This warm winter farro salad is so comforting and delish!

winter farro salad with cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

Bowl meals like this are something I live for in the winter.

roasted butternut squash

They are so hearty and flavorful and you can make a big batch and eat it throughout the week. Sounds perfect right?! 

Plus, you can always customize these to your preferences. Throw in what you love, sub something else that you may have in your pantry. It’s perfect! 

maple toasted pecans

I’m absolutely obsessed with the flavors and textures in this salad. We have the caramely roasted squash – a nice hint of sweet and savory. 

The pecans are crunchy, but also have a hint of maple. The farro is chewy. The goat cheese is creamy with a bit of tanginess. And the cranberries are chewy and sweet!

Let me tell you a little secret about the cranberries too: I kind of prefer dried cherries more. I mean, I definitely do! So you can toss in either of those and it will work.

winter farro salad with cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

The dressing is a DREAM! 

This cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette is originally from my thanksgiving kale salad. I never thought I’d enjoy cinnamon in a vinaigrette, but the slight hint of spice is wonderful. The cranberry adds a bit of holiday flavor and it’s still a classic, briney vinaigrette that dresses the salad so nicely.

A dressing on a grain salad is so perfect, because it basically marinates everything. Instead of wilting a salad as it sits, it essentially marinates everything in the bowl so all flavors are enhanced. Awesome, right? 

winter farro salad with cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

My favorite thing about this salad is that you can technically enjoy it warm or cold! Yes, the title says it’s a warm salad. And it is so lovely to serve warm – it’s nourishing and satisfying and tastes fantastic.

But if you find yourself with leftovers in the fridge, they are just as excellent right out of the container! If not, better.

winter farro salad with cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

It’s one of those dishes that even gets better as it sits – the farro and squash and goat cheese all marinate in the dressing and everything just had a boatload of flavor. The ingredients hold their textures well in the fridge too. 

It’s one of the reasons that I love serving this for lunch! You can have it as a bowl, over greens, on top of a salad or even as a side dish – really the options are endless.

winter farro salad with cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

This bowl has everything you want in a cozy, weeknight meal.

warm winter farro with butternut squash, goat cheese, cranberries and pecans

Warm Winter Farro Salad

Warm Winter Farro Salad

This warm winter farro salad is hearty and nourishing. Butternut squash, goat cheese, cranberries and pecans make this irresistible.
5 from 9 votes
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked farro
  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 cup whole pecans
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or tart cherries
  • 2 to 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons cranberry juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with a big pinch of salt and pepper. I also like to do a sprinkle of garlic powder!
  • Roast the squash for 20 minutes, or until slightly caramelized and fork tender. While the squash is roasting, you can make the farro too! Cook it according to the package directions. You can also make the vinaigrette during this time too!
  • To toast the pecans, heat the pecans in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drizzle in the maple syrup. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, as the maple syrup sizzles. Spread the pecans on a sheet of parchment paper until ready to use. You can chop them or leave them whole - your choice.
  • Place the farro in a large bowl. Toss in the roasted butternut squash cubes, the dried cranberries, goat cheese and pecans. Drizzle on a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss the salad well.
  • Taste the farro and season with a pinch of salt and pepper if needed. Drizzle in more of the vinaigrette if desired. Top with the fresh parsley. Serve immediately!
  • Leftovers of this stay great in the fridge for a few days in a sealed container.

cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

  • Whisk together the vinegar, juice, honey, mustard, garlic, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. This keeps great in the fridge for a few days!
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warm winter farro with butternut squash, goat cheese, cranberries and pecans

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