This fall farro salad recipe is the perfect vegetarian dinner or side salad! It’s packed with nutritious ingredients like farro, butternut squash, pomegranates, and goat cheese. Serve warm or cold, you choose!
In case you’re new here, I absolutely adore making grain salad recipes. As a Registered Dietitian, I love that they are nutritious, easy to make, versatile, and keep well in the fridge. When I’m thinking up new healthy salad recipes, I more often than not include a whole grain like quinoa, brown rice, or farro.
This salad will certainly be your new favorite farro bowl recipe once you give it a try. This recipe is vegetarian, soy free, and nut free.
What is Farro?
Farro is a type of ancient wheat grain that can be traced all the way back to Mesopotamia. It’s been a part of Italian cuisine for centuries, and is perfect for soups, stews, risottos, and grain salads.
Farro has a chewy texture and a nutty, pleasant taste. It holds its shape very well when cooked, and doesn’t get mushy like some rice varieties. The texture and flavor of farro pair perfectly in with butternut squash, kale, goat cheese, and pomegranate in this autumn salad!
Ingredients in fall farro salad
You need less than 10 ingredients to make this butternut squash and farro salad recipe, aside from salt, pepper and olive oil. It’s incredibly simple to make.
Quinoa, buckwheat, or wild rice are all good farro substitutes if you can’t find farro.
Try using crumbled feta cheese in place of goat cheese for a similar flavor.
Sub dried cranberries or diced apples for pomegranate seeds.
Step by step instructions
First, peel and dice your butternut squash. Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Roast in the oven.
While the butternut squash roasts, prepare the farro on the stovetop according to the package instructions.
Wash and finely chop the kale.
De-seed the pomegranate, if you are using fresh pomegranate.
Prepare the salad dressing by shaking the ingredients together in a jar.
Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the salad dressing, and use salad spoons to toss everything together. Enjoy!
Is farro gluten free? No, farro is not a gluten free grain. It is a form of wheat, which inherently contains gluten. Farro does contain less gluten than regular wheat, so it is sometimes tolerated by those with gluten intolerance. But if you have a gluten allergy/celiac disease, you need to avoid farro. Try quinoa or rice in place of farro to make recipes gluten free.
Farro cooking instructions
How you cook your farro will vary slightly by the type you buy. There are three types of farro available: whole farro, semi-pearled farro, and pearled farro. Whole farro takes the longest to cook (about 40 minutes), and pearled farro takes the least amount of time to cook (about 15 minutes).
Here is my favorite easy way to cook farro:
Combine 1 cup of farro with 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Add a generous pinch of salt.
Bring water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.
Cook farro for about 15 minutes until grains are tender and chewy.
Drain the excess water and fluff farro with a fork.
Season however you please or add it to your recipe!
Storing farro salad
One great thing about this recipe is how well it keeps in the fridge. Enjoy it as a warm farro salad right after you prepare it, then enjoy it cold or room temperature as leftovers!
Store leftover farro salad in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the fridge, dressing and all.
Farro health benefits
Farro is quite a nutritious whole grain to include in your diet. One fourth cup of dry farro provides:
6 grams of plant-based protein
5 grams of dietary fiber
20 percent of your daily niacin needs
15 percent of your daily magnesium and zinc needs
4 percent of your daily iron needs
Farro, along with other whole wheat products, is higher in soluble fiber than other whole grains. This particular type of fiber is beneficial for heart health, as consuming 5-10 grams of soluble fiber per day can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Whole grain foods like farro are some of the best dietary sources of antioxidants. Long term consumption of antioxidant-rich foods may be protective against certain diseases.
Butternut squash health benefits
Butternut squash, a popular and versatile winter squash is a healthy food to enjoy. One cup of cooked butternut squash provides:
6.6 grams of dietary fiber
1.8 grams of plant-based protein
582 mg potassium (12 percent of your daily needs)
1143.90 mcg Vitamin A (127 percent of your daily needs)
31.0 mg Vitamin C (34 percent of your daily needs)
59.45 mg magnesium (15 percent of your daily needs)
Butternut squash is also a good or excellent source of thiamin, niacin, folate, Vitamin E, and copper. Butternut squash is high in beta-carotene, an powerful antioxidant that gives squash it’s bright orange color. Other good food sources of beta-carotene include pumpkin, papaya, carrots, and broccoli.
Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!
This fall farro salad recipe is the perfect vegetarian dinner or side salad! It’s packed with nutritious ingredients like farro, butternut squash, pomegranates ,and goat cheese. Serve warm or cold, you choose!