Balsamic Butternut, Kale and Cranberry Panzanella Recipe

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Myrtle Hanson Modified: May 16, 2022
Balsamic Butternut, Kale and Cranberry Panzanella Recipe

How To Make Balsamic Butternut, Kale and Cranberry Panzanella

Serve a light and filling dish with this kale and cranberry panzanella. It’s a Tuscan dish tossed with oil-coated croutons and balsamic vinaigrette.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour



For Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • 2lbsbutternut squash,(1 medium), peeled and sliced into ¾-inch cubes
  • 2tbspolive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

For Toasted Croutons and Seeds:

  • ½lbcrusty whole grain bread,(1 small loaf), sliced into 1-inch cubes
  • 4tbspseeds,such as pepitas or pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and/or sunflower seeds
  • 2tbspolive oil
  • ¼tspsalt

For Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • ¼cupolive oil
  • 1tbspbalsamic vinegar,plus 1 tsp
  • 2tspmaple syrup,or honey
  • 1tspDijon mustard
  • tspsalt
  • freshly ground pepper,to taste

For Kale Salad:

  • 1bunchTuscan kale,or regular curly kale, ribs removed and chopped into small, bite-sized pcs
  • cupgrated pecorino romano,or parmesan cheese
  • ½cupdried cranberries
  • 1medium shallot,the whole bulb, papery skin removed, sliced super thin


  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees F with racks in the upper third and lower third of the oven. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper for easier cleanup.

Roasted Butternut:

  1. On one of the lined baking sheets, toss the cubed butternut in enough olive oil to lightly coat all sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and arrange the butternut in a single layer.

  2. Roast for about 35 to 40 minutes on the lower third rack until the butternut is tender throughout and caramelized on the edges, tossing at the 20-minute mark when adding the croutons.


  1. On the other baking sheet, combine the cubed bread with the seeds and salt. Drizzle on 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss to lightly coat the bread.

  2. Don’t worry about trying to get the seeds to stick to the bread, just try to make sure they’re lightly coated in oil. Arrange the mixture in a single layer so no croutons are on top of one another.

  3. Once the butternut is tossed and placed back on the lower rack, place the sheet of croutons on the upper rack. Toast the bread for 10 to 13 minutes, until the edges are golden.

  4. Remove the croutons from the oven and check the squash—it will probably need 5 to 10 more minutes before the edges are caramelized. Once the butternut is done, remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to cool.

  5. To prepare the vinaigrette, whisk together all of the ingredients until emulsified.


  1. To prepare the kale, transfer the chopped kale to a big salad bowl. Sprinkle a small pinch of sea salt over the kale.

  2. Massage the leaves for about 30 seconds with hands by lightly scrunching big handfuls at a time, until the leaves are darker in color and fragrant.

To assemble:

  1. Add the grated cheese, cranberries, and shallot to the bowl. Drizzle enough dressing into the bowl to lightly coat the leaves, then toss to coat.

  2. Add the roasted butternut and croutons and gently toss to combine. Drizzle in extra dressing, if needed. For best flavor, let the salad rest for 10 minutes before serving.


  • Calories: 677.38kcal
  • Fat: 36.37g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.14g
  • Trans Fat: 0.00g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 21.98g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.44g
  • Carbohydrates: 75.85g
  • Fiber: 12.57g
  • Sugar: 23.55g
  • Protein: 19.71g
  • Cholesterol: 22.88mg
  • Sodium: 985.91mg
  • Calcium: 500.74mg
  • Potassium: 1297.88mg
  • Iron: 4.63mg
  • Vitamin A: 1479.67µg
  • Vitamin C: 109.22mg
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