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Nutty arugula topped with a skewer of grilled tomatoes and multigrain croutons makes this tasty Grilled Panzanella Salad perfect for any summer lunch or dinner.

Add the delightful surprise of a fresh and light mustard vinaigrette and your palate comes alive at the first bite of this Sourdough Panzanella Salad on a Skewer.

grilled panzanella salad in a white bowl with a yellow napkin tucked on the side.

Once Spring and Summer arrive we literally grill ALL THE TIME — and sometimes we even get our grill on to make salads! Bonus: this salad is so beautiful on a plate it looks like it’s straight out of a magazine. Wow!

Wondering how in the world you grill a salad? The Panzanella skewers are grilled to perfection and placed over a gorgeous green arugula salad tossed with a de-lite-ful mustard vinaigrette.

Just saying the words Tuscan Panzanella Salad with Grilled Garlic Bread makes my mouth water. Italian or not, I know you will love that savory, garlicky dressing, sweet tomatoes, and those crunchy pieces, too.

If you want something more with the salad, pair it with creamy and rich Chicken Florentine Soup or Nikki’s Pasta e Fagioli Soup. Oh, and Easy Vegetable Skillet Lasagna is a delicious Italian cuisine for your dinner entree. Getting hungry?

ingredients for grilled panzanella salad on a table.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Grilled Panzanella Skewer Salad

  • Argula — Substitute the arugula with baby spinach, kale, or mixed greens for a different texture or flavor.
  • Tomatoes — Cherry or grape tomatoes are perfect, but if you’re out or don’t care for tomatoes, change it up and add olives. 
  • Bread — Fresh bread from the bakery is ooh-la-la, but if you’re looking for gluten-free, try a GF sourdough or your favorite GF loaf. 
  • Parmesan cheese — Romano works well as an alternative. 

Vinaigrette

  • Red wine vinegar — If you don’t have this on hand, exchange it for balsamic or white vinegar mixed with red wine. 
  • Stone ground mustard — I actually like using Trader Joe’s stone ground Dijon, but if you don’t have a hearty stone ground mustard on hand, you can use Dijon mustard in its place. 
  • Garlic — Even though it’s not quite the same, swap it for ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder or try chives. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil — For most salad recipes, you can use other oils like sunflower, almond, or avocado. But canola and vegetable do not have much flavor in comparison.
  • Kosher salt — Kosher is my preference, but coarse sea salt or Himalayan pink salt are always suitable recipe replacements.
  • Pepper — Use to taste. Peppercorns can be an alternative, as well as mustard seeds. 

How to make Authentic Italian Grilled Panzanella Salad Recipe

pouring water into a pan with bamboo skewers.

STEP 1 | Prep the skewers

Start by soaking the bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes so they will not burn when placed on the grill.

And then, preheat the grill to medium heat and head back into the kitchen to prepare the skewer salad.

STEP 2 | Cube the bread

Slice the loaf into 1-inch thick slices and cut into cubes a little larger than the tomatoes. (Inch pieces give you the best results for skewering.)

whisking together ingredients for a vinaigrette.

STEP 3 | Mix the dressing

In a small bowl, take the vinegar, garlic, and mustard and whisk them together. Drizzle in the olive oil next and continue to whisk it rapidly until it’s beautifully creamy.

Toss in the salt and pepper, give it one more whisk and set aside. 

tip

  • Let the vinaigrette mixture sit for 4-5 hours to really enhance those delicious flavors.
a platter of skewers with bread cubes and cherry tomatoes; basting vinaigrette on skewers for grilled panzanella salad.

STEP 4 | Assemble the skewers

Now you can begin assembling the bread cubes and tomatoes alternating between the two, and place the full sticks on a platter.

Using about two tablespoons of the vinaigrette, brush the skewers with the vinaigrette until they’re lightly coated. This coating will brown up nicely on the grill.

STEP 5 | Grill

Place the skewers directly over the heat on the grill for 5 minutes. Turn them frequently using grill tongs until the bread is nice and toasty, and golden brown.

Then carefully remove them from the grill and place them on a serving plate.

While you are at it, you may want to add some hearty Italian Skewers to the grill. They are a tasty combination of fresh veggies, including Tasteful Selections Sunrise Medley potatoes, and savory sausage. They would be a scrumptious and colorful addition to your buffet.

tip

  • If the grill isn’t an option, place the skewers in the oven on a grill pan at 425 for 10-15 minutes and rotate after 3-5 minutes as the sides brown. You want them completely dried out and crispy. 

pouring vinaigrette into a bowl of arugula for grilled panzanella salad.

