Butternut Panzanella Salad Recipe

Winter Panzanella Salad! I know we typically think of panzanella salad as a summertime staple: with thick cubes of juicy in-season tomatoes, crusty bread and heaps of fragrant basil. This holiday version is just as delicious and features the best of Fall produce: beautiful kale ribbons, roasted butternut squash and sweet cranberries. If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing salad to serve this time of year, this butternut panzanella is it!

Litehouse Balsamic Dressing & Marinade for Butternut Panzanella Salad

If you’ve never had panzanella salad before, it’s basically a vegetable salad with big chunks of homemade croutons. It’s the perfect thing to make if you have leftover bread as this salad tastes even better with stale, hard croutons. The crunchy bread is better able to soak up the delicious Balsamic dressing, providing the perfect balance of crispy and soft. It’s divine!

Butternut squash prep for Butternut Panzanella Salad

I make a batch of roasted butternut squash almost weekly this time of year. Roasting helps release the natural sugars in vegetables; a reaction that happens when there is no water and the sugar is able to caramelize, creating a sweet, nutty, toasty flavor. Whenever I hear someone say that they don’t like vegetables, I urge them to try them roasted. Bitter compounds are transformed into slightly sweet ones and it’s the perfect answer to just about any root vegetable. Enjoy the roasted butternut squash on this salad, as a simple side dish or tossed with cooked grains and your favorite Litehouse dressing.

To bring everything together, I’m using Litehouse’s tangy Balsamic dressing and marinade. This dressing is a staple in my house, a workhorse that can be used on just about any salad and as a vegetable and protein marinade. With flavors inspired by classic Italian balsamics, this dressing will complement the flavors of any dish. 

Mixing up Butternut Panzanella Salad

Whether you are in need of a simple lunch salad or a show-stopping holiday side, this roasted butternut panzanella salad is it. To transform it into a main meal, consider adding in roasted chickpeas, rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey cubes.

Butternut Squash Panzanella Salad Recipe

Serves 4 | Finish in 45 minutes
0

Butternut Squash Panzanella Salad! A must-make this fall; cinnamon roasted butternut squash, crispy sourdough croutons, cranberries, walnuts, and crunchy kale tossed with Litehouse’s bright and tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette. If you love traditional panzanella salad, then you’ll want to save this squash version, perfect for the holiday season.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups sourdough bread (or other crusty bread), cubed
  • 1 large bunch Tuscan kale, ribs removed and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Litehouse® Balsamic Dressing and Marinade

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss cubed squash with olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway, until squash is tender. Remove and let cool slightly.
  2.  While the squash is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients: tear or cube the bread, chop the kale, and place the walnuts and cranberries in a large bowl.
  3.  Place the bread cubes on a separate baking sheet and place in the oven for ~5 minutes, or until bread is hard and crunchy. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  4. Place the chopped kale into the large bowl with the walnuts and the cranberries. Add the dressing and toss for ~1 minute, making sure to coat all of the ingredients. Tossing the salad for an extended time will help to break down and tenderize the kale leaves. Add the reserved squash and croutons and toss a few more times to combine. Season as needed with more salt and pepper, and serve.

Related Recipes