Strawberry Panzanella Salad is a perfect year-round salad made with California grown Strawberries and a tangy honey vinaigrette!
This post is sponsored by the California Strawberry Board
California Strawberry Panzanella Salad
This California Strawberry Panzanella Salad is a perfect refreshing summer salad! The combination of sweet strawberries with crunchy croutons, bocconcini cheese and a tangy sweet dressing is a perfect match. A great make ahead recipe for your summer cookouts!
What Is Panzanella Salad?
It is a chopped salad originating in Italy that traditionally features bread, tomatoes, and onions. Additional vegetables can be added depending on what you have and what is in season. The salad is tossed with an herb, oil, and vinegar dressing. It was one way to use up stale or leftover bread to avoid any waste.
In this twist on the classic panzanella salad. The tomatoes are swapped for California Strawberries which adds a sweetness and pop of summer flavor to the salad! The sweet strawberries pair perfectly with the tangy dressing.
What is in Strawberry Panzanella Salad?
- California Strawberries – these add extra sweetness to transform the original recipe into a delicious summer panzanella salad.
- Croutons – bread with a thick crust and coarse texture is best for toasting into croutons for this recipe. Baguette, ciabatta, sourdough, or a crusty French loaf would be best.
- Cheese – bocconcini is the official name for small balls of fresh mozzarella. I like to use the mini version for perfect bite size pieces. If you can’t find any, you can use fresh mozzarella cut into bite-sized cubes.
- English Cucumber – this has a thinner peel than regular cucumbers. It’s my favorite for salads and sandwiches. You can use any variety, but I would highly recommend peeling other varieties which have a thicker peel first.
- Vinaigrette – this is one of my favorite sweet and savory vinaigrettes that is perfect for the salad which pairs perfectly with the sweet and savory ingredients. It absorbs perfectly into the crunchy croutons creating an amazing pop of flavor!
How to make Strawberry Panzanella Salad
Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page
Prepare the Croutons
1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet/baking tray with foil or parchment paper.
2 Add the cubed bread to the baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper on top. Toss until evenly coated.
3 Spread the seasoned bread evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking, until the croutons are golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Prepare the Salad
1 For the dressing, in a small bowl or measuring cup combine all of the dressing ingredients. Whisk until evenly combined.
2 For the salad, in a large bowl combine the California Strawberries, cherry tomatoes, red onion, mini bocconcini and baked croutons. Add half of the dressing and toss until evenly combined.
3 Place the salad in the fridge for the flavour to marinate and bread to soften for 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour.
4 Remove the salad from the fridge, add the remaining dressing and toss until evenly combined.
Serve the salad and enjoy!
Benefits of California Strawberries
- California strawberries are easily found in stores and available year-round! I love that I can find fresh and sweet California strawberries in Canada all year.
- California strawberries are one of the healthiest fresh fruits.
- Support immunity with strawberries. Just one cup of strawberries has 95% of the daily value of vitamin C for the day.
- Strawberries are packed with beneficial nutrients including potassium, folate, fiber and the antioxidant vitamin C.
- A serving of 8 California Strawberries is only 50 calories.
- A serving of 8 California strawberries is a source of fibre.
- California strawberries are sustainably grown. Strawberry farmers continue to invest in research to remain sustainable while farming under some of the toughest regulations in the world. California has strict agricultural and environmental rules for farming.
The above facts are courtesy of the California Strawberry Board. For more information, recipes and nutritional information visit www.californiastrawberries.com
What to Serve with Strawberry Panzanella Salad?
- Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin – an impressive yet simple dinner idea! Your family will love this tender roasted pork wrapped in crispy bacon and covered in tangy BBQ sauce.
- Greek Pork Souvlaki – one of my favorite BBQ skewers! Flavor packed pork marinated with lemon, garlic and aromatic spices. The meat is tender, moist and perfect served in a wrap or on a plate.
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup – I love a classic soup and salad dinner. This strawberry panzanella salad pairs perfectly with a creamy chicken soup!
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.
California Strawberry Panzanella Salad
- 1 baguette, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil, or cooking oil of choice
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- Pinch salt and pepper
- 4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil, or neutral oil of choice
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pint California strawberries, washed and sliced in half
- 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mini bocconcini
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet/baking tray with foil or parchment paper.
- Add the cubed bread to the baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper on top. Toss until evenly coated.
- Spread the seasoned bread evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking, until the croutons are golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- For the dressing, in a small bowl or measuring cup combine all of the dressing ingredients. Whisk until evenly combined.
- For the salad, in a large bowl combine the California Strawberries, cherry tomatoes, red onion, mini bocconcini and baked croutons. Add half of the dressing and toss until evenly combined.
- Place the salad in the fridge for the flavour to marinate and bread to soften for 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour.
- Remove the salad from the fridge, add the remaining dressing and toss until evenly combined.
- Serve the salad and enjoy!