Greek Panzanella with Pan Seared Chicken is amazingly delicious. It has all the elements of a Panzanella salad, but with a Greek twist.
So, my plan on having slow cooker meals on Tuesdays and salads on Thursdays isn’t working out so well. Inevitably, something happens, and I must swap them back. Like this Greek Panzanella Salad with Pan Searched Chicken. I completely forgot to take out beef for the slow cooker meal that I’ve been trying to perfect for a few weeks now. So, Tuesday morning I took out chicken to thaw for dinner that night. The best laid plans…
What is panzanella?
Panzanella is a Tuscan salad. It’s made with onions, tomatoes, and sometimes cucumbers. The key to this salad is the stale bread that soaks up the dressing. Supposedly you soak the bread in water and then squeeze it dry. I prefer to soak it in some of the dressing before tossing it with the veggies.
Today, we see panzanella loaded with tomatoes, but originally it was onions as the star of the salad. Because, well, tomatoes didn’t enter the scene until the 1900’s. Tomatoes were considered poisonous. Fear if the unknown originally gave them a bad rap. And then aristocrats ate them on pewter plates. They became ill, gravely so in some instances, and didn’t even consider the plates as the cause. They blamed the tomatoes. For those that don’t know, pewter contains large amounts of lead in there. That was making them sick.
What’s in Greek Panzanella?
This Greek Panzanella has all the flavors in there! There’s tomatoes and red onion. I like red onion in salad. It has a nice bite and isn’t too pungent for salads. Of course, there’s cucumbers and some green bell peppers. Those two are total Greek salad worthy in my book.
Then there’s kalamata olives and some feta. That adds some briny and salty flavors to go with all the sweet and crunchy veggies in there. Everything is sitting on a bed of some romaine lettuce. Just a few leaves to hold everything together.
On top is some tender, juicy, grilled chicken. It’s sprinkled with some Greek seasoning. I have the perfect blend I keep in the pantry and use it all the time. It’s perfect for chicken, pork, Greek burgers, salads, and making vinaigrette. I like making them from scratch because I can control the sodium content. And I know exactly what it’s made with! No weird ingredients I can’t pronounce on there.
You can just see all that veggie and Panzanella goodness right there. All those summer veggies, the flavorful vinaigrette, and tender chicken make this a dinner to remember. And a recipe you will want to make often this summer. Not only is it simple and delicious, but also highlights the best of summer produce.
But seriously who can resist kalamata olives, feta cheese, and crisp cucumbers? This salad would have been plenty without the chicken, but I know the hubs needs a bit more protein than I do. So, I pan seared the breast to go on top. Feel free to grill your chicken if you feel so inclined. I’ve done that with this salad and that smoky flavor makes this Greek Panzanella even more delicious!
What does Greek Panzanella with Pan Seared Chicken taste like?
Crisp and cool. Sweet and juicy. Tender and flavorful. Briney and salty. The sweet tomatoes compliment the crisp red onions and salty feta cheese. The cucumbers are a perfect pair with the lemon juice in the vinaigrette. The kalamata olives and sweet bell peppers are a great pairing.
Basically, this salad is full of ingredients and flavors that highlight and compliment each other. Every mouthful is a flavor explosion that is absolutely delicious. Top it all with a Greek seasoning chicken breast. And then drizzle with a homemade vinaigrette. This salad brings all the flavors in every bite.
You can’t look at that plate and not be drooling. Heck, I’m even drooling, and I just ate! Every bite is full of salad goodness. The chicken is the just the icing on the salad. Tender, juicy, and sprinkled with Greek seasoning. It’s the perfect topping to this Greek Panzanella.
Greek Panzanella with Pan Seared Chicken is amazingly delicious. It has all the elements of a panzanella salad, but with a Greek twist.
For the salad:
- 4 cups day old bread, cubed
- 2 cups thinly sliced green bell pepper
- 1 1/2 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 5 large Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 3 ounces fat free feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives
- 6 cups Romaine lettuce, torn
- 2 tablespoons Greek spice mix
- 1 pound chicken breasts
For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons nonfat yogurt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Spread the bread on a baking sheet coated with aluminum foil.
- Lightly sprinkle with olive oil or cooking spray.
- Bake at 400 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned but still soft.
- Combine the next six ingredients (bell pepper through olives) in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Divide the romaine evenly between 4 serving plates and set aside.
- Combine the next nine ingredients (vinegar through onion powder) and blend well with a whisk or shake well to combine in a salad dressing cruet.
- Allow to set 5 to 10 minutes.
- Preheat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.
- Sprinkle the chicken breasts with the Greek spice mix and cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until cooked through and no longer pink.
- Remove from heat and allow to rest.
- Add the bread cubes to the vegetable mixture and toss with the dressing.
- Top the Romaine with 3 or 4 cups of the bread mixture.
- Thinly slice each chicken breast and arrange on top of the salad.
Amount Per Serving Calories 485Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 99mgSodium 571mgCarbohydrates 44gFiber 7gSugar 13gProtein 48g
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