Hello, Italy! Enjoy the best flavors of the Mediterranean—juicy vine-ripened tomatoes, savory brine-cured olives, and fresh basil—in this deconstructed bruschetta salad. The red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil marries the flavors beautifully, and of course, no Italian dish would be complete without a hearty dose of bread!
We love recipes that use up ingredients that might otherwise be thrown away. This super-simple Italian bread salad is one of those, and it’s so delicious. Using those classic Mediterranean ingredients and some leftover bread (it’s okay if it’s getting hard!), you can prepare a super special salad you’ll keep on going back to. I have no doubt you’ll absolutely love this recipe from the 5-Ingredient Vegan cookbook by Nava Atlas.
Vegan Italian Bread Salad
Juicy fresh summer tomatoes are the stars of this classic Italian salad. It's like bruschetta deconstructed! Crisp bread cubes and fresh basil add an appealing flourish.
- 3 to 4 cups of Italian bread chunks bite-sized pieces (1 inch of smaller)
- 1 1/2 pounds of flavorful ripe tomatoes (about 3 medium sized tomatoes) diced
- 1/3 cup of cured pitted olives (kalamata works great) sliced
- 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves very finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup
of vegan mozzarella cheese shreds (or finely diced vegan mozzarella or jack cheese)optional
Preheat the oven to 300° F
Arrange the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a serving bowl and toss together. Just before serving, stir in the bread cubes until well combined.
Now more than ever, we need to worry about how much of what we consume or buy goes to waste. This is not only about reducing single-use plastic but also about needing less and using more of what we already have.
This also applies to our cooking, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s the simple things like:
- Saving your veggie scraps to make vegetable stock
- Saving those super ripe bananas to make banana soft serve or bake some banana muffins
- Make a simple soup with those soggy veggies
The days of throwing things away are coming to an end. With some creativity, everything can find a useful purpose. We promise! This salad is an excellent example of that.
Too often, our uneaten bread that gets hard is thrown away and is replaced with a new loaf. No more! Save that hard(ish) bread and make homemade croutons! Some olive, salt and pepper, and pop it in the oven for a few minutes. Perfect! Delicious in this salad—but you can also use these as a soup topping or for a vegan caesar salad!
Add More Protein!
If you’re looking to add a plant protein punch to this delicious Italian bread salad, you have many ways to do so!
One topping that would go perfectly with this salad is some roasted chickpeas. Just coat them in olive oil and some spices in a 375° F oven and roast them for about 25 mins. They will blend in perfectly and make this salad a main just with one more step!
What about some sautéed crumbled tofu? Just add some olive oil and Italian herbs. Voila!
Italian Bread Salad: The Perfect Side-Dish?
This simple but super flavorful salad would be an ideal side dish for a light veggie soup. Soups are a great main, but sometimes they are just not enough. That’s when this salad comes to the rescue! Adding fresh veggies and some comforting crunchy bread will round up the perfect lunch.
About The Cookbook
The 5-Ingredient Vegan cookbook is the work of none-other than vegan expert chef Nava Atlas! Nava Atlas is an author with a serious love for vegan cooking and an incredibly committed to the cause of animal rights. She released her first vegetarian cookbook all the way back in 1984 (way before it was “cool”). She has been inspiring us with her recipes (and tales) ever since.
This is one of those books to keep close! Simple but familiar recipes to turn to over and over again. From baked polenta fries to spinach pesto pasta to chocolate granola clusters and many more. You won’t let go of this one once you get it!
Fancy More Vegan Italian Recipes?
Vegan Italian bread salad recipe and photos supplied by publisher with permission, 5-Ingredient Vegan by Nava Atlas, Sterling. Please note that this article contains affiliate links, which means shopping through them helps lights on at World of Vegan!