Looking for a good fall side dish? This warm apple butternut pilaf is an easy farro recipe that’s homey and delicious. This simple farro pilaf goes with everything from chicken and pork to beef or a nice piece of salmon. It’s also a great vegetarian (or vegan) main course.
When it comes to nudging up the “interesting” factor at dinner, I like to start with the side dishes. For fall, it doesn’t get any better than this easy farro recipe.
Farro is a whole grain with a nutty taste and chewy, toothsome texture. It’s a type of wheat, and therefore, not gluten free.
Ingredients for pilaf-style farro recipe
- Olive Oil
- Butternut Squash
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Rosemary
- Whole Cinnamon Stick (it doesn’t make the farro pilaf sweet, just adds warmth)
- Vegetable Stock
- Italian Parsley
The type of farro you have can change the cooking times dramatically. Unprocessed farro takes 40-50 minutes to fully absorb liquids and cook through. However, I’ve found quick cooking farro at Trader Joe’s and it can be fully cooked in about 10 minutes.
How to make apple butternut farro pilaf recipe:
- Cook the farro according to package directions.
- While the farro is cooking, proceed with the recipe by sautéing the mushrooms in a skillet until they’re golden brown. Transfer to a small dish.
- Sauté chopped onions and butternut squash in olive oil. Season with salt and cook until the onions are tender and slightly translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary and cook for a minute or so, until fragrant, then add a cinnamon stick (whole) and the vegetable stock.
- Bring the stock to a boil, cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer for about 6-7 minutes until the butternut squash is tender.
- Stir chopped apples to the skillet and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.
- Add the mushrooms back to the pan along with the cooked farro, remainder of the rosemary, butter and parsley.
- Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary with salt and pepper. Serve the apple butternut farro pilaf warm.
- Use another type of fall squash for the farro pilaf. It would work well with sugar pumpkin, acorn squash, delicata, kabocha or hubbard.
- Add toasted walnuts or pecans for added texture.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese for added richness, or add a parmesan rind to the vegetable broth while the farro recipe simmers. Remove before adding the grains.
- You can turn this into a one pan meal by adding cooked, diced chicken, ham or pork.
- Swap pears for the apples or add a handful of fresh or dried cranberries for a tart pop.
It’s best served the day you make it, however, you can cook the farro in advance (a day or two ahead of time).
Leftover butternut farro pilaf should last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave.
Whole grains and vegetables are naturally healthy, but that doesn’t mean low in calories or carbohydrates. A serving of the farro pilaf has around 300 calories and 60 grams of carbs in a generous serving. However, unlike boxed mac and cheese, they’re nutritious calories that will keep you satiated.
I make this fall farro recipe at least once a month from September to March. It’s THAT GOOD.
I think you’ll love it because it really hits all the right notes. This easy fall side dish is a favorite with kids and adults alike.
The butternut squash is slightly sweet and pairs well with the apples. Mushrooms give the farro pilaf a meaty quality and of course the whole grain is chewy and satisfying.
What to serve with the farro recipe:
- Easy Baked Lemon Garlic Chicken
- Easy Cast Iron Ribeyes with Bearnaise Butter
- Zesty Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Thighs
- Easy Marinated Roast Turkey Breast for 4-6 people
- Young Chicken in a Cast Iron Skillet
- Easy DIY Apple Cider Brined Smoked Pork Loin
- Grilled Veal Chops with Garlic Herb Crust
More whole grain and farro recipes:
- Lemony Leftover Chicken and Farro Salad
- Amazing Vegan Mushroom Soup with Barley & Kale
- Chicken Kale Farro Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Belly Warming Hatch Chile Ham & Quinoa Soup
- Nicoise Farro Salad
More fall side dish recipes:
- Kale, Barley Mushroom Gratin
- Warm Bacon & Black Eyed Pea Salad
- Oven Roasted Fall Vegetables
- Creamy Whipped Sweet Potatoes
Warm Apple Butternut Pilaf (a fall farro recipe)
- 1 cup farro cooked according to package directions, kept warm
- 4 teaspoons olive oil divided
- 8 ounces mushrooms button or crimini, stems removed, sliced
- 2 cups diced butternut squash (cut into 1/2″ dice) (about 1/2 of one squash)
- 1 cup diced onion about 1 medium onion
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons rosemary chopped, divided
- 1 cinnamon stick (can also use a small pinch of cinnamon)
- 1 cup vegetable broth preferably low sodium
- 1 medium apple peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons italian parsley chopped
- Cook the farro according to the package directions. While the farro is cooking, prep the vegetables.
- In a large 10″ skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned and have given up their liquid, stirring occasionally, about 6-7 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl.
- Add the remainder of olive oil to the pan. When it’s hot, add the diced butternut squash and onions. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Cook until the onions are softened and translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add 1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary to the vegetables and cook until fragrant about 1-2 minutes. Add the cinnamon stick and vegetable broth to the squash mixture. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until squash starts to get tender.
- Stir in the diced apple, cover and simmer an additional 2-3 minutes until the apple is tender, but not falling apart. Remove from heat and discard the cinnamon stick.
- Stir in the cooked farro, mushrooms, remaining 1/2 teaspoon rosemary and butter. Taste for seasonings adding salt or pepper if desired. Stir in parsley and transfer to a serving dish. Serve warm.