This hearty salad is fall in a bowl! You’ll love this farro salad with butternut squash, kale, and bacon, and a homemade apple cider dressing.

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: It’s such a satisfying salad and it’s packed with nutrition. It’s one of our favorite salads!

How long it takes: 60 minutes (much of the prep can be done ahead though)
Equipment you’ll need: sheet pan, sauce pan, mixing bowl
Servings: 6

Overhead of round white bowl with farro salad, on burlap and plaid cloth in fall colors.
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Why You’ll Love This Farro Salad

This farro salad with butternut squash is pretty much the perfect taste of fall with sweet squash, salty bacon, chewy dried cranberries, and flavorful feta. Bright green baby kale makes you feel extra good about yourself, eating all those healthy greens. And farro – oh, how I love farro. Chewy and delightful, the farro will keep you full for hours.

The homemade dressing also is infused with fall-inspired flavors. Warm cinnamon, maple syrup, and sweet apple cider tie this salad together perfectly.

Partial overhead of round dish containing farro salad.

Make Ahead Ideas

If you start from scratch, this salad looks like it’s a time-consuming process. However, if you do a little meal prep, and have most of the components ready to go, the salad is a breeze to pull together.

Roast the squash. I like to buy a large squash, peel and cube it, and roast it all at the same time. It’s great on its own as a side dish and goes perfectly in salads, grain bowls, meal bowls, etc.

Cooking Tip

I have a full tutorial on how to cook butternut squash that includes step-by-step photos of how to peel and cut butternut squash (it can be so tricky!) if you need some guidance!

Cook the farro. To save time, cook the whole bag of farro at once. Follow the package instructions. One cup of uncooked farro will yield about 3 cups cooked. Keep the cooked farro in portion-sized freezer bags until you’re ready to use it. Cooked farro thaws very quickly, making it convenient to use in salads and bowls.

Cook the bacon. Another time-saver is to cook the whole package of bacon even if you aren’t planning on eating it all. Try oven baked bacon. You can do the whole package at once; there’s no flipping and no mess on the stove. It’s pretty much the only way I cook bacon now. Cooked bacon can be refrigerated or frozen, and it thaws very quickly as well.

Front partial closeup of farro salad in shallow white bowl.

Make This Farro Salad Your Own

  • Try a different dressing. A white wine vinaigrette is easy to make and goes well with this salad.  A purchased salad dressing is fine, too.
  • Use a different green. If you prefer spinach or another hearty green, go for it. Instead of baby kale, curly kale or lacinato kale can be subbed in. Cut it into small strips.
  • Make it vegetarian. It’s easy to do, simply omit the bacon. The salad has plenty going for it and tastes great either way.
  • Try different vegetables. Instead of butternut squash, try roasted beets, roasted turnips, roasted carrots, or roasted sweet potatoes. A combination is delicious, too.

More Salad Recipes

Recipe

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash, Bacon, and Cranberries

4.75 from 4 votes
Prep: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
This hearty salad is fall in a bowl! You'll love this farro salad with butternut squash, kale, and bacon, and a homemade apple cider dressing.
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Ingredients 

Salad

  • 1 cup dry farro (about 3 cups cooked)
  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups loosely packed baby kale leaves
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries, or to taste
  • 5 slices thick cut bacon, cut into small pieces and cooked until crispy

Dressing

  • cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, or to taste

Instructions 

  • Cook farro according to package instructions. Cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F. Toss cubed squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Spread the squash on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once, until squash is tender and lightly browned.
  • In a large bowl, mix together cooked and cooled farro, roasted squash, baby kale, feta, and cranberries.
  • In a small jar or bowl, mix together dressing ingredients: apple cider, apple cider vinegar, mustard, cinnamon, olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Stir or shake to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
  • Pour dressing over salad and stir to combine.

Notes

  • Make Ahead Ideas: Cook the farro up to 3 days in advance; refrigerate or freeze. Squash and bacon can also be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated.
  • Greens: If you prefer, substitute curly or lacinato kale, cut into thin strips, spinach, or another green of your choice.

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 384mg, Potassium: 456mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 10846IU, Vitamin C: 46mg, Calcium: 190mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.75 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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7 Comments

  1. Tracey says:

    Do you use one cup of farro after it is cooked or cook one cup of farro? I am so making this salad, it looks delish and love the flavour combos.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Cook one cup! :) I hope you love the salad – it’s a good one!

  2. Patty K says:

    Such beautiful colors in this dish, Rachel!

  3. Melissa @ Bless this Mess says:

    I’m totally singing that “these are a few of my favorite things” song right now! This looks like salad perfection in my book! Mmmm

  4. denise says:

    yummy <3 cranberries in salad

  5. Sues says:

    I love everything about this!! So seasonal and healthy, but also fun!

  6. Lauren says:

    Ooh these flavors combine perfectly! I would just use quinoa to make it gluten free. Nom nom nom. Good luck with the remainder of your cleanse :)