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BLT Panzanella

12 reviews / 5 average

BLT Panzanella! The best salad of summer. Fried bread, arugula, tomatoes, bacon, and an easy balsamic dressing. YUM!

BLT Panzanella. In other words, let’s fry bread cubes and eat them in a salad. YOLO.

Let me guess: you love BLTs and you’re super excited for this flavor combo?

Let me also guess: you are questioning my decision to call this a salad?

Guys, get real. Panzanella is a thing, and while this one is maybe taking some creative liberties with its BLT-inspiration, it’s equally as golden-crispy-delicious as the real thing. I mean, look at those dreamy grill-ish marks on the bread. Those bread bites are simultaneously crunchy and salty and oozing with love.

Here are a few gems that you’ll find in this BLT Panzanella:

  • Bacon (the B)
  • Lettuce (the L) (also technically not lettuce, but close enough)
  • Tomato (the T)
  • Avocado
  • Heavenly fried bread bites
  • Garlic or shallot, whatever suits your fancy
  • Basil, for summer times
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt n pepp
Ingredients for BLT Panzanella in bowls.

The most time consuming part of this recipe is frying the bacon and the bread. No biggie. You got this.

I often listen to a “flash briefing” on our Alexa-machine-robot while I am making dinner, and I kid you not: I finished making this before our flash briefing was done. Win!

Yeah, that BLT Panzanella. She’s a speedy one.

BLT Panzanella ingredients tossed in a bowl.

The beauty of this recipe is that the bacon carries most of the flavor (and, I guess the bread, too, since you’re technically frying it in the bacon grease), so you really don’t need to add a fancy dressing. Although, now that I’m thinking about it, a basil vinaigrette would be suuuuper nice.

But for us quickies, a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic, and some thin slices of red onion, shallot, or garlic will do the trick.

BLT Panzanella in a bowl.

I just can’t say enough about that crunchy golden brown bread. I want to wax poetic to you about the in-season tomatoes and basil and everything, but guys. THE BREADDDDD. I can neither confirm or deny that I sometimes re-fry the leftover bread and eat it all on its own.

Crispy bread soaking in juicy tomatoes with the added benefit of bacon and avocado? This combo is just SO star-quality.

Closeup of BLT Panzanella in a bowl.

Watch How To Make Our BLT Panzanella (1 Min):

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BLT Panzanella in a bowl.

BLT Panzanella


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

BLT Panzanella! The best salad of summer. Fried bread, arugula, tomatoes, bacon, and an easy balsamic dressing. YUM!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced (see notes)
  • 56 slices bacon
  • 4 thick slices ciabatta bread, cut into cubes
  • 2 avocados, cut into chunks
  • 34 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
  • olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Toss the cherry tomatoes and shallot with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic so it can hang out while you fry the bacon.
  2. Fry the bacon until crispy. Set aside on a paper-towel-lined plate. Leave the grease in the pan.
  3. Add bread to the pan with the bacon grease. Toss the bread over medium heat until golden brown and crispy (uhh, yum). Set aside on a paper-towel-lined plate.
  4. Crumble your bacon.
  5. Toss the bacon, bread, avocado, arugula, and basil together gently. Season with more olive oil, balsamic, salt, or pepper as needed. SERVE AND ENJOY!

Notes

I would recommend cutting the shallot into very thin pieces using a mandoline slicer. Another option: grate up a clove of garlic and toss it in! I like it both ways.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Lunch
  • Cuisine: Italian-Inspired

Keywords: blt panzanella salad, panzanella salad, blt salad

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One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our easy summer dinners page. Check it out!

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50 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    DNN

    That is the ideal post morning treadmill cardio meal. Light on the metabolism and low calories. I’d take that salad first before I have heavy pasta noodles.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    TIL about Panzanella and this recipe looks pretty darn good. As tomatoes start to emerge in our garden(s), I am particularly excited about the tomatoes and different ways to use them. We literally have one quart of canned tomatoes left from last year.

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Dan Smith

    I made this and it’s delicious. This is great for a post workout meal. Keep up with the good work.






  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Holly H

    This was super yummy! I even made with regular sandwich bread and it turned ou delish!






  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Elizabeth

    Yum! We are making this tomorrow and adding grilled chicken! We have leftover hamburger buns- could I chop them up in place of the ciabatta bread?

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Yee Kok Siong

    Yummy!! Panzanella with a couple of items from neighboring Greece and cucumbers for extra crunch. It’s great as a starter or served with grilled leg of lamb or even chicken

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh and what wine would I serve with this? Lately my taste for rose has faded like my hydrangea blooms and something with a bit more substance beckons. I’ve tasted a few Chardonnay-Pinot Grigio blends that make for a more substantial food partner than the poolside staple Pinot Grigio.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Tara

    I have a belly full of BLT panzanella salad right now, and I am so satisfied! The croutons were amazing–I’ve never made homemade ones before. Used heirloom mini tomatoes in a rainbow of colors from our farmers market. This salad is over-the-top good!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Another POY home run!! I made your miracle no knead bread for the croutons and the whole thing was just out of this world delish. Wouldn’t change a thing!






  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    BEVERLY K LINKHART

    I have made this a few times now, and yet to have my bread look as beautiful as yours. Do you fry the bread all at one time or in sections?

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Andrea

    (Update mid-cooking here.) The breadcrumbs alone . . . I fear there may not be any left when assembly time comes!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Melissa

    Yum!! We had this tonight and it was great! Came together quickly just like you said!