Panzanella Salad with Mozzarella

  • This Panzanella Salad with Mozzarella is the perfect way to use your abundance of tomatoes you may have this summer. Have stale bread on hand too? Perfect!!

    Panzanella Salad with Mozzarella in a large bowl and serving utensils.

    Panzanella Salad with Mozzarella

    Are you in need of recipes to use up those extra juicy tomatoes you have from your garden or farmers market?? Oh, and by chance do you have some stale bread??

    Perfect!!

    Then I urge you to make this very flavorful summery salad! Need a few other summer salad ideas? Try these: Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad, Easy Greek Salad, or Tomato Cucumber and Avocado Salad.

    Ingredients for Panzanella Salad with Mozzarella arranged in a bowl ready to be mixed.

    Traditional panzanella salad is made with stale, dry artisan bread, juicy ripe tomatoes, vinegar, and really good olive oil.

    I have changed this salad up a bit by adding mozzarella for some creaminess, crisp cucumbers for a little crunch, basil and red onion for flavor and bite.

    I could eat this salad all summer long, it’s that good! And the rest of my family enjoyed it too!

    Dressing pouring over panzanella salad.

    Summer Salads

    This salad would pair great with any grilled meats. Some of our favorites are grilled steak, pork chops, or this Beer Can Chicken.

    Or just eat this salad straight out of the bowl for a lighter dinner!

    My kids have a hard time not picking out of this salad bowl as they are waiting for the rest of dinner to finish. The bread usually goes first (you can tell they are my kids, CARBS FOR LIFE!)

    Tossing panzanella salad with mozzarella and a flavorful dressing.

    Tips for making Panzanella Salad

    • Use an artisan bread, not regular sandwich bread. Ciabatta or rustic sourdough is perfect for this salad. French bread will also work but will become soggy quicker.
    • Be sure to thoroughly dry your bread out or it will turn to mush.
    • This salad can be made ahead of time. Up to 4 hours even. Just please be sure your bread is really dry if you plan on leaving it sit that long. I normally only leave mine for 20ish minutes before eating. Mostly because we are ready to eat by then.
    • This salad tastes the best when using fresh vine-ripened tomatoes but store bought will do in a pinch. If you can find some at a local farmers market those would be better than store bought.
    • I am adding in red onion and cucumber but feel free to add whatever vegetable you may have on hand. Bell peppers, fresh corn, zucchini…..
    • This salad is best eaten on the same day it’s made because once refrigerated the tomatoes will lose flavor.
    Close up of Panzanella salad garnished with fresh basil.
    Panzanella Salad with Mozzarella
    Prep Time
    15 mins
    Cook Time
    15 mins
    Resting time:
    20 mins
    Total Time
    50 mins
     

    This Panzanella Salad is the perfect way to use your abundance of tomatoes you may have this summer. Have stale bread on hand too? Perfect!!

    Course: Side dish/Salads
    Cuisine: Italian
    Keyword: panzanella salad, tuscan bread salad
    Servings: 10
    Calories: 229 kcal
    Author: Malinda Linnebur
    Ingredients
    DRESSING:
    • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
    SALAD:
    • 1 large ciabatta or sourdough round
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 large tomatoes (heirloom work very nice!), cut into large chunks
    • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
    • ½ cucumber, sliced
    • 4 oz. (115g) fresh mozzarella pearls, (optional)
    • 4-5 large fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (or more to your liking)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

    DRESSING:
    1. In a small mason jar combine all dressing ingredients and shake well to combine. Set aside.

    SALAD:
    1. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes and place on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bread is nicely dried but not burnt.

    2. In a large bowl combine remaining salad ingredients. Toss with bread and dressing. Let the salad rest for 20-30 minutes to let the flavors combine and the bread soak up all the juices. Toss occasionally with resting.

    Recipe Notes
    1. Use an artisan bread, not regular sandwich bread. Ciabatta or rustic sourdough is perfect for this salad. French bread will also work but will become soggy quicker.
    2. Be sure to thoroughly dry your bread out or it will turn to mush.
    3. This salad can be made ahead of time. Up to 4 hours even. Just please be sure your bread is really dry if you plan on leaving it sit that long. I normally only leave mine for 20ish minutes. Mostly because we are ready to eat by then. Also, add the basil just before serving because it will turn brown.
    4. This salad tastes the best when using fresh vine-ripened tomatoes but store bought will do in a pinch. If you can find some at a local farmers market those would be better than store bought.
    5. I am adding in red onion and cucumber but feel free to add whatever vegetable you may have on hand. Bell peppers, fresh corn, zucchini…..
    6. This salad is best eaten on the same day it’s made because once refrigerated the tomatoes will lose flavor.
    7. Nutrition Facts: Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.
    Nutrition Facts
    Panzanella Salad with Mozzarella
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 229 Calories from Fat 117
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 13g 20%
    Saturated Fat 2g 10%
    Cholesterol 4mg 1%
    Sodium 231mg 10%
    Potassium 87mg 2%
    Total Carbohydrates 23g 8%
    Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
    Sugars 1g
    Protein 6g 12%
    Vitamin A 4.5%
    Vitamin C 5.3%
    Calcium 5%
    Iron 1.3%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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