Grilled Panzanella Salad with Chicken Sausage: A grilled version of a classic panzanella salad, made heartier with the addition of sausage.
Salads make the perfect dinner summer. They are light and refreshing and showcase the plentiful bounties of fresh summer produce. Plus, they very rarely involve cooking in the kitchen–which is great to keep the heat out of the kitchen when warmer weather hits.
I truly could eat a hearty salad everyday in the summer. Actually, I probably do eat a hearty salad at least 3 times a week in the summer. My family LOVES Chicken Quesadilla Salad, Buffalo Chicken Salad, and I love to eat on Spinach and Lemon Quinoa Salad for lunches–it is the perfect thing to pack for picnics or trips to the pool.
The recipe I am featuring today,Grilled Panzanella Salad with Chicken Sausage, is by far one of my favorite recipes. It is easy, versatile based on what you have in your fridge or garden, low fat, high protein, and utterly satisfying. Plus, my entire family devours this salad when it is placed on the dinner table and that just makes this Mom happy!
This dish comes together in less than 30 minutes and can easily be made with what you have on hand. The only essentials are a hearty lettuce (like romaine or napa cabbage) that can stand up to being grilled, flavorful sausage (I use Chicken Sausage that is MSG free, nitrate free, and all natural), hearty bread, and veggies. I prefer to grill peppers, onions, and zucchini. But my kids prefer ONLY peppers. So that is how I wrote the recipe, because when I am cooking at home, that is how I make the recipe. But feel free to throw some zucchini ribbon and onions on the grill and toss them into the salad as well–delicious!
Fire up that grill and get those ingredients seasoned with salt and pepper and let the flames bring the flavors of this salad to a whole new level of ridiculous!
Once the char has been given to the lovely array of ingredients you were working with, chop it all up to throw into some washed and dressed lettuce.
On a side note, I had an idea that I thought I was brilliant–that turned out to be NOT so smart. I took my lettuce and put it into my salad spinner to evenly coat my lettuce with my vinaigrette. You can stop laughing now. You are probably thinking, “Crazy, Lady there are holes in the spinner–the dressing will fly through it.” Yep, that is what happened. Tongs work–and clean hands work wonders for tossing salads as well.
So avoid the spinner and toss your grilled ingredients with the dressed lettuce and some Parmesan cheese and there you have it, a fabulous meal fit for company, carnivores, dieters, children, and I think it’s even good enough to serve the Queen.
So onto the recipe: Remember I used what I had on hand. Don’t have any quality bread…what about pita chips or croutons? They work great to soak up a vinaigrette. Roast your peppers on the grill or open a jar of roasted peppers, or I don’t care–skip the peppers! Just use what you have and what you love. Use this recipe as a guide. But the vinaigrette, that is dynamite–you may not want to tweek it much.
- For the Viniagrette:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoons capers
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp oregano, dried
- For the salad:
- 1 (10oz) package Chicken Sausages (I used a Feta and Spinach flavor)
- 1 cup sweet mini peppers
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 8 oz whole grain baguette (this is usually half a store bought loaf), cut into ½" slices
- 1 head of green leafy lettuce or romaine, washed, dried
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon each of kosher salt and pepper
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (or omit for dairy-free)
- Prepare the vinaigrette by blending all the ingredients together, until well combined and capers have been broken down. Set to the side.
- Preheat grill to medium. Throw sausage on grill. Slice lettuce in half, leaving the head of lettuce in tack. Season lettuce, peppers, and bread with a drizzle of of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place all veggies and slices of bread on grill. Close lid on grill and leave for 5 minutes. Flip veggies and bread and grill for another 3-4 minutes or until bread is toasted and veggies and sausages have nice grill marks evenly.
- Remove everything and dice up into small bite size chunks.
- Toss with tomatoes and vinaigrette.
- Grate fresh Parmesan over entire salad, Serve immediately or after 1 hour to allow bread to soften (I like it best right away!)
Sunday Supper Summer Dinner Salad Recipes
Brilliant Beef Salads
- Grilled Greek Steak Cobb with Greek Goddess Dressing by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Grilled Keilbasa and Warm Mustard Viniagrette Salad by Our Good Life
- Healthy Steak Salad by Cricket’s Confections
- Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette Beef Salad by Sunday Supper Movement
- Southwestern Steak Salad by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Choice Chicken Salads
- BBQ Chicken Salad by Palatable Pastime
- BBQ Chicken Avocado Hemp Seed Salad by Family Foodie
- Caribbean Chicken Quinoa Salad by My Life Cookbook
- Chicken Fried Picnic Salad by The Freshman Cook
- Chicken Salad with Orange and Fennel by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Chrissy’s Cobb Salad by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Grilled Panzanella Salad with Chicken Sausage by A Mind “Full” Mom
- Rainbow Greek Chicken Salad by Jersey Girl Cooks
Superb Seafood Salads
- Beer Steamed Shrimp Salad by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Crab Salad with Chili, Tomato and Avocado by Monica’s Table
- French Lentil Salad Nicoise-Style with Seared Tuna by Caroline’s Cooking
- Red Camargue and Wild Rice Salad with Tuna by Food Lust People Love
- Roasted Cod and Edamame Salad by The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Seared Ahi Tuna Salad with Key Lime-Dijon Vinaigrette by Gourmet Everyday
- Shrimp & Orange Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Vibrant Veggie Salads
- Chopped Greek Salad by Soulfully Made
- Farmers Market Quinoa Salad by And She Cooks
- Iron Chef Morimoto Inspired Salad by NinjaBaker.com
- Kale Guacamole Salad by Pies and Plots
- Kale Superfoods Salad by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Loaded Chopped Salad by Simple and Savory
- Muffuletta Pasta Salad by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
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