Sweet Corn & Arugula Panzanella

This Sweet Corn & Arugula Panzanella is a great vegetarian grilling side. Omit the cheese to make it vegan, or add a few chickpeas and some extra greens to make it a meal!

Sweet Corn & Arugula Panzanella on a platter with utensils

Tell me, what’s your favorite summer salad?

If you said panzanella, you’re at the right place. If you didn’t say panzanella, that’s ok too, because I think you’ll be converted after you try this one! 🙂 It’s the ultimate summer salad to make with a bounty of fresh tomatoes. Or in this case, if you have a few tomatoes and a bounty of fresh sweet corn.

Sweet Corn & Arugula Panzanella

Panzanella may be an Italian bread salad, but the special part about this panzanella is that it’s not entirely about the bread. I think bread salads can often get a bit too bread-y, which is where the sweet corn comes in. It’s fresh, crisp, and it soaks up the tangy vinaigrette and tomato juices so well. (Yes, the corn is raw here – when you have in-season fresh sweet corn it’s delicious this way!)

Plus, sweet corn is my favorite summer vegetable, and it’s just now coming into season, so I’ll be eating it pretty much every day from now until the end of September.

Sweet Corn & Arugula Panzanella

I would usually choose a lighter bread like ciabatta bread for panzanella, but I like this particular salad with cubes of hearty & seedy whole grain bread like this one:

Sweet Corn & Arugula Panzanella

Did I mention that this salad comes together in just one bowl? It’s great to make ahead and it’s the perfect side dish to go with whatever you’re grilling. If you have a bit left over, make it into lunch the next day by adding some chickpeas and another handful of arugula.

Sweet Corn & Arugula Panzanella

If you love this panzanella recipe…

Then try this one with tomatoes, corn, and peaches and this one with sweet peppers and kale!

5.0 from 2 reviews

Sweet Corn & Arugula Panzanella

This one-bowl Sweet Corn & Arugula Panzanella is perfect for summer picnics! A healthy, satisfying vegetarian side, it can easily be made vegan.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4 to 6 as a side
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small shallot, very thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups cubed whole-grain bread
  • 4 ears corn, kernels cut from cob
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced into wedges
  • 3 cups arugula
  • Pinches of red pepper flakes
  • Flaky sea salt, if desired
  • ½ cup fresh basil, torn or sliced
  • Shaved pecorino cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bottom of a large bowl, make the dressing by mixing together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the vinegar, mustard, salt, shallot, and garlic. Set aside.
  3. Arrange the bread cubes on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat. Bake until toasted, about 8 minutes.
  4. To the large bowl, add the (raw) corn, tomatoes, toasted bread, arugula, a few pinches of red pepper flakes, and toss. Season to taste with flaky sea salt (or regular sea salt). Spread onto a platter and top with the basil and shaved cheese, if using. Serve.
Make-ahead note: If you’re not serving this right away, mix every ingredient together except the bread, arugula, basil, and cheese. Add the bread and arugula 15 minutes before serving so that the bread does not get too soggy, and the arugula does not wilt. Top with the basil and cheese as you’re ready to serve.



Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Susan

    Made this for a beach party last night, slight variation. The hostess wanted me to go heavy on the arugula. Followed the recipe but doubled the dressing and used 4 bunches of arugula. Delicious!! I do not usually use sherry vinegar, nice change. With most of the greens gone at the end of the night, I had a bowl which looked more like the recipe. I will make this again!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Susan, I’m so glad it was a hit and that you enjoyed trying out sherry vinegar 🙂

  2. Sally

    This sounds like a great salad! Always looking for different recipes . I do not have sherry vinegar; actually never bought/tried it. Is there another vinegar that is a good substitute, or is it so different, that I really should buy a bottle?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Sally, you could use red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar – I love sherry vinegar because it has a nice flavor that’s in between both (and less strong than red wine vinegar). I tend to use it in place of red wine vinegar in any recipe. Hope that helps!

  3. Naomi Sternberg

    Do you put the corn in as is? So not prepared?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      correct – it’s not cooked, once it mixes with the oil/vinegar/tomato juices it’s wonderful raw!

      • Susanna

        I was going to ask the same exact thing.. if the corn was added to the salad ust like that, raw. I bever had raw corn before… I’m not sure the type of corn cobs I get around here are sweet and tender enough to be eaten raw unfortunately… I should give it at try to and see how it tastes.
        I actuallt roasted lots of corns yesterday! Too bad I don’t have any raw one in the fridge right now.
        I love panzarella salads, they are delicious for summer, totally agree!

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          It’s delicious once it soaks up the olive oil, vinegar, tomato juices, and seasonings (you won’t feel like you’re eating plain raw corn). Any decent summer corn should be fine! 🙂

  4. Cynthia Zaino

    if I make this ahead and won’t be eating eat for about 3 hours..should I refrigerate it?Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      yep, I would refrigerate it until then..

      • Cynthia Zaino

        Thank you!!!

  5. This looks fantastic! I’m such a fan of salads like this!

  6. Gaby Dalkin

    This is the most perfect summer salad!

  7. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite

    It’s been way too long since I’ve made a panzanella salad!! Cannot wait to try this with garden fresh produce 🙂

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.