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Easy Meals

Fall Farro Salad with Delicata Squash

Delicious and beautiful fall farro salad with delicata squash, arugula, apple, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and feta makes for a hearty and healthy grain bowl that highlights the best of autumn produce. Mustard vinaigrette dresses each bite and complements this farro salad that makes for the perfect side dish or lunch during the week.

farro grain bowl with arugula, delicata squash, apple, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and feta

It’s no secret I have a passion for fall flavors — they’re just the best and this fall farro salad is an ode to everything I love that’s in season right now! Pomegranates, delicata squash, apples, oh my!

Beautiful to look at and even more delicious to eat, this grain salad makes for a great holiday side dish or an easy, make-ahead lunch for this time of year.

Delicata Squash

Delicata squash is a yellow tube-like squash that typically has dark green stripes running down the sides. In years past it was harder to find, but this year I’m seeing a ton of it at the grocery store constantly throughout the fall season which I’m so happy about because I think it’s one of the best squashes of them all.

To me, delicata squash is the champagne of squashes. It’s easy to cut, you can eat the skin (so make sure you wash it) and the seeds, and it has a super good mild squash flavor that complements many other flavors including the ones found in this farro salad. Plus, the shape is so fun.

All squashes, including pumpkin are a great source of vitamin C and A, potassium and fiber.

How to Cut a Delicata Squash

Start by washing the squash. Place it on a cutting board that will not move around on your counter and cut both of the end off. Then, cut the squash width wise down the middle so that you have two identical pieces. Next, cut one of the pieces lengthwise down the center so that you have two halves.

Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy insides (save the seeds if you plan on roasting). Place the squash flesh side down on your cutting board and proceed to cut into half moon pieces as pictured in this salad.

Another way I like to use delicata squash is in this recipe for parmesan crusted delicata squash rings. It’s easy to make in an air fryer too!

Ingredients for Fall Farro Salad with Delicata Squash

for the farro salad:

  • farro
  • vegetable broth
  • arugulaNo arugula? Feel free to swap it for any salad green you do have on hand. Massaged kale would also be great in this farro bowl!
  • delicata squash — If you don’t have or can’t find delicata squash,
  • appleI used honeycrisp apples in this salad.
  • pomegranate seeds pomegranate seeds (also called arils) are a great source of vitamin C and many different antioxidants. They’re beautiful to sprinkle on lots of different things this time of year when they’re in season.
  • walnuts Not a fan of walnuts? Substitute pecans or almonds! Nuts are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber and healthy fats that our bodies need.
  • fetaI love crumbled feta on this salad but goat cheese would also go really well with all the flavors.

for the dressing:

  • dijon mustard
  • white wine vinegar
  • shallot
  • salt
  • pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil

equipment / utensils

delicious fall farro salad with arugula, apples, delicata squash, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and feta cheese

delicious fall farro salad with arugula, apples, delicata squash, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and feta cheese

Fall Farro Salad with Delicata Squash

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Bursting with fall flavor, you'll love this farro bowl recipe that's beautiful and delicious. Balanced with sweet and savory flavors and a crunch in every bite!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings 3 -4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • Farro salad:
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup farro
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 delicata squash sliced with the seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 apple thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnuts roughly chopped
  • mustard vinaigrette:
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper1 cup extra-virgin olive oil more to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F. 
  • In a small saucepan combine the vegetable broth, farro and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low with the lid on for approximately 30 minutes until tender. Remove from heat, drain any excess liquid and let cool.
  • While the farro is cooking, wash and slice the delicata squash. Toss with avocado oil and salt and place on a baking sheet so that all of the squash pieces are flat. Bake for 20 minutes. 
  • Start by adding the arugula to a large serving bowl, top with farro, squash, apple slices, pomegranate seeds, feta, and lastly walnuts.
  • Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a medium bowl and whisk together until combined. 
  • Pour over the salad and enjoy! 

Notes

This salad is best enjoyed fresh, however, if you want to prep it ahead of time I recommend keeping all of the ingredients separate until you're ready to eat it. 
Keyword fall farro salad; farro salad; delicata squash salad

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best healthy farro salad with delicata squash
Fall Recipes

Fall Chicken & Rice Bake

Fall chicken and rice bake is made with chicken, U.S.-grown long-grain brown rice, butternut squash, apples and mushrooms and makes for a delicious and simple cozy and nutritious meal that’s perfect for the season. 

fall chicken and rice bake with chicken thighs, brown rice, butternut squash, apples and mushrooms

Sweater weather is upon us and it’s time to start making cozy, fall-inspired meals for the season! Enter this fall chicken and rice bake that requires only one dish to make and combines the flavor of chicken, rice, butternut squash, mushrooms, apples and warm spices.  

U.S.-grown long-grain brown rice soaks up the delicious flavor of everything baking together to make a meal you’ll want to make again and again this fall and winter. The colors of the ingredients color your plate with the colors of fall and rice serves as the delicious backdrop for it all. 

One of the easiest ways to add more nutrition to our diets on a daily, weekly and monthly basis is to draw inspiration from the season to literally color our palettes with more nutrition. Fall is definitely my favorite time to do so and I love finding different ways to incorporate pumpkins, squashes, and apples into my meals and snacks in different ways.

