Panzanella is one of the starring recipes on the table in Summer, a pride of Tuscan cuisine! A recovery recipe: stale bread and garden vegetables for a wonderfully simple and appetizing dish. Like its "cousin" from Puglia, the acquasale, panzanella is a cold dish, no cooking required. The stale Tuscan bread is soaked in water and white wine vinegar, which gives panzanella an intense and characteristic flavor. Tomatoes and red onions are a must, to which cucumbers or celery can be added depending on the area and what is available. There are many existing variations of panzanella, and everyone is free to customize it to their liking... tell us how you enjoyed it!

Also discover these delicious reinterpretations:

  • winter panzanella
  • panzanella-stuffed tomatoes
  • salmon tartare and panzanella
  • sweet panzanella
Tuscan bread 12 oz (350 g) - stale
Cluster tomatoes 1 cup (220 g) - ripe
Cucumbers 0.5 lb (200 g)
Red onions 3.2 oz (90 g)
Basil to taste
Water 1.1 cups (250 g) - (variable depending on how much the bread needs to be moistened)
White wine vinegar 2 tbsp (60 g)
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Fine salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

How to prepare Panzanella

To make panzanella, first cut the bread into slices 1 and then into coarse cubes 2. Transfer the bread to a bowl and add water and vinegar 3.

Mix well so that the bread can evenly absorb the soak and set aside 4. Proceed with preparing the vegetables: cut the tomatoes first into quarters 5 and then into smaller pieces 6.

Remove the peel from the cucumber, trim the ends and cut it in half lengthwise 7, then slice it thinly 8. Finally, peel the onion, cut it in half and slice it thinly 9.

Go back to the bowl with the bread and mix again, then add the onions 11 and cucumbers 12.

Also add the tomatoes 13 and mix everything together 14, then tear the basil leaves with your hands 15.

Season with salt 16, pepper, and oil 17. Mix again and keep your panzanella in the refrigerator until it's time to serve it 18!

How to store

Panzanella can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, in an airtight container. However, it's best to add the tomatoes at the time of serving to prevent them from souring.


Panzanella is traditionally made with Tuscan bread, but any type of stale bread will do: the important thing is that it's a bit stale.

The amount of water depends on how dry the bread used is, so you can increase or decrease it to achieve the right consistency; however, the amount of vinegar should not be changed.

If you prefer to soften the flavor of raw onion, you can soak it in water and salt for an hour and a half, changing the brine every 30 minutes: this will also make it more digestible.

Many variants use celery instead of cucumber; alternatively, try replacing it with raw zucchini cut very thinly!

You can replace the heirloom tomatoes with cherry tomatoes or use red wine vinegar instead of white.

Instead of pepper, you can opt for chili pepper or Tabasco!