Need leftover hamburger bun ideas? Try this easy hamburger bun panzanella recipe! It’s fresh, bright, and perfect for summer.
If you’re anything like me, the hamburger buns always seem to outlast the sandwich ingredients. Coupled with the fact that I don’t often make sandwiches, buying any sort of bun almost always means I’m going to have leftover buns. I made a great sloppy joe recipe, but after we had our fill, I still had an endless supply of hamburger buns!
Enter: the hamburger bun panzanella! Traditionally made with stale, rustic bread, this version uses up those leftover hamburger buns from the cookout or from your regular old sandwich night where you way overestimated how many rolls you’d need.
This is one of my favorite leftover hamburger bun ideas because everything is so versatile in panzanella. Primarily, you need bread and tomatoes but everything else is up to you! Try it with stone fruit as I did or throw in some halved figs or even roasted grapes. This easy panzanella recipe is one you want to have on rotation because of its versatility and just how darn easy it is to make. Whether you use leftover hamburger buns or a two-day-old artisanal loaf, it’s going to be delicious.
How to make this easy panzanella recipe:
As the name implies, this recipe is quite easy to make. First, toast your bread. Rather than cutting the buns into cubes, I like to tear them into irregular shapes for maximum crispiness.
Next, prepare your ingredients. Chop and dice your fruit and tomatoes and throw them in a bowl. Add fresh herbs, like parsley and basil, and drizzle everything with oil and a sprinkle of salt. Set it aside as you make your dressing.
Prepare the vinaigrette. The dressing is simple. Just whisk together oil, vinegar, maple syrup (or honey), Dijon mustard, a little pepper, and a little crushed red pepper until emulsified. Pour it over the tomatoes.
Once your bread has finished toasting, pour them into a big bowl and pour the dressed tomatoes on top and mix it all up.
Now, with a real nice, stale crusty bread, you want to let it hang out in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes. Since I used store-bought (and honestly, pretty processed bread), the soak time is less. If you’re using store-bought hamburger buns, you can dig in after a 15 minute soak time.
Looking for more vegetarian recipes? Check my archives!
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Easy Panzanella Recipe
- Mixing Bowls
- Baking sheet
- 6 hamburger buns torn into bite-sized pieces
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 cup chopped fruit such as cherries, nectarines, peaches, or roasted grapes
- 2 pounds tomatoes cored and chopped
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh herbs torn, such as basil, mint, and parsley or a mix
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh greens optional
- Fresh mozzarella cheese optional
Prepare the bread:
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Arrange the torn bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the oven for 10-12 minutes. flipping once halfway through, until the bread is toasted and golden brown. Cook the bread in batches if the baking sheet isn’t big enough to arrange the bread in an even layer. Transfer the bread to a large mixing bowl.
Prepare the fruit and tomatoes:
- In another large bowl, combine the fruit, chopped tomatoes, freshly torn herbs, and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Set aside.
Prepare the vinaigrette:
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette until emulsified. Taste and season to your preferences.
Prepare the panzenalla:
- Pour the dressing over the fruit and toss to combine.
- Pour the dressed fruit and tomatoes over the toasted bread and toss to combine. Taste and season to your preferences. Transfer to the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes depending on your bread.
- Arrange the panzanella on top of fresh greens and arrange torn mozzarella on top. Enjoy!