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Panzanella original recipe

Photo: Claudia Concas

Panzanella: the original Tuscan recipe

Find out how to prepare a perfect panzanella in a few simple steps.


14 December, 2020
Average: 1.5 (2 votes)

Type of dish


Dietary Consideration

serves for


total time

0 HR 20 MIN


4 slices, black
Red onion
2, better if Tropea variety
Cherry tomatoes
White wine vinegar
30 ml
Extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper


Panzanella is a typical Tuscan recipe whose original purpose is to use up stale bread and home grown vegetables. It is a humble recipe that has nevertheless remained unchanged in time and has acquired prestige and value thanks to its simple and genuine ingredients. Here’s how to prepare the original panzanella!

Step 01

cutting bread for panzanella recipe

Photo: Claudia Concas

Cut the bread into slices and then into smaller pieces. Place in a bowl and add half a glass of cold water. 

Step 02

slicing onion for panzanella recipe

Photo: Claudia Concas

Slice the onion finely and place it in a bowl. Cover with cold water and the vinegar.

Step 03

cutting tomatoes for panzanella recipe

Photo: Claudia Concas

Cut the vine tomatoes into slices and the cherry tomatoes into halves. Squeeze the bread and tear it into pieces, making sure they are not too small.  


Step 04

dressing wit oil for panzanella recipe

Photo: Claudia Concas

Place the bread in a serving dish, add the tomatoes and the strained onion rings. Dress with oil, salt and basil. 

Useful tips and interesting facts

You will need Tuscan bread for the original Panzanella recipe. An unsalted loaf made from soft flour. In fact, in Tuscany it is actually known as  “pane sciapo” (meaning unsalted bread) owing to this one of a kind characteristic. Use stale bread, so long as it is hard and not likely to crumble when it comes into contact with the water and vegetable juices. The onion is soaked in water and vinegar to mitigate its pungent flavour. Panzanella is actually a light summery vegan dish, suitable for all palates. If you are after an even more intense flavour, you can prepare panzanella a couple of hours before serving but, in this case, remember to leave the bread to soak for only a few minutes. 



If you wish to add a crunchy element to your panzanella, throw in some diced cucumber. Instead of unsalted Tuscan bread, you could use a wholemeal or multigrain loaf. 


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