Panzanella with Cherry Tomatoes and Bell Peppers

Panzanella with Cherry Tomatoes and Bell Peppers

Summer always seems to slip away, doesn’t it? August is nearly gone, and we feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of our summer checklist. Trip to beach in Michigan? Berry picking at a local farm? Guess it will wait until next year.

Luckily we have another month of tomato season here in Indiana, so we can continue to enjoy the tastes of summer at least. We ran across some lovely multi-colored cherry tomatoes and bell peppers at our local market, and were inspired to make a panzanella. If you’re not familiar, panzanella is an Italian bread salad that combines dried, crusty bread squares with fresh vegetables and a vinaigrette. It’s a genius idea for using up old bread, and extraordinarily delicious. You can use any fresh veggies you have on hand, but traditional ones are tomatoes, peppers, red onion, and sometime cucumber (though we did not use it here).

We used this recipe to help break in our new kitchen with some friends (a sneak peak is here, but we’ll be posting a series about the reno in several week). What’s your favorite summertime dish? Did you get to enjoy it this season?


Panzanella with Cherry Tomatoes and Bell Peppers

1 Star (No Ratings Yet)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 4 to 6 as a side 1x


  • 3 cups crusty bread cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 3 bell peppers (one each yellow, red, green)
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves (thinly sliced)
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Slice the bread into cubes. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Spread in a single layer and bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Dice the bell peppers. Thinly slice 1/2 red onion. Mince 1 clove garlic. Thinly slice (chiffonade) enough for 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves. Chop 1/3 cup chopped almonds.
  4. In a small bowl or canning jar, combine remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, and garlic. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper and whisk together (or shake the jar vigorously).
  5. In a large bowl, combine chopped vegetables, dressing, almonds, basil, and toasted bread. (If making in advance, add toasted bread, basil, and almonds last to avoid becoming soggy.) Serve around 20 minutes after assembling. (Leftovers are delicious, but bread will become soggy after a few hours.)


Adapted from Martha Stewart


Subscribe for free weekly recipes & more!

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    August 28, 2013 at 3:48 am

    Panzanella is so good, though I’ve only ever had it out, not made it at home. We have lots and lots of cherry tomatoes (orange + red) ripening fast so this looks the perfect way to use them! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    August 28, 2013 at 8:20 am

    This salad is stunning! And so colourful – love it!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Oh it is so pretty and sounds so good! I love all the colors and the crispy crusty bread! Perfect way to send out summer!

  • Reply
    Arthur in the Garden!
    August 28, 2013 at 10:28 am


  • Reply
    Allie @ The Nutritional Epiphany
    August 29, 2013 at 2:47 am

    YES! The color in this is so gorgeous. Now is the perfect time in the Midwest for flavorful tomatoes that were grown outdoors! I’ve been looking around for inspiration for how to use up all of the beautiful cherry tomatoes that are overflowing in my garden.
    I had it on my summer list to visit Michigan too, but I didn’t get to it either. We’re in the same boat!

  • Reply
    Cookie and Kate
    August 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Wow, this is a gorgeous salad, you guys. I can’t believe August is coming to a close, either. I can’t wait to see more pics of your new kitchen!

  • Reply
    August 31, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Yum! I keep admiring recipes for panzanella and still need to make one myself. Glad I have a bell pepper waiting- and our tomatoes are still producing here in NY, as well :)

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    September 4, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    What a great salad to end the summer off with :) So lovely!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Absolutely gorgeous styling in that photo. Love the bright colors and of course the salad sounds fantastic.

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 9:39 am

      Thanks, Ashley!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.