Working some greens into your Thanksgiving meal can be a daunting task. The traditional Brussels sprouts and green bean casserole aren’t the most appealing options and a regular salad just doesn’t cut it for the special occasion. Just when your Thanksgiving feast is about to become a carbs only affair, it’s panzanella to the rescue! This fall twist on the Italian summer staple is perfect for your harvest table.

Granted this dish has bread and squash adding to the carb count, but the mountain of arugula it sits upon and the wonderfully delicate dressing that accompanies it make this a light addition to your meal. With both squash and crispy bread representing in this dish, you could even forego the stuffing and candied sweet potatoes if you want!

All the components to this dish can be made in advance and assembled right before serving cutting down on your kitchen frenzy on the day.

Autumn Panzanella


  • 1 (2-2 1/4lbs) butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch cubes  (about 4 cups)
  • 12 oz. ciabatta, torn into 1½” pieces
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 10 oz. pancetta, cut into 2″ strips
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped thyme
  • ½ tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 5 cups baby arugula
  • ½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • ½ cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 450°. Toss squash with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a shallow baking pan and spread cubes in one layer. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in middle of oven, stirring once halfway through roasting, until squash is tender and pale golden, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack.
Lower oven to 400°. Toss ciabatta with ¼ cup olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet; spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 12–15 minutes; transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
Heat pancetta in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 20–22 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl with bread; set aside. Add shallots to pan; cook until soft, about 4 minutes; transfer to bowl with bread.Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, honey, salt and pepper in another bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until dressing is emulsified.
Add squash, arugula, pine nuts, cranberries, salt and pepper to bowl with bread. Dress the salad and toss to combine.
Click below for a printable ingredient list and instructions
  Autumn Panzanella  Autumn Panzanella instructions