let’s talk about it.

{panzanella} this bread salad is a party favorite! super easy to toss together with fresh ingredients as the star!

panzanella is a rustic tuscan bread salad. traditionally it is built upon vine-ripened tomatoes with stale bread that is soaked in water then squeezed of it’s moisture.


my spin is a bit of a divergence from the glorious ina garten chronicals.


ina veers from the soaked bread path by toasting cubes of french boule in a hot skillet with {high qualiety, if you want to spring for it} olive oil, a bed of classic veggies + briney capers for a salty bite.


i came across her original recipe in the early days of my cooking journey, and since it was straight out of ina’s basics, i knew there would be guaranteed success!


boy was i right!

{panzanella} this bread salad is a party favorite! super easy to toss together with fresh ingredients + a delicious homemade vinaigrette!_

as i am sure you can assume, the first change in my spin is the tomatoes. no toms here!


instead, i up the bell pepper antee + keep the rest as god ina intended it.


the vinaigrette is simple yet the flavors come across complex, as though it’s been melding for hours!


but the best part -the real gem here- is the toasted bread.

{panzanella} this bread salad is a party favorite! super easy to toss together with fresh ingredients + a delicious homemade vinaigrette!

once you combine the zesty vinaigrette with the crisp veggies + the bread cubes – that’s where the magic happens.

the bread cubes soak up the vinaigrette yet stay crunchy from their outer toasted layer making this rustic salad a total flavor homerun!


hey, this is meatless monday not wheatless, so treat yourself to this salad! and while you’re at it, close your eyes + pretend you’re basking in the setting sun of tuscany.
now, that’s how every meatless monday night should end.♥

Prep time
Total time
Serves: 6 servings
the panzanella:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small loaf french bread/boule, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded + sliced ½-inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded + cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded + cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded + cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ red onion, sliced paper thin
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
the vinaigrette:
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  1. in a large skillet, over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
  2. once the oil is hot, add the cubed bread + salt. cook over low heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. {add more oil if needed}
  3. next, whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients. set aside.
  4. in a large bowl, combine the cucumber, bell peppers, red onion + capers.
  5. add the bread cubes into the veggie mix + toss with the vinaigrette.
  6. season liberally with salt + pepper and enjoy! {if possible, allow the salad to sit for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend!}



no large skillet no problem! instead of crowding a tiny skillet, you can toast the bread cubes in the oven on a sheet pan! heat the oven to 375º  + toast for about 20 minutes, tossing every couple minutes, until golden.

 tiny tomatoe

for all you tom lovers: 2 large tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes is the add-in here!


to kick this up a protein notch – adding in shrimp or chicken cubes is the perfect marriage! simply season your choice + grill or brown in a skillet then add into the mix!


ina’s original recipe included 20 leaves of basil, chiffonaded. i omit the basil as a personal taste preference but feel free to add it back in!

tiny leftovers

the salad can hold, dressed, for up to a few hours! the longer it sits the soggier the bread cubes will  get, but if texturally that’s not a big deal then go for longer! we have let it sit for up to two days as leftovers.