Garden Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe

Toasted bread cubes, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and mozzarella in a bowl for this Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe. It's absolutely delicious.
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Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe in a bowl with fork.  It has Toasted bread cubes, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and mozzarella.  Serving bowl in back

Is there really a better tasting salad that one made up of bread?  This Panzanella Salad Recipe with fresh garden veggies is absolutely delicious and becomes a complete meal with the addition of chicken.  You get toasty bread, bright tomatoes, cool and crisp cucumber, herby basil, and creamy mozzarella, all tossed in a sweet and tangy vinaigrette.  It really is perfection.  I love it for lunch, but it would be a great Summer dinner as well.  And the best part is that you don’t need to wait for your bread to stale, you can simply toast it in the oven for 15 minutes, toss it with the other ingredients, and enjoy.

Toasted bread cubes, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and mozzarella in a bowl for this Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe. It's absolutely delicious.

COLD DINNERS FOR EASY PREP-AHEAD DINNERS

This Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe is a great prep-ahead dinner for taking with you on the go or for an easy no-cook dinner.  Cold meals are not just for lunches, they can really help with family dinners on busy nights.  This is especially true in the Summer when the temps are hot.  

Here are some of my favorite cold dinners:

Toasted bread cubes, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber on a fork over a bowl of Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe. It's absolutely delicious.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Nothing special for this one! Just a large sheet pan (I use a 17×11) for toasting the bread in the oven.

And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR THIS PANZANELLA SALAD RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

The first thing you want to do is cook and shred the chicken. You can save time by buying already roasted or grilled chicken. The deli will often have grilled chicken and bigger stores have rotisserie chickens. Both are great as you can simply shred them and you’re all set.

If you’re doing it from scratch, you can season with salt and pepper and either grill it on high heat for 5-6 minutes on each side or roast in the oven according to the recipe instructions.  Cook until internal temp reaches 165 F degrees. 

NOTE: to save time, the instructions have the bread going in the oven with the chicken for the last 15 minutes of the cooking time.  However, you can cook the chicken entirely for 20 minutes at 400 F degrees.  Then separately toast the bread at 300 F degrees for 15 minutes.

For the bread, I like to first get the pan ready so that as I cut the bread, I can drop the cubes directly into the pan.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil onto a large sheet pan. Using a brush or back of a fork, spread the oil around the pan.

Cube the bread loaf and spread the cubes out on the oiled sheet pan and toss to get a little bit of oil on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes in a 300 F degree oven.

Knife cutting crusty bread into cubes for this Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe.  It's absolutely delicious.

Toasted bread cubes on a sheet pan for this Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe.  It's absolutely delicious.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut it into bite-size pieces.

Half grilled chicken breast cut into cubes with knife sitting next to it on cutting board for this Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe.  It's absolutely delicious.

Cut tomatoes into bite-size cubes, slice the cucumber into half circles, finely dice the red onion, and mince the garlic. Cut the cheese into bite-size cubes.

In a small bowl, add the Dijon, Oil, Vinegar, Honey, red onion, Salt, Pepper. Whisk together with a fork or small whisk until completely blended together.

Whisk mixing red onions, dijon, honey, oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl for this Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe.  It's absolutely delicious.

ASSEMBLE 

To a large bowl, add the toasted bread, chicken, tomato, and cucumber. Tear half of the basil leaves into the bowl. Drizzle half of the dressing over and toss to combine. Taste for dressing and more as desired. 

Toasted bread cubes, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, and basil in a bowl for this Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe with fresh garden veggies is absolutely delicious.

Add the cheese and give a light toss. Tear off more basil for garnish and enjoy!

RECIPE FAQS

What type of bread is best to use?

I love using a baguette or other long crusty bread.  The crust tends to stay the crispiest, so I like to have a lot of it in this recipe.  You can also use a boulle or other whole loaf bread that you need to cut yourself.  You do not want to buy pre-sliced breads.  They are sliced for sandwiches and therefore, will be too thin to hold up with the dressing.  The result will be a soggy bread salad.   

Does the bread need to be stale?

Nope!  It can be fresh, day old, or a few days old.  You do not need to leave it out to stale in order to use it.  If it’s fresh or a day or so old, but still soft, then simply follow the recipe instructions.  When the bread is older and has gotten hard, as long as you can still cut it, then follow the instructions.  If not, you can quickly run cold water over the bread, wrap it in aluminum foil and bake it in the oven for 10 minutes to steam and soften.  Then follow the instructions in the recipe. 

Can I dress the salad ahead?

