Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella

This is a cold-weather twist on the classic Italian summer salad. Parsnips, sweet potatoes, and beets are tossed in a delicious maple brown butter dressing. It's the ultimate make-ahead side for Thanksgiving.

Serving of Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella in a Bowl with a Fork, Surrounded by a Table Setting with a Platter of More Panzanella, a Glass of Water, and a Table Napkin,

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

If you’re trying to figure out what to bring to a Friendsgiving potluck or Thanksgiving this year, you’ve come to the right spot. Roasted root vegetable panzanella with maple and brown butter dressing is the answer.

For this recipe, we lean on in-season root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and beets, along with hearty kale, for a twist that fitting to fall. A maple brown butter dressing infused with fresh rosemary ties everything together and a scattering of crumbled goat cheese adds a creamy tang to every forkful.

Mix and Match Root Vegetables

In the recipe, I intentionally keep the selection of root vegetables up to you. That’s because it's fall and we are bursting at the seams with a wide variety of root vegetables—you never know what you might find on your visit to the grocery store or the farmers market.

I opt for a colorful mix of carrots, beets, parsnips, and sweet potatoes, but even if you just select one or two, you won’t be disappointed.

Bowl of Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella Surrounded by a Slices of Bread, Vase of Flowers, Utensils, and a Kitchen Linen

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Make this Salad up to 4 Hours Ahead

“Make-ahead” and “salad” don’t usually go hand in hand, but panzanella is an exception. Traditionally, panzanella is a Tuscan salad of crunchy bread and vegetables that's made in the summer using juicy ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs. The longer the salad sits, the bread soaks up the dressing and juices from the vegetables, which means it can sit for a few hours without any risk of it getting soggy and sad. This panzanella recipe is no different.

While you can dig into it almost immediately, you can make it up to 4 hours in advance. Technically, it can hold for even longer because the vegetables won't wilt and the bread will continue to soak up more flavor. I recommend refreshing it right before serving with a generous drizzle of olive oil and vinegar. You may also need to season it with a bit of salt and black pepper.

Panzanella: A Side Dish or the Thanksgiving Star

Panzanella can be a side or the star. It has enough heft to be a meatless main dish—my husband and I have enjoyed it many times on its own for a simple and satisfying weeknight dinner. It’s also well-suited to entertain with and be served at your Thanksgiving feast.

Close Up of Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella in a Platter

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

More Delicious Thanksgiving Sides

Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Rest Time 10 mins
Total Time 80 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 8 ounces (1/2 loaf) sourdough or country-style bread

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more as needed

  • 2 pounds root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the brown butter dressing

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, plus more as needed

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For assembling

  • 1 medium bunch (about 6 ounces) lacinato kale, destemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces

  • 4 ounces goat cheese

Special Equipment

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

    Arrange the oven rack to the center of the oven.

  2. Tear the bread:

    Tear or slice the bread into 1-inch cubes. You should have about 4 cups cubed bread.

    Bread Torn into Bite Size Pieces and Placed on a Baking Pan for Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  3. Season and toast the bread:

    Place the cubed bread on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and toss with your hands to coat. Spread it out into an even layer and bake, tossing halfway through, until dry and golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside on the baking sheet to cool.

    Seasoned Bread Pieces on a Sheet Pan for Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

    Toasted and Seasoned Bread Pieces for Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  4. Roast the vegetables:

    Add the root vegetables and onion on a separate rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Toss with your hands to coat and spread out in an even layer.

    Roast the vegetables, tossing halfway through, until tender and caramelized, 40 to 45 minutes.

    Roughly Cubed Red Onion, Carrots, Parsnips, Sweet Potatoes, and Beets on a Baking Tray for Root Vegetable Panzanella Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

    Seasoned Roughly Cubed Red Onion, Carrots, Parsnips, Sweet Potatoes, and Beets on a Baking Tray for Root Vegetable Panzanella Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

    Roasted Red Onion, Carrots, Parsnips, Sweet Potatoes, and Beets on a Baking Tray

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  5. Make brown butter dressing:

    Meanwhile, cut the butter into a few pieces and place it in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter just begins to toast, get brown, and has a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes total.

    Add the rosemary and stir until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and black pepper.

    Brown Butter Dressing Stirred Together Using a Spatula in a Sauce Pan

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

    Herbs Mixed into Pot of Brown Butter Dressing Using a Spatula

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  6. Massage the kale:

    Place the kale in a large bowl. Use your hands to massage the leaves until they feel less stiff, about 1 minute.

    Hand Massaging a Bowl of Chopped Kale until Tender

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  7. Assemble the salad:

    Once the vegetables are roasted, transfer them to the bowl of kale. Add the toasted bread and pour the dressing all over. Toss well to coat everything. 

    Let the salad rest at room temperature for at least 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, to distribute the dressing. Crumble the goat cheese on top and toss gently to combine.

    Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella Ingredients Mixed Together in a Bowl

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  8. Serve:

    Serve or cover and store at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Before serving, taste and season with a splash of vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and black pepper.

    Did you love the recipe? Leave us stars below!

    Platter of Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella with a Serving Spoon, Sitting on a Kitchen Linen Next to Slices of Bread

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
449 Calories
24g Fat
50g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 449
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 29mg 10%
Sodium 698mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 32mg 159%
Calcium 133mg 10%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 706mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.