BLT Panzanella

BLT panzanella in white bowl

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A simple Italian bread salad inspired by the classic sandwich, this BLT panzanella celebrates summer produce. It works as a side or main dish salad, and is a tasty alternative to pasta salad!


  • 4-5 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4-5 cups cubed bread 
  • 8 oz. package of bacon
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 head romaine lettuce (or other head lettuce)
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tsp honey (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Toast the bread: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss cubes in some olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until edges have crisped up. Once done, transfer the toasted bread cubes from the baking sheet into a large bowl to cool.
  2. Prep the veggies: Toss together tomatoes and salt in a large bowl and place, covered, in fridge while preparing other ingredients. Dice red onion and chop the fresh basil and romaine. Place fresh veggies (except tomatoes) in a large bowl.
  3. Cook the bacon: Using the same baking sheet that you used for the bread cubes, place bacon strips next to each other and bake for 20 minutes or to your desired crispiness. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before chopping into bite size pieces.
  4. Make the dressing: In a mason jar, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and a small pinch each of salt and pepper. Shake vigorously until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust ingredients to your preference.
  5. Assemble! Combine all prepared ingredients into the large bowl with the onion, lettuce, and basil. Cover toss with dressing. Allow to chill in the fridge before serving.


*You can cook the bacon however you want! I chose to use the oven because it's a little less messy, and I already had it preheated from toasting the bread cubes. If you have multiple sheet pans and want to cook them simultaneously, you could do that too.

*To avoid cooking anything at all, use stale bread and pre-cooked bacon (still look for sustainably sourced bacon with clean ingredients, i.e. uncured, no chemical additives or antibiotics, humanely raised if possible).