This Fall Panzanella Salad is filled with warm flavors like roasted butternut squash and roasted brussels sprouts. Tossed with tart pomegranate seeds and crunchy homemade croutons, it makes the perfect fall or winter salad. Bonus – it’s vegan (unless you add cheese after the pics like I did) and gluten free!
Roasted Vegetable Salads
My method of recipe development usually goes something like this –
“Oh! I should totally put roasted vegetables in a salad! And top it with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds! It’s brilliant for Thanksgiving or Christmas side dishes. How have I never thought to do this before?!”
*Googles fall salad and sees 500 versions of the same thing I just thought of*
“Well, this is why they don’t pay me the big bucks.”
I will say that although this seems to be a fairly common salad in the blogging world, it’s the first time I’ve really put together roasted vegetables in a salad besides my favorite roasted carrot salad.
To my surprise, the brussels sprouts work really well in here and the flavor isn’t overpowering at all. The sweetness of the butternut squash is also balanced by savory and tart flavors. It’s a lovely combination that just tastes like a cozy winter meal! I have also loved dijon and roasted brussels sprouts as a pairing. So I tossed this salad with a quick and easy dijon vinaigrette that takes exactly 10 seconds to make.
Holiday Side Dishes
It seems to me that people rarely touch salads at the Christmas or Thanksgiving buffet and honestly I don’t blame them. I’m saving room on my plate for green bean casserole (with extra crispy shallots) and an extra large piece of pumpkin cheesecake. Oh and cheese! Can’t forget the cheese!
(By the way, there’s a recipe for a migraine-friendly cheeseboard in my new cookbook which will be out February of 2020 and you can preorder on Amazon now….shameless plug.)
I was actually making this roasted fall panzanella salad as a side dish to my roast chicken one night and by the time my family filled up on a cranberry dip, which is to come on the blog, we weren’t too hungry for much extra. The great thing about this salad is that it’s incredibly filling, especially with the added croutons. Normally I like to add a protein to my salad, but this one can easily be a main dish meal, which is great!
Because of this, I highly recommend it as a lunch before your holiday meal. It’s filling, yet you won’t feel incredibly heavy either. Plus you can roast your vegetables ahead of time and store them in the fridge so it’s all ready to assemble quickly. Most of the time required to make this is really hands-off, so it’s a very simple meal.
Most of the items for this roasted fall salad are pretty straight forward and are widely available. Pomegranate seeds are typically sold in the packaged fruit section of grocery stores and I know Trader Joe’s definitely carries them near the refrigerated fruit section.
- My favorite Dijon mustards without sulfites or wine are Annie’s Organic (widely available) and HEB Organic. For my UK friends, if you can’t find dijon without sulfites or wine, you can substitute your favorite mustard.
- Pepitas are pumpkin seeds and I buy these in bulk at Trader Joe’s, but they can also be found in the bulk section of most grocery stores. I prefer unsalted so you can season to taste.
- As for bread, this one can get tricky. Packaged breads like Dave’s Killer Bread (Seed) or Pepperidge Farm Wheat are fairly easily found. I have luck with baguettes from my local bakery and waiting a day to consume. Just double check the ingredients!
More Salad Recipes
If you like this fall panzanella salad, you’ll love these other ideas. If you make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me #thedizzycook or @thedizzycook on Facebook and Instagram. And please leave a review below!
This post was originally published November 14th, 2019 and has been updated to include new tips.
Fall Panzanella Salad
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound chopped butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 12 oz brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
- kosher salt and pepper
- 3 cups spinach
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/3 cup toasted unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- OPTIONAL - 2 oz of crumbled goat cheese
- 1 baguette or 4-5 slices of bread
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
Easy Dijon Dressing
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425° F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss brussels sprouts and squash with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt (about 1 teaspoon) and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from oven and allow to cool, then transfer to the fridge. (You can store this a day or two ahead of time.) Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.
- Chop bread into cubes and toss with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. I use a spray olive oil, but you can just add a tiny bit to coat. Bake at 400 for 5 minutes and toss, bake another 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Meanwhile whisk together the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add spinach, green onions, chilled roasted vegetables, pepitas, pomegranate seeds, croutons, and goat cheese (if desired). Drizzle a little dressing on top (you probably won't use it all) and toss to coat. Serve!
- To make this salad ahead, roast brussels sprouts and squash ahead of time and store in the fridge up to 2 days until ready to use. Don't add croutons till ready to serve.
- Goat cheese really is fantastic with this so I highly recommend it if your diet allows.
- See the tips in the post for migraine-friendly brands.