Bread salad.  It’s a thing.  And if you’re feeling fancy, you can refer to it as panzanella.  It’s an excellent way to use stale bread and a fast, satisfying contribution to an end-of-summer picnic.

The first time I had panzanella was when my now fiancé and his roommate decided to play Ina Garten one Friday night.  I was so impressed with their culinary victory—and it proved that anybody can make panzanella. :)


The vegetables listed below are just a suggestion, so use what you already have.  Fresh corn or even a sprinkle of feta cheese would be delish, too!

Food La La Recipe:  Panzanella

Panzanella Ingredients:

  • 1 crusty French baguette or sourdough round, cut into ½” cubes
  • 1 cucumber, cut lengthwise, seeded, then cut into half moons
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups organic baby heirloom tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1/3 cup basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dill, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil


  1. Gently warm a thin layer of olive oil in the bottom of a large cast iron pan.  Add half (WHY? #1) the bread and a sprinkle of salt, then toss to coat.
  2. Toast the bread until all sides turn golden brown (8-10 min).  Remove bread from pan and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 with remaining bread.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the balsamic, garlic, and mustard.  Whisk until combined.
  5. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you continue to whisk.  Set aside.
  6. Add all panzanella ingredients to the large bowl and gently stir to mix with the bread.
  7. Add dressing and toss until coated.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Cover and set aside for 2-3 hours to let flavors meld before serving.


Psst!  A few recipe notes:

  • WHY? #1:  If you add all the bread at once, you’ll crowd the pan and likely end up with soggy bread instead of toasted bread.