Home » All the best vegan recipes from Sweeter than Oats » Salad » Vegan Sourdough and Roasted Plum Panzanella

Vegan Sourdough and Roasted Plum Panzanella

This post contains links to affiliate websites, such as Amazon, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you using these links. We appreciate your support!

Warm sourdough bread and roasted plum panzanella salad – a perfect salad for the chillier fall days, utilising the nicest fruit from the season, and a great way to use up leftover sourdough bread!

Delicious Sourdough Bread and Roasted Plum Salad.

Before I turned plant-based, I used to cook the delicious Zuni Cafe Roast Chicken and Bread Salad from the acclaimed San Francisco restaurant, Zuni Cafe Cookbook. It was the perfect blend of flavours and textures, and the first salad that made me realise that there’s more to them than just leaves. Judy Rodgers had taken all of the elements of a traditional chicken salad and turned it around on its head, deconstructing it, and then reassembling it, producing an exquisite salad.

Over the years, I have made that salad many times, to much acclaim, but I felt that the salad needed to be made plant based, but without falling back on using things like substitute meat. I’m not even sure they belong in a salad anyway.

So, I started to think about what I love about that salad, and it was definitely the bread, drenched in the chicken juices, but also the tangy, dressing and the fruity currants.

I decided to forego veganising the chicken element entirely, and only moved forward with two original elements: the bread and the fruit (from the original idea of using a currant dressing). Oh, and the simple vinaigrette. I came up with this, my warm sourdough bread and roasted plum salad.

Delicious Sourdough Bread and Roasted Plum Salad

I think what makes the original Zuni recipe so successful is the subtle blending of the different flavours. The crisping of the bread, some pieces toastier than others, the flavour from the roast chicken, the thyme and the spring onions, the tartness of the vinegars and the sweet pop of currants.

What Bread Can I Use in Panzanella Salad?

Delicious Sourdough Bread and Roasted Plum Salad

I do recommend that you use a good rustic bread, like a ciabatta, baguette or a focaccia, something that’s not too squishy, but even a farmhouse loaf will be delicious. I don’t recommend sliced bread, just because it won’t have the flavour or texture.

If you have a favourite sourdough, whether it’s a white or brown or seeded loaf, this too will be just delicious.

I’m not sure I would recommend beer bread either as it can be quite crumbly, and whilst you want some smaller bits of bread for that toasty yum, you don’t want lots of crumbs!

You could also make your own sourdough bread!


Warm Sourdough Bread and Roasted Plum Salad Recipe
  • Sourdough bread
  • Plums
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Walnuts
  • Grapes
  • Preserved Peppers


But what if plums are not in season? Or you’d rather use something else? Most larger fruits taste delicious grilled, and these are just a few:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Mango
  • Pineapple

Can I use Gluten Free Bread in Panzanella?

As for gluten free, if you can find an uncut loaf of sourdough or similar gluten free bread, go ahead and use that!

What’s important to remember about this salad is that one ingredient is not the sum total of the recipe, all the ingredients when tasted in one delicious bite make this a perfect salad recipe for any time of the year. So, in the winter, you could add some dried cranberries, and a more hearty bread. For those really warm summer days, a lighter loaf, with sundried tomatoes and basil and some roasted peaches would be just divine. It’s all about thinking about what you have in your fridge, or fruit bowl, and if you think it sounds like it would work, then it probably will!

Note: don’t forget the simple oil and vinegar dressing. This helps to add an additional flavour to the warm bread, and ties the whole salad together. I like to use a little maple syrup in my dressing, just to mirror the sweetness of the fruit, but you can use honey, agave syrup or simply omit the sugar altogether.

Try my other delicious vegan salad ideas

Sourdough Bread and Roasted Plum Salad

Warm Sourdough Bread and Roasted Plum Salad Recipe
A warm salad perfect for using up Sourdough Bread and fruit.
5 from 31 votes
Prep 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


Roasted Plums

  • 2 Plums - ripe but not overly so, stoned and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • tbsp Maple Syrup
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 springs fresh Thyme

Rest of Salad

  • 1 small loaf Sourdough Bread - or other rustic bread, crusts removed, torn into 1" chunks
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup Walnuts - toasted, broken into pieces
  • ¼ cup Grapes - halved
  • 1/4 cup Roasted Peppers - cut into slithers if whole
  • 2 Spring Onions - cut into rings, incl green tops
  • 1 Mixed Leaves, such as watercress, spinach etc


  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Cider Vinegar
  • ½ tsp Maple Syrup
  • Salt and Pepper


To Roast The Plums

  • In a small bowl, mix together the plums, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, thyme and salt and pepper. Leave to marinate for 5 mins or so
  • Preheat oven to 180c.
  • Heat a frying pan over high heat and add the plums and marinade, moving them around quickly to stop burning, but allowing them to colour up.
  • Tip this mixture onto a lined baking tray and bake for a further 10 mins

To Toast The Sourdough

  • Place the torn bits of Sourdough onto a baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil and grind over a little black pepper. Toss so that all the bread is lightly coated.
  • Bake for about 10-15 mins or until the bread is toasty and slightly coloured. Turn if needed.

To assemble Salad

  • In a large serving bowl, add your toasted sourdough, roasted pears, grape halves, peppers, walnuts and salad leaves and mix to combine.
  • Drizzle over the salad dressing and mix well. Taste a little of the bread for seasoning, or if it needs a little more olive oil.
  • This salad tastes best at room temperature and if the flavours are able to stand and mingle for about 10 mins.

Please note that where the recipe asks for milk, butter or yogurt, this refers to any plant-based version that you prefer.

Nutrition Facts
Sourdough Bread and Roasted Plum Salad
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Share the recipe

Similar Posts


  1. 5 stars
    This salad looks so good. Like a wonderful twist on a panzanella. I can’t wait to try this!

  2. 5 stars
    So unique!! I love sourdough soo much, hands down favorite bread! Definitely going to give this a try.

  3. 5 stars
    I love how simple and delicious this recipe is. Thank you so much for suggesting other fruits to use and which season.

  4. 5 stars
    This looks amazing. My partner has a plum allergy so I will be trying this with peaches or mango – they all sound delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    This was a fabulous salad! I love the depth of flavor the maple added. It was perfect with the plum.

  6. 5 stars
    Wow, the flavours come together so well, this is one of the best salads I have tried, even the kids enjoyed it!

  7. 5 stars
    Yumm! So glad I tried this recipe. I love this roasted plum salad with sourdough bread! It’s an amazing combination of flavors.

Leave a Reply

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

Did You Enjoy This Recipe?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.