Chicken Panzanella

Chicken Panzanella – toasted bread cubes, tomatoes, red onion, basil and fresh mozzarella tossed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This salad is full of flavor and makes a great dinner for a hot summer’s night or any night!

Chicken Panzanella - chicken, tomatoes, bread and a balsamic dressing make this great summer meal!

There are times as a blogger when I make a recipe that I have a really hard time coming up with a name for it unless I’ve borrowed it from another site.

Yesterday I was in the grocery store, trying to figure out what to make for dinner and it came to me!
I’d made this “salad” a couple months ago and the family loved it. I’d put it together one night after we’d eaten some caprese paninis a few nights before.
It had bread, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and I tossed it in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
It was SO good!
We ate it so fast that I didn’t take pictures or even write the recipe down…or if I did, I have no idea where it disappeared to.

Chicken Panzanella - chicken, tomatoes, bread and a balsamic dressing make this great summer meal!

So, last night I did my best to recreate it and fortunately, I did. It was delicious and aside from the prep work of cutting those little tomatoes in half, was pretty easy to put together.  And it was so worth it!
After dinner, we sat around the living room and I was trying to come up with a name for it…Caprese Chicken Bread Salad, Tomato Chicken Bread Salad, and on and on it went.
Then I watched an old episode of Chopped and one of the contestants was making a bread salad with tomatoes and referred to it as this “Panzanella” thing .

Chicken Panzanella - chicken, tomatoes, bread and a balsamic dressing make this great summer meal!


My daughter started laughing, “that saves you a whole lot of trouble.”
Good grief, I’ll say!

So, there you have it. I just put the chicken in front of the Panzanella because it’s an important ingredient, but feel free to leave it out.

Chicken Panzanella


  • 6 cups cubed bread, cut up into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb..seasoned, cooked chicken, cut up into bite-size pieces
  • 1 10.5 ounce container cherry tomatoes
  • 1 10.5 ounce container yellow tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut up into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss bread crumbs with 1/4 cup olive oil. combine well and then toss with another 1/4 cup olive oil.
  3. Spread bread cubes onto a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, until bread is lightly golden.
  6. In a large bowl, combine chicken, cherry and yellow tomatoes, basil, red onion, and mozzarella.
  7. Pour the balsamic vinegar and remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil into the bowl and toss to completely coat.
  8. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.


I used one 8 ounce loaf of bread and cut it up into one inch cubes. I seasoned the chicken before I cooked it with 1 tablespoon of McCormick's Montreal Chicken Seasoning.


I rate everything I make on a scale of 1 -4 and this Chicken Panzanella earned 4 rolling pins!
I do believe this is one of my favorite meals I’ve made so far.
What’s not to love – fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, bread, basil, the dressing, the chicken and….oh, man…

I want more!

This will definitely be a regular on our summertime menu.

I give you BIG baking hugs and muffins!


  1. Barbara+Owen says

    Panzanella is bread salad, from the Tuscan region of Italy. They don’t waste food, so someone decided to combine stale bread with fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil and a sharp vinegar, usually balsamic. They don’t eat meat with every meal like we do, so this salad would be a light meal in itself. We had something similar in Puglia, and it was yummy!

  2. Sandy Naylor says

    I made this today and it was fabulous! I used 2 containers of heirloom cherry tomatoes for more color! Delicious and will be made over and over, especially on these hot Phoenix summer nights!

    • Lynne says

      Sounds great, Sandy! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m looking forward to making it a lot this summer as well as we are now back in the Phoenix area ourselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *