Tuscan Bread Salad

Editor's Note: Looking for a salad to serve as a starter dish at a luncheon or dinner event? Tuscan Bread Salad would be a perfect dish to serve, bringing some Italian flavor to your party. This incredibly simple salad has basil leaves, plum tomatoes, cucumber and some oil and vinegar for the dressing. But the star of the dish is the stale ciabatta bread that needs to sit for a while and soak in the juices of the dressing. This is a classic salad that many will enjoy. Easy to make and easier to eat. 

Stale crusty bread doesn't have to go to waste when you know how to make this substantial salad, known as panzanella. Good with cold meats or a cheese platter.


Preparation Time25 min



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationVegetarian

MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureHerby, Savory

Type of DishFirst Course Salad


  • ½ loaf day-old crusty bread, such as ciabatta, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 14 oz (400g) small, ripe plum tomatoes, quartered or cut into chunks
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tbsp chopped parsley
  • 8 basil leaves, torn into small pieces


  1. Combine the bread, tomatoes, onion, and cucumber in a large serving bowl. Whisk together the oil and vinegar and sprinkle over the bread mixture. Season with salt and pepper, then mix well. Let stand for 30–40 minutes, mixing thoroughly once or twice to ensure the bread pieces evenly soak up all the juices.  If you do not have ciabatta, any good quality, country-style bread will do. 

  2. Sprinkle the parsley and basil over the salad and serve.


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Panzanella is such a great way to use up old bread, and this will be a great recipe to make during summer potluck season.


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