Greek Shrimp Panzanella Bread Salad

This Greek Shrimp Panzanella Bread Salad features grilled marinated shrimp and tomatoes, crusty bread, feta cheese, and tons of garden fresh vegetables all tossed in a bold and flavorful homemade Greek vinaigrette.

Greek Shrimp Panzanella Bread Salad |

Have you ever heard of panzanella?  Panza-who-a?  Panzanella!  It's an amazing hearty salad that has Tuscan origins and is a fancy way of saying bread salad.

Wait, what?  Bread salad?

That was my first reaction and I wouldn't be surprised if you were thinking the same thing.  Yes, friends, bread salad.  I first had it years ago when my sister brought it to a family gathering and I was in awe of the fact that there was a salad out there where the main ingredient is bread instead of lettuce.  Genius idea, methinks.

Classically it has Italian flavors using basil, tomatoes, stale bread and olive oil, which is the way my sister made it.  I was inspired to twist the salad in a Greek direction, seeing as Greek salads are my very favorite kind of salad.  To make it a meal, I added grilled shrimp that I marinated in a homemade Greek dressing that was also used to dress the whole shebang.

Oh, was the dressing good.  It was bright and vinegary and zesty, just like I like my vinaigrettes.  You could easily substitute with a bottled dressing, but trust me, this dressing is way better than bottled stuff.  Learned that lesson from my Momma. She makes the best homemade dressings.

Greek Shrimp Panzanella Bread Salad made using bamboo skewers.Greek Marinated Shrimp and Cherry Tomatoes

I created this recipe as my entry for the Summer Treat Challenge in the Young & Hungry Blogger Challenge.  Grilling seafood in the summer is totally a treat I look forward to every year.

This recipe also features three different kinds of tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers all grown organically in my backyard vegetable garden.  If that's not a summer treat, I don't know what is!  Bamboo skewers were the provided challenge clue, and I used them to grill the shrimp and tomatoes.

Greek Shrimp Panzanella Bread Salad

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For the Dressing
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsps dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
For the Salad
  • 6 cups crusty bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes 
  • 8 ounces fresh shrimp (41/50), peeled and deveined
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large yellow tomato, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into thin half moons

  1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients and set the dressing aside while you prepare the rest of the salad.  (I like to prepare mine in a mason jar with a lid and shake it to emulsify the dressing.)  Put 1/4 cup of the dressing in a plastic baggie with the peeled shrimp.  Seal and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least a half an hour. 
  2. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Toss your bread cubes in the 3 tbsps of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place them onto a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, tossing them with a spatula halfway through the cooking time.
  3. Thread your marinated shrimp and cherry tomatoes onto skewers.  Grill over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side until the shrimp is pink and cooked through and the tomatoes have softened, basting with the dressing while they grill.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the toasted bread cubes, grilled tomatoes, feta cheese, yellow tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and red onion.  Pour the dressing over the top and toss everything together with a large spoon.  Serve the shrimp over the salad.

  • Panzanella usually calls for stale bread, but bread never lasts long enough in my house to get stale.  So, I toast the bread cubes in my oven.  Use any hearty, crusty bread you like.
  • You can omit veggies you don't like and substitute with veggies you do.
  • A key thing to note when making this salad is to chop all of the ingredients into roughly the same size.  That's why I used the smaller 41/50 shrimp.  You can use larger shrimp if you'd like, but then you'd have to bust out a knife to cut them into smaller pieces instead of just digging in as soon as it's done!

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