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Peach Panzanella Salad is an easy summer salad recipe that is loaded with fresh flavors of heirloom tomatoes, basil leaves, mozzarella, juicy ripe peaches, and torn crusty bread with a simple honey dijon vinaigrette! It’s perfect for potlucks, picnics, light summer dinners and easy no-fuss lunches!
Peach Panzanella Salad
I have a major panzanella salad obsession. Last year I posted a Fall panzanella salad made with butternut squash, roasted brussels sprouts, and apples and it is so, so good. But it’s summer and that means peaches are in season, and since peaches are my favorite fruit I’ve been adding them to basically everything I can think of.
And oh my goodness they are incredible in this gorgeous, summery peach panzanella salad!
It might seem strange at first to pair peaches and tomatoes, but we had dinner guests over the night I made this and we were all raving about how surprising and wonderful the combination of two of summer’s most beloved produce offerings.
The juicy, sweet peaches go so well with the ripe heirloom tomatoes I picked up from our local farmer’s market last week. Tossing them together with torn fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, and lots of chewy bread, then dressing it all with a simple honey mustard vinaigrette results in a flavor powerhouse of a salad that is so much more than it’s parts alone.
I was so glad the next day that I had enough ingredients leftover to throw together another salad for lunch!
Because this salad is meant to soak up the dressing that is poured over it along with the juices from the tomatoes and the peaches, it’s perfect for summer potlucks and picnics as well. It’s really best at least 20 minutes after tossing together so that the bread has time to absorb most of the dressing, and it can keep for about 4 hours, which is pretty good for a salad.
What is Panzanella Salad?
Panzanella salad is an Italian bread salad that originates from the Tuscany region of Italy, where in it’s purest form, was just a way of using up leftover day-old bread so it didn’t go to waste.
There have been a few additions along the way of tomatoes and basil, with a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing, but as long as you aren’t tied to maintaining tradition, you can make panzanella salad however you like. The important point is to remember that chunks of bread needs to take a leading roll in the salad so they can absorb the dressing.
I know what you’re thinking. “Soggy bread salad? No thank you.” But trust me on this one. It’s amazing.
As long as the bread is a day old, it will just take on the flavor of the dressing and mix with the other salad ingredients beautifully. And if you only have fresh bread, you can cube it and toast it in the oven for 10 minutes to dry it out a bit.
Tips for Peach Panzanella Salad
- Look for juicy, yellow peaches and slice them thin. I prefer freestone peaches to cling since they come right off the pit and make for a prettier presentation.
- Any type of tomato will work, although I am a sucker for those beautiful heirloom tomatoes you see at the farmer’s market this time of year. I also used some reddish-brown kumato grape tomatoes that looked too good to resist and that gave variety to the color in the salad. But anything garden fresh will work.
- I used a loaf of ciabatta bread, but any good French bread or even sourdough will work for panzanella salad. If you feel motivated, you could even make your own loaf of no-knead artisan bread and that would be great as well!
- My preference is to use torn fresh mozzarella, but burrata would also be delicious. The two flavors are very similar, although the burrata is creamier and softer.
How to Make Peach Panzanella Salad
- Combine half a loaf of cubed day-old bread, sliced peaches, chopped tomatoes, sliced red onion, crumbled bacon, torn fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves in a large bowl.
- Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake well.
- Pour vinaigrette over the salad ingredients and toss. Let the salad sit for 20 minutes to absorb some of the vinaigrette, then toss again and serve.
If your bread is fresh, heat the oven to 450 degrees F and spread the cubed bread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, toss, then bake until golden brown and dry, about 8-10 minutes before adding to the salad.
More Salad Recipes to Love
- Watermelon Basil Feta Salad
- Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Pistachios
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Peach Caprese Salad from LeMoine Family Kitchen
- Mango Blackberry Goat Cheese Salad from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Peach Panzanella Salad
- 3 cups day-old ciabatta or sourdough bread torn or cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 peaches thinly sliced
- 2 heirloom tomatoes cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes halved
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 6 slices bacon cooked & crumbled
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella ball torn
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Combine the cubed bread, peaches, tomatoes, onion, bacon, mozzarella, and basil in a large bowl.
- Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake well, then pour about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette over the salad ingredients and toss. Let the salad sit for 20 minutes to absorb some of the vinaigrette, add more vinaigrette, if desired, then toss again and serve.
- OPTIONAL: If your bread is fresh, heat the oven to 450 degrees F and spread the cubed bread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, toss, then bake until golden brown and dry, about 8-10 minutes, then use in salad as normal.