Panzanella salad recipe

(14 ratings)

panzanella salad with melon and tomatoes
(Image credit: Future PLC)
  • healthy
  • healthy
Preparation Time40 mins
Cooking Time15 mins
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories237 Kcal12%
Fat8 g11%
Saturated Fat1 g5%
Carbohydrates33 g13%

Our Panzanella salad recipe is easy to make and the dressing has just four ingredients. 

This Panzanella salad is perfect for barbecues, picnics, or party food buffets. It's easy to prepare ahead and the ideal way to use up stale bread. Try serving with some top-quality Parma ham or Proscuitto for a meaty twist.


  • 1 small sourdough loaf (stale bread works well)
  • 850g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 1 banana shallot, halved lengthways and finely sliced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely sliced
  • ½ bulb fennel, finely sliced
  • 18 marinated anchovy fillets
  • 3tbsp capers

Small bunch basil, leaves picked and torn

  • 1 small cantaloupe melon

For the dressing

  • 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 5tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed




  1. Remove the crust from the sourdough loaf and tear the bread into bite-size pieces. Scatter onto a baking tray and leave for at least 30mins for the bread to dry out.
  2. Half the melon lengthways, remove the seeds and slice each half into 8 thin wedges. On a hot griddle pan, char each side of the melon for a couple of mins until lines have formed and the melon has charred a little.
  3. Place a large sieve over a large bowl and put the chopped tomatoes and roasted red peppers inside with 1tsp sea salt. Leave for 15 mins to allow the juices to release.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the shallot, celery and fennel. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small jug and mix well to emulsify.
  5. Once the tomatoes and peppers have had time to release their juices, add them to the bowl with the shallots, celery and fennel. Mix well with your hands.
  6. Pour the tomato juice into the dressing along with the capers and mix well. Put the anchovy fillets into the bowl of tomatoes and combine.
  7. When you’re ready to serve, mix the sourdough and basil leaves into the tomato mixture and place in your serving bowl. Pour over the dressing, mix it all together and leave for 10mins so the bread has time to soak up the juices. Tuck the charred melon into the panzanella and take to the table to serve.
Top Tip for making Panzanella salad

Only pour the dressing over the bread so that they stay crisp.

Top tips for making Panzanella salad

For a more classic Panzanella salad, it should consist of just soaked-stale bread, tomatoes, and onions though basil and olive oil are often included too.

If you don't have a griddle pan you can use a frying pan you just won't achieve the char lines. Alternatively, you can include the melon as it is.

You might also like... 

Filling salad recipes 

Mediterranean salad

Salad recipes

Samuel Goldsmith
Freelance food writer

Former Assistant Headteacher, Samuel has a BSc in Food from the University of Birmingham and is also Co-Vice Chair of the Guild of Food Writers and a Trustee of 91 Ways CIC. His work has featured in national and international publications including Waitrose Food, Australian Delicious, and the LAD Bible Group. Samuel has also consulted on a number of best-selling food and drink books, and was a nutritional consultant for BBC’s Eat Well for Less.