Chickpea Panzanella Salad

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Chickpea Panzanella Salad

This Chickpea Panzanella Salad pairs crispy cubes of bread with chickpeas, veggies, and a zippy mustard balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a salad that eats like a meal!

This chickpea panzanella salad pairs crispy cubes of bread with chickpeas, veggies, and a zippy mustard balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a salad that eats like a meal!

Overhead view of chickpea panzanella salad on white serving platter

This Chickpea Panzanella Salad will wow your guests, your kids, your family, and most importantly, your stomach. Consider it a mashup of my Greek panzanella salad and 15-minute chickpea salad—it’s full of bold flavours and supremely satisfying thanks to the protein-packed chickpeas and bread.

Friends, this is a salad you can eat for dinner!

If you’ve never had panzanella before, it’s literally the best version of salad ever because it’s made with bread, in addition to the usual veggies and dressing. The bread is toasted first, so it doesn’t get soggy—think croutons, but on a larger scale.

If you enjoy this recipe—and I know you will!—try my strawberry panzanella salad too.

Why You’ll Love This Chickpea Panzanella Salad

Here’s why you should add this chickpea panzanella salad to your meal plan this week:

  • Filling. Leafy greens and veggies are delicious, but they don’t have much staying power on their own. The addition of bread and chickpeas make chickpea panzanella salad hearty and satisfying!
  • Flavourful. I used my absolute favourite balsamic vinaigrette for this salad, which brings all the ingredients together. It’s tangy, tart, and you’ll want to put it on all the things.
  • Ages like fine wine. This is one of those magical dishes that tastes better the longer it sits in your fridge—which means it’s great for meal prep!

Notes on Ingredients

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

For the Salad:

  • Crusty bread – Use gluten-free bread to make this a gluten-free chickpea panzanella salad.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Cherry tomatoes – Grape tomatoes can be substituted.
  • Red onion – Slice this thinly and evenly. A mandoline slicer makes it easy!
  • English cucumber– English cucumber is my favourite for salads because the seeds are smaller and the skin isn’t as thick.
  • Basil – Fresh basil leaves add herbaceous flavour to the mix.
  • Chickpeas – I use canned chickpeas for convenience, but you can cook them from dry if you prefer.

For the Mustard Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil – Use a high-quality olive oil if you have one on hand.
  • Balsamic vinegar – I recommend a sweet, syrupy balsamic vinegar to balance the tart citrus juice.
  • Lime or lemon juice 
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt and ground black pepper

How to Make Chickpea Panzanella Salad

Ready to get started? Here’s what you’ll need to do.

Chickpea panzanella salad in glass mixing bowl
  • Make the vinaigrette. Whisk all of the ingredients in a small bowl, or place them in a jar and shake it vigorously.
  • Prepare. Preheat your oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat, foil, or parchment paper.
  • Toast the bread. Place the bread on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Let the bread cool.
  • Assemble the salad. Toss the toasted bread, the cherry tomatoes, red onions, cucumber, chickpeas, and basil in a large mixing bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss again to combine.
  • Let it sit. Cover the salad and let it sit for 30 minutes, or up to an hour, so all the ingredients are completely soaked and the flavours have combined. 

Tips for Success

This chickpea panzanella salad is a cinch to make, but these additional tips will help you make sure it turns out perfect.

  • Cut the bite from the onions. Not a fan of raw onion flavour? Slicing them very thin and letting them soak up the dressing will help cut their pungent flavour. Another option is to soak them in ice water—or just leave them out.
  • Let it rest. Trust me, the 30 minutes is so worth it. In fact, taste it right before, and then taste it after 30 minutes. I bet you’ll see a noticeable difference in flavour.
  • Don’t skip toasting the bread. You have to toast the bread. I like to use stale bread, then toast it until it’s completely dried out. This is how the bread stands up to the salad dressing and veggies without getting soggy.
Overhead view of chickpea panzanella salad on platter with bread in the background

Serving Suggestions

Although this chickpea panzanella salad works as a meal on its own, you can use it as a side dish too. The flavours in the salad complement Italian-inspired dishes like Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Pasta, Cheesy Cauliflower Pizza Casserole, and Vegan Garlic Alfredo Pasta.

How to Store

This salad will last in the fridge up to a day once it’s assembled. For meal prep, store the salad in one container in the fridge and the bread in a separate container at room temperature. Toss them together just before serving. 

More Vegan Salad Recipes

Enjoy friends! If you make this chickpea panzanella salad, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!


This Chickpea Panzanella Salad pairs crispy cubes of bread with chickpeas, veggies, and a zippy mustard balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a salad that eats like a meal!


Chickpea Panzanella Salad

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This easy Chickpea Panzanella Salad pairs crispy bread with chickpeas, veggies and a zippy vinaigrette. A salad that eats like a meal!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Salads
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 987kcal


Panzanella Salad

  • 3 ½ cups crusty bread chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 large red onion sliced
  • 1 cup cubed English cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons basil julienned
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, washed and drained 425g

Mustard Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • pinch salt and ground black pepper


Mustard Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette while the bread is toasting so that the mustard can emulsify.

Chickpea salad

  • Preheat oven to 450 ° F/ 230 ° C.
  • Add the bread cubes to a silicone mat on a baking sheet or a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or foil.
  • Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the toasted bread, the cherry tomatoes, red onions, cucumber cubes, chickpeas and basil. Toss until combined.

Putting it all Together

  • Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss again to combine.
  • Cover the salad and let sit for 30 minutes to up to an hour so that all the ingredients are completely soaked in and the flavours combined. Serve and enjoy!


This recipe is vegan and gluten free. If you’re not gluten free, you can use a regular crusty bread.
The raw onions do become more subtle thanks to the lime and vinegar, but if you don’t like raw onions in your salads, you can leave them out.
This salad can last in the fridge up to a day as it is. You can store it in an air-tight tupperware container.  What I would suggest for a meal prep is to make the salad and the bread separately and then plate appropriately when you are ready to eat.


Calories: 987kcal | Carbohydrates: 132g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 953mg | Potassium: 315mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 834IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 319mg | Iron: 3mg

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