Green Panzanella salad with Grilled Chicken

This green panzanella salad with cucumber and avocado makes the perfect summer meal served with juicy grilled chicken.

Green Panzanella salad with grilled chicken

What is a Panzanella salad?

Panzanella is a Tuscan bread salad classically made with ripe tomatoes, red onion, peppers and cucumber tossed with vinaigrette. This green version replaces tomatoes with creamy avocado and uses fresh herbs in the dressing for a beautiful green salad.

Ingredients

  • Bread. I used ciabatta but baguette, focaccia or sourdough bread will also work. Stale bread works very well here.
  • Vegetables: I used avocado and cucumber but green bell peppers, green onions, kale or broccoli will all be delicious additions.
  • Fresh basil. I like adding a big handful of fresh basil leaves to the salad but arugula/rocket will also work.
  • For the dressing: extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, fresh garlic clove, fresh herbs (I used basil and chives), salt and black pepper. A few tablespoons of red wine vinegar can be used instead of the lemon juice.
  • Optional: I wanted to keep this recipe dairy-free but if you wanted to add cheese, fresh mozzarella, feta cheese or Parmesan will all be delicious.
  • For the chicken: Chicken breasts, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Green panzanella salad with cucumber, avocado and basil.

How to make Panzanella

Cube bread then toss with olive oil and season with salt. Transfer to a sheet pan and place in hot oven. Toast for 7-10 minutes, turning half way, until the chunks of bread  are golden brown and toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside. To make the dressing, blend together olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. I usually make this in with my immersion blender but you can finely chop the herbs and garlic and whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl too.

Taste and adjust the dressing to your preference. Remember, as this is going over bread and vegetables, it needs to be a little too salty and a little too tangy for it to be a nicely balanced salad once dressed.

To make the grilled chicken, season chicken breasts with olive oil, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper then grill in a hot grill pan or outdoor grill for 4-5 minutes per side until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Allow the chicken to rest while you assemble the salad.

Slice the cucumber and avocado into bite-size chunks then add to a large bowl with the bread cubes. Add the fresh basil. Pour the herb vinaigrette over the salad then toss to coat the bread and vegetables in the dressing. Serve immediately.

What to serve with panzanella

Panzanella salad is a great side dish for all kinds of protein. I love serving it with grilled chicken, fish or steak. It’s also delicious on its own as an easy lunch or vegetarian dinner.

Green Panzanella salad with grilled chicken

Salad recipes

  1. Homemade Caesar Salad with Garlic Bread Croutons
  2. Summer Jalapeño Corn Salad
Green Panzanella salad with grilled chicken

Green Panzanella salad with grilled chicken

This green panzanella salad with cucumber and avocado makes the perfect summer meal served with juicy grilled chicken.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: green panzanella, panzanella, panzanella salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Calories: 622kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the panzanella salad

  • 4 cups cubed bread (approximately 200-300g)
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 English cucumber
  • handful fresh basil leaves

For the dressing

  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ cup fresh herbs I used basil and chives
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

For the chicken

  • 500 g (1lb) chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
  • Cube bread then toss with olive oil and season with salt.
  • Transfer to a sheet pan and place in hot oven. Toast for 7-10 minutes, turning half way, until the chunks of bread  are golden brown and toasted.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • To make the dressing, blend together olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. I usually make this in with my immersion blender but you can finely chop the herbs and garlic and whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl too.
  • Taste and adjust the dressing to your preference. Remember, as this is going over bread and vegetables, it needs to be a little too salty and a little too tangy for it to be a nicely balanced salad once dressed.
  • To make the grilled chicken, season chicken breasts with olive oil, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper then grill in a hot grill pan or outdoor grill for 4-5 minutes per side until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
  • Allow the chicken to rest while you assemble the salad.
  • Slice the cucumber and avocado into bite-size chunks then add to a large bowl with the bread cubes. Add the fresh basil.
  • Pour the herb vinaigrette over the salad then toss to coat the bread and vegetables in the dressing.
  • Serve with the sliced grilled chicken.

Nutrition

Calories: 622kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 1628mg | Potassium: 1134mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 900IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg