Chef John's Panzanella Recipe -
Chef John's Panzanella Recipe
4 Photos
Chef John's Panzanella Salad
See how to make a tasty tomato and bread salad that’s never soggy. See more
  • READY IN 1 hr

Chef John's Panzanella

Recipe by  

"The key to this panzanella is frying the bread cubes in loads of olive oil in a skillet, which obviously makes them crispy. But the healthful fat also soaks into the bread cubes and renders them semi-waterproof, or dressing-proof. The same goes for the dusting of Parmesan cheese applied halfway through the crisping process."

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    10 mins

    1 hr


  1. Pour bread into a large skillet and drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil, working in batches if necessary. Cook and stir bread over medium heat, adding more oil as needed, until bread cubes are golden and crispy on the outside, 7 to 12 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top of the bread cubes; cook and stir until cheese is melted onto bread, and bread is crispy on the outside but still chewy on the inside, 3 to 4 minutes more. Cool completely.
  3. Combine tomatoes, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, sugar, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl until well-mixed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until flavors combine, about 20 minutes.
  4. Toss basil into tomato mixture; add bread cubes and stir. Let salad sit at room temperature 3 to 4 minutes; if the liquid is completely absorbed, add more vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to taste. Season with salt and black pepper.
Kitchen-Friendly View

Reviews More Reviews

Sep 12, 2014

Excellent! I kept the ingredients the same but changed the toasting method of the bread. I placed the olive oil tossed bread cubes on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for approx. 5 min. Stirred and sprinkled with the Parmesan, then continued to bake until nicely browned. This recipe doesn't disappoint.

Feb 17, 2015

Very tasty salad! I've had it before YEARS ago (maybe 30?), & it was, as Chef John says, a little less pleasant because of the sogginess of the bread. I wonder though, if you could use a high quality basalmic vinager instead of red wine vinegar? I purchased some from Italy when I visited my Daughter. It's a 5 year, wooden cask cured Basalmic (which I use ONLY on something that it "really" matters on, like this salad (the longer it's cured, especially in a wooden cask, makes it FAR superior to what you get at the grocers. It's expensive, but what Heavenly flavor!!! I do confess though, I've made croutons this way since I was a girl, & my Dad would make his favorite noodle dish, croutons, parm., cottage cheese and noodles. I have the recipe for "that" dish in my A/R Recipe box, again, thanks to my friends the "Buzzers" on the A/R site (The Buzz). It's a great resource for all of us on A/R. It's complimentary with membership, AND there are a boatload of nice folks on there who can answer almost any question or recipe request you can imagine and seem to love doing so!


14 Ratings

Jul 26, 2015

This recipe looked simple and fun. It was! I made it even easier by using bagged Cheese & Garlic Croutons, and hot house tomatoes. Also used fresh basil from my garden and added shrimp that I'd cooked in a garlic, red pepper flake, olive oil & butter mix. Turned it into a meal rather than a side. My husband went back for seconds!

Jul 06, 2015

Huge hit! Thought I would burn the bread. I didn't. The cheese did stick to the bottom of pan and I had to run outside to avoid the smoke detector going off but I actually used the scrapings in the salad and it was yummy. I didn't use any sugar and I only had balsamic vinegar handy so that's what I used. It was really tasty. Thanks once again Chef John for another keeper

Jun 11, 2015

Wow! Once again Chef John has come up with a great recipe. I was tempted to bake the bread cubes but I followed the recipe and am I glad I did. This was delicious! The bread was not soggy at all. The only change I made was to add fresh chives. When I went out to pick the basil leaves the chives just called out to me and I couldn't resist. This was wonderful now I can't wait for the grape tomatoes to come in.

Apr 07, 2015

Such a nice change from the usual summer pasta salads!

Jun 11, 2015

Chef John's cooking method is spot on.

May 30, 2015

GOOD EASY Make again I enjoyed. 4 only because it was good but not a wow. Certainly good with other salads for change.


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 746 kcal
  • 37%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 68.4 g
  • 22%
  • Cholesterol
  • 9 mg
  • 3%
  • Fat
  • 45.8 g
  • 70%
  • Fiber
  • 4.2 g
  • 17%
  • Protein
  • 17.5 g
  • 35%
  • Sodium
  • 850 mg
  • 34%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More

About the Cook

Subscribe Today!

In Season

Cool As A Cucumber Salad
Cool As A Cucumber Salad

We have over 100 cucumber salads to help you keep your cool.

Classic Meatloaf
Classic Meatloaf

Meatloaf is the hearty, family-pleasing meal that makes the greatest leftovers ever.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Chef John's Panzanella Salad

See how to make a tasty tomato and bread salad that’s never soggy.

Chef John's Classic Macaroni Salad

This deli-style macaroni salad will always be a crowd-favorite!

Chef John's Bagna Cauda

Warm olive oil and butter dipping sauce with anchovy fillets and garlic.

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States