Heirloom Caprese Panzanella Salad

Cool off with this refreshing Heirloom Caprese Panzanella Salad. Light, simple and quick to make, this combination of tomatoes and mozzarella is a winner!

Angled close up of salad in bowls

Real talk, y’all: Me and tomatoes haven’t always gotten along. In fact, we sometimes still don’t.

I am that person who generally likes all the tomato products EXCEPT for fresh tomatoes. (Yeah, I know. Really, I do.)

However, something changed last summer and has been working for me ever since.

Preparing cubes of bread to be baked on sheet

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    We got really lucky when we moved to Dallas. I found a local farm offering shares to the public that I desperately wanted to be a part of… and my husband agreed.

    This farm has been responsible for both of us trying and cooking several vegetables that we had never tried before OR vegetables that we thought we disliked before we had one that was locally grown and fresh from the farm.

    And their tomatoes? Are out of this world sweet and delicious and juicy.

    We’ll be receiving boxes again in June, and I’m brainstorming of all the ways we can use this farm fresh produce. And y’all better believe it’ll be showing up here on the blog.

    Bowl of tomatoes being sliced on wood cutting board with knife

    This recipe is the marriage of two recipes I always admired — caprese salad and panzanella.

    And with heirloom cherry tomato crops looming in the near future, I knew it was time to share this goodness with the world.

    This Heirloom Caprese Panzanella Salad is slightly sweet, incredibly savory and has a delightful crunch from the bread. It’s all my favorite textures in a bowl, and it keeps amazingly well in the fridge, too, if you keep the salad and the croutons separate until you’re ready to serve them. Because the tomatoes just get juicier, and the mozzarella soaks up some of the juice, and the basil is still so fresh.

    I may or may not be drooling a little while thinking about this.

    Mixed salad ingredients in glass bowl

    This recipe is also a winner for a crowd, which makes it a perfect dish to bring to a summer barbecue. Sure, it’s not traditional, but if it tastes good, who really cares about sticking to tradition?

    More summer flavors to try:

    Here’s how you can make your own:

    Preparing cubes of bread to be baked on sheet
    Yield: 8 servings

    Heirloom Caprese Panzanella Salad

    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 12 minutes
    Total Time: 27 minutes

    Cool off with this refreshing Heirloom Caprese Panzanella Salad. Light, simple and quick to make, this combination of tomatoes and mozzarella is a winner!



    • 4 cups rustic bread, , cubed into 1/2" to 1" pieces
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


    • 4 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, , halved (and some quartered, depending on the size of them)
    • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 oz . fresh mozzarella pearls, , quartered
    • 2 garlic cloves, , minced
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, , loosely packed and roughly chopped (I used purple!)


    1. First and foremost, preheat the oven to 400°F.
    2. Transfer the cubed bread into a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Toss the bead until all the pieces are coated with the oil and seasoning.
    3. Spread the coated bread pieces evenly across the surface of a baking sheet, then transfer to the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the croutons have browned and are toasted. Remove, let cool and set aside.
    4. In another large bowl, combine the halved tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mozzarella, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine the ingredients using a spoon, then let them sit for at least 10 minutes to marinate.
    5. Once the tomatoes are juicy, toss 3/4 cup of basil, tossing until combined.
    6. Add the croutons to the mixture, stirring them in, and allow them to sit for an additional 10-15 minutes.
    7. Serve with the rest of the basil garnishing the top of the salad, and enjoy!


    Recipe adapted from from Cup of Jo.

    How much did you love this recipe?

    Follow me on Instagram for more content, and share a photo of your creation with the hashtag #speckledpalate!

    Overhead close up of Heirloom Caprese Panzanella Salad in bowls

    Have you had an experience where eating something locally changed your perspective on the dish?

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    One Comment

    1. I think a lot of people are not so into fresh tomatoes because of the everyday horror that is the store-bought tomato. Mealy and watery and tasteless–yuck! But tomatoes from the backyard–yes please, immediately. 🙂 This salad sounds like the perfect way to enjoy fresh tomato!

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