Use Your Stale Bread For Panzanella Salad

Do you have stale bread lying around and you’re looking for something to make with it? Look no further as this Panzanella salad is the perfect way to put your stale bread to good use. This flavorful salad features ripe tomatoes, homemade croutons, salty mozzarella cheese, and a light vinaigrette. This recipe yields one large salad, enough for eight side servings.


Homemade Croutons:

  • 4 ounces ciabatta or sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, plus more for garnish
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced


  • 1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 pound additional tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 mini cucumbers or 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 8 ounces mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons thinly cut Kalamata olives and/or capers


  1. For the croutons, preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Slice the bread into 1-inch cubes and place them on the baking sheet. Drizzle the cubes with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt, toss until combined. Bake until golden, 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. In a bowl combine olive oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Whisk until combined.
  4. Cut your onion down the middle to make it more manageable and then stir the onions into the dressing. Let the bowl chill in the refrigerator while you make the salad.
  5. For the salad, transfer the tomatoes to a large serving platter and nestle half of the croutons between the tomatoes, distribute the rest on top. Place the cucumber rounds and mozzarella over the salad.
  6. Distribute the lightly pickled onions all over. Stir the remaining dressing and drizzle it over the salad.
  7. Sprinkle the basil, olives and/or capers on top. Top with extra black pepper and dried oregano.
  8. Let the salad marinate for 20 minutes to an hour before serving.