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This Farro Salad is perfect for fall! It’s an easy meatless meal that can easily be made ahead of time, and it’s filled with butternut squash, spinach and goat cheese.
Easy meatless meals are my favorite, and this farro salad is no exception. It’s an easy make-ahead meal that can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner (or both!).
It kind of sort of reminds me of my harvest bowl recipe, because it’s filled with fall-flavors like cinnamon, goat cheese and squash (the best!).
What is farro?
Farro is a high-protein, high fiber whole grain that has a slightly nutty flavor to it and is somewhat comparable to barley. It’s chewier in texture and is cooked by boiling it with water, similar to rice. It can easily be enjoyed on its own, or in salads or soups.
This recipe is incredibly versatile, and there are several substitutions that can be made if needed.
Farro – No real substitution — this is called farro salad after all
Butternut squash – Or sweet potato
Walnuts – Can sub for almonds or pecans if you prefer
Goat cheese – Gorgonzola or feta cheese will work too
Spinach – Or kale (preferably lacinato)
Dates – Can omit or use raisins or dried cranberries instead
Step 1: Cook the farro. You’ll want to start by cooking the farro over the stovetop the same way you’d cook rice. Please note that this step can easily be done ahead of time to make this recipe even quicker! Simply follow the instructions on the package for exact cook times.
Step 2: Sauté the squash. Heat oil in a large skillet, then cook the squash until it can easily be pierced with a fork, approximately 5-8 minutes. While the squash is cooking, chop the walnuts and dates.
Step 3: Combine. The final step is to mix everything together in a bowl. Start with the farro, then add the cooked butternut squash and spinach, then top it off with the walnuts, dates and goat cheese. Last, drizzle it with the maple syrup/balsamic “dressing”.
Tips and tricks
- This recipe is very easy to meal prep: simply cook the farro and butternut squash ahead of time (separately), then store them in a container in the refrigerator and eat throughout the week.
- If you’re not a fan of the maple/balsamic combination, you could try maple tahini instead, like I used in my autumn harvest bowl.
- You don’t have to cook the squash over the stove; if you prefer, you can roast it in the oven.
- Buying pre-cubed butternut squash will make your life a lot easier! It can be found at most grocery stores in the produce section where the pre-packaged vegetables are located.
Can this be made vegan?
Yes! Simply omit the cheese, or use your favorite vegan cheese in place of the goat cheese.
More vegetarian meals
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Butternut Squash Farro Salad
- 2 cups cooked farro
- 2 cups butternut squash chopped
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 5 dates pitted and chopped
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
for the dressing:
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- If you haven't already, cook the farro in a saucepan according to package instructions.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the butternut squash and cinnamon and cook on medium heat until squash is soft. Then, add the spinach and sauté for 1 minute.
- Pour farro into 2 bowls, then top it off with the butternut squash and spinach. Last, add the walnuts, dates and goat cheese.
- For the dressing: whisk syrup and balsamic together, then drizzle over top of the bowls. Enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in October 2016. It was updated with new text and photos in November 2020.