September is National Rice Month, so grab a bag of U.S.-grown rice and get cooking to add more nutrition and flavor to your diet. 

chicken thighs baked with brown rice, butternut squash, apples and mushrooms for fall

Rice Nutrition 

When it comes to nutrition, rice is small but mighty! It’s packed with energy, complex carbs, protein, fiber, antioxidants and more than 15 vitamins and minerals. I always have different varieties of U.S.-grown rice in my pantry to use as a base in meals like this and more. 

Brown, wild, black, red and purple rice are 100% whole grain varieties. Research shows that eating whole grains can help reduce heart disease, may reduce the risk of certain cancers and may aid in weight maintenance.

Rice is a nutrient-dense, complex carbohydrate that the body slowly digests to help you stay energized throughout the day. Plus, research shows that eating rice increases levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, which helps boost mood and keeps appetite in check.

I’ll definitely take that mood boost as we head into the colder months with less sunshine!

Is All Rice Gluten Free?

Yes, rice is naturally gluten-free, highly digestible and the least allergenic of all grains. It’s a great option for people with Celiac disease or who choose to follow a gluten free diet.

Ingredients for Fall Chicken & Rice bake:

  • U.S.- grown long-grain brown rice
  • Butternut squash
  • Apples
  • Shiitake mushrooms 
  • Chicken broth
  • Hot water  
  • Bone in or boneless chicken thighs 
  • Fresh parsley 
  • Garlic 
  • Shallot 
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Paprika
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried thyme 
  • Salt and pepper

Equipment / utensils: 

  • 10” baking dish 
  • small/medium mixing bowl 
  • Small saucepan 
  • Sautee pan 
fall-chicken-and-rice-bake-with-chicken-thighs-brown-rice-butternut-squash-apples-and-mushrooms

Fall Chicken & Rice Bake

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Fall chicken and rice bake is made with chicken, U.S.-grown long-grain brown rice, butternut squash, apples and mushrooms and makes for a delicious and simple cozy and nutritious meal that’s perfect for the season. 
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Servings 4 -5 servings

Ingredients
  

For the chicken:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped

For the rice:

  • 2 shallots minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups hot chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 cups U.S.-grown long-grain brown rice

For the apple, butternut squash and mushrooms:

  • 1 cup butternut squash cubed
  • 1 cup apple peeled and cubed (about 2 small to medium apples)
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms optional
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl combine the seasonings for the chicken. Add the chicken thighs to the bowl and let marinade in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the meal. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Make the rice. In a small saucepan, heat the chicken broth and water for about 2-3 minutes. Lightly grease the baking dish and add the butter, olive oil, salt and pepper and shallot and garlic. Pour the hot water and broth over top and stir in the rice. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  • While the rice is baking, cube your butternut squash and apple.
  • After 30 minutes remove the rice from the oven, uncover, stir and and place the chicken, apples, and butternut squash on top of the rice and place back in the oven for an additional 25 minutes.
  • While the chicken and rice is baking saute the mushrooms with the butter, salt and pepper and fresh parsley. Set aside.
  • Remove the chicken and rice from the oven. Gently stir together around the chicken and stir in the mushrooms until everything is well combined. Sprinkle extra fresh parsley on top and enjoy!
Keyword chicken rice bake

This blog post is in partnership with the US Rice Federation. All opinions are my own and I’m proud to partner with brands and organizations that share my mission of making healthy food more accessible to everyone.

More recipes using rice you’re sure to love:

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baked chicken and rice with butternut squash, and apple
Easy Meals

Dairy-Free Butternut Squash Soup with Apple

Dairy-free butternut squash soup with apple comes together in one pot and it filled with delicious flavor and nutrition in every bite! Made with butternut squash, apple and warm and anti-inflammatory spices like cinnamon, turmeric and fresh ginger.

dairy-free butternut squash soup with apple

ingredients needed for dairy-free butternut squash soup

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this nutritious and delicious soup! This butternut squash soup is gluten free, dairy free and paleo friendly.

  • fresh butternut squash (medium to large in size)
  • low-sodium vegetable broth
  • unsweetened oat milk
  • olive oil
  • white onion
  • fresh garlic
  • fresh ginger
  • cinnamon
  • turmeric
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper

Equipment / utensils:

  • vegetable peeler
  • knife
  • soup pot
  • wooden spoon
  • immersion blender or regular blender

how to make butternut squash soup with apple

This butternut squash recipe comes together in one pot and and doesn’t take that long to make! Win, win. Once all of the ingredients have sautéed together you will use an immersion blender to get it nice and creamy.

No immersion blender? Don’t worry! You can transfer the soup (one cup at a time) to a blender to get it nice and smooth. Then transfer it back into your pot or portion out, top and enjoy!

can you freeze butternut squash soup?

Yes, you can definitely freeze this soup to enjoy later. One way to freeze it is by portioning it out so that you can easily pull one out of the freezer to enjoy anytime!

do you need to peel butternut squash before roasting or using for this soup?

