What is Panzanella?

Panzanella is an Italian salad made from pieces of stale bread with the addition of tomatoes, onions, or basil, and a dressing of vinegar and olive oil. The salad is a specialty of Tuscany (oh how I miss you), where it is usually served in the summer, making use of the fresh summer vegetables that are in season. The two words: pane, meaning bread, and zanella, meaning soup bowl. This recipe is by NO MEANS authentic, but it’s a fun play on a classic using bagels instead of croutons.

What is Cold Smoked Salmon?

Smoked salmon can be made from any part of the fish, and it starts with salt curing or brining. The salmon can be covered in spices or a dry rub after curing, then smoked in one of two ways: cold or hot.

Cold-smoked salmon, the type used in this recipe, is where the salmon is slowly exposed to smoke in a controlled environment for several days. The salmon stays very moist, develops a silky texture and a beautiful colour. Cold-smoked salmon has a subtle layer of smoky flavour and is the common type of salmon used in a bagel and cream cheese and is usually sold thinly sliced!

Health Benefits of Arugula

The base of this salad is arugula which brings a great peppery flavour to the party. But a big bonus is how healthy arugula is. It is actually from the same family as brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, and broccoli! Arugula is such  a nutrient-dense green and is high in fiber and phytochemicals, and like all leafy greens, low in calories. Feel even better about your next fresh arugula salad (I love tossing it with olive oil and a pinch of salt to top on our pizzas).

Smoked Salmon Bagel Panzanella Salad

We took some of the best flavour combinations of all time, and made a fresh new salad! This Smoked Salmon Bagel Panzanella Salad is full of creamy chunks of Boursin cheese, crispy bagel croutons, smoked salmon, sliced red onion, dill and capers. Super excited for you all to try this recipe. I truly haven’t seen this anywhere else!


For the Dressing

  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise use vegan if desired
  • 2/3 cup canola or olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Bagel Croutons

For the Salad


  • 4 cups arugula lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon capers (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Boursin or herbed cream cheese
  • Bagel Croutons
  • 6 oz smoked salmon* torn in pieces


For the Dressing

  1. To prepare the dressing, in a small but tall bowl (or large cup), whisk the garlic, lemon, Dijon, sugar, white wine vinegar and mayo together.
  2. Slowly add the oil while whisking until it is all mixed in.  Add salt to taste (I just use a couple of pinches).

For the Croutons

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Toss the bagel pieces in the oil and salt (or seasoning) and bake in oven for around 10 minutes, until light golden brown.

For the Salad

  1. Assemble the salad starting with the arugula then topping with the red onion, capers, fresh dill, crumbled Boursin cheese, bagel croutons and smoked salmon pieces. Toss with dressing and serve!

Recipe Notes

*adjust amount depending on serving size needed