Roasted Squash Farro Salad
This beautiful roasted squash farro salad is perfect for the Fall and Winter when apples and squash are in season. Enjoy this stunning dish as a healthy main or serve as a side dish at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- dietary – vegan, oil-free, can be nut-free and gluten-free
- holidays – this beautiful salad is a perfect addition to the holidays
- serve as a main or side – serves 4 as a main dish or 6-8 for a side salad
- Farro – Farro‘s nutty flavour and chewy texture makes it perfect for salads, however, you can use barley, brown rice, freekeh or quinoa in its place.
- Squash – I used acorn squash but kabocha squash or butternut squash also work. As for the cooking method, I roasted it in the oven but any cooking method can be used (Instant Pot, stovetop etc.)
- Pomegranate – Pomegranate adds a sweet, tangy flavour and crunchy texture to the salad. Whole pomegranates are a bit of a pain to prepare and always a little messy, so I actually used thawed frozen pomegranate arils. If you prefer, you can use dried cranberries for a similar flavour.
- Apple – use any variety of apple you like but a crunchy one works best
- Tahini dressing – you will need is tahini, lemon, garlic powder and sea salt.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1. Roast the squash. The squash can be cooked any way you like but I like roasting it in the oven best. Here’s how:
- Cut an acorn squash in half from the stem to the bottom and scoop out the seeds.
- Slice each half into wedges approximately 1.5 inches thick.
- Line a baking tray with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper or give it a little spritz of non-stick cooking spray. This isn’t totally necessary if you have a good roasting pan as acorn squash doesn’t really stick to the pan.
- Place the wedges on the pan and roast for about 30 minutes. I like to give them a little sprinkle of salt and pepper before roasting. The squash is ready when you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork but it’s still somewhat firm.
- Pull it out of the oven and let cool until you can handle the wedges. Once it cools down, you should be able to easily peel the skin away from the flesh. Chop up the wedges to use in the salad.
Quick Note: You can also use butternut squash in this recipe. Butternut squash can be peeled and cubed before roasting but I still peel it after since I just find it easier.
Step 2. Cook the farro stovetop or in an Instant Pot.
- For stovetop: bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add 1 cup of farro, cover, reduce to a light simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until tender.
- For Instant Pot: Find full Instant Pot farro instructions here.
Step 3. Make the dressing by whisking the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
Finally, slice the apple, prepare the pomegranate and assemble the salads, finishing off with a generous drizzle of tahini dressing.
Substitutions and Additions
- Add tofu feta for some extra tanginess and flavour.
- Use pecans or slivered almonds instead of walnuts.
- Try dried cranberries instead of pomegranate.
- Swap the tahini dressing for dijon dressing or balsamic vinaigrette
- For gluten-free, be sure to swap the farro for quinoa or brown rice,
- For nut-free, use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seed instead of walnuts.
Storing and Prep Methods
This salad is best served fresh but you can make these components in advance and store for quick assembly:
- tahini dressing can be made up to 5 days in advance, thin with water as needed after storing
- farro can be prepped up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge in a a sealed container once cooled
- squash can be roasted up to 3 days in advance and stored in a sealed container in the fridge once cooled.
Loving this Fall salad? You might like these too:
- Simple Fall Harvest Bowl
- Fall Harvest Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing
- Mediterranean Farro Salad
- Farro Vegetable Chickpea Bowl
- Vegan Roasted Beet Salad
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For the Salad
- 1 acorn squash, seeds removed and sliced into wedges
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 1 cup pomegranate arils or dried cranberries
- 2 medium-sized apples, diced or sliced into very thin wedges
- mixed salad greens, a few handfuls per salad
- optional: pecans, walnuts or pumpkin seeds for topping
For the Tahini Dressing
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds. Slice each half into 1-2 inch thick wedges. Place the wedges on a baking tray (use a bit of cooking spray or a silicone baking mat or parchment paper to prevent sticking). Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
- Roast the squash for 25-30 minutes until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork. Flipping once half-way through cooking. Once cooked, let sit on the pan until cool enough to handle at which point, peel the skin away from the flesh and discard. Chop each wedge into chunks and set aside.
- While the squash is roasting, prepare the farro according to package directions. If you bought bulk farro, see post above for cooking instructions.
- To make the tahini dressing, whisk the ingredients together in a jar or dish until smooth and creamy. Adding more water slowly, if needed, to adjust the consistency.
- To assemble the salad, prepare serving dishes and start by adding a couple big handfuls of mixed greens to each plate or bowl. Top each serving with equal amounts of the squash, cooked farro, pomegranate and sliced apple.
- Drizzle each salad with desired amount of dressing and top with a sprinkle of pecans, walnuts or pumpkin seeds, if using.
- Serve right away. If there are leftovers, store the dressing separately so the salad doesn’t get soggy or ideally, store all ingredients separately and assemble later as needed.
The farro, squash and tahini dressing for this salad can be made up to 3 days in advance. The tahini dressing can be made up to 5 days in advance.
Keywords: squash farro salad, vegan fall salad, roasted squash salad
Update Note: Originally published on August 23, 2019. Updated with new photos and text on August 31, 2020.