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 Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad)
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Category: Salads & Soups
Servings: 4 - 6
Total time: 40 minutes + 1 - 2 hours resting time
Level: Easy
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An authentic Italian recipe from our kitchen to yours. Buon Appetito!


- 2 cups stale, rustic whole wheat bread, cubed (3 - 4 slices)

- 3 medium beefsteak tomatoes

- 1 cucumber

- 1 small red onion

- 6 - 8 medium basil leaves

- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

- Salt and pepper


1.  For a crispy bread salad, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Once the oven is preheated, place the cubed bread on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for 20 - 25 minutes until crisp and golden. Half way through baking, toss the croutons so that they bake evenly throughout. Once the bread is finished baking, remove the pan from the oven and set the croutons aside to allow them to cool for 15 - 20 minutes prior to mixing the salad. If you prefer a soft bread salad, place the bread cubes into a bowl or baking dish and coat the bread with 1/2 to 2/3 cup water. Set the dish aside to allow the bread to absorb the water, about 30 minutes.

2.  While waiting for the bread to cool or absorb the water, dice the tomatoes and slice the cucumbers and onion. Add them to a salad bowl along with a pinch of salt and pepper and toss well to combine.

3.  Tear the basil leaves in half or cut them into thin strips and add them to the salad bowl.




4.  When the bread is ready, add the toasted croutons to the bowl. If using the soaked bread, drain off any remaining water prior to adding it to the salad bowl. Toss the ingredients in the bowl well to combine.

5.  Add the vinegar and olive oil and toss well again so that the ingredients are coated in the oil and vinegar mixture.

6.  Taste the salad and add additional salt and pepper to your taste.

7.  Refrigerate the salad for at least one hour so that the ingredients have time to distribute their flavors throughout the salad. Refrigerating the salad overnight is preferred.

8.  Toss the salad just before serving so that the liquids that collect at the bottom of the bowl are redistributed throughout the salad.