This Tuna Avocado Panzanella Salad is packed with summer flavour and could not be simpler to pull off for a quick easy healthy lunch or dinner recipe.
I don’t know about you all, but I have to tell you, I am getting REALLY tired of cooking. It’s day 1 million of quarantine and I feel like all I do is bring out the cutting boards and put them away again. I know you all feel the same. So for days that I just CAN’T with an elaborate meal, I’ve been making this Tuna Avocado Panzanella Salad. It really has it all – carbs from the whole grain homemade croutons, protein from the canned tuna, fat from some olive oil and avocado, and whatever veggies I happen to have in the fridge. ALSO, clean up is a breeze so I am one happy girl.
what is panzanella salad?
Panzanella is a Tuscan specialty that traditionally combines stale bread croutons with onions and tomatoes and is dressed with oil and vinegar. It’s honestly a good way to use up stale bread (and also to beef up and stretch your summer vegetables into a heartier main dish salad).
Key ingredients for making this tuna avocado panzanella salad
The beauty of this easy meal salad is that there are very few “rules”. Here’s the basics of what you will need.
Whole grain bread – It’s even a great way to use bread that has started to stale (in which case you don’t even have to toast it into croutons). See my notes below on the healthiest bread to use.
Canned tuna – This is the easiest way to get your protein in fast because it’s as simple as opening up a can! I prefer to use LIGHT canned tuna which is the lowest in mercury.
Vegetables – Use your favourites, but I love beautiful heirloom tomatoes and cucumber. A lot of people will add red onion but I personally despise raw onion.
Avocado – This adds a nice creamy element and some healthy fats that really stand up well against the croutons.
Lemon Juice – This is for the easy peasy vinaigrette.
Extra virgin olive oil– Because you can’t make Italian food without it!
What to serve with this salad
The beauty of this protein packed meal salad is that you don’t NEED to serve it with anything. But if you wanted to, here are some suggestions:
FAQ about this recipe
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about t his recipe.
What are the healthiest breads to use?
I personally like to look for a whole grain bread with at least 4 grams of fibre per serving. One of my favourites are Stonemill, Ezekiel, and Dave’s Killer Bread.
can i make this salad gluten free?
Of course, just make sure to use a gluten free bread and otherwise, everything in this avocado panzanella salad is completely gluten free.
can I make a vegan panzanella salad?
If you want to leave out the tuna, this salad will be vegan naturally. You can add more protein by throwing in some seared tofu or canned beans (which would be another really easy no bake option).
What are your favourite other vegetables to throw into the salad?
I love this summer combination, but in Spring you could do some asparagus and strawberries, and towards the end of Summer blueberries and corn is divine!
If my bread is already stale do i need to cook it?
No, if your bread has started to stale, just cut it (or rip it) into pieces and let it soak up the flavours of the summer salad! That’s the beauty of a panzanella!
Do you have any other meal salads on the blog for fast meal inspiration?
Yes, we love hearty salads here at Abbey’s Kitchen. Here are some of my favourites to help take some work off your shoulders at meal time.
Have you tried this easy fast tuna avocado panzanella salad? Leave me a comment below and make sure to leave me a review if you try this recipe!
Tuna Avocado Panzanella Salad
- 3-4 heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
- 1 ripe avocado cut into strips
- 1 english cucumber seeded and cut into moons
- 1 can light tuna packed in water drained and flaked
- Hemp hearts for garnish
- Crushed pistachios for garnish
- Basil leaves for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl toss the diced bread with olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper until well coated. Spread out onto the baking sheet.
- Bake until golden, turning once half way through – about 15- 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the garlic, Dijon, lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper, to taste.
- To serve, toss the croutons with the tomatoes, avocado, cucumber and canned tuna. Drizzle with the olive oil, and top with hemp hearts, pistachios and basil.
Updated on July 21st, 2020
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.