Perfect Panzanella

We attended a summer veggie themed pot luck on Friday night. I knew that the crew was at least 75% vegetarian so volunteered to bring a main dish, knowing that I could whip up a batch of perfect panzanella.  Beat the summertime heat with refreshing perfect panzanella. Farm fresh veggies + crusty bread = heaven.

Confession. I am not a food blogger. But, I am a blogger who loves food. And carbs? I love them so hard. Panzanella combines crusty toasted bread with summer fresh veggies and balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a party in your mouth. Stick with me through this one and I’ll deliver you a recipe at the end. Everyone will want to be your BFF. Because, bread IN SALAD!

You can use whatever veggies you’ve got laying around. I kept this pretty simple with chopped cherry tomatoes, a red onion, cucumber, green pepper, and basil.

Perfect panzanella featuring garden fresh cucumbers, green peppers, and tomatoes.

After chopping the veggies, I chopped the bread into fat bite sized squares so they could be toasted.  Some people like to toast their bread in the oven. I, on the other hand like to pan fry it. We are in the THICK of summer here and my kitchen is already approximately one million degrees.

Beat the heat in the kitchen with perfect panzanella!
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Toasty bread for perfect panzanella Combine your chopped veggies with your toasted bread and balsamic vinaigrette and you’ve got perfection. You could get fancy and make your own. Or you can cheat like I did and use store bought. I used the Simply Nature Balsamic Vinaigrette from Aldi.

Perfect Panzanella


  • 1 Medium Loaf Of Amazing Bread (French, sourdough, everything, the sky's the limit).
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 Bottle of Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing


  1. Chop vegetables (including basil) and toss with salt and salad dressing. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Chop bread into oversized bite sized pieces and sauteed in olive oil until toasted (about 10 minutes).
  3. Let bread rest for additional 5-10 minutes after cooking. The goal is for it to be almost crouton like so it will really soak in the dressing.
  4. Combine bread with vegetables. The longer you wait, the more time the bread will have to soak in the dressing. I've found about 30 minutes to be ideal.


Author: NJ Rongner

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  1. 1

    Janine Huldie says

    NJ, I am so not a food blogger either, but totally love food, especially carbs, so I totally can appreciate that statement and this recipe. Sounds absolutely perfect and so want to try it hopefully soon before the summer is over now. Thanks for sharing :)
    Janine Huldie recently posted..The Stars And Stripes Edition – GLOSSYBOX June 2014My Profile

  2. 2

    Kim says

    YUM!!! This looks so good – I love salads in the summer and this one will be a great one to add in!!!
    Kim recently posted..My Weak Spot (7/20-7/26)My Profile

  3. 3

    Jamie @ At Home Baristas says

    I really like bread in salad! I had it for the first time a few months ago and fell in love! I need to try your recipe!
    Jamie @ At Home Baristas recently posted..What’s The Best Espresso Grinder?My Profile

  4. 4

    The Dose of Reality says

    I fully admit that it is lunch time and I am hungry…BUT THIS LOOKS SO DELICIOUS I AM DROOLING!! YUMMY!!!
    Even better, it looks like something I have the skill set to pull off…which is not always a given!! I’m pinning this right now! –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..You Don’t Have To Try So HardMy Profile

  5. 5

    Charlotte says

    “Confession. I am not a food blogger. But, I am a blogger who loves food. And carbs? I love them so hard.” -ok yes, you and i should be friends :) this looks amazing! My mom makes something similar, but I havent had it in years- I’m going to have to try this.
    Charlotte recently posted..American Ninja Worrier?My Profile

  6. 6

    Dana says

    Adding bread to pretty much anything makes it better, in my opinion. Yum! Pinning this via Ahalogy so your blog is going to explode with page views any day now ;)
    Dana recently posted..Always, my babyMy Profile

  7. 7

    Chris Carter says

    Oh does THIS look amazing NJ!!! I pinned and I am going to try this asap. Thanks for sharing it! I LOVED seeing you over at the SHINE blog hop! It’s my first time trying it… :)
    Chris Carter recently posted..What Would A Good Mother Do?My Profile

  8. 8

    Sarah Nenni Daher says

    NJ, This looks tasty and I’m going to add it to next week’s meal plan. I love dinners that I can prep before the chaos ensues around the witching hour.

    Thank you for linking up at the #SHINEBlogHop!
    Sarah Nenni Daher recently posted..Strawberry LemonadeMy Profile

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