Turn a classic bread salad into a fall salad with butternut squash and baby kale and maple vinaigrette!
Bread, butternut squash, dried cranberries, baby kale and a maple dijon vinaigrette make the best fall main dish salad!
I love the classic panzanella salad with bread and tomatoes made with summer's most ripest, best tomatoes.
Since I bake or buy a big loaf of sourdough bread every week, I have plenty of stale bread. So, I started thinking about making a panzanella year round! This fall panzanella captures all the flavors of fall.
We eat it as a main dish salad usually but you can also serve it along side roasted chicken or pork. It's also a delightful alternative to stuffing at Thanksgiving!
- Butternut squash - acorn squash or sweet potatoes also work. If your squash is big, be sure and read How to Freeze Butternut Squash to store any extra.
- Bread - preferably a bit stale. I like to use a sourdough bread, but use whatever you have.
- Baby kale - you can use regular kale, very thinly sliced or any of your favorite salad greens.
- Dried cranberries - raisins also work.
- Apple cider vinegar - or any mild vinegar.
- Extra virgin olive oil - use a good fruity one.
- Maple syrup - real maple syrup is best, not pancake syrup.
- Dijon mustard.
- Goat Cheese - optional, but I like the tang.
Step by step instructions.
Preheat oven to 425.
Peel and dice the butternut squash into about 1 inch cubes. Cube the bread about the same size. You can remove the crust on the bread if you'd like, but I usually don't.
Combine the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, dijon mustard and salt and pepper in a lidded jar and shake to combine.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and place the butternut squash on one and the bread on the other.
Drizzle a little olive oil over each sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Spread the cubes out into one layer.
Roast the butternut squash for about 20 minutes. You can either had the bread cubes to the oven when there are about 5-10 minutes left of roasting time on the squash or just put them in when you pull the squash out. I usually find that's easiest. I start checking the bread cubes after about 6 minutes.
In a large bowl combine the bread, butternut squash, baby kale, goat cheese and dried cranberries. Shake the vinaigrette to recombine and pour over the salad (you might not use it all) and toss to combine.
This is such an easy salad to toss together. I make it every year as soon as fall and winter squash becomes available.
It's so easy to change it up, depending on what you have. You can change the squash, change the dried fruit, change the cheese. It's all good.
The Maple Dijon Vinaigrette is one that you'll want to use on everything! It turns every salad into a fall salad. I also love it as a marinade for chicken or simply brushed on chicken before roasting!
More fall squash recipes.
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Fall Panzanella Salad
Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
- 4 ½ cups butternut squash peeled, cut into ½-1 inch dice
- 4 ½ cups bread stale, cut into ½-1 inch dice
- 2 cups kale baby
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- olive oil for drizzling
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°f.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash on one and the bread on the other. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat.
- Roast the squash for 20 minutes or until tender and golden. Remove from the oven and roast the bread for 6-10 minutes, watching it until it gets golden and crispy.
- Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.
- Place the butternut squash, bread, kale, dried cranberries in a bowl. Drizzle with the dressing (you may not use it all) and toss to combine. Divide between serving bowls and top with crumbled goat cheese.