Panzanella is a tomato bread salad with lots of Italian flavors such as basil, capers, tomatoes, and olive oil. It is perfect for summer BBQs when tomatoes are at their peak of ripeness.

panzanella tomato bread salad

My boss served a wonderful Panzanella at a party several years ago, and I’ve always wanted to make it. She roughly followed a recipe she saw Giada De Laurentiis make, so I did the same. Giada’s recipes are always great! I made this for a family dinner back in March, and it was a huge hit! Everyone LOVED it! We had it with grilled chicken, Parmesan Basil Orzo, and grilled asparagus. It was such a delicious dinner and a great way to welcome spring!

Giada’s recipe calls for kalamata olives and roasted red bell peppers, both of which I love, but I had to omit due to other family members’ pickiness 🙂 I also added some red onion because I thought it sounded good. See the original recipe linked below if the olives and peppers appeal to you!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Giada fan – just thought this was funny!

In case you’re looking for an easy dinner idea, we thought the combination of the Panzanella, Parmesan Basil Orzo, grilled chicken, and asparagus was great.

panzanella tomato bread salad on a plate with parmesan basil orzo, Italian dressing marinated chicken breast, and grilled asparagus

For super easy grilled chicken, marinate chicken breasts in Italian dressing for 8 hours in the fridge, then grill. An article in Cook’s Illustrated that I read recently does not recommend marinating in Italian dressing, but we like it! You can brush on the extra marinade after boiling it for several minutes so it’s safe to eat.

One of my favorite ways to make asparagus is to lightly coat a grill pan in olive oil, place the cleaned spears in the pan, season with salt and pepper, then grill over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, or until asparagus has reached desired doneness.

Gluten Free Panzanella

Use a gluten free crusty bread or baguette in place of the traditional bread for a gluten free version of Panzanella.

Panzanella Tomato Bread Salad Pin

Looking for more Tomato Recipes?

Check out these other recipes featuring Tomatoes:
Double Tomato Bruschetta
Bruschetta Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Caprese Salad Skewers
Caprese Stuffed Chicken
Summer Vegetable Pasta
Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes
Tomato Tart
Bacon Stuffed Cherry Tomato Appetizers
Oven Dried Tomatoes
Oven Dried Tomato Bruschetta
Tomates Provencales
Simplified Chicken Tortilla Soup
Roasted Tomato Soup

panzanella tomato bread salad


A delicious tomato bread salad perfect for summer and early fall when tomatoes are at their peak.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 or more


  • 1/4 cup drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (divided)
  • 12 ounces dense crusty bread
  • 2 1/4 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove (grated)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (or basil puree to taste)
  • 1/4 of a red onion (thinly sliced)
  • Fresh basil sprigs (for garnish)


  • Soak the capers in 2 tablespoons of vinegar in a small bowl for 10 minutes. Drain.
  • Cut bread into 2-inch slices, evenly brush the slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil, distributing the oil among the slices and on both sides. Grill both sides of the bread in a grill pan until golden. Transfer bread to plate to cool briefly. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut the tomatoes into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk 2/3 cup of oil, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the bread cubes, tomatoes, basil, capers, and red onion; toss to combine. Serve immediately.


Source:  Adapted from a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword Italian, salad, side dish, tomatoes, vegetarian

6 thoughts on “Panzanella”

  • I tried Panzanella for the first time last summer and We all loved it! I used the Barefoot Contessas recipe, with some alterations of course. I am interested to see how Giadas recipe measures up. It looks delicious! Perfect for summer.

  • LOL, I love that photo about Giada, that cracked me up. I love her recipes as well because they are easy to switch up and are not fussy. I love the addition of the onion. I will have to give it a try next time. The whole meal looks fantastic!

  • Ok this is the perfect dinner in my book! Everything looks great…I love panzanella, made it for the first time last summer following an Ina Garten recipe. Seems similar, love Giada!!

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