Warm Butternut Squash Farro Salad
This Warm Butternut Squash Farro Salad is a flavorful and hearty grain salad that’s perfect for lunches or to serve as a side dish! It pairs well as a side with a variety of meaty main courses, or on its own or with a bowl of soup for a satisfying midday meal. Farro is one of my favorite grains because I love the nutty flavor and chewy texture. It reminds me of barley that way! In this grain-based salad the cooked farro is lightly tossed in a maple-mustard dressing along with plenty of seasoned and roasted butternut squash, sweet dried cranberries, crunchy toasted almonds, peppery arugula, and savory sauteed onions and garlic. These flavors and textures come together deliciously for a versatile dish you’ll want to make on repeat.
Not only is this Warm Butternut Squash Farro Salad absolutely delicious, but each serving is just 210 calories or 5 WW Points on the current Weight Watchers program. To view your current WW Points for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, click here!
The entire recipe for me made about 5 ½ cups, so I decided to list this as six servings at a rounded ¾ cup each (so a ¾ cup measuring cup with a little extra on top). In my experience, that’s a satisfying portion for a side dish or as a lunch main course. If you’d prefer a larger serving, you can also make it five servings of a rounded cup each.
- Farro: I love farro, it’s one of my favorite grains. It’s a lot more widely available than it used to be, but if you’re unable to find it or you just want to use something you have on hand, barley is fairly similar and would be a good substitute. I say in the recipe instructions to cook the farro according to package directions because I’ve had different packaging give different instructions, but what I listed there worked perfectly for me.
- Dried cranberries: I love the sweet-and-tart flavor of dried cranberries in this recipe, but if you don’t have them or don’t like them, raisins or dried cherries would work in their place.
- Almonds: I love the crunch the sliced almonds ass to this salad! They also get golden and toasty in the skillet, which is just perfection. If you can’t eat nuts, feel free to omit them. You could alternatively replace them with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds if you are able to eat those instead.
- Vinegar: I used apple cider vinegar in this, but if you don’t have it you can use wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar instead.
- Maple Syrup: I use the real thing in this recipe and a little goes a long way toward providing mild sweetness and flavor to this dish. I highly recommend using maple syrup, but if you’re in a pinch, honey would probably work fine.
- Mustard: Feel free to use your preferred type. I’ve made this with Dijon mustard and with yellow mustard and I like it both ways!
More Tasty Side Dish Ideas
Looking for more tasty, lightened up side dish recipes? Check out my Mediterranean Couscous Salad, Apple Coleslaw, Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad, Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes, Stovetop Cinnamon Apples, Caprese Pasta Salad, Air Fryer Cajun Potatoes, Broccoli Salad, Stovetop Green Beans with Almonds, Creamy Corn with Bacon and Jalapenos, Strawberry Quinoa Salad, Spinach Balls, Garlic Herb Mushrooms, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Easy Garlic Knots, and so many more in the Side Dishes category of my recipe index!
Warm Butternut Squash Farro Salad
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 1 lb cubed uncooked butternut squash, (cut into ½” cubes)
- 5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided (plus more for sprinkling to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- ¼ teaspoon ground thyme, divided
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, (or your favorite mustard)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 cup fresh arugula leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Cook the cup of farro according to package directions. For mine, I combined it with 2 cups of water and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan and brought it to a boil, then reduced the heat to low and let it simmer covered for 30-35 minutes.
- Once the farro is started, place the cubed squash in a mixing bowl and drizzle with two teaspoons of the olive oil. Stir to coat. Then add ¼ teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon of ground thyme and stir to coat. Transfer the squash to the prepared baking sheet and spread across the surface. Place in the oven to roast at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
- When about 10 minutes remain on the squash and farro, drizzle two teaspoons of the olive oil into a skillet or sauté pan and bring over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and stir to coat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the minced garlic, sliced almonds, and dried cranberries and stir to combine. Sprinkle with a little salt and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until the almonds look a bit golden and the cranberries are plump.
- In a mixing bowl (it can be the same one you used for the squash – save yourself some dishes), add the apple cider vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, remaining teaspoon of olive oil, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon of ground thyme. Whisk together until combined.
- Transfer the cooked farro to a serving bowl and fluff with a fork. Add the roasted butternut squash and the onion/cranberry mix along with the cup of fresh arugula and the tablespoon of fresh parsley. Stir together to mix. Drizzle the maple mustard dressing you made in step 5 over the top of the other ingredients and then stir/toss to combine with the dressing. Serve warm.
210 calories, 35 g carbs, 8 g sugars, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 6 g protein, 3 g fiber, 80 mg sodium (from myfitnesspal.com) Weight Watchers Points Plus:
6 per (rounded ¾ cup) serving (PP calculated using a Weight Watchers PointsPlus calculator and the nutrition info below) adapted from Joyful Healthy Eats