Panzanella Salad with Seafood


Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

The Panzanella Salad With Seafood is one of the variations of the Tuscan panzanella, a poor first course, which was created to avoid wasting ingredients such as bread, enriched over time and still loved today! It is a fresh and light dish even if based on bread, full of flavour, ideal for preparing in advance and eating fresh.

italian bread salad

History of Panzanella Salad Recipe

This Italian bread salad, was born in Tuscany, there is no real date but the first writings that report a mention of it date back to the fourteenth century.

The circumstances of its creation lead to two common situations at the time. The first sees it being born in the peasant world, where bread was still a not so common product, sometimes it was prepared even just once a week, so in order to not waste it, we arrived at the recipe for panzanella
using the available vegetables used in everyday life. The second, however, sees it being born on ships, where stale or simply not very fresh bread was moistened using seawater.

Its name could derive from the union of two words, “pane” and “zanella”, a sort of tureen. The other theory instead sees it derive from the term “panzana” a derivation of “pappa”.

Panzanella Recipe with Seafood

Panzanella salad is widespread throughout the central part of Italy and beyond since it’s a perfect dish for not wasting stale bread and leftover vegetables, the recipes and variations are truly endless. What makes this dish special and long-lasting is the use of bread. Once all the ingredients are mixed, the bread absorbs all the aromas and flavours, becoming moist but not soggy. And it’s well known that bread dipped in a sauce is simply irresistible.

What I propose is the fish panzanella salad, which in my opinion is certainly the most delicious among the possible variations. I chose to add cuttlefish, mussels, clams, shrimp tails and crabmeat. But you can also opt for octopus, cod, salmon, lobster (even if it’s not really a poor dish), razor clams, in
short, use the combination you like best. The vegetables I have chosen are cucumbers, red onions and cherry tomatoes, inevitable vegetables in the panzanella and to give freshness a nice handful of basil and chopped mint, if you want you can also use preferably green celery and thyme, rigorously fresh.

Being a Tuscan dish, the best bread would be a really nice form of Tuscan, but having not found it, I opted for a nice Sicilian homemade bread, loaves with a thick and fragrant crust and a rich and honeycombed crumb, but if you don’t have these types of bread at home, it doesn’t matter, whatever stale bread you have, it will be fine, the only precaution is to wet the bread a little at a time because each type of bread absorbs more or less water.

The dressing for seafood panzanella is really easy, vinegar and water will initially be used to soften the bread and then extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, in this case also the sauce released by cooking the fish. Prepare it during the day or the night before, in this way the bread will moisten perfectly and collect all the flavours of the various ingredients, making the panzanella really super tasty!

It keeps well in the fridge in a container or covered well in transparent film for a couple of days.

As already mentioned, the Panzanella Salad With Seafood is a perfect dish to not throw away the bread, but there are other recipes, including sweet ones, such as Stale Bread Cake!

If you like salads, try the Avocado And Feta Chicken Salad and the other proposals you will find on the blog!

5 from 1 vote

Panzanella Salad With Seafood

A poor dish born to avoid waste, a delicious cold first course, based on bread, vegetables and fish, tasty and light.
Porzioni 8 portions
Tempo di Preparazione 45 minutes
Tempo di Cottura 25 minutes
Tempo totale 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 300 g Bread stale
  • 350 g Red Onions or Tropea onion
  • 600 g Cucumbers
  • 400 g Cherry Tomatoes
  • 240 g Crabmeat
  • 350 g Mini Cuttlefish or baby squid
  • 250 g Clams shelled
  • 450 g Mussels shelled
  • 15 tails Prawns shelled
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 9 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 Tbsp White Vinegar or red
  • q.s. Water
  • 2 sprigs Parsley
  • q.s. Basil
  • q.s. Mint
  • q.s. Salt
  • q.s. Black Pepper


  • Cut the stale bread into cubes and place in a large bowl.
    300 g Bread
  • In a carafe mix 5 cuckoos of vinegar and 200 ml of water. Mix well and start pouring rain on the bread turning it over. Let it moisten, if you find the bread still too dry add a little water at a time until you get a nice wet bread but not wet!
    8 Tbsp White Vinegar, q.s. Water
  • Clean and cut the onions in half and add them to the bread. Cut the cucumbers into cubes of 1 cm add them in the bowl, finely chop basil and mint and mix everything.
    350 g Red Onions, 600 g Cucumbers, q.s. Basil, q.s. Mint
  • Cover the bowl with foil and store all frimo while preparing the other ingredients.

Preparation of the Seafood

  • Clean the cuttlefish by dividing the tentacles from the body and eliminating any spout. Rinse quickly under running water, drain and dry as much as possible.
    350 g Mini Cuttlefish
  • Heat a pot (preferably non-stick) with 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 clove of garlic. Once hot, fry the cuttlefish for 2 – 3 minutes. Salt lightly and remove from heat.
    9 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 cloves Garlic
  • Peel the stems, remove the intestines and season with a little oil and salt.
    15 tails Prawns
  • In the same pot as the squid cook the shrimp tails 1 minute per side or until they have a slight browning outside. When you’re ready, Toglile from the fire and set them aside.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 clove of garlic cut in half, parsley and ground pepper to the pot and pour mussels and clams stewed until cooked. In case you use mussels and clams with the shell make sure to clean the mussels externally and from the barbels and to perfectly drain the clams from the sand.
    250 g Clams, 450 g Mussels, 2 cloves Garlic, 9 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 sprigs Parsley, q.s. Black Pepper
  • Remove the garlic and parsley, let the seafood cool with their sauce.
  • Cut the tomatoes into quarters and drain the crab pulp, keeping some of its water.
    400 g Cherry Tomatoes, 240 g Crabmeat

Complete the Preparation

  • Take the bread bowl and add the tomatoes, cuttlefish and prawns cut into chunks and stir again.
  • Add the seafood and crab pulp. add the seafood stew and a few tablespoons of the crab water based on this and wet or not bread. taste and adjust salt if necessary.
  • Serve the fresh panzanella.
    q.s. Salt


You can customize the ingredients by choosing the fish you prefer, also adding fresh thyme and celery or leave it vegetarian as remaining on the original recipe.
It can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge.
Chef: Taira by R.J.
Calorie: 430kcal
Course: First Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Fish, Salads
Difficoltà: Easy


Serving: 423g | Calories: 430kcal (22%) | Carbohydrates: 30g (10%) | Protein: 33g (66%) | Fat: 19g (29%) | Sugar: 6g (7%)

Le informazioni nutrizionali mostrate sono una stima fornita da un calcolatore nutrizionale online. Non deve essere considerato un sostituto del consiglio di un nutrizionista professionista.

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