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Zucchini Panzanella Salad

I learned how to make panzanella from my friend's grandmother. Once I discovered how to make the perfect vinaigrette, it became a dish I crave during the summer. It's also a great way to use day-old bread and your garden's bounty of zucchini. —Felicity Wolf, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + cooling Bake: 40 min.
  • Makes
    14 cups

Ingredients

  • 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-in. slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 French bread baguette (10-1/2 ounces), cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups heirloom mini or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium green pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon jarred roasted minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese pearls

Directions

  • Place zucchini in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake, uncovered, at 400° until tender and lightly browned, 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway. Remove from the oven and cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss bread cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake at 400° until lightly browned, 12-14 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Place the cooled zucchini, toasted bread, tomatoes, green pepper and red onion in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic, seasonings and remaining oil. Drizzle over salad; toss gently to combine. Add the mozzarella and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Test Kitchen tips
  • If the raw onion is too pungent for you, roast it with the zucchini.
  • Use 1/3 cup prepared balsamic vinaigrette if you're short on time.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cup: 152 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 13mg cholesterol, 301mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 fat, 1 starch.
    Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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    Reviews

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    Average Rating:
    • ms11145
      Jun 29, 2020

      This is definitely a keeper. I did use Herb and cheese flavored croutons to save time. My daughter had purchased a garlic infused balsamic vinegar for another recipe and I used that. Super good.

    • SHOK
      Aug 29, 2019

      This looks yummy! I think one more time-saving step that could be substituted would be using croutons instead of cutting up bread cubes and toasting them. Hope to try this soon!

    • Debglass11
      Jul 11, 2019

      Loved this! Great for a light supper. I took a tip from the test kitchen and roasted the onions along with the zucchini and used prepared balsamic dressing to save time. The sweet onions and zucchini paired great with the mozzarella and vinaigrette. Will definitely make this one again!

    • suefetzer
      Jun 23, 2019

      This was very good! Perfect for a light summer lunch or side dish. I made it just like the recipe, seemed like my zucchini was getting soggy and not browning so I broiled it after 20 min. Might be easier to saute it or grill it, rather than heat up the oven in the summer. I will be making this again!