Grilled Panzanella Salad

Classic grilled Panzanella salad is filled with rustic Italian bread and tomatoes. It’s a great side dish that’s hearty enough to eat on its own!

This salad fresh, flavorful and perfect for summer entertaining. For more fresh salads try Zesty Italian Pasta Salad, Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad, and classic Cobb Salad.

Grilled Panzanella Salad served in a rustic looking bowl

Fresh Greek Flavors

Summer is here and that means fresh produce is in abundance. Whether you grow your own or shop at a local farmers market or grocery store, this Panzanella salad is the perfect way to use up cherry tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, basil and mixed greens.

You can easily customize what produce and ingredients you use by adding red onion, carrots, yellow squash, chicken or even mozzarella! Everything, including the simple dressing, combines to create a fresh and flavorful bite.

This was my first time tossing Italian bread on the grill, and it won’t be my last. I couldn’t believe how flavorful it got, especially after soaking up all of the dressing.

Every element in this salad blended beautifully and nothing tasted out of place. Each bite was just as delicious as the last!

Fresh Basil Pesto

How to make it

PREP. Preheat grill (spray grill basket with non-stick high smoke point spray) or grill pan (season with a high smoke point oil) to medium-high heat.

BREAD. Lightly brush both sides of the bread slices with 1 ½ tbsp. oil and grill until marks appear; set aside.

VEGGIES. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining oil with the zucchini, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper, then toss to evenly coat. Grill the veggies on both sides (turning only once), about 4-5 minutes on each side; set aside.

Note: The zucchini, tomato, and bell pepper should all be firm and heavy for their size. This means that they are ripe and ready to be eaten!

DRESSING. In a small bowl combine the vinegar, mustard and garlic. Whisk vigorously while slowly pouring in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper

COMBINE & SERVE. In a large serving bowl, add the greens, basil, mozzarella, and the vegetables. Tear the bread into pieces and add. Pour the dressing over top, then toss to combine. Sprinkle with parmesan and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

No grill? No problem.

You can still make this. Just butter and toast your bread, and roast your veggies on a sheet pan in the oven. Let everything cool for about 5 minutes before you toss in on the bed of greens, then drizzle the homemade dressing over top, pouring a little extra on the bread.

Allow the salad to rest for a good 10 minutes before serving so that the flavors can meld together. Sprinkle with parmesan, ground black pepper and some fresh basil.

Panzanella salad recipe with grilled vegetables

Storing Tips + Variations

STORE grilled panzanella salad in a closed container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Consider only adding the bread to individual servings and leaving the rest in an airtight bag at room temperature until you are serving the salad again.

This salad does not FREEZE well since wilted greens don’t do too well in the freezer. You might be able to just the grilled veggies, or just the grilled bread, but definitely not the salad as a whole.

Grill the bread ahead of time and keep that in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days before adding it to your salad.

Additions/Variations: 

  • Add black or green olives
  • Add cooked and shredded chicken for more protein in this salad.
  • If you are worried about the bread being too soft and soggy you can choose to use stale bread. After grilling the bread it will be nice and crunchy and wouldn’t become soggy after incorporating it into the salad.
  • To add spice in your salad, consider adding in diced jalapenos or crushed red peppers to the dressing.
Panzanella bread salad in a serving bowl with two forks

More Delish Salads:

Grilled Panzanella Salad | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Panzanella Salad Recipe

Classic grilled panzanella salad is filled with rustic Italian bread and tomatoes. It's a great side dish that's hearty enough to eat on its own!
5 from 4 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Greek
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 775kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 small loaf Italian bread - (sourdough or French works too), cut into 1-inch thick slices
  • 3 tbsp oil - (safflower, canola, peanut or avocado), divided
  • 1 large zucchini - cut in half lengthwise and then cut to 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 red bell pepper - cut into ½ inch chunks
  • 8 oz heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar - OR balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 oz mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil - julienned
  • 8 oz mozzarella balls - optional
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat grill (spray grill basket with non-stick high smoke point spray) or grill pan (season with a high smoke point oil) to medium-high heat.
  • Lightly brush both sides of the bread slices with 1 ½ tbsp. oil and grill until marks appear; set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining oil with the zucchini, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper, then toss to evenly coat. Grill the veggies on both sides (turning only once), about 4-5 minutes on each side; set aside.
  • In a small bowl combine the vinegar, mustard and garlic. Whisk vigorously while slowly pouring in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper
  • In a large serving bowl, add the greens, basil, mozzarella, and the vegetables. Tear the bread into pieces and add. Pour the dressing over top, then toss to combine. Sprinkle with parmesan and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

-I didn’t have mozzarella balls on hand when I photographed this recipe, but I have made it a few times now with them and it’s even more delicious!
-You can easily swap out the homemade vinaigrette for your favorite bottled kind.
-I prefer to use a non-propellant based spray or a paper towel soaked in oil to season my cold grill pan, the same would go for a standard grill.

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 775kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 450mg | Potassium: 475mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 1248IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 174mg | Iron: 2mg

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Comments:

  1. This is the perfect summer salad! I’m totally in love with this and I cannot wait to give it a try!

  2. 5 stars
    This is the most amazing salad! Filled with lots delicious veggies! All the flavors taste SO GOOD together!