Roasted Veggie Salad {Panzanella}

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This roasted veggie salad (or Fall panzanella salad) is filled with homemade Italian croutons, roasted squash, roasted sweet potatoes, and roasted red onions. It’s drizzled with an irresistible lemon honey vinaigrette OR balsamic vinaigrette.

This salad is hearty enough to stand on its own or pair it with one of these comforting soups: zuppa toscana soup, broccoli cheddar soup, or this creamy vegetable soup

Overhead image of the roasted veggie salad in a giant bowl ready to be served

This panzanella salad is one of my all time favorites so I thought I’d put a Fall spin on it and add all kinds of delicious roasted veggies. With homemade croutons (that are unbelievably good) and the best lemon dressing, this salad is the ultimate Fall recipe.

This salad is very easy to customize; you can add your favorite root veggies (think brussels, carrots, parsnips), switch up the dressing (a good balsamic dressing would be delish!), and even swap the spinach for kale. All good things going on here!

Let’s start with talking about how to roast the veggies for this salad.

Overhead image of the homemade croutons being made that will go on this roasted veggie salad

How to roast the veggies

It’s no secret we’re obsessed with roasted vegetables at my home. Over the years I’ve shared lots of roasted veggie recipes (these roasted sweet potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, and roasted broccoli are all reader favorites!) Today we’re combining 3 veggies that roast beautifully together: sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and red onion. Below are a few quick roasting tips:

  • Use a LARGE sheet pan: the more space the veggies have, the better they’ll roast in the oven. When vegetables are overlapping on a sheet pan, they end up steaming instead of roasting. This will make them taste soggy not deliciously caramelized. I recommend using this 15×21 inch sheet pan (affiliate link) for this recipe. I also recommend using a dark sheet pan.
  • Cut the veggies into even sizes: the more evenly they’re cut, the more evenly they’ll roast. We want a small dice on the squash and sweet potatoes so they’ll roast quicker and be more pleasant to eat in this roasted veggie salad. The red onion is thinly (1/4 inch thick) sliced.
  • Make sure to flip the veggies in between the roasting time to ensures even cooking and caramelization. 
  • Don’t forget the importance of seasoning: if the veggies are tasting bland or unexciting it’s often the simplest fix — add some more salt and/or pepper. It’s amazing what these unassuming seasonings can do for roasted vegetables.

Overhead image of the veggies in this veggie salad on a sheet pan getting ready to be roasted

How to make croutons

  • You’ll want to start by ripping the bread into small-ish pieces. Bite-sized is perfect!
  • Those ripped bread pieces will get drizzled with seasonings, olive oil, and butter. They are gently tossed so each piece of bread is well coated.
  • And then it’s ready to be baked. 15 minutes will yield good, not overly crunchy croutons. For crunchy and hard croutons, keep ’em in for 20 minutes.
  • Once they’re done baking, the veggies will go in the oven, so they’ll have some time to cool down and continue to harden up a bit.

Overhead images of the roasted butternut squash and onions before being baked and fresh out of the oven

Lemon vinaigrette

After this sweet potato quinoa salad was such a smash hit, I knew I had to pair a lemon dressing with this sweet potato salad. The dressing needed a few tweaks to complement all the flavors in this salad, and after those tweaks, I’m happy to report it’s the perfect dressing. The good news is it couldn’t be easier to make! Simply combine all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake to combine.

A great alternative if you’re not a fan of lemon dressing (or just want to switch things up) is to use a balsamic dressing. My favorite balsamic dressing: 

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the vinaigrette add all the ingredients together in a mason jar. Add salt and pepper to taste; I add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, but add to preference. Shake the dressing well right before pouring over the salad.