Only if you like soggy bread.  This really cannot be dressed ahead.  However, you can do everything else, even toast the bread up to an hour ahead.  Just leave the bread in the pan until your ready to mix the salad and serve it.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Toasted bread cubes, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and mozzarella in a bowl for this Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe. It's absolutely delicious.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Garden Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe

Is there really a better tasting salad that one made up of bread?  This Panzanella Salad Recipe is absolutely delicious and becomes a complete meal with the addition of chicken.  You get toasty bread, bright tomatoes, cool and crisp cucumber, herby basil, and creamy mozzarella, all tossed in a sweet and tangy vinaigrette.  It really is perfection.  I love it for lunch, but it would be a great Summer dinner as well.  And the best part is that you don't need to wait for your bread to stale, you can simply toast it in the oven for 15 minutes, toss it with the other ingredients, and enjoy.

Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bread salad, chicken recipe, Chicken Salad, panzanella
Prep Time 25 minutes
Assemble 5 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 12 ounces Chicken Breasts boneless and skinless
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Bread

  • 12 ounces French baguette or other crusty bread loaf
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground black pepper

Other Salad Ingredients

  • 2 Vine Tomatoes
  • 1 English Cucumber, medium
  • Basil leaves
  • 6 ounces Fresh Mozzarella

Dressing

  • 1 Tablespoons Red Onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. ROAST CHICKEN. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Put the chicken breast on a baking sheet and rub with a drizzle of Olive Oil, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven bottom rack for 10 minutes at 400 F degrees. Then turn the oven down to 300 F degrees and continue to cook for another 15 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees F. (NOTE: the bread in the next step will be added to the oven as well for this last 15 minutes).

  2. TOAST BREAD. While the Chicken cooks for 10 minutes, drizzle 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil onto a large sheet pan. Using a brush or back of a fork, spread the oil around the pan. Cube the bread loaf and spread the cubes out on the oiled sheet pan and toss to get a little bit of oil on all sides. Sprinkle with a sprinkle of salt (about 1/2 tsp) and black pepper (about 1/4 tsp). Bake in the oven top rack for 15 minutes in the 300 F degree oven with the chicken.

    Toasted bread cubes on a sheet pan for this Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe. It's absolutely delicious.
  3. CUT CHICKEN. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut it into bite-size cubes.

    Half grilled chicken breast cut into cubes with knife sitting next to it on cutting board for this Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe. It's absolutely delicious.
  4. PREP VEGGIES. Cut tomatoes into bite-size cubes. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then slice into half circles. Finely dice the red onion. Mince the garlic.

  5. PREP CHEESE. Cut the cheese into bite-size cubes.

  6. MAKE DRESSING. In a small bowl, add the Dijon, Oil, Vinegar, Honey, red onion, Salt, Pepper. Whisk together with a fork or small whisk until completely blended together.

    Whisk mixing red onions, dijon, honey, oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl for this Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe. It's absolutely delicious.

Assemble

  1. MIX SALAD. To a large bowl, add the toasted bread, chicken, tomato, and cucumber. Tear half of the basil leaves into the bowl. Drizzle half of the dressing over and toss to combine. Taste for dressing and more as desired. Add the cheese and give a light toss. Tear off more basil for garnish and enjoy!

    Toasted bread cubes, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, and basil in a bowl for this Chicken Panzanella Salad Recipe. It's absolutely delicious.

Recipe Notes

  1. To save time, the instructions have the bread going in the oven with the chicken for the last 15 minutes of the cooking time.  However, you can cook the chicken entirely for 20 minutes at 400 F degrees.  Then separately toast the bread at 300 F degrees for 15 minutes.
  2.  

Easy Refried Black Beans Recipe using Dried Beans

Creamy, rich, smokey, and delicious refried black beans recipe in a bowl with a few black beans and chopped cilantro sprinkled on top. On the counter are tortilla chips in a bowl.
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Move over pinto beans, Refried Black Beans are here!  Creamy, rich, smokey, and delicious, this refried black beans recipe will become your new favorite addition to so many things.  I put them on tostadas, on salads, on toast, layered in casseroles, mixed into soups, and use as a dip.  They couldn’t be easier to make either.  You just cook the beans in a pot and then blend.  Save in your fridge and use them all week.  Or freeze portioned out and enjoy them for months!

BLACK BEANS: LOADED WITH FIBER & PROTEIN

Refried beans are quite literally beans that are fried/cooked two times.  They are first cooked and then mashed and cooked again.  They are usually made with pinto beans, which have a milder flavor and contain a slightly more carbs and a higher fat content than black beans, attributed mainly to their high starch content.  In this recipe, I love to use black beans!  I always have them on hand to make Slow Cooker Brazilian Black Bean, as well as so many other yummy dinners. 

Black Beans are a fantastic source of both fiber and protein, which is why they are a staple in vegetarian or vegan diets.  They have a whopping 15g of protein and 15g of Fiber in 1 cup!  They have a deep, rich flavor and can be incorporated into a variety of recipes to add rich flavor, bulk them up, or replace meat.  For flavor and texture, I add them to Mushroom and Black Bean Tostadas and Weeknight Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar.  For a meat alternative I add them to my Creamy Cajun Beans and Cauliflower over Quinoa and Quinoa and Black Bean Burritos.

