I just had to sneak this Chicken, Farro and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad in before spring arrives! It’s the best Fall/Winter complete meal salad on my blog…so far anyway. I mean…just take a look…..
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What’s in the Chicken, Farro and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad?
Well, I might be stating the obvious, but there’s chicken, farro, and roasted butternut squash, but that’s not all, there’s also hearty chopped romaine lettuce, dried cranberries, salty roasted Brussels sprouts, and raw pecans. This salad is loaded with healthy fall and winter vegetables, greens, protein and healthy fats. It’s glorious if I do say so myself.
WHAT IS FARRO?
If you aren’t familiar with farro, let me make an introduction. Farro is an ancient wheat grain that is high in protein, fiber and nutrients like magnesium and iron. Farro is as easy to cook as rice and has a delicious nutty flavor which works beautifully with all the other ingredients in this salad. It can be found near the rice in most grocery stores.
HOW TO WORK WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH:
You can buy pre-cut butternut squash in many grocery stores these days. My advice on this? Make sure it’s fresh. Feel it through the bag to make sure it’s not mushy or slimy and check the date it was packaged. If it’s firm and fresh and brightly colored, go for it! But if it’s anything less than that, go for doing it yourself. So working with butternut squash can be difficult, unless you have the right tools. You need a good sharp knife (my favorite) and a “Y” peeler (affiliate links). With these two tools peeling and cutting a butternut squash is a piece of cake!
Keep this salad simple by using store bought rotisserie chicken or if you wish, use leftover roasted chicken that you make yourself (that’s what I did).
This dressing is really simple to make and only takes about a minute to put together. It’s made with good quality olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, and just a hint of Dijon mustard. So rich and slightly sweet, it’s the perfect compliment to the roasted vegetables and savory chicken.
Love Complete Meal Salads and Need More Recipes?
The Recipe: Chicken, Farro and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
What you need: If you are peeling and cutting your own butternut squash you will need a good sharp knife (my favorite) and a “Y” peeler (affiliate links). With these two tools peeling and cutting a butternut squash is a cinch! For roasting butternut squash I love a rimmed cookie sheet covered with unbleached parchment paper or a large cast iron skillet.
A delicious complete meal salad!
- 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
- 2 cups brussels sprouts, quartered
- 2-3 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup farro, cooked to package instructions
- 2 cups diced chicken (rotisserie or homemade roast chicken)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 raw pecans. chopped
- 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place oven rack in center position.
Peel and dice butternut squash into 1/2 cubes. If using pre-diced butternut, just make sure to cut them to 1/2" cubes as well.
Place prepared butternut squash onto parchment covered rimmed cookie sheet or into a large cast iron pan. Drizzle with 1-1 1/2 T olive oil and toss with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in oven and set timer for 25 minutes.
Quarter Brussels sprouts and place in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with sea salt and pepper to taste. Set aside (you'll add them to the butternut squash when the timer goes off)
Place a small pot of salted water on stove, bring to a boil. Add farro and turn down to a simmer. When farro is tender (usually 15-20 minutes) strain and rise with cold water. set aside/
When timer goes off, add Brussels to butternut squash and cook for 20 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Dice chicken, chop pecans and romaine. Make dressing.
Place all ingredients in a small container and whisk until emulsified.
Place greens on platter or in bowl. Add chicken, cooled roasted veggies, cranberries, farro and pecans. Dress to your liking and toss. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper if needed. Serve!
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