This burrata panzanella is an Italian bread salad with juicy tomatoes, crunchy toasted bread, fresh basil, and creamy burrata cheese. It’s a simple and delicious summertime side dish ready in under 30 minutes.

The best summer panzanella salad, elevated with creamy and rich burrata cheese! Wondering “what is panzanella“? It’s an Italian bread salad, made with chopped dried bread, tomatoes, and onions. It’s a simple yet delicious side dish. As a Registered Dietitian, this salad is one of my favorite ways to enjoy ripe summer tomatoes!

Burrata cheese is one of the best ingredients to elevate a salad to the next level. Some of my favorite burrata salad recipes are my citrus and beet burrata salad and my melon and tomato burrata salad with pesto! Most grocery stores carry burrata these days, but if you can’t find it, fresh mozzarella is a good substitute for burrata cheese.

This recipe serves 4 as a side dish. It is vegetarian, nut free, and soy free.

Ingredients in burrata panzanella salad

Here is everything you need to make this tomato bread salad:

Kitchen tools needed

To make this recipe, you will need a large mixing bowl, a baking sheet, and a good knife.

Tips for making this recipe perfectly

  • The type of bread matters. A hearty, crusty, rustic bread the best bread for panzanella. Avoid soft sandwich bread at all costs! I used sourdough, but you can also use ciabatta or a crusty baguette.
  • Use fresh and highest quality ingredients. Since this recipe is so simple, the best quality ingredients make it shine. Try to get your hands on heirloom tomatoes and crusty bread from a local bakery.
  • Properly dry out the bread. You don’t need to use stale bread to make panzanella. But, to avoid the bread turning mushy, you have to dry it out properly in the oven beforehand. Instructions below!
  • Let the salad sit for 30 minutes before serving. This allows the bread to really soak up all the flavors. Don’t worry – it won’t be mushy since you dried it out!

How to make burrata panzanella salad

  1. First, dry out the bread in the oven. I used this method from Serious Eats, and it worked very well. Cut up the bread into 1 inch cubes and toss with olive oil. Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 15 minutes until the bread is crunchy and just beginning to turn golden brown.
  2. While the bread is drying in the oven, prepare the salad by tossing together chopped tomatoes, basil, and sliced red onion in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Prepare the panzanella dressing: add extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, diced shallot, salt, and pepper to a small jar. Close the jar and shake it up to combine everything.
  4. Add the toasted bread to the tomato mixture. Pour the dressing over everything and gently toss together.
  5. Transfer the salad to a shallow bowl for serving. Put the ball of burrata in the center of the salad. Garnish with an extra drizzle of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Can I prepare panzanella in advance?

Yes! Since you dry out the bread in this recipe, it doesn’t get mushy as it sits. You can prep this recipe up to 24 hours in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

What to serve with panzanella

This panzanella is the perfect fresh side dish for any meal! I would pair it with your favorite protein to make it a well balanced meal, such as salmon, tofu, cod, or shrimp.

You could also serve it at a BBQ or cookout since you can prepare it in advance!

Close up of a bowl of burrata panzanella salad in a speckled bowl on a grey backdrop

Tomatoes nutrition benefits

Technically a fruit, tomatoes are filled with good-for-you ingredients. One cup of tomatoes provides:

  • 2.2 grams of dietary fiber (8 percent of your daily needs)
  • 75.6 mg Vitamin A (8 percent of your daily needs)
  • 24.7 mg Vitamin C (27 percent of your daily needs)
  • 14.2 mcg Vitamin K (12 percent of your daily needs)
  • 0.11 mg copper (11 percent of your daily needs)

The lycopene (a form of Vitamin A) in tomatoes acts as a powerful antioxidant. This compound has been linked to reduced risk of prostate cancer and supports heart health. Two other forms of Vitamin A found in tomatoes, zeaxanthin and lutein, are beneficial for eye health.

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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Burrata panzanella salad in a bowl surrounded by loaf of bread, grey dish towel, and a tomato

Burrata Panzanella Salad

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Side dish
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This burrata panzanella is an Italian bread salad with juicy tomatoes, crunchy toasted bread, fresh basil, and creamy burrata cheese. It’s a simple and delicious summertime side dish ready in under 30 minutes.


Ingredients

Scale

Panzanella Salad

  • 4 thick slices of sourdough bread, cut into 1 inch chunks (about 6 cups of bread)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 1/4 packed cup basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 ball burrata cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • A few grinds of pepper

Balsamic Dressing

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp shallot, minced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • A few grinds of pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Toss the bread pieces with olive oil. Spread the bread out on a large baking sheet. 
  3. Bake the bread for 15 minutes, tossing it halfway through. Bread will be crunchy and just beginning to turn light golden brown.
  4. While the bread is drying in the oven, toss together the tomatoes, basil, and red onion in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add all the dressing ingredients to a small jar. Close the jar and shake it up to combine.
  6. Add the dried bread to the mixing bowl with the tomatoes. Pour the dressing over everything and gently toss it up.
  7. Transfer the salad to a shallow bowl for serving. Top with the burrata cheese in the center.
  8. Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of salt.
  9. If you can, wait 30 minutes before digging in to allow the bread to absorb the flavors.

Notes

Can I prepare panzanella in advance?

Yes! Since you dry out the bread in this recipe, it doesn’t get mushy as it sits. You can prep this recipe up to 24 hours in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

What to serve with panzanella

This panzanella is the perfect fresh side dish for any meal! I would pair it with your favorite protein to make it a well balanced meal, such as salmon, tofu, cod, or shrimp.

You could also serve it at a BBQ or cookout since you can prepare it in advance!

Keywords: burrata panzanella, tomato bread salad, panzanella salad, italian bread salad