Skip to content

Need help navigating the grocery store? Anti-inflammatory guide here

Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash and Sage

November 9, 2019 by Ginger Hultin MS RDN

If you need a side dish any time of year, this filling, healthy, tasty farro risotto with butternut squash and sage is IT. I’m making it here in the fall with some Thanksgiving-inspired flavors but honestly, it would be a wonderful dish to make year-round. I love how hearty the texture is because it makes perfect leftovers. You can turn it into a one-pot dish by adding your favorite protein source. What’s not to love?

I’m totally not into classic Thanksgiving side-dishes. Mushy sweet potatoes with marshmallows? Gravy? Stuffing? Green bean casserole? Not for me. I’ll do some potatoes, cranberry, rolls and green salad. Because of my finicky nature around Thanksgiving, I definitely create recipes that I (and others) will enjoy each year on the blog. I always focus on healthier alternatives, often vegan, always vegetarian, that are still savory and comforting. Last year I made my vegan potatoes au gratin and I also have a favorite lower sugar cranberry sauce recipe as well (it’s spicy!).

Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash and Sage

If you’re like me, you also pay close attention to Thanksgiving or other holiday dinner cocktails. Red and white wine are the obvious pairings but I think it’s really fun to serve a colorful cocktail or punch at the start or end of the meal. Try my very recent (and super fun) carrot ginger turmeric mimosas or my spiced apple cider bourbon punch. Last time I made this, it was gone in like 5 minutes.

This risotto is really quick and easy to make. Many recipes have several steps with roasting the squash, etc but honestly, I need my recipes to be 1-pot and quick to create and clean up. I use frozen butter nut squash because….I’m just not going to butcher a whole squash but if you are able to do that, feel free! You can also buy squash pre-cut fresh. I just really enjoy the convenience of having it frozen in the freezer whenever I need it.

Farro is very hearty and so it makes good leftovers. I packed it for lunch for a couple days actually, as it makes a large batch. It’s versatile and delicious. The large portion that it makes – about 5-6 servings – creates a nice side-dish to serve at a dinner party or bring to a potluck. I did use Parmesan cheese in it but if you wanted to adapt it to be vegan, you could try nutritional yeast instead.

This Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash and Sage is really tasty and it’s healthy as well. Farro and squash take the main stage with tons of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but there are other healthy ingredients in here as well. Garlic, onion, sage, olive oil and vegetable broth also contribute flavor and healthy compounds. The best thing about this recipe? It’s really hands-off and most of the time you’ll just be keeping an eye on it. If you have extra farro, feel free to use it as a breakfast. I love making whole grains aside from oats in a breakfasty way like this breakfast quinoa.

Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash and Sage

Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash and Sage

No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Americana
Keyword: butternut squash recipe, butternut squash risotto, farro recipe, farro risotto, risotto, side dish, Thanksgiving recipe, vegetarian risotto
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Ginger Hultin


  • 2/3 cups farro, rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes in 2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped butternut squash (fresh or frozen)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1.5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage, sliced thinly


  • Add rinsed farro to a bowl of water and soak, fully submerged for 30 minutes. While soaking, prep other ingredients. When farro has soaked, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat then add onion and squash. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-6 minutes. Add garlic and farro; sauté for another 2 minutes. Add wine and continue to cook and stir occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  • Add bayleaf then add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring it in as you add. Add remaining salt and pepper then bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until farro is tender yet remains chewy, about 25 minutes. When farro is cooked, gently stir in Parmesan, serve and top with fresh sage leaves.


Serving: 1/2 cup
Tried this recipe?Mention @champagnenutrition


  1. Kara Lydon on November 23, 2019 at 9:15 am

    Yum! This sounds like the perfect cozy fall meal!

  2. Jeanette on December 2, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    this looks yummy! What would you recommend substituting for someone who is gluten-free?

    • Ginger Hultin on December 4, 2019 at 1:38 pm

      Such a great question – I’d suggest buckwheat for a similar texture!

  3. Brynn at The Domestic Dietitian on December 2, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    This sounds absolutely amazing! All those delicious flavors in one dish…yum.

  4. Lisa Hugh on December 12, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Mmm I love farro and love seeing different types of grains in recipes.

  5. Jodi Robinson on December 13, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Using farro in place of rice is a cool idea!

  6. Sarah Remmer on December 13, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    The combination of savoury and salty in this dish are perfect! Great holiday dish.

  7. Erica on December 13, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    Yummyyyyy! I LOVE the combination of butternut squash and sage.

  8. Christy Brissette on December 16, 2019 at 9:33 am

    I’m butternut squash obsessed and this looks like such a cozy and yummy recipe 🙂

  9. Amy Gorin on December 16, 2019 at 11:32 am

    I love that you used farro in this one! Cool idea.

  10. Cindy on December 27, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    I love that this uses farro. This is a new comfort food in my list of recipes. Delicious!

  11. L on February 19, 2021 at 9:16 am

    Added toasted pumpkin seeds at end. Perfect.

Leave a Comment


Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO

Integrative nutrition specialist helping clients navigate complex health conditions to reduce inflammation and feel better.

Thanks for visiting! If you're struggling with a cancer diagnosis, autoimmune condition, gut health problems, or even a medical mystery, nutrition can make a HUGE difference in your day-to-day life. I run a virtual, concierge private practice where I partner with my clients over time to help them improve their health through nutrition. Be sure to visit the blog for easy, plant-based, anti-inflammatory recipes and our "Resources" page for a variety of self-paced programs, books, e-books, and nutrition podcast episodes.

Connect with me:

Schedule a consultation to discuss how we can work together!


The anti-inflammatory guide

to navigating the grocery store (with ease!)

Help me navigating the store better!