Chicken Panzanella Salad

Chicken Panzanella Salad

Tonight is leftover night. I asked Adriano to buy a couple of chicken breasts and decided on a very mixed salad with croutons. Nothing too surprising there but then we come to the salad dressing and I had a brilliant idea. I had about a cup of pumpkin puree left over from the Sunday granola bars and 1/2 can of coconut milk from the banana loaf I made on Saturday. I put on my creative chef hat and chucked them both in my trusty mini processor, added lemon juice, mustard and garlic, seasoned it and gave it a whiz. Wow, did it taste good! And once it was mixed into the salad, the salad sure tasted good too. This is wholesome food at its best – and I was the wizard who conjured it up.



Recipe: Chicken Panzanella Salad

Ingredients     Chicken Panzanella Salad

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tomatoes – cut up
  • 1 avocado – diced or scoop out lumps with a small spoon
  • 3 spring onions – sliced up
  • Yellow pepper – diced
  • 2 sticks of celery – sliced up small
  • Parsley, chopped – not too finely
  • A handful of green salad leaves
  • 100g feta cheese – crumbled
  • 1 loaf ciabatta or thick toast bread
  • 1 red chilli – chopped up small
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Turn the oven on to 350°F/180°C.
  2. Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise and cook in a pan or on a grill with a little olive oil. Season after the heat has sealed them so they don’t lose too much liquid.
  3. Cube the bread and place on an oven tray and bake 15 minutes. You could drizzle them with olive oil but the dressing will do the job.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, cut it up and let it cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  5. Chop and dice the vegetables as instructed in the ingredients.
  6. Place in a large bowl together with the feta.
  7. Add the croutons and chicken.
  8. Mix the last 6 ingredients with a whisk and serve with the salad as a thick dressing.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 4


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  1. Am really laughing: this is the first time I have heard pumpkin puree and coconut milk as being leftovers for another meal – but, of course they are :D ! This dressing I’ve simply got to make: I think it could be used for a lot of salads to make them quite special! Yours looks very moreish – thaks for this great idea :) !

    • I’ve certainly never heard of it either. It was one of those light bulb moments. We ate the leftover dressing straight out of the bowl, it was that good.

  2. I wish I had your creative knack. The pumpkin would have sat in my fridge till it grew a little fuzz…but I’m loving the idea of using it plus coconut milk for a dressing. I do love a panzanella salad :)

    • Thanks, Liz. The creativity comes and goes and believe me, food goes fuzzy in my fridge too. The coconut gave it an interesting aspect – Adriano and Dario couldn’t work out what the flavour was.

  3. This is absolutely gorgeous. I can’t get over how pretty the photos are. The peppers just pop.

  4. Hi Suzanne! Wow your salad looks absolutely gorgeous. And how fun is it to create your own dressing from leftovers – something kind of unusual! You would never know what you can create until you actually try it! You must be great cook to create this delicious dressing! Such a beautiful salad!!


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