Made with crunchy bread and fresh vegetables, Grilled Panzanella Salad is a delicious vegetarian recipe for a summer evening. This version features grilled bell peppers and onions, tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella, and a shallot red wine vinaigrette.
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One of my favorite activities of summer 2020 has been grilling. Cooking and enjoying a meal al fresco really becomes much more glamorous when you’re working from home and inside your house all day…everyday! Don’t you agree?!
My renewed interest in grilling has also inspired me to get more creative as a cook. I kicked off the season with Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms with Caprese Salad, and now I’m rounding it out with a similar, Italian-inspired recipe.
If you aren’t familiar with panzanella, it’s a salad that’s traditionally made with bread, fresh vegetables like peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes, herbs, and mozzarella. I first had this delicious creation several years ago, but I didn’t realize how perfect it would be for the Veg World until this summer!
I think you will love the combination of charred veggies combined with crunchy bread, cheese, and a flavorful red wine dressing in this Grilled Panzanella Salad. It’s a light and simple meal that’s ideal for an August evening.
How to Make Grilled Panzanella Salad
- Prepare the dressing so that the flavors can sit and meld together while you make the rest of the salad.
- Grill the bell peppers and onions until they’re charred to your liking. Brush two large slices of bread with oil, and grill both sides for a few minutes. Remove the veggies and bread from the grill. Slice the bread into cubes.
- Combine the grilled veggies, bread, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in a large mixing bowl. Toss in the dressing until well coated. Enjoy!
Expert Tips and FAQ
In terms of equipment and ingredients, I highly recommend using nonstick mesh grill mats for the veggies. You can use any type of bread for Grilled Panzanella Salad, but it’s best to use a good Italian loaf or sourdough variety if you can find one.
If you don’t have veggie mats, cut the peppers into two or three large pieces and the onion into large rings, instead of 1-inch squares, to prevent them from slipping through the grill. After they’re finished cooking, you can cut them into smaller pieces for the salad.
What goes with panzanella salad?
This dish can stand alone as a vegetarian main course, but it’s typically served as a side to grilled chicken, steak, or fish. I really enjoy it with white fish or salmon, like my Summer Squash and Dill Salmon Burgers.
Does panzanella keep?
Because it contains bread, I recommend making this recipe just before or up to one hour before you plan to serve it. Panzanella can get soggy if it’s made too far ahead of time. However, you can grill the veggies and bread in advance to save time, and wait to assemble the salad until you’re ready to do so.
More Grilled Veggie Recipes
If you enjoy this Grilled Panzanella Salad, check out the following dishes:
- Grilled Wedge Salad with Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing
- Garlic Rosemary Grilled Cauliflower Foil Packets
- Grilled Sweet Corn with Cilantro Chimichurri
- Mango Corn Salsa with Black Beans
- Grilled Vegetable Skewers with Halloumi
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Grilled Panzanella Salad
For the salad
- 2 bell peppers – stem and seeds removed; cut into 1-inch squares
- 1 red onion – peeled and trimmed; cut into 1-inch squares
- 2 large slices Italian bread – use 4 slices if loaf is small; can sub sourdough
- 1 clove garlic – minced
- Olive oil – for brushing
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes – halved
- 1/4 cup fresh basil – roughly torn
- 8 ounces mozzarella balls – also known as ciliegine
- Preheat the grill to medium heat. While the grill is heating, whisk together the dressing ingredients: olive oil, red wine vinegar, shallot, parsley, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside to let the flavors meld while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Toss the bell peppers and red onion in some olive oil, and season with salt and pepper if desired. Place the veggies on the grill or on a grill mat (highly recommend), cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, rotating as needed to promote even charring. In a small bowl, mix together some olive oil with the minced garlic. Brush this on both sides of each slice of bread. Place the bread directly on the grill or on a grill mat, cover, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until toasted. Remove the veggies and bread from the grill.
- Cut the bread into cubes, and combine the bread, grilled veggies, raw tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella balls in a large mixing bowl. Toss the salad in the dressing until well coated. Serve and enjoy!
- This salad is best served right away or shortly after preparing. However, you can prepare the dressing and grilled veggies and bread in advance to save time. Just wait to assemble the full salad until you’re ready to eat.
- If you do not have veggie mats, I recommend cutting the peppers into two or three large pieces and the onion into large rings instead of 1-inch squares. This will help prevent them from slipping through the grill racks. After they’re finished cooking, slice them into smaller pieces for the salad.
- You can also roast the peppers and onion in the oven. Toss in olive oil, spread out on a lined baking sheet, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Have a lovely Thursday! – Lizzie