Salads

Tuna Panzanella – Italian Bread Salad

April 7, 2019 (Last Updated: July 30, 2019)

Panzanella Salad made with seared tuna steaks, juicy and sweet cherry tomatoes, salty olives and crunchy cucumber. It’s tossed with a simple and easy dressing and homemade croutons. This salad can be prepped ahead making it perfect for lunch on the go or a light dinner.

An overhead shot of a tuna panzanella salad on a large plate with tomatoes and basil scattered around

This is by far the BEST tuna panzanella salad I’ve ever had and believe me when I say I’ve had my fair share of panzanella in my time.

This is totally an amped up, not so traditional version (more about that below) but it doesn’t go overboard with fancy ingredients and it still takes less than 15 minutes to make from start to finish.

I’ve made a ton of tuna panzanella salads with canned tuna and although it’s really delicious I decided to swap it for fresh tuna steaks and omg the flavour is insane. Best of all this salad is super healthy and fresh so you can whip it up and serve it any time of the day.

Traditional Panzanella Salad Vs Tuna Panzanella 

So there a good few differences between this salad and a traditional version here’s what you need to know:

  • Traditional Panzanella: a traditional Panzanella doesn’t contain any tuna although it’s a popular addition throughout Italy. The bread is also traditionaly soaked in water (stale bread) to rehydrate and then is crumbled into the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Our Tuna Panzanella: the seared tuna steaks and ciabatta bread croutons are the main differences here. The croutons are fun and give a delicious, crunchy texture to the salad whereas the tuna steaks give it an amped up modern feel making it a great dinner option that’s both filling and healthy.

How to Make Tuna Panzanella Salad – Step By Step

Place the ciabatta bread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil, freshly grated parmesan and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Toast in the oven for 10 minutes until crisp (photos 1 & 2).

Drizzle the tuna steak in olive oil just to lightly coat and sprinkle with a small pinch of salt and pepper. Place on a hot griddle pan for 2 minutes each side, it should still be pink in the middle. Remove and cut into slices (photos 3 & 4).

Step by step photos for making a tuna panzanella salad with tuna steaks

Place the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, olives, basil and parsley in a large bowl then add the croutons and slices of tuna (photos 7 – 9).

Whisk the olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl then pour over the salad ingredients, toss the salad to combine. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes then serve (photo 10).

Step by step photos for making a tuna panzanella salad

Other Ingredients that Would Work Really Well

I like to stick to simple ingredients when it comes to panzanella but you can easily adapt it with whatever ingredients you like. Sun-dried tomatoes would work really well as would zucchini, asparagus, carrots, eggs and you could swap the tuna for cured meats such as prosciutto or just simply keep it veggie.

Top Tips For Making the Best Tuna Panzanella 

  • Make sure to use the freshest tuna possible and from a sustainable source
  • If you can’t get ahold of tuna steaks you can use canned tuna
  • I like to let the salad sit for a few minutes so the dressing soaks into the croutons and all the flavours get a chance to develop
  • Make sure to cut the onion as thin as possible so you don’t get a pungent onion taste
  • You can store this salad in the fridge for up to 2 days

A close up of a tuna panzanella salad on a large serving plate

More Easy Salads You Might Like:

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Watch How to Make it

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5 from 2 votes

Tuna Panzanella Salad

Panzanella Salad made with seared tuna steaks, juicy and sweet cherry tomatoes, salty olives and crunchy cucumber. It's tossed with a simple and easy dressing and homemade croutons. The salad can be prepped ahead making it perfect for lunch on the go or a light dinner.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 479
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 2 Tuna steaks 300g
  • 2 1/2 cups Tomatoes cut in half (300g)
  • 1/2 Red onion finely sliced
  • 1 cup Cucumber finely sliced (150g)
  • 1 cup Olives mixed (150g)
  • 7 oz Ciabatta bread cut into cubes (200g)
  • 1 tbsp parmesan freshly grated
  • 1 tbso fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsp Olive oil extra virgin
  • Salt and pepper to season

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F/200C. Place the cubed ciabatta bread on a baking sheet and spinkle with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp freshly grated parmesan and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Toast in the oven for 10 minutes until crisp.
  • Drizzle the tuna steak in around 1 tsp of olive oil just to lightly coat and spinkle with a small pinch of salt and pepper. Place on a hot griddle pan for 2 minutes each side, it should still be pink in the middle. Remove and cut into slices.
  • Place the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, olives, basil and parsley in a large bowl then add the croutons and slices of tuna.
  • Whisk the olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl then pour over the salad ingredients, toss the salad to combine. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes then serve.

Notes

  • Make sure to use the freshest tuna possible and from a sustainable source
  • If you can't get ahold of tuna steaks you can use canned tuna
  • I like to let the salad sit for a few minutes so the dressing soaks into the croutons and all the flavours get a chance to develop
  • Make sure to cut the onion as thin as possible so you don't get a pungent onion taste
  • You can store this salad in the fridge for up to 2 days

Nutrition

Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 831mg | Potassium: 543mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3135IU | Vitamin C: 19.7mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1.7mg
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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    July 30, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Love this salad so much, especially with fresh tuna. Simple and delicious!

  • Reply
    Lorraine
    August 29, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    I thought this might be soggy but it was so delicious, brilliant!

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