Sourdough Panzanella Recipe

You know that famous old saying "you are what you eat"? Well, apparently if you look in the dictionary under the word "salad," recipe developer Susan Olayinka jokingly tells us you just might see her photo. Because Olayinka is a salad enthusiast, to say the least. "I absolutely love salad and love that there can be so many layers to it," Olayinka says. "It doesn't just have to be leaves," she explains. Like this recipe for sourdough panzanella, it can be made of chopped vegetables. It can even include crusty bread, which is what panzanella is. 

"Panzanella" (which comes from the Latin root word "pan," meaning bread) refers to a salad of Tuscan origins that is "made from chopped salad vegetables, and bread and dressing," according to Olayinka. Sometimes it is made with anchovies as well, and you can feel free to add them at the end if you happen to be someone who enjoys their briny taste (not everyone does, but alas, their loss!). If you're interested in making this into a complete meal, that can easily be done by adding some sliced grilled chicken or some sliced air-fried steak.

Gather your ingredients

When you're ready to make Olayinka's recipe for sourdough panzanella, you will, of course, need the "pan" for which it is named, and that would be sourdough bread. Specifically, you will need four slices (around 4 ounces of bread altogether). Stale bread works exceptionally well here, and it's a great way to use up it up. However, it isn't absolutely necessary that you begin with stale bread. 

For the chopped veggies that make up the salad, you will need three tomatoes, ½ of a cucumber, and ½ of a red onion. For the Mediterranean-style flavor, you will need ¼ cup of fresh chopped dill and ¼ cup of fresh chopped parsley. "I found that these herbs go with [it] pretty well and complement the dish nicely," Olayinka explains. 

Finally, for the dressing, you'll need 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. In addition, Olayinka has included ¼ teaspoon salt for seasoning to taste right at the end.

Chop your veggies and herbs

Most of the work involved in this recipe is contained in this step, in which you will dice up the tomatoes, cucumber, and red onions. However, the great news is that this prep work is super easy, as you'll see. Simply cut the tomatoes into quarters. Then slice the cucumber cross-wise into thick slices, and cut those slices into quarters. Then cut the onion into quarters, lay two of those quarters on their sides, and slice them as they lay into slim wedges. Finely chop the dill and parsley; the easiest method is to roll them up and slice away, Olayinka offers as a shortcut. 

Turn your sourdough bread into croutons

Since the bread you are using here for this salad's croutons is not being prepped with butter or oil or anything else that could ignite when in close contact with a heat source, you can pop it right into the toaster. You're looking for a light-brown toast color here, so set your toaster accordingly. When the toast pops up, slice it into half-inch pieces. These will be your salad's "croutons." 

Assemble and serve your sourdough panzanella salad

Grab a serving dish big enough to accommodate two servings, and transfer the diced tomatoes, diced cucumber, diced red onion, chopped dill, chopped parsley, and croutons into it, and mix them together gently. Then, place the extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar in a small mixing bowl, and whisk together to form a vinaigrette. For this particular recipe, it is fine if the oil and vinegar do not completely emulsify. 

All that is left now is to pour the vinaigrette over your salad, toss it together gently, season it to taste with salt, serve, and enjoy.

Sourdough Panzanella Recipe
5 from 21 ratings
This authentic Tuscan salad is full of flavor! Complete with sourdough bread and fresh vegetables, you can easily imagine you're at an Italian villa.
Prep Time
Cook Time
sourdough panzanella
Total time: 12 minutes
  • 3 tomatoes
  • ½ a cucumber
  • ½ a red onion
  • ¼ cup fresh dill
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Cut the tomatoes into quarters.
  2. Slice the cucumber cross-wise into thick slices, and cut those slices into quarters.
  3. Cut the onion into quarters, and then lay two of those quarters on their sides, and slice them as they lay into slim wedges.
  4. Finely chop the dill and parsley.
  5. Lightly toast the sourdough bread in the toaster, about 2 minutes.
  6. Slice the toasted sourdough toast into ½-inch cubes (to make croutons).
  7. Transfer the prepped tomatoes, cucumber, onion, dill, parsley, and croutons to a serving bowl.
  8. Place the olive oil and red wine vinegar in a small mixing bowl and whisk together.
  9. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss lightly.
  10. Season with the salt to taste, and serve immediately.
Calories per Serving 939
Total Fat 20.8 g
Saturated Fat 3.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 157.6 g
Dietary Fiber 9.5 g
Total Sugars 20.3 g
Sodium 1,691.9 mg
Protein 32.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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