Spicy Peach Panzanella Salad with Chicken and Feta

The fresh salad recipe that marries sweet and savory in the best way. Peach panzanella salad is a main course salad thanks juicy cooked chicken breasts (instructions included!) and big crispy chunks of toasted bread. A sriracha honey dressing seals the deal for a zesty and easy summer salad recipe you won’t soon forget!

overhead view of a white bowl of peaches and chicken panzanella with bread cubes and arugula.

I’ve been on a bread salad kick. Also known as a panzanella kick. This peach panzanella salad comes to you right on the heels of publishing this summer panzanella salad and truth be told, if I came to your house and you served both of them…together…I wouldn’t be one bit mad.

In fact, I’d think you were the smartest person in the world.

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Panzanella: defined

So a quick reminder on what a panzanella is. It’s essentially a bread salad where the bread is either toasted or torn and tossed with ripe juicy tomatoes, sometimes onions, sometimes cheese like fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and olive oil.

Why this panzanella salad is peachy

close up of sliced peaches, chicken, feta cheese and arugula in a salad.
Look at all that flavor and texture!

When it comes to eating fruit, I love to pair it with savory ingredients. The pairing of salty and sweet is the bees-knees and tossing summer-ripe peaches with salty feta cheese and juicy chicken is the perfect combination!

Other easy salad recipes like this you’ll ♥️: caramelized vegetable panzanella, blueberry feta salad or these amazing whipped ricotta and fig crostini. Or add some fresh strawberries to this simple arugula salad and watch the people around you smile.

Ingredient call-outs

wooden board with a loaf of bread, three peaches, some feta cheese, a white bowl with arugula and a small bowl with pistachios.
Ingredients for peach panzanella salad including feta cheese and chili pistachios.
  • Peaches. The main event, right? You want juicy, ripe summer peaches.
  • Italian bread. From the bakery section of the grocery store and then cut into cubes for toasting.
  • Feta cheese. I prefer to buy it in a block and crumble it myself because that way you can get big chunks in your salad. You can also cube it too.
  • Arugula. Adds another layer of peppery flavor.
  • Chili pistachios. You can find spicy chili pistachios usually in the produce section of your grocery store or where the snacking nut aisle is.

Sweet and spicy dressing

small jar of honey and sriracha dressing with a honey dipper.
Sriracha honey dressing compliments and balances the sweetness of the peaches.

Also used in my jalapeno and apple slaw, shake up this sriracha honey dressing to make the peaches sing. It soaks into the toasted Italian bread cubes in the best way!

  • sriracha
  • honey
  • equal parts of olive oil and white vinegar
  • salt and pepper

How to make peach panzanella salad

black skillet of toasted bread cubes.
Toast the bread cubes in some olive oil until golden.
pan of seared and cooked chicken breasts with a tong and blue napkin tied to the handle.
Pan seared method makes the juiciest chicken breasts!
black skillet with wooden paddle stirring arugula, cubed peaches, sliced chicken, cubed bread and feta.
  • Toast the bread cubes in a heated large skillet over medium high heat. Toss with kosher salt while cooking. This will take about 6 minutes or so.
  • Meanwhile, saute and cook up some chicken breasts. This 20 minute method for making juicy chicken breasts is practically foolproof. You’ll use it for everything from making chicken enchiladas to Buffalo chicken style pizza to chicken and bow tie pasta.
  • Slice up the peaches and gather your ingredients.
  • Lay arugula in a big bowl (I used the pan I toasted the bread in!). Top with bread cubes, peaches, shredded cooked chicken and crumbled feta.
  • Drizzle over 1/2 of the dressing, reserving the other half for right before serving as the bread will soak up the dressing.

Chicken Tip

Don’t have time to cook chicken breasts? Pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store and shred or cube the breast. Easy!


Make ahead, storage and extra tips

white bowl of toasted cubes of bread with sliced peaches, chicken, arugula and feta.

