Roasted Beet and Kale Panzanella in a large bowl.

Simple Sundays | Roasted Beet and Kale Panzanella

Roasted Beet and Kale Panzanella is a Panzanella recipe made for winter—filled with marinated kale, earthy beets, crusty bread, mozzarella and crisp apples.

Roasted Beet and Kale Panzanella in a large bowl.
Simple Sundays | Roasted Beet and Kale Panzanella

 Panzanella takes on a wintery twist with earthy beets and hearty kale, slices of crisp apple freshening up each bite. For me, this Roasted Beet and Kale Panzanella is a meal unto itself, although it makes for a lovely side to roasted chicken or a nice rib eye.

Roasted Beet and Kale Panzanella in a large bowl.

I was at a restaurant in Seattle not too long ago, and at the bottom of the menu there was a firm but diplomatic line: “substitutions politely declined.”

Perfectly worded. Discreet. And a statement that they could stand by. Each dish was delicious, and the chef had the freedom to serve what s/he felt was the best representation of their dish. I thought it was a wonderful way to deal with the world of picky eaters.

Chopped crusty bread on a cutting board.

Leaves of kale in a bowl on a wooden surface.

Long before I had children, I swore I would never become a short order cook. My mother never subscribed to that philosophy, so growing up, my brother, sister and I didn’t even think to ask for an alternate dinner. Whatever my mother cooked, the family ate, no questions asked. When I learned that some of my friends ate meals completely different than that of their parents, I was appalled, not only because of the extra work, but because they were missing a seemingly perfectly good meal in exchange for macaroni and cheese.

As a parent, I have learned that once in a while, you give in. You just do. But for the most part, our house follows the “substitutions politely declined” approach. I’m in the kitchen enough as it is, I can’t cook separate meals for each person!

But once in a while, I make something that I know only I will end up eating. This Roasted Beet and Kale Panzanella is one of them.

A large bowl filled with Roasted Beet and Kale Panzanella.

A plate filled with a winter salad mixture of marinated kale, crusty bread, and chopped apples.

Kale makes its way into dishes often (more than the children know), but beets is something even my husband still has a childhood phobia of — we can thank ’70’s era pickled beets for that tragedy. I try to remind him that he loved a superb borscht at the James Beard Awards and a beet and burrata appetizer at Pebble Beach Food & Wine, but I don’t blame him for trusting acclaimed chefs over my beet salads.

But that’s fine. This one time, I will make an exception. This large bowl of Roasted Beet and Kale Panzanella was all mine, and I was perfectly alright with that. Marinated kale, with bites of earthy beets and crusty bread were delicious with bites of mozzarella and crisp and sweet apples. It’s panzanella made for winter, and definitely made just for me.

Roasted Beet and Kale Panzanella served on a plate with a fork.

More Kale Recipes

Italian Sausage and Kale Frittata
White Bean Soup with Kale
Pan Seared Scallops with Warm Asparagus, Kale and Tangerine Salad
Mandarin Orange Kale Salad
Roasted Acorn Squash and Kale Salad

Roasted Beet and Kale Panzanella

Panzanella takes on a wintery twist with earthy beets and hearty kale, slices of crisp apple freshening up each bite. For me, this Roasted Beet and Kale Panzanella is a meal unto itself, although it makes for a lovely side to roasted chicken or a nice rib eye.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 517kcal


  • 1 rustic baguette cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 4 cups torn kale leaves stalks discarded
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 beets roasted*, peeled and quartered
  • 1 apple sliced (such as Gala or Fuji)
  • 1 cup marinated mozzarella or better yet, burrata, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds


  • Toast the bread - it can be baked in a 350° oven for about 5 minutes, or toasted on the grill or grill pan.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, water, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Drizzle half of the dressing over the kale in a large bowl, tossing and coating the kale evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the kale sit for at least an hour in the refrigerator to marinate. This can also be done overnight.
  • Add the bread, beets, apple, mozzarella, and sunflower seeds. Dress with remaining dressing and toss. Let it sit for about half an hour at room temperature before serving.


Dressing adapted from Spinach and Mixed Greens Salad, Cooking Light.


Calories: 517kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 1060mg | Potassium: 941mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 6948IU | Vitamin C: 89mg | Calcium: 324mg | Iron: 5mg
Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante


Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Lita Waston

    Roasted beet is always a healthy choice to make salad. Thank to your recipe, i can persuade my child to eat beets more. I hope you will add this superfood in more recipe.

  2. Tess @ Tips on Healthy Living

    This salad looks delicious! I grew up the same way. I always ate what was served, though I remember many battles with my parents when it came to having to eat certain things (namely, beets). However, as I’ve gotten older, beets aren’t so bad. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

  3. marcie

    What a delicious, wholesome salad that has every texture there is to make it so interesting! Roasted beets and kale sounds like a perfect combination. :)

  4. Mindy

    This looks delicious. Lucky for me, the hubs and all three of our kids love beets. The raw kale would be a harder sell.
    Like you, there are times I make a dinner that I know will illicit more ewws than ahhhs. So I make a version that’s “kid-friendly.” As much as I hate that phrase. My biggest pet peeve is parents who feed their kids crap because it’s “kid” food and they “won’t eat anything else.” They would if they were starving. ha! Seriously though, they eat what you serve. If mac n’ cheese and chicken nuggets are what’s set in front of them every night, of course that’s what they’re gonna want. At our house, if you don’t like it, that’s fine, but it’s a long time until breakfast. And guess what, they’ll eat, and like, almost anything. Funny how that works.

    • Liren Baker

      “It’s a long time before breakfast.” Yes. I also operate under the mode of at least try it. If, after you try it, you do indeed find it absolutely repulsive, then I will respect that. But at least give it a try. And as for what is “kid food” – oh my goodness, I could go on and on about that, especially when it comes to “kid” menus at restaurants. Children have come to expect mac n cheese and pizza and nuggets as an alternative to exciting food. You’re so lucky that you have beet lovers in your house, though, maybe one day, I’ll be lucky :)

    • Liren Baker

      I could’t phrase it better myself. I do think that other than pickiness, I imagine that declining substitutions streamlines not only the kitchen but costs as well. I’m so glad you love beets, too :)

Kitchen Confidante®