Yes, in pretty much all cases when roasting or cooking butternut squash you will need to peel it. I find that cutting off the tip and using a regular vegetable peeler to peel back the skin before cubing works the best.

what to serve with butternut squash soup

My personal favorite thing to serve with butternut squash soup is a panini sandwich! May I recommend a combination of turkey, cheese, greens, and avocado on sourdough? It’s seriously the best sandwich combination ever and I love dipping bites into the soup for a delicious and cozy lunch on a snowy day like today!

tukery, avocado and cheese panini dipped in creamy dairy free butternut squash soup

butternut squash soup toppings

There are so many things you can top this soup with for extra flavor and a nice crunch! Here are a few of my favorites.

  • roasted chickpeas
  • kale chips
  • parmesan crisps
  • shaved parmesan cheese
  • microgreens
  • plain yogurt (I like siggi’s brand)
  • extra pepper and red pepper flakes
  • fresh sage

And if you’re a pumpkin fan like me, be sure to check out this creamy vegan pumpkin soup — it’s my favorite to eat all fall long!

dairy-free butternut squash soup with apple

Dairy-Free Butternut Squash Soup with Apple

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Dairy-free butternut squash soup with apple comes together in one pot and it filled with delicious flavor and nutrition in every bite! Made with butternut squash, apple and warm spices like cinnamon, turmeric and fresh ginger.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Servings 4 -5 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 white onion roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium-large butternut squash about 3 pounds, peeled and cubed
  • 1 apple peeled, and diced
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes more if you want it spicer
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper plus more for serving
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened oat milk

Instructions
 

  • Add olive oil to a soup pot over medium heat. 
  • Add chopped, onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant. 
  • Next add the cubed butternut squash, apple, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, red pepper, black pepper and salt. Stir together using a wooden spoon and sauté together until the butternut squash is tender (about 5-8 minutes).
  • Add in the vegetable broth, and oat milk. Stir together and let simmer on low heat for a couple more minutes.
  • Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth and creamy. If you don't have an immersion blender, transfer soup to a blender (1 cup at a time) and blend until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a separate bowl and continue with remaining soup.
  • Once the soup is smooth and creamy portion in to bowls and top with crunchy chickpeas, microgreens, more red pepper flakes, and fresh sage if desired. Enjoy! 
Keyword dairy free butternut squash soup; butternut squash soup; butternut squash and apple soup

more soup recipes you’re sure to love

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healthy butternut squash soup

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins

Pumpkin morning glory muffins are bursting with nutrition, texture and flavor and are made with pumpkin, apple, and zucchini!

They are the muffins you never knew you needed, with pumpkin, zucchini and apple all rolled into one delicious baked good! They’re perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning or slathered with almond butter as a snack!

These muffins are grain free and made with almond flour, eggs, pumpkin, zucchini, apple and sweetened with maple syrup. I often crave a baked good in the morning but don’t want something that is overly sugary or sweet. Luckily, these muffins are lightly sweetened and help me get more fruits in at breakfast!

pumpkin muffins with zucchini and apple

There are many renditions of morning glory muffins. Some with carrots, and raisins and some with walnuts and coconut. Those things can totally be added into this batter! I choose to keep this batch simple, but that didn’t stop me from drizzling almond butter all over them when they were still warm out of the oven!

The pumpkin seeds on top give these muffins a nice crunch. It may not be fall yet, but one bite of these muffins and you’ll be excited for more pumpkin goodies to come!

grain free pumpkin morning glory muffins

Pumpkin, zucchini and apples all contain vitamins, minerals and fiber that we need in our diet daily. All three fruits (yes, pumpkin and zucchini are technically fruits!) contain vitamin C, A and potassium. They are also all a good source of fiber, nutrient that most of us don’t get enough of on a daily basis!

delicious pumpkin morning glory muffins

If you love a good baked good with pumpkin, be sure to check out this recipe for gluten free pumpkin chickpea blondies and theses paleo pumpkin zucchini banana muffins!

Grab what you need for this recipe here:

Best Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins

Grain Free Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Made with delicious and nutritious ingredients you'll want to start every week with a warm batch of these pumpkin morning glory muffins! 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings 11 muffins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup*
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini squeezed of excess moisture with a paper towel (really squeeze!)
  • 1 large apple I originally used a honey crisp washed and cut into thin strips, and then diced (to still get little apple pieces)
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. fresh ginger pealed and grated
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds pepitas for sprinkling on top
  • optional mix-ins: walnuts pecans, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, unsweetened coconut flakes

Instructions
 

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or line it with papers and spray the insides of the papers.
  • 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • 3. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, zucchini, apples, ginger, and vanilla until combined.
  • 4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined -- don't over mix!
  • 5. Use an ice cream scoop or a small measuring cup to scoop batter into muffin tins. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top. 
  • 6. Bake for 28-30 minutes. Remove from oven, use a knife to loosen them from the muffin pan if needed. Let cool and enjoy! 
  • 7. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container. 
  •  

Notes

* Can substitute coconut sugar or brown sugar if needed. 

XOXO

Maggie

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