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Squash, Blue Cheese + Garbanzo Panzanella

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Low Carb/Paleo
  • Vegetarian
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Why we love it:

Did I test this recipe 2 extra times just to keep eating it? Yes, yes I did and I’d do it again! This is a salad worth calling itself dinner. Panzanella is an Italian bread salad where the croutons are first crispy, then softened by the dressing. We have a summer version too, but this wintery, hearty version is perfect for when tomatoes are not in season. Check substitutions list for easy ideas regarding the squash!


  • 2 cups Kabocha Squash (or other orange winter squash)
  • 1 15-ounce can Garbanzo Beans
  • 14 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided, plus a few drizzles)
  • 12 teaspoon Kosher Salt (divided, possibly more to taste)
  • 4 cups Italian Bread (½ a loaf - day or 2 old is perfect)
  • 14 teaspoon Black Pepper (optional, plus a pinch)
  • 1 head Radicchio
  • 4 cups Arugula (or spring mix greens)
  • 1 English Cucumber
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Fennel Bulb
  • 4 ounces Blue Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Cooking Instructions


    If using precut squash, just dice into ½ - 1” cubes. Or if you have a whole squash, scrape out the seeds then dice into cubes; most orange winter squash skin can be eaten so you only have to peel it if it bothers you or has gnarly bumps on it.

    Open and drain the garbanzo beans. Add to the squash.

    Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until tender; be sure to stir at least once during this time.


    Slice bread into 1 - 1 ½” cubes. Toss on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating a few times, so they’re barely golden on the outside and crunchy. Let cool.

  • 4. SALAD

    Chop radicchio.
    Wash and dry arugula or lettuce.
    Slice cucumber.
    Slice or dice the apple.
    Slice the fennel into thin slices.

    Toss all in a large bowl.


    In a jar or bowl combine the following: 1 teaspoon Dijon, 1 teaspoon honey, 4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and a ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Shake or whisk. Then add a ¼ cup of olive oil and shake or whisk until combined.

  • 6. COMBINE

    Add the cheese to the salad. Add the squash, beans, and croutons to the bowl. Pour the dressing over to taste (you’ll use more than you might on a lettuce only salad - possibly even all of this).

  • 7. SERVING

    Let stand for 5 - 15 minutes after dressing before serving to let the croutons soak up the dressing and soften up.

Check out our new features!


    use GF bread for croutons. Or swap for crispy cubes of tofu, roasted mushrooms, or double the garbanzo beans
    omit cheese, you really don’t have to add anything else
    use goat cheese or sheep feta
    whole winter squash can be a pain to chop up; look for pre-diced versions in the prepared food section of your grocery store. Or try frozen butternut squash cubes - you can defrost them overnight or cook right from frozen
    goat cheese, grated parmesan, fresh mozzarella balls
    if allergic, omit and consider crispy tofu cubes, or cauliflower florets, or roasted sliced mushrooms. Or try with white beans, kidney beans or lentils. A scoop of quinoa is delicious too
    if desired, this is great with a hardboiled egg added
    just use your favorite store bought version
    serve a deconstructed version for kids; they’ll likely enjoy cucumbers, croutons, apples, crispy garbanzos, and older kids will have a small lettuce only salad or slices of radicchio dipped in dressing. You could add a scoop of hummus for them or an egg

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Make the croutons; store in an airtight container up to one day
  2. Make the vinaigrette
  3. Roast the squash. You can warm before tossing the salad to serve or just leave it cold
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