Marinated panzanella salad with homemade croutons

Apr 17, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. ET

This beautiful salad is loaded with fresh flavors from herbs, vegetables and tomatoes and paired with cubed mozzarella and homemade croutons. Tossed with your favorite dressing, this salad never disappoints especially on a warm spring day.


Sometimes the simplest of dishes are the best. Here we share this wonderful marinated bread salad that combines sweet, savory and fresh flavors all in one bite. Feel fresh to add your own spins such as other vegetables that you may have on hand and or a different cheese. Don't skip allowing the salad to marinate as it really does add a wonderful touch to this dish.

Marinated panzanella salad with homemade croutons recipe

Inspired by forkspoonbacon

Serves 4


For the salad

  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced or cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil, very thinly sliced
  • 1 bottle of your favorite salad dressing (we used Brianna's all natural balsamic dressing)

For the croutons

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh loaf French bread, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl add the olive oil, the herbs and salt and pepper to taste, mixing well. Add in the cubed bread tossing well making sure it is evenly coated. Evenly spread the bread cubes on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the cubes are crunchy and golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  2. In a separate bowl add the croutons, mozzarella, tomatoes, avocado, onions and cucumber. Add in 1/4-1/2 cup of salad dressing (depending on your taste) and mix everything until well incorporated. Allow the salad to sit and marinate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving to help the flavors blend.
  3. Serve as a main dish or along a light pasta dish with a glass of wine.

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