Winter Panzanella

from 1 votes

Winter Panzanella

It’s been strangely warm the last couple of days here in New York so I opted to save my line-up of soup and stew recipes and take on a lighter challenge: Winter Panzanella. Panzanella, or Italian bread salad, is a mix of homemade croutons tossed with your choice of assorted veggies and dressing.

I love the bright colors of the blanched Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash and vinegar-soaked red onions in this recipe I adapted from Michael Chiarello. Fresh sage and thyme give this healthy, simple side a seasonal twist, making it taste just as good as it looks.

Update: A big shout-out to BlogHer for featuring this recipe in their What’s Hot column!

Side Dish

Winter Panzanella

Panzanella, or Italian bread salad, is a mix of homemade croutons tossed with your choice of assorted veggies and dressing.
Author: Kelly Senyei
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 servings


For the croutons:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 cups day-old whole wheat baguette, crust removed, cubed
  • 8 Tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

For the salad:

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 4 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup plus 1½ Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, then quartered


  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  • Melt the butter in a large pan set over medium heat. Cook it until it foams, and then add the garlic and thyme. Immediately add the cubed bread, tossing well to coat.
  • Add 6 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese to the pan and stir.
  • Transfer the bread mixture to a baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.
  • Bake the bread mixture until the croutons become crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove them and set them aside while you prepare the dressing.
  • Combine the sherry vinegar and the onions in a small bowl with a pinch of salt and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Toss the squash with 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil and the chopped sage. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the butternut squash in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until the squash is tender and lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the quartered Brussels sprouts and cook them until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove and drain.
  • Whisk the remaining olive oil into the red onion mixture.
  • In a large bowl combine the croutons, roasted squash and Brussels sprouts. Add the onions and vinaigrette and toss well.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Calories: 405kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 301mg, Potassium: 543mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 10550IU, Vitamin C: 54.1mg, Calcium: 173mg, Iron: 2.5mg


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Recipe adapted from Michael Chiarello.

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  1. Looks soo good!
    I love a good panzanella, but I’ve actually never made it myself. That will be changing though! Can’t wait to try this. Gorgeous blog BTW, so glad I found it!