Tomato Panzanella with a Caprese twist! This tasty Tuscan bread salad is perfect for your next party or picnic!
Move over boring bagged croutons; we’re making panzanella today!
This tuscan bread salad is spiked with garden fresh Summer produce and tossed with a scrumptious lemon dressing. I upped the ante even further and gave this tasty panzanella a caprese vibe by adding fresh mozzarella and basil to the mix.
With its juicy ripe tomatoes and fresh fragrant basil, we plan on enjoying this colorful salad all Summer long! This particular plateful was the highlight of our Sunday! We wound up devouring the entire platter between the two of us.
Making it in the off season? Grab some greenhouse-grown Campari tomatoes in place of the cherry tomatoes and you’re good to go!
Tomato Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad)
While this salad is typically made with day old bread, there’s no need to wait for stale ciabatta! Feel free to use fresh and give it a little extra toast time and you’re good to go! Once the dressing is added the bread will revive itself and fluff back up. No rock-hard croutons here!
I highly suggest using ciabatta bread but you can absolutely use any bread you have on hand – Italian, French, and Focaccia all work gloriously. You could even score a Asiago Cheese Loaf from a local bakery and go all out… ummmm hello totally trying that!
Serving a crowd? Double that recipe, yo! As written you’ll get about 4 hearty side-salads out of this recipe but for a party or potluck, it can easily stretch to about 6 servings. Double it and you can easily feed 12 or more. Enjoy!
Tomato Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad)
Classic Tomato Panzanella with a Caprese twist! This Tuscan bread salad is scrumptious and Summery, perfect for your next party or picnic!
- 1 large 6-7 inch ciabatta roll (or two small rolls)
- 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 10 oz cherry tomatoes
- 1 large shallot
- 1/2 cucumber
- 2 oz mozzarella, cubed
- fresh basil (as much as you'd like!)
EASY LEMON DRESSING
OPTIONAL MOZZARELLA MARINADE
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8-1/4 tsp Italian blend seasoning
- 1/8-1/4 tsp parsley (fresh or dried)
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
First whisk together your dressing: Zest half of your lemon then squeeze out all its juice. Combine zest, juice, and remanining ingredients in a mason jar and shake well. Once to mix then again before serving.
Heat your oven or toaster oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet and top with torn pieces of ciabatta bread. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, toss to coat, and arrange in an even layer. Toast until lightly browned but still soft on the inside, approx. 5-7 minutes.
For the salad, halve your cherry tomatoes, peel and thinly slice the shallow, and chop your cucumber.
Combine veggies with cubed mozzarella (feel free to use the optional mozzarella marinade above if you'd like!) and toasted ciabatta. Add as much basil as your heart desires. Give your lemony dressing one final shake and pour over salad. Toss to combine and garnish with extra basil and lemon wedges.
No ciabatta? No problem! Feel free to use your favorite bread. Crusty baguettes or French loaves work awesome here, as does fluffy Italian bread or Focaccia.
Whisk together optional mozz marinade after making your dressing. You can even add a few drops of dressing to the mozzarella for extra flavor.
Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!
I’m so completely head over heels in love with this recipe. Can’t wait for y’all to try it!
special diets and swaps
- Vegan? Skip the mozzarella and you’re good to go!
- Gluten-Free? Try your favorite GF bread or feel free to use this veggie-dressing combo over a big leafy green salad if you’d like!
- In a pinch, red onion will work in place of the shallots but if you can get your hands on some shallots – do it! They’re so super yummy and much more mild than typical onion, making them great for salads!
If you get a chance to try this tasty tomato panzanella recipe let me know! You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS #PEASANDCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations! I can’t wait to see what you whip up!