satisfying texture and strong taste.

Hummus And Pita: A serving of hummus with pita bread or chips can give a Mediterranean flavor.

Wine: A white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, or a red wine like Chianti, goes well with the salad’s fresh flavors.

Lemonade Or Iced Tea: Cool, non-alcoholic drinks like lemonade or iced tea go well with the meal.

Our Italian Panzanella Salad Recipe is a tasty dish that brings the flavors of Tuscany to your table. It’s great for a light lunch or as a side dish. Just mix tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and bread with a tangy dressing. Keep it in the fridge in a sealed container, and add the bread when you’re ready to eat to keep it from getting soggy. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes before serving. This salad goes well with grilled meats, seafood, and other Italian dishes like bruschetta. Give this easy and tasty recipe a try to add some Italian style to your meal.

Thanks for reading. I hope you find it helpful.

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