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Chef John's Panzanella

Rated as 4.8 out of 5 Stars

"The key to this panzanella is frying the bread cubes in loads of olive oil in a skillet, which obviously makes them crispy. But the healthful fat also soaks into the bread cubes and renders them semi-waterproof, or dressing-proof. The same goes for the dusting of Parmesan cheese applied halfway through the crisping process."
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1 h servings 746
Original recipe yields 2 servings


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  1. Pour bread into a large skillet and drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil, working in batches if necessary. Cook and stir bread over medium heat, adding more oil as needed, until bread cubes are golden and crispy on the outside, 7 to 12 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top of the bread cubes; cook and stir until cheese is melted onto bread, and bread is crispy on the outside but still chewy on the inside, 3 to 4 minutes more. Cool completely.
  3. Combine tomatoes, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, sugar, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl until well-mixed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until flavors combine, about 20 minutes.
  4. Toss basil into tomato mixture; add bread cubes and stir. Let salad sit at room temperature 3 to 4 minutes; if the liquid is completely absorbed, add more vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to taste. Season with salt and black pepper.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 746 calories; 45.8 68.4 17.5 9 927 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 36
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Excellent! I kept the ingredients the same but changed the toasting method of the bread. I placed the olive oil tossed bread cubes on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for approx. 5 min. Stirr...

Very tasty salad! I've had it before YEARS ago (maybe 30?), & it was, as Chef John says, a little less pleasant because of the sogginess of the bread. I wonder though, if you could use a high ...

This recipe looked simple and fun. It was! I made it even easier by using bagged Cheese & Garlic Croutons, and hot house tomatoes. Also used fresh basil from my garden and added shrimp that I'd ...

Just WOW!! Totally delicious!

Huge hit! Thought I would burn the bread. I didn't. The cheese did stick to the bottom of pan and I had to run outside to avoid the smoke detector going off but I actually used the scrapings in ...

Wow! Once again Chef John has come up with a great recipe. I was tempted to bake the bread cubes but I followed the recipe and am I glad I did. This was delicious! The bread was not soggy at ...

I was looking through my stash of recipes looking for something inspiring to make. I came across this and instantly remembered how much I loved this salad. I didn't change a thing then and I won...

Such a nice change from the usual summer pasta salads!

Made this during the winter and used Roma tomatoes and dried basil (what I had on hand) and it still tasted superb! Wow, nice and tangy with a crunch. I was going to have it with some chicken bu...