 

Creamy, rich, smokey, and delicious refried black beans recipe in a bowl with a tortilla chip dipped in and a few black beans and chopped cilantro sprinkled on top. On the counter are tortilla chips in a bowl.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you need a medium pot and a  mini food processor to blend up the beans.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR REFRIED BLACK BEANS RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

Rinse the beans with cold water, then place in Bowl. Cover the beans with cold water so that the water is about 1 inch higher than the beans.  Soak the beans overnight in the fridge.

 

COOK THE REFRIED BLACK BEANS 

Drain the beans, rinse and then add the beans to large pot and cover with water (about 3-4 cups). Mix in the minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, about 8-10 minutes.Turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Hand holding small bowl with chili powder, cumin, and salt over pot with dried black beans for refried black beans recipe.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer 1 cup of the cooked beans to a food processor with with 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, 1 clove of garlic, and the cumin. Pulse to mince the garlic and blend up the beans. Then blend until smooth.

 

Spoon adding cooked black beans to food processor for refried black beans recipe.

For the rest of the cooked beans, add them to to food processor in batches (depending on the size of your processor). You want the beans mostly blended, but with some texture. Scrape down the sides of the processor and add more cooking liquid if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time.Spoon scooping pureed black beans over food processor for refried black beans recipe.

After all of the beans are pureed, add the beans to a preheated skillet or frying pan on medium heat with 1 tsp olive oil. Stir the beans around as they cook for so as not to burn them. Cook for 5 minutes.

RECIPE FAQS

Can I use canned black beans?

You can make this recipe using 3 cans of 14-15 ounce cooked beans.  If you use canned beans, first rinse and drain the beans.  Then move directly to the step adding them to the food processor.

How long will these last in the fridge?

These black beans will last 5-6 days in the fridge in a sealed container.

Can I freeze these refried beans?

Yep!  These freeze great.  Just portion them out into freezer bags and flatten them.  You can store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.  To reheat, you can place in the fridge overnight to thaw and then warm on the stove or in the microwave.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Creamy, rich, smokey, and delicious refried black beans recipe in a bowl with a few black beans and chopped cilantro sprinkled on top. Tortilla chips on the counter.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Easy Refried Black Beans Recipe with Dried Beans

Creamy, rich, smokey, and delicious, this refried black beans recipe will become your new favorite addition to so many things.  Put them on tostadas, on salads, on toast, layered in casseroles, mixed into soups, or use as a dip.  They couldn't be easier to make either.  You just cook the beans in a pot and then blend.  Save in your fridge and use them all week.  Or freeze portioned out and enjoy them for months! #refriedbeans #blackbeans

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword black beans, mexican sides, refried beans
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Soaking time 8 hours
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Dry Black Beans (see notes for canned black beans)
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced divided
  • 3 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin divided
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Rinse the dried black beans with cold water, then place in Bowl. Cover the beans with cold water so that the water is about 1 inch higher than the beans.  Soak the beans overnight in the fridge.

    Hand holding dried black beans for refried black beans recipe.
  2. Mince the garlic cloves. Divide: Half will go into the pot when you cook the beans. Half will go into the food processor.

Cooking Steps

  1. Drain the beans, rinse and then add the beans to large pot and cover with water (about 3-4 cups). Mix in half of the minced garlic, all of the chili powder, half of the cumin, and the salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, about 8-10 minutes.Turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

    Hand holding small bowl with chili powder, cumin, and salt over pot with dried black beans for refried black beans recipe.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer 1 cup of the cooked beans to a food processor with with 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, the other half of the minced garlic, and half of the cumin. Pulse to mince the garlic and blend up the beans. Then blend until smooth.

    Spoon adding cooked black beans to food processor for refried black beans recipe.
  3. For the rest of the cooked beans, add them to to food processor in batches (depending on the size of your processor). You want the beans mostly blended, but with some texture. Scrape down the sides of the processor and add more cooking liquid if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time.

    Spoon scooping pureed black beans over food processor for refried black beans recipe.
  4. After all of the beans are pureed, add the beans to a preheated skillet or frying pan on on medium heat with 1 tsp olive oil.  Stir the beans around as they cook for so as not to burn them. Cook for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

    Creamy, rich, smokey, and delicious refried black beans recipe in a bowl with a few black beans and chopped cilantro sprinkled on top. On the counter are tortilla chips in a bowl.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can make this recipe in 15 minutes by using 3 cans of 14-15 ounce cooked beans.  If you use canned beans, first rinse and drain the beans.  Then move directly to the step adding them to the food processor.