Bread suggestions

I recommend anything with a firm but not too hard of a crust. This isn’t the time to use a really hard crusted bread. This is a great use for leftover focaccia bread and making a bread salad recipe like this one is a great way to use it up! Feel free to use a whole wheat or sourdough bread too or even leftover focaccia

Make ahead

Toast the bread cubes the morning you plan to serve the salad and leave them right in the pan. Don’t put a lid or cover them to avoid them getting soft. You can also lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan to air dry.

Storage

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for no more than 3 days or the roasted veggies will become too soft.

Made this recipe?

I’d love it if you’d share your review and leave a star rating and comment!


overhead view of a white bowl of peaches and chicken panzanella with bread cubes and arugula.
5 from 6 votes

Spicy Peach Panzanella Salad with Chicken and Feta

Peach panzanella salad is a main course salad thanks to adding some juicy cooked chicken breasts (instructions included!) and big crispy chunks of toasted bread. A sriracha honey dressing seals the deal for a zesty and easy summer salad recipe you won't soon forget!
Prep Time:15 minutes
Total Time:15 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
 

For the dressing

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and once heated, add the olive oil. Once hot, add cubed bread and sprinkle with kosher salt. Allow the bread cubes to toast for a couple minutes and then start tossing. Keep an eye on the bread and allow them to toast until golden brown for 6-8 minutes. Set aside.
    ½ loaf of Italian bread, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Add bread to large serving bowl. Top with chicken, peaches, arugula, and feta cheese
    2 cooked chicken breasts, 4 peaches, 4 oz feta cheese, 10 oz arugula
  • Mix dressing ingredients in a small measuring cup and whisk until combined. Taste for seasoning. You can also shake this up in a mason jar or bottle.
    ⅓ cup olive oil, ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 Tablespoon sriracha, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Drizzle half of the dressing over and toss. Add the rest as needed. Sprinkle/garnish with pistachios.
    chili roasted pistachios

Notes

Make ahead tips
  • Toast the bread cubes the morning you plan to serve the salad and leave them right in the pan. Don’t put a lid or cover them to avoid them getting soft. You can also lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan to air dry.
  • Mix the dressing up to 3 days ahead.
  • Slice the peaches the day you plan to serve.
  • Toss salad with 1/2 the dressing and then the rest before serving or to taste.
 
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

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12 Comments

  1. Had this two days ago at book club and …OMG!! Making it for dinner tomorrow night because I’ve been thinking about the yumminess! Awesome, summery salad!5 stars

  2. Ever since I enjoyed this salad I’ve been dreaming of it! It is the best salad I have ever had, restaurant meals included! I will be making this for years to come. Thank you for such an excellent recipe!5 stars

    1. So happy you loved it Melissa! 😊 I’m going to add the idea for the gluten free English muffins to the post for the cubed bread. I liked them as much as Italian bread! Thanks for taking the time to share ♥️

  3. WHOA!!! This peach panzanella salad blew us away. We made it for an easy and light summer lunch.. I wasn’t even hungry and ate a ton of it because it was SO incredible. 5 stars!5 stars

    1. You made my day! I totally get what you’re saying because I can’t stop eating the croutons once I start! Thank you for taking the time to share 😊

  4. This is such a perfect summer recipe! I love how easy it is to make and I can’t get enough of the flavors!5 stars

  5. Thank you for this recipe. I confess…I’ve always wanted to try a panzanella salad, but I’ve avoided them because I fear the bread will soften/get soggy after adding the dressing. (Or even that the bread would get soggy even if adding AFTER the dressing). It’s a textural thing for me…I truly dislike mushy bread. So, my question is: do the toasted bread cubes get super soggy? Or do they at least remain firm in the centre??

    1. Hi Janice! You are welcome! And thanks so much! What I love about this recipe is that the way the croutons are cooked (thanks Ina Garten for the inspo!) toasts them up and then the dressing does make them softer but in the best way. I love the texture and find myself digging into the croutons over and over!

      Give it a try -and please let me know what you think. If you plan to make it ahead, I do suggest using 1/3-1/2 the dressing before you serve it and more after. It does make more than you need so I’d err on the conservative side to keep the bread not too saturated.