45 min
Panzanella is an Italian bread salad that is perfect as a simple lunch or as a side dish to have with meat or fish. Make it preferably during the summer when the tomatoes are at their best!


Step 1
  • Cut the bread into rough pieces and place in a bowl. Pour in the vinegar and mix well. Leave for 30 minutes.
Step 2
  • Halve the tomatoes. Peel the cucumber and cut into rough pieces. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Shred the paprika. Coarsely chop parsley leaves and basil.
Step 3
  • Mix all the vegetables, capers, and olive oil with the bread pieces. Season with flake salt.
Step 4
  • Set the oven to 200°C. Cut the cheese into four slices and place in a small greased baking dish. Sprinkle on chilli flakes and drizzle over a little olive oil. Heat in the middle of the oven for 10-12 minutes. Serve with the salad.

Questions about Panzanella

Indulge in this refreshing Italian recipe and read below to get to know more about the most frequently asked questions about panzanella.

What do you serve panzanella with?
Panzanella is traditionally served on its own, as a light and refreshing meal on a hot summer’s day. However, nothing prevents you from serving panzanella with cold cuts of meat, such as an Italian antipasto platter. Or why not add slices of chicken or steak to your panzanella, making it a rich and satisfying meal? Grilled portobello mushroom or aubergine can make a perfect vegetarian alternative.
Why is it called panzanella?
As with many traditional foods, the exact origin of panzanella’s name is uncertain. The first part, pan, most likely refers to bread. According to some, zanella refers to the kind of deep dish or bowl in which the soaked bread and vegetables would be served.
What is winter panzanella made of?
Winter panzanella is a version of panzanella that makes use of winter vegetables instead of tomatoes. Butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes can all go in a winter panzanella after a good roasting. Toasted bread, red onion, herbs, and vinaigrette are then added to create a satisfying salad for cosy autumn and winter days.


Ciabatta bread
Red wine vinegar
2 tbsp
Cherry tomatoes
250 g
Garlic cloves
Red onion
Grilled pepper in oil, drained
200 g
Flat-leaf parsley
1 bunch
Fresh basil
1 bunch
15 g
Olive oil
50 ml
Flake salt to taste
Creamy white cheese
200 g
Chilli flakes
½ tsp
Olive oil

Panzanella: a taste of Tuscany

Panzanella is a humble but supremely refreshing salad for warm summer days. This Tuscan specialty is easy to make and even easier to appreciate.

The origins of panzanella salad

Panzanella is an Italian bread salad, popular in Tuscany and throughout central Italy. It traces its origins at least as far back as the 15th century, when drying was a common way of preserving bread. The dry bread would be soaked in water and vinegar, squeezed to get rid of excess moisture, and mixed with fresh vegetables from the garden. Today, ripe tomatoes are an important ingredient in panzanella. But until the 20th century, this salad was based mainly on onions.

Different delicious panzanella variations

A panzanella can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. The bread can be toasted with olive oil in the oven or in a pan. Various herbs such as mint, thyme, and basil can be included. And traditional Italian cheeses like mozzarella and parmesan can add texture and flavour. Of course, any veggies you like are welcome, such as bell peppers, celery, or thinly sliced fennel. You can also try oven-roasting the tomatoes, especially if tomato season isn’t at its peak. Finally, try adding borlotti beans, white beans, or chickpeas in your panzanella.

Helpful storage tips for later consumption

Panzanella doesn’t store well in the refrigerator. You can however make panzanella a couple of hours in advance and let it sit in your fridge’s veggie section. Remember to remove the salad from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. If you’re preparing a panzanella to serve several hours later, hold off the seasoning and add vinegar and oil just before serving.