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This savory and sweet squash salad features roasted acorn squash, farro, and an orange vinaigrette with feta cheese crumbles.

Squash salad with farro

It’s the dawn of a new year, and the flurry of the holiday season has just run its course. Now that the hustle and bustle has died down, we’re ready to get back to our everyday routine for a bit – and our kitchen! And what better way to start the new year than a refreshing, nourishing squash salad with farro? This recipe is a mix of some of our best-loved ingredients – roasted acorn squash, warm farro, toasted walnuts, salty feta, and a zesty orange and mustard vinaigrette. The combination is a burst of flavors and textures that we found to be deliciously satisfying.

Squash salad with farro

Making this squash salad

We couldn’t be more pleased to find another solid use for acorn squash (this stuffed version was one of the highlights of last year’s recipes). If acorn squash is not readily available in your area, you can substitute any type of winter squash (butternut, delicata, buttercup, or whatever you can find).

This salad is hearty enough to serve as a lunch or light dinner, with a generous amount of toppings and some bread or rolls. Or, try it as a substantial side salad or first course for a special dinner. Whatever the case, it’s an excellent way to enjoy some nutrient-rich winter eating!

Squash salad with farro

What is farro?

Farro is a whole grain from the wheat family that can be used as an alternative to rice or pasta. We love it for its chewy texture and nutty taste. You can eat it plain or in soups and salads like this one.

Because farro comes from wheat, it is not gluten-free. If you’d like a gluten-free version of this salad, try using quinoa or brown rice.

Tip: If you like this recipe, you also might enjoy our Farro with Mushrooms & Parmesan! It turns farro into a filling main dish or bowl meal.

Looking for more salad recipes?

Outside of this acorn squash salad with farro, here are a few of our favorite salad recipes:

This squash salad with farro is…

Vegetarian and gluten free. For vegan, plant-based and dairy-free, omit the cheese.

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Acorn Squash Salad with Farro


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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
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Description

This savory and sweet squash salad features roasted acorn squash, farro, and an orange vinaigrette with feta cheese crumbles.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 acorn squash
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups farro
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 orange (zest and 2 teaspoons juice)
  • 1 bunch of salad greens
  • ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds, then cut into ¼ inch slices. In a medium bowl, toss the squash slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil, several pinches kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and top with the squash slices. Roast until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add the farro and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes, until tender. When finished, drain and mix with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt. (If you have an Instant Pot, go to Instant Pot Farro and use 2 cups farro and 3 cups water.)
  3. Crush or chop the walnuts. In a small skillet, toast the nuts over medium to low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are brown and fragrant, taking care that they don’t burn.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons olive oil, the white wine vinegar, stone ground mustard, honey, and fresh squeezed orange juice. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.
  5. To serve, pile greens on a plate or in a bowl. Top with roasted squash, warm farro, toasted walnuts, and feta cheese crumbles. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with orange zest and fresh ground pepper.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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21 Comments

  1. Keelan says:

    Is it really supposed to be 2 acorn squash, or do you mean 1 acorn squash cut in half? Thanks!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We do two full squash so that it’s a very hearty salad!

  2. Bree says:

    I stumbled upon this recipe today while trying to find something to do with farro I bought on sale. I used some kale instead of greens (only because the kale was sitting in the fridge and hitting it’s final days). I thought it was excellent, but my slightly less adventurous husband didn’t care for it. Oh well. More for me, lunch leftovers will be amazing!! Delish! I’ve Pinned it and shared with friends. Keep up the good work!

    1. Alex says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for writing :)

      1. Bree says:

        OK, I have to amend my post. Just caught hubby eating the tasty leftovers out of the fridge. Guess he changed his mind! :-D

  3. Jon Ransom says:

    This is one of my very favorite recipes. It’s filling and incredibly healthy. We eat it as a main course every couple weeks and love it. Thanks.

  4. Jess says:

    I think I bookmarked this recipe over a year ago. I was never able to find farro, and really wanted to try this awesome new grain.

    I finally found farro, and made this salad for myself and my salad hating husband. He liked it even more than me (and I thought it was amazing)!

    Thanks for another fabulous recipe.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This looks crazy good!

  6. Liz says:

    I made this last night switching out the farro for quinoa (its what I had in the house) and pomegranate tangerine vinegar instead of white wine vinegar – YUMM! I always forget how much I like acorn squash! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  7. Jami says:

    I made this tonight substituting barley for farro (it was what I could find easily) and it was delicious!

    1. Sonja says:

      Wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’m ready to make it again already :)

  8. Fran {The Flavorful Fork} says:

    I am a huge fan of squash, especially roasted. But I haven’t really experimented with farro yet. How else do you like to use it?

    1. Sonja says:

      We use farro anywhere you’d use a grain – grain salads with vegetables, soups, a substitute for rice in stir fries or burritos, etc. You also can boil it up and add some olive oil and herbs fora nice side dish. I love it because it cooks much faster than brown rice, so I generally use that instead.

      Here are a few recipes for inspiration! Let us know if you try it out.

      https://www.acouplecooks.com/2010/10/farro-salad-with-roasted-vegetables-and-fontina/

      https://www.acouplecooks.com/2011/01/garlic-and-kale-soup/

  9. Judy says:

    This looks so fresh and wonderful! It’s absolutely what I am looking for after the hefty holidays. More so, this looks like a recipe to keep =)

  10. beti says:

    I love how the squah looks I saw a similar recipe from Jamie Oliver and it looked pretty good I would love to try yours!

  11. Krissy's Creations says:

    Farro is quickly becoming one of my favorite grains. I love finding new recipes for it, and this salad looks both nourishing and delicious!

    1. Sonja says:

      Thanks – it’s one of my favorites too! We have a salad with roasted vegetables and farro in the archives that is also very delicious – it was the first thing we ever made with farro. You could check that out for more inspiration too :)

    2. Sonja says:

      I just included the hyperlink for the recipe in the comment below to Fran :)

  12. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean says:

    looks like a great combo of flavors

  13. MrsMudd says:

    tell me about Farro….I am out of the loop, I am afraid….
    this sounds delish…cannot wait to try it

    1. Sonja says:

      Farro is a grain similar to barley or spelt, if you’ve worked with those. However, it’s very quick cooking – just about 15 minutes! It’s one of my favorite whole grains to use, and is becoming more available. Let us know if you try it out!

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