Sweet Pepper Panzanella
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  • Recipe: Sweet Pepper Panzanella
  • Writer: Lizzie Green
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

Panzanella is a great way to sneak bread into your diet under the guise of a healthy salad.

The traditional tomato-basil Panzanella has been given a vegetable makeover by me by including blistered sweet peppers, acidic pickled onions, and just a few torn kale leaves.

It all starts with that stale bread that’s been sitting out on your kitchen counter, waiting for anything to happen to it.

Due to the fact that there are only two people living in our home (the dogs follow a paleo diet), we frequently have stale bread on hand.

These were the remaining pieces of a rustic Miche round that I purchased from Easy Tiger, which is my go-to bakery.

I just now discovered that I described them as “day old,” when in reality, these shreds had been sitting about for a good number of days. Perfect panzanella bread.

Sweet Pepper Panzanella Easy
Food: Sweet Pepper Panzanella (Source: Cook for your life)

This is a recipe that would work wonderfully on the barbecue… You could toast the bread and cook the peppers at the same time. You could even barbecue the kale.

Cooking mine in a pan was not only more convenient for snapping pictures, but also necessary due to the extremely high temperatures outside.

I finished them off with a touch of sherry vinegar and a few pinches of smoked paprika so that the flavor would be enhanced even further.

Toss everything together, then set the salad aside for a few minutes so it can get lovely and juicy. Serve alongside whatever else you have on the grill!

Sweet Pepper Panzanella

Serves: 2 to 3


  • 2-3 sweet peppers (red and/or yellow)
  • olive oil
  • sherry vinegar (or balsamic or white wine vinegar)
  • pinch of sweet or smoked paprika
  • toasted stale bread rubbed w/ olive oil & garlic
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 leaves of kale, torn
  • ½ cup of little mozzarella balls
  • ¼ cup chunky pickled onions (see below)
  • a handful of torn basil
  • salt & pepper

pickled onions:

  • 1 small red onion, sliced into thick strips
  • white wine vinegar (enough to fill the jar of onions)
  • a few pinches of cane sugar and salt


Sweet Pepper Panzanella Yum
Food: Sweet Pepper Panzanella (Source: Cook for your life)
  1. For the onions that have been pickled: (make in advance) To pickle your onions, simply combine all of the ingredients in a container and shake well. Put in the refrigerator for at least an hour, and as much as several days (or even weeks) in advance.
  2. After slicing the cherry tomatoes, put them in a bowl with a dash of sherry vinegar, a dash of olive oil, some salt, and some pepper.
  3. Toast or broil your stale bread until it is golden brown and drizzle it with olive oil before doing so. Rub it with a clove of garlic that has been sliced while it is still warm, and then cut it into pieces that are suitable for nibbling.
  4. Remove the seeds from the peppers, then slice them into thick strips. They should be cooked in a pan with olive oil until they are tender and just beginning to blister. (you could also cook it on a grill if you wanted to). Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle some paprika and sherry vinegar over the top before serving.
  5. To make a simple dressing, toss all of the salad ingredients together before serving so that the liquids from the tomatoes and peppers combine. Add a touch of extra olive oil and drizzle over the top. After you’ve had a taste, season it to your preference by adding additional salt and pepper. Allow it to rest for at least ten minutes, preferably more, so that the bread can fully absorb the liquids. Serve at normal room temperature.


  • If you don’t want to make pickled onions, you can cook the onions with peppers instead. Instead of red onion, you should use a yellow one.
  • Optional dairy-free substitution: omit the cheese.