Grilled Bruschetta Panzanella Salad Recipe

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How to make grilled Panzanella saladone of the most delicious classic Italian bread salads, a Tuscan peasant dish worthy of royalty, traditionally made with day old bread.

Bowl of Grilled Bruschetta Panzanella Salad with Tomatoes and Basil

Because bread and tomatoes you guys!

It really can’t get any better than a bowl of this summer bruschetta panzanella salad and a pitcher of strawberry lemonade under the shade of the grapevine, outside my kitchen door. 

Two of my favorite things making the most beautiful mess of all. Grilled crusty bread, fragrant heirloom tomatoes, lots of garlic, olive oil and basil.

Basically if my classic homemade bruschetta would marry my rustic cucumber tomato salad but leave the cucumbers behind.

I know, crazy talk, but that is pretty much what is happening in that bowl of panzanella! 

Bowl of Grilled Bruschetta Panzanella Salad with Tomatoes and Basil

I grill thick slices of crusty Italian ciabatta bread, rub them well with garlic cloves and tear it into pieces, or you can use a knife to cut it if you like.

Then you toss everything to coat with juicy tomatoes, capers and red onion, in a classic Italian olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing.

Then you let it sit on the kitchen counter for 20 minutes before diving into it. Just enough time for the bread to soak up that dressing and turn into magic. Trust me, it is worth the wait!

This is what rustic living is all about. Wholesome, fresh, nutritious meals, loaded with fragrance, texture and soul.

Because I had the time to heat up my grill, I decided to give it a Bruschetta salad spin, not only for the beautiful texture it adds, but also so I can get my garlic fix ha! Garlic does make the work go around, its true kids, just ask google 😉

Bowl of Grilled Bruschetta Panzanella Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil

Note worthy:

  • make sure to taste as you go and adjust seasonings in your salad dressing. You might like it more acidic, so add more red wine vinegar, or less, the key is to taste and adjust 11 times 😉
  • keep an eye on the bruschetta while grilling. It only takes a minute to burn.
  • In case you did burn the bread, not to panic. Take a serrated bread knife and scrape off the burnt layer of the bread. 

Bruschetta Panzanella Salad Recipe

Bruschetta Panzanella Salad
5 from 4 votes

Grilled Bruschetta Panzanella Salad

How to make grilled panzanella salad, one of the most delicious Italian bread salads, a Tuscan peasant dish worthy of royalty!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:5 minutes
Total Time:15 minutes


  • 1/2 ciabatta bread
  • 2 lb heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 clove large garlic
  • 1 c basil leaves
  • 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar + more to taste
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  • Slice the ciabatta bread into thick slices.
  • On a hot cast iron grill or grill pan char the bread quickly until nice grill marks for on each side. Take good care not to burn it.
  • Rub each side of each slice of the bruschetta ( grilled bread) with the garlic to your liking. Set aside and drizzle all over with some olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and allow to cool. Once cooled off and easy to handle, tear the bruschetta into small pieces and place into a bowl. You can use a serrated knife to cut it up if you prefer.
  • Slice the heirloom tomatoes and red onion and add them to the bowl with the bruschetta pieces.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil and red wine vinegar until combined. Season to taste with the sea salt and pour over the bruschetta panzanella salad.
  • Sprinkle the salad with the capers and toss to coat well. Adjust seasonings again to your taste and add the basil leaves on top.
  • Allow your panzanella salad to rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving with freshly cracked black pepper on top.
Course: Salads
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Author: Florentina

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