Chris Cooks

Panzanella Potato Salad – Grain & Dairy Free

June 4, 2023

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I took an International Foods course in college where each week we would make a big feast of foods from a different region of the world. It was the biggest face-roll course I’ve ever taken (ie, could not have been easier and more enjoyable) and many of the dishes I learned to make are still favorites to this day. That class is where I first learned to make panzanella.

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Panzanella is a Tuscan salad made with roasted peppers, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, loads of basil, with a light dressing. But the bulk of the salad is grilled, day-old bread. This is unfortunate now, since many in our family are now gluten free. And gluten free bread holds up to dressings about as well as cotton candy does to water. Complete disintegration.

So to get the experience of a panzanella salad in a more allergy-friendly version, I now make it as a roasted potato salad, and it’s a huge star at every gathering all summer long. Even if you have no issues with bread, this potato salad is worth giving a try. Or, you can try out my original version that I shared years ago, before the food sensitivities kicked in.

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Panzanella Potato Salad | Chris Loves Julia
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Panzanella Potato Salad

A grain, gluten & dairy free alternative to the classic grilled bread salad. So much flavor, so light and delicious. Even though adjusted for allergies, it'll be a hit with anyone you feed it to.
Course: Side Dish


For the Dressing


Prep the potatoes

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil, seasoning with kosher salt and distilled vinegar. For every quart of water, add 1/2 cup vinegar and 2 tbsp kosher salt. You want the water very briny.
  • Add the potatoes to the pot once it is boiling and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and drain.
  • Preheat oven to 400 and place a baking sheet inside to heat up. Cut the potatoes in half and toss 2 tbsp olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and a little black pepper.
  • Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until browning starts. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Make the dressing

  • Add the olive oil to a small pan over medium heat. Turn off the heat, then add the chopped garlic. Swirl it around to cook the harshness out of the garlic but not for too long. Pour the warmed oil and garlic into a glass bowl.
  • Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the bowl and whisk together.

Make the salad

  • Add the potatoes and the remaining salad ingredients to a large bowl. Top with the dressing and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve at room temperature.

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What do you think?

  1. Peggy Parker says:

    5 stars
    I love this! I’m allergic to wheat so I’ve been missing a great panzanella salad. The potatoes soak up the liquids like stale bread in the original style salad. I did not think I would like the sweetness of the honey, but that’s a personal opinion, so I only used 1 tsp and next time I won’t use any.

  2. Melissa says:

    I am so excited to make this! Can I make ahead and serve cold?

  3. This looks and sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing!

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