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Simple Tomato Panzanella Salad

This Simple Tomato Panzanella Salad is made with homemade olive oil-soaked croutons, juicy tomatoes, red onion, and fresh cucumbers and basil. It is bright, refreshing and full of the freshest summer ingredients!
Prep Time30 mins
Resting time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: panzanella, plant-based, salad, tomatoes, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 6 people


  • 2.5 lbs tomatoes ideally a mix of heirloom and baby*
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 small loaf sourdough (about 400g, or 6 cups of cubes)
  • 8 tbsp olive oil, divided extra virgin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar, divided
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 cup chopped basil loosely packed
  • salt and pepper


  • Place a colander inside a bowl. Chop tomatoes and place in colander. Salt tomatoes with 2 tsp Kosher salt and toss. Allow to drain for ~30 minutes, allowing juices to drain into the bowl below.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut sourdough bread into 1in cubes. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil. Lay on a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes. (until toasted and firm, but not too browned). Remove and allow to cool.
  • Slice red onion thinly. Place in a bowl with 1 tbsp red wine vinegar. Mix onions to coat in vinegar. Allow to sit for minimum of 10 minutes.**
  • Slice cucumber thinly into bite size pieces.
  • In the bowl under the colander (the one collecting tomato juice), combine the dressing. Add 6 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, and minced garlic. Generously salt and pepper, to taste.
  • In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, red onions, cucumber, chopped basil and dressing.
  • 10-15 minutes before serving, toss in sourdough cubes. Toss well to coat with dressing. Allow flavors to sit for those 10-15 minutes, and serve!


*I used a combination of heirloom and baby tomatoes. Best picked straight from the garden (of course) or in summer season!
**Allow red onions to sit in red wine vinegar for 10 minutes. This macerates the onions, and tempers the bite of raw onions.
For leftovers (if it's not all eaten!), package the homemade croutons separately, and add just before eating.