BLT Bread Salad

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 loaf crusty Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1 1/4-inch chunks

3 cups baby arugula

1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 ounces ricotta salata cheese, shaved


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Soak the onion in a bowl of cold water while you prepare the salad.
  2. Working in batches, cook the pancetta in a single layer in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain; reserve the drippings.
  3. Combine 1 tablespoon each olive oil and pancetta drippings in a small bowl. Toss with the bread cubes on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; spread in an even layer. Bake, stirring once, until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes.
  4. Drain the onion and chop all but 6 slices pancetta. Add to a large bowl with the tomatoes, arugula, basil, olives, bread, vinegar and the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Toss and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide the salad among bowls. Top each with some ricotta salata and a piece of reserved pancetta.
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