Southwestern Panzanella Salad

Image of Caroline Chambers
Rated 5.0 based on 5 customer reviews


  • ⅓ (packed) cup cilantro leaves
  • 6 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
  • 1 serrano pepper, destemmed
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 (8 ounce) sourdough boule, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 10.5 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¾ cup Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves


For best results, we recommend using:


  1. Blend ⅓ cup cilantro, ¼ cup grapeseed oil, serrano pepper, lime zest, lime juice, maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a blender until smooth. Alternately, put the ingredients into a deep bowl or pot and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven to 375° F (190°C).
  3. Spread bread cubes onto a baking sheet. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil over the cubes.
  4. Mix chili powder, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper together in a small bowl; sprinkle over the bread cubes. Turn cubes to coat in oil and seasoning.
  5. Toast bread in preheated oven until golden brown and crunchy, about 20 minutes; let cool while assembling salad.
  6. Toss lettuce and black beans together in a large bowl; add cooled bread and toss. Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Let dressing soak into bread for about 5 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle cotija cheese over the salad and toss; garnish with 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves to serve.
Mealthy tip:

Can't find cotija cheese? Used grated parmesan cheese instead!


5.0out of 5 Stars

(5 Reviews)

How would you rate this recipe?

What others are saying

Image of Tal Levitas

Tal Levitas says:

I was dubious when I saw the quantity of bread going into this salad. That said. It's delicious. It's a meal in a bowl. I guess it makes sense that the root of the word panzanella is "pan" (or bread in other languages). It's a good recipe with a lot of flavor, just don't treat it as a side salad because It'll fill you up!

Image of Katie Hason

Katie Hason says:

The spiced croutons were definitely one of my favorite parts of this salad. Is it just me or does this make you want to always make your own croutons now? Yum! So good, and easy to make. This salad is far from boring!

Image of kat satterfield

kat satterfield says:

This was so filling, I even convinced my non-salad-loving fiance to eat it. I loved the spice of the southwestern dressing and the crunch of the croutons and romaine. The topping of cotija was perfection! I added a little sauteed chicken on top for extra protein.

Image of Alexis Pearson

Alexis Pearson says:

I used half the amount of bread for breadcrumbs and added chicken. I also didn't use the maple syrup. Overall, delicious, and would make again!

Image of McKenzie C

McKenzie C says:

Panzanella is one of my favorite salads, so when I saw this Southwestern spin I had to try it. I love that this recipe still incorporates the bread and tomatoes, which is a classic feature. That said, I went with a different dressing. I used an olive oil and vinegar based cilantro dressing that I think paired nicely. All in all, a really good salad that I'd be happy to make again.