STEP 6 | Toss and serve

In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the remaining vinaigrette and then plate and serve with two grilled skewers per serving on top of the greens. 

Garnish this beautiful Easy Panzanella Salad with shaved Parmesan cheese and add freshly ground black pepper to taste and/or a pinch of salt if desired. 

Viola! Look at the masterpiece you created in literally minutes.

a platter of grilled skewers for panzanella salad with arugula.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between whole grain mustard and regular mustard?

Sometimes mustard seeds are called grains. It simply means some of the seeds were left whole. It carries a flavor similar to Dijon mustard. 

I thought cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes were the same things. Are they not?

They are slightly different. Visually the grape tomato is longer, like that of a grape, and the cherry tomato is round. Grape tomatoes have a thicker texture, and cherry tomatoes are sweeter. They’re usually interchangeable in recipes, however. 

How long will grilled Italian bread cubes last?

Stored in an airtight container, they will be at their freshest and tastiest for a couple of days. Be sure to remove them from the skewers and store the tomatoes in a separate container.

skewers of bread and tomatoes laying on top of a bowl of arugula with shaved parmesan for panzanella salad.

Serving suggestions

What better could be served with a delicious Panzanella Salad than the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup or a rich bowl of Sausage Tortellini Soup? It has Italian written all over it.

Serve your skewer salad alongside a stunning Cheese Board creation with cheese and meats of your choosing. And don’t forget to add some Candied Bacon to the salad or the board — your choice!

And of course, you can’t go wrong with Saucy Spaghetti and Meatballs. Now that’s Amore!

Behind the recipe: Salad with Panzanella Skewers

Is a Panzanella recipe new to you? It simply means an Italian salad made with not fresh bread (dried out or toasted), oil, tomatoes, or other vegetables. 

And it’s Italian, of course.

Italians are passionate and pride themselves on cooking with fresh and simple ingredients. Recipes are sacredly passed down from generation to generation. Some of the most beloved dishes originate from them. 

But it’s not only about the food. 

It’s about the love of family and the experience of the extended families coming together in one large gathering to celebrate practically anything — whether it’s a wedding, graduation, or little Tommy’s first tooth. 

Sharing food around the table creates a lively connection and encourages relationships that lead to a good life.

Hopefully, you have a space with family and friends to enjoy good food and a good life. If you haven’t shared a meal together recently, there’s no time like the present.

Enjoy a Panzanella — Bon Appetit!!

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Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

skewers of bread and tomatoes laying on top of a bowl of arugula with shaved parmesan for panzanella salad.

Grilled Panzanella Skewer Salad

Nutty arugula topped with a skewer of grilled tomatoes and multigrain croutons makes this tasty Grilled Panzanella Salad perfect for any summer lunch or dinner.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 203 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5 cups arugula 10 oz. pre-washed pkg.
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 loaf French or Italian bread
  • 2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish, `

Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Soak 8 bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard and garlic. Add the olive oil and whisk briskly until emulsified. Add salt and pepper and whisk once more; set aside.
  • Slice the loaf into 1-inch slices and then into cubes that are slightly larger than the tomatoes. Alternately add the bread cubes and tomatoes to the skewers and place on a platter. Brush the skewers with the vinaigrette (using about 2 tablespoons).
  • Grill the skewers over direct heat for about 5 minutes, turning frequently until the bread is toasted. Remove from heat.
  • Toss the arugula with the remaining vinaigrette. For each serving, place two skewers on top of the greens and garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese and more freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Notes

  • Let the vinaigrette mixture sit for 4-5 hours to really enhance those delicious flavors.
  • If the grill isn’t an option, place the skewers in the oven on a grill pan at 425 for 10-15 minutes and rotate after 3-5 minutes as the sides brown. You want them completely dried out and crispy. 
  • This simple salad recipe is delicious as written, however, you can top it off with whatever your tastebuds scream for. Add color with green, red, or yellow bell peppers, red onion, cucumbers, sweet peppers, some mozzarella, or a few fresh veggies sitting on the counter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 203kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 3gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 251mgFiber: 2gSugar: 10g
Keyword grilled, Panzanella, skewered
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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