Fresh, flavorful and light….this Greek Panzanella Salad recipe is a fantastic main course salad for the warmer months. Crisp vegetables are tossed with crunchy, seasoned croutons and a zingy lemon vinaigrette creating a salad everyone will love.
I love to find fresh salads that are ready made at my local grocery store but sometimes what I find in the deli case looks a bit questionable: like it’s been sitting there since the Reagan administration. But one day I saw a Greek Salad sitting next to the macaroni salad and the colors were bright, vibrant, and FRESH! It was literally calling my name from the case. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, CHEESE….OLIVES! OMG….it was simply fantastic, and what really sold me on it was that there was not one fleck of lettuce in this salad. So there’s proof that a salad can be a salad without any of that green stuff in it. I bought a big container of the Greek Salad and rushed home to eat the whole thing before anyone got home so I didn’t have to share.
What I loved most about this Greek Salad was that it was so simple to make at home. I ended up making it several times a week, and then I decided it was time to amp it up a bit. That’s when the Greek Panzanella Salad was born. Crunchy, herby croutons tossed with the same vegetables, olives, feta and tangy dressing that I fell in love with so many years ago. The croutons soak up all the juices from the dressing and vegetables adding to their already addicting flavor.
Greek Panzanella Salad is a fantastic addition to any party, cookout or shower during the warmer months. I especially love making this when tomatoes are at their peak, adding to the freshness of this already fabulous salad!
You can make the croutons in advance and then just toss them in the salad a couple hours before serving to give everything time to dance, mingle and be happy.
I love to serve this Greek Panzanella Salad recipe as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish. It’s also great as a main course salad. If you want to add some protein, toss in a handful of crunchy chickpeas or rinsed and drained canned white beans! It’s such a great way to keep your calories in check without eating “just a salad.”
And if you’re being carb conscious, you can just leave out the croutons like the original inspiration for this dish: the Greek Salad from the grocery deli.
Here are a few more salad recipes you might enjoy:
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad from Recipe Girl
- Greek Cucumber Noodle Salad from The Suburban Soapbox
- Greek Salad with Seasoned Flatbread by Recipe Girl
- Watermelon Blueberry Feta Salad from The Suburban Soapbox
Greek Panzanella Salad
- 3 cups bread cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Greek seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 English cucumber, cut lengthwise and sliced
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 8 ounces feta cheese, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 ounces whole pitted Kalamata olives
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the bread and sprinkle with seasoning and salt. Toss to combine. Arrange the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining salad ingredients (cucumber through olives).
- In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, zest, oregano and mustard. While whisking constantly, drizzle in the olive oil until thoroughly blended. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
- Add the bread cubes to the salad and toss to coat. Allow the salad to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.