Image of the lemon vinaigrette being poured on this roasted vegetable salad

Roasted veggie salad tips

  • The optimal ratio for a perfect panzanella salad is 1/3 bread and 2/3rds the other good stuff! 
  • You can use whatever bread you have as long as it’s not a crustless bread (and no brioche or challah). This roasted veggie salad tastes the best with bread that has a crunchy exterior and soft interior. We generally use French bread.
  • The best panzanella is made by tearing (not cutting) the bread into cubes. That way the dressing can get into all the uneven pieces of the bread. 

Up close image of the fall roasted veggie salad dressed and ready to be served

How to make this roasted veggie salad ahead of time

If you’re planning on making this salad ahead of time (or maybe it’s made it to your Thanksgiving menu!) I have a few tips for prepping ahead of time.

  • The dressing can be made 2-3 days in advance. Simply store in the mason jar in the fridge. When ready to dress, give the dressing a few good shakes and it’s ready to add. If the dressing hardens or separates, don’t worry, that’s normal. Let it stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes and then give it a good shake.
  • The croutons can be made ahead of time; up to one day in advance. Just make sure to store them in an airtight bag or container until ready to add to the salad.
  • The veggies can be made in advance, but they won’t be as crisp. If you want them to be just as crisp, I recommend cutting them all up and storing them in the fridge in a plastic bag for up to 2 days in advance. Bake the pre-chopped veggies fresh and add to the salad.

More salad recipes:

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Roasted Veggie Salad

5 from 2 votes
This roasted veggie salad (or Fall panzanella salad) is filled with homemade Italian croutons, roasted squash, roasted sweet potatoes, and roasted red onions. It's drizzled with an irresistible lemon honey vinaigrette.
Print Recipe

Roasted Veggie Salad

5 from 2 votes
This roasted veggie salad (or Fall panzanella salad) is filled with homemade Italian croutons, roasted squash, roasted sweet potatoes, and roasted red onions. It's drizzled with an irresistible lemon honey vinaigrette.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword fall panzanella salad, roasted veggie salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Calories 294kcal

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 cups (~1 large sweet potato) peeled and (small dice) diced sweet potato
  • 2 cups (~1/2 of 1 squash) peeled and (small dice) diced butternut squash
  • 2 cups (~1 large) thinly sliced red onion
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-6 ounces baby spinach

Croutons

  • 1/2 loaf day old French bread
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons mined garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Dressing (this lemon one or see the notes for a balsamic dressing)

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: Italian seasoning, minced garlic

Instructions

  • ROASTED VEGGIES: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prep all the veggies: peel sweet potatoes and squash; cut into a small dice. Remove outer peel from the red onion and thinly slice. Add all the prepped veggies onto a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and Italian seasoning (I use 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Toss to combine. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until golden and crisp tender. Flip once halfway through the baking time, around 15 minutes. Remove veggies from oven, let slightly cool and then adjust salt and pepper as needed. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • CROUTONS: While the veggies are cooking, rip the bread into bite sized pieces. Transfer bread to a bowl and add the olive oil, butter, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt & pepper (I use 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper). Using your hands, gently toss the croutons until well coated. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes (at 350 degrees F) until they are golden brown. Remove and let slightly cool.
  • DRESSING: combine all the ingredients in a mason jar. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I use 1/2 teaspoon of each). Shake to combine and store in the fridge until ready to eat. (You may not use all the dressing, add to personal preference. Leftover dressing lasts up to 5 days in the fridge.)
  • ASSEMBLY: Add spinach to a large bowl. Toss in the roasted veggies and croutons. Toss with vinaigrette and enjoy immediately. Do not dress anything you want to have leftover, this salad doesn't sit well with dressing and is best enjoyed right after dressed. To have leftovers, dress separately and store all ingredients separately.

Video

Recipe Notes

Balsamic Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
For the vinaigrette add all the ingredients together in a mason jar. Add salt and pepper to taste; I add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, but add to preference. Shake the dressing well right before pouring over the salad.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 294kcal

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Roasted veggie salad nutrition facts

Nutrition facts in this roasted veggie salad

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