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Panzanella Recipe with Tomatoes and Pesto Vinaigrette

Utilize all of your ingredient leftovers in this delicious Panzanella Recipe with Tomatoes and Pesto Vinaigrette. Add a grilled chicken breast to change things up!
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 843kcal


For the Salad:

  • 1 loaf of French bread cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup of assorted colored cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 3 stalks of sliced celery
  • 1/2 seeded and thinly sliced cucumber
  • 2 pitted and sliced peaches
  • 2 cups of arugula
  • 2 cups of spring mix
  • 1/2 cup of Feta or goat cheese crumbles
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

For the Pesto Vinaigrette:

  • 2 packed cups of fresh basil leaves
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


  • Coat the chicken in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper and grilled on a hot grill until cooked through. Once cooked remove from the grill and let rest.
  • Next, coat the cubed French bread with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a hot grill or in the oven on 400° to quickly toast the outside of the bread. Note: you are not making croutons, just toasting the outside.
  • In a food processor or Vitamix, add in the basil leaves, lemon juice, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese and quickly pulse for 5 seconds. Next, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing becomes emulsified. Finish with water, salt, and pepper to make a pesto vinaigrette.
  • In a large bowl add in the toasted bread, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, peaches, arugula, spring mix, feta, a few tablespoons of the pesto vinaigrette, salt, and pepper and toss until coated.
  • Slice the chicken and serve on top of the salad.


Chef Notes:
  • Ingredients for panzanella salad can vary depending on what was available.
  • This should resemble more a vinaigrette and not pesto itself so it needs to be emulsified but loose.
  • If cooking the bread, remember you are not making croutons, you are just trying to lightly toast it.  If you are using day old bread, just simply cut into cubes and leave as is. 


Calories: 843kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 991mg | Potassium: 997mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1215IU | Vitamin C: 23.1mg | Calcium: 261mg | Iron: 5.4mg