Autumn Panzanella

4.88 from 8 votes
50 minutes
Jump To Recipe

Autumn Panzanella with sweet butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and spicy arugula makes a lovely light fall dinner, side salad or the perfect accompaniment for soup!

Photo of Autumn Panzanella in wood bowl on dark blue background.

Here’s a twist on a classic Panzanella that’s perfect for autumn!

One of the things I love most about Italian cooking is Italians never seem to let anything go to waste.

As I mentioned in this post for Whole-Grain Croutons with Thyme, Rosemary and Parmesan, I’m trying to be more mindful about food waste.  I’ve started a new feature at From A Chef’s Kitchen called Waste Not where I’ll explore ways to use up little odds and ends and creative ways to use vegetables and leftovers.

Let’s start with this Autumn Panzanella!

What is panzanella?

Panzanella is typically a summery tomato and bread salad and a great way to use up day-old bread and overripe tomatoes.  Sometimes other vegetables are added such as cucumber and red onion.

Close-up photo of Autumn Panzanella in wood bowl.

This Italian-inspired Autumn Panzanella includes two ingredients that would often get tossed with the possibility of a third:

  • The croutons (made from day-old whole-grain bread)
  • Brussels sprouts leaves (that often fall off when being trimmed)
  • You could use the seeds from the butternut squash instead of the pumpkin seeds I used.  For this recipe, I used purchased pumpkin seeds I already had on hand.

How to make Autumn Panzanella:

Photo of whole-grain croutons on baking sheet.
  • Roast the butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.  When trimming Brussels sprouts, a couple of leaves always seem to fall off.  Save the better ones and toss them into a salad raw or as I’ve done here, I roasted them with the squash.  Or, simply slice a cup or so of Brussels sprouts and roast.
Photo of butternut squash and Brussels sprouts on baking sheet after being roasted.
  • To mellow the onions a little bit, place them in the vinaigrette while roasting the vegetables.
  • Place the arugula, the warm vegetables, and the croutons in a large serving bowl.
Photo of Autumn Panzanella before being mixed together.
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the croutons then toss everything together.
  • Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese, pumpkin seeds and a good dose of black pepper!
Photo of Autumn Panzanella after being combined with cheese in wood bowl.
  • Serve this Autumn Panzanella and sit back and enjoy the accolades!
Photo of Autumn Panzanella Salad in wood bowl with serving utensils.

Want more salad recipes that are a cut above all the rest?  Try my:

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Autumn Panzanella Salad - Overhead hero shot of salad in wood bowl on dark blue background

Autumn Panzanella

4.88 from 8 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Autumn Panzanella with sweet butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and spicy arugula makes a lovely light fall dinner, side salad or the perfect accompaniment for soup!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Side Dishes – Salads
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 506 kcal



  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste


  • 1/2 small red onion - thinly sliced vertically
  • 1 small butternut squash - peeled, cubed and seeded (1/2-inch cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 1-2 cups Brussels sprouts leaves or shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 1 container (5-ounce) baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds - toasted if desired
  • Whole-Grain Croutons with Thyme



  • Whisk together red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and Dijon mustard. Slowly whisk in extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place the onion in the salad dressing so it softens up slightly and some of the “bite” is removed while roasting the squash and Brussels sprouts. Set aside.
  • Place butternut squash cubes on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.
  • Add Brussels sprouts leaves (or shredded sprouts) to baking sheet, toss together and place back in the oven for 7-8 minutes or until squash is cooked and Brussels sprouts are slightly crispy.
  • Place croutons, arugula, squash and Brussels sprouts in a large serving bowl.
  • Pour the dressing (with the onions) over the croutons then gently toss the whole salad together.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.


Cook Time includes the time to make the croutons.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 246mg | Potassium: 846mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 20203IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 267mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I found your website after searching for an Italian autumn salad to go with my stuffed shells. This salad was AMAZING.

    I loved the salad dressing, loved the combo of ingredients, the whole thing! And the croutons!!! Oh my goodness! Those are absolutely tasty! I’m looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch today. Adding turkey to it.

    I’ll add that I’ve been browsing you’re site and just loving it. New subscriber!! ❤️