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Farro with butternut squash and pears

Farro with butternut squash, pears, dried cranberries and feta: a Meatless Monday main course or side dish. #vegetarian

When you set out to create a new recipe, where do you start? Seasonality of the ingredients? Color? Shape? Texture? Sweet versus tart? All of the above?

In the case of this easy pan-made farro with butternut squash and pears and dried cranberries and feta, I began with pears so ripe and ready for action that they practically jumped into the frying pan. I diced and sautéed those pears along with a bit of leftover peeled butternut squash, added some of my new favorite ten-minute farro, and the dish began to come together. Tart feta cheese balanced the sweet fruit, and some acidity from the dressing brought everything together. Intended as a side dish, it became an irresistible main course, perfect for a meatless lunch.

A great vegetarian main or side, farro with butternut squash, warm pears, dried cranberries and feta cheese.

Farro with butternut squash and pears {vegetarian}

From the pantry, you'll need: extra virgin olive oil, farro, onion, Dijon mustard, agave nectar, kosher salt, fresh black pepper, feta cheese, fresh parsley.

Serves 4 as a vegetarian main dish, or 8 as a side dish.


1 cup farro (I like 10-minute farro from Trader Joe's)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup peeled and diced butternut squash
2 small pears, diced (okay to leave skins on)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 Tbsp agave nectar
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2-3 Tbsp roughly chopped flat leaf parsley


In a small (3-4 quart) sauce pan, bring the farro and 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and cook for 10 minutes (or suggested time on the package of farro). Remove from heat, and with the cover still on, let the farro steam for 5 minutes, until it is cooked but not mushy. Set aside.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and squash, and sauté, stirring frequently to keep the squash from sticking, until the squash is cooked and browning on the edges, and the onion is browning and beginning to soften, 5-8 minutes. Stir in the pears and cranberries.

Now, make a dressing right in the pan along with the vegetables: Add vinegar, mustard, agave, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, and taste. Adjust as needed with more agave, salt and pepper. Remove the pan from heat.

Toss in the cooked farro, feta and parsley. Use a wooden spoon to gently mix everything together. Let sit for a few minutes, to cool slightly, or let cool completely and refrigerate. Will keep for one day.

Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More ideas for using farro:
Farro and kale salad with white beans and slow-roasted (or sun-dried) tomatoes, from The Perfect Pantry
Chicken soup with fennel and farro, from The Kitchn
Black bean farro with avocado, from Reluctant Entertainer
Greek style farro salad, from The Lemon Bowl

Sweet and crunchy, farro with squash and pears is perfect for a Meatless Monday treat. #vegetarian

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Just what I wanted for dinner tonight!

Susan, I am a clairvoyant food blogger!

Such a creative use of farro, and I do love it!

Kalyn, there are more farro recipes coming! I love the Trader Joe's quick-cooking farro (and they sell a quick-cooking barley, too). More grains in The Perfect Pantry!

Perfect recipe!

I love the idea of using pears, which I definitely don't use often in my cooking ....

Sally, pears really make this dish special, and sautéed pears are so incredibly sweet.

Still working on it and enjoying it every time. Mine had freekeh, apples and fig balsamic - all good.

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