Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Farro Bake

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes

This Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Farro Bake is hearty and comforting, made with nutty farro, spicy sausage, creamy butternut squash, and two types of mozzarella cheese.

Serving a spoonful of Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Farro Bake

Winter is right around the corner, but if I’m being honest, it has felt like winter for several weeks here in Michigan. Am I bummed about it? Not at all – bring on the hearty soups, warm fires, wool sweaters, and cozy comfort food! In case you still need a little convincing to celebrate the season, I’m hoping this flavor-packed Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Farro Bake does the trick. Filled with chewy, whole-grain farro, creamy butternut squash, large chunks of Italian sausage, and several types of gooey cheese, this one-pan dish will become a regular in your meal rotation.

Ingredients

Ingredients for Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Farro Bake
  • Farro: An ancient grain that is chewy and somewhat nutty in taste, it is similar to brown rice.
  • Sausage: I love using a spicy Italian turkey sausage for added flavor and fewer calories, but you could make this with mild or even sweet sausage.
  • Garlic: Bold, aromatic flavor that sweetens as it cooks with the sausage.
  • Butternut squash: A sweet and nutty winter squash that cooks to be creamy and soft.
  • Spinach: Full of folate, iron, and other vitamins, it’s a mild flavored leafy green that holds up well when cooked.
  • Red peppers: Tender, spicy, and a bit smoky in flavor, roasted red peppers add wonderful flavor alongside the sausage in this bake.
  • Diced tomatoes: I like to use a can of fire-roasted tomatoes for depth of flavor, but regular diced tomatoes will work as well.
  • Mozzarella cheese: This recipe uses mozzarella two ways, shredded in the base and topped with slices. Adds to the creaminess of the dish.

How to Make Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Farro Bake

Peeling a butternut squash

Start your Italian sausage and butternut squash farro bake by peeling your butternut squash and chopping it into bite sized cubes. Then cook your farro according to package instructions and set aside in a large bowl.

Cooking Italian turkey sausage

Cook your Italian sausage over medium-high heat with the minced garlic, breaking up into smaller bits as it browns. Once it’s finished, add it to the bowl with the farro.

Cooking butternut squash

In the same pan you cooked the sausage, cook your butternut squash seasoned with some salt and pepper. Add the spinach for the last minute or so until it’s bright green and a little wilted. Then remove from the pan and add to the bowl with the farro and sausage.

Mixing ingredients for farro bake

Add the fire-roasted diced tomatoes, sliced red peppers, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Stir all together until evenly combined.

Layering farro bake

Spread the farro mixture into a large casserole dish, and top with slices of mozzarella cheese. Then toss in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Italian sausage and butternut squash farro bake.

Top with parmesan cheese before serving, and enjoy your Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Farro Bake!

Quick Substitutions

  • No sausage on hand? This dish is extremely versatile and works well with whatever protein you may have on hand such as shredded rotisserie chicken, leftover pork tenderloin, or ground turkey.
  • Switch the squash. If you don’t have butternut squash, you can easily sub it out for sweet potatoes or acorn squash.
  • Change out the cheese. Instead of mozzarella, try Colby jack, crumbled feta, or smoked mozzarella for added flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to peel butternut squash before cooking?

No you don’t! It’s totally a preference thing. I prefer to peel butternut squash, as the peel tends to be a little bitter, but you can keep it on as well!

Is it OK to eat raw squash?

Yes you can, though the taste and texture isn’t as appetizing in my opinion.

Is butternut squash a good or bad carb?

Butternut squash, while being a carb, is chalk full of vitamins and fiber. Like any food, eaten mindfully and in moderation makes it a great addition to your diet.

Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Farro Bake wide

More Balanced Dinners

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Liz eating Italian sausage and butternut squash farro bake.

Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to make this Italian sausage and butternut squash farro bake your own by putting your own spin on it. That’s what makes cooking so enjoyable!

Your fork is waiting.

Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Farro Bake

Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Farro Bake

4.88 stars average
This hearty and comforting fall casserole is made with nutty farro, Italian sausage, creamy butternut squash and two types of mozzarella cheese.
PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 45 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings6

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups cooked farro (prepared according to package instructions)
  • 4 links Italian turkey sausage (spicy or sweet)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups butternut squash (cubed)
  • 6 cups spinach
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers (thinly sliced)
  • 15 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (part-skim)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella (thinly sliced)
  • parmesan cheese (optional garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and have a deep lasagna size baking dish ready.
  • Cook farro according to package instructions and place cooked farro in a large bowl; set aside.
  • Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Remove sausage from casings and add to pan along with the garlic. Saute until golden brown and cooked through, about 7-9 minutes, stirring frequently. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from pan and place in the bowl with the reserved farro.
  • Add the butternut squash cubes to the hot pan and sauté in the remaining fat rendered from the sausage.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and sauté until squash becomes fork tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir in spinach during the last minute of cook time. Remove from heat and place cooked squash and wilted spinach to the bowl with the farro and sausage.
  • Return to the bowl with the farro mixture and stir in the fire roasted diced tomatoes, roasted red peppers and shredded mozzarella.
  • Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Spread mixture into the baking pan and top with fresh mozzarella slices.
  • Bake until warm and cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese to serve if you wish.

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 41.1gProtein: 29.4gFat: 15.5gSaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 9.5gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 1126mgFiber: 6gSugar: 3.2g

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Hi, I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones. I believe in the power of real, wholesome ingredients that are bursting with flavor and won’t break the bank. Whether it’s a traditional Lebanese recipe from my family or a culinary creation from across the globe, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that nutritious food can be exciting, affordable, and easy to prepare.

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30 responses to “Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Farro Bake”

  1. Susan Avatar
    Susan

    Looks delicious! Can a different gluten free grain be substituted?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Brown rice or oat groats could be used instead!

  2. Montana Miller Avatar
    Montana Miller

    I was just looking around for a good farro and sausage recipe and this looks amazing. I’m going to try it this weekend. Question: if I were going to use both mozzarella and feta cheese for this, would you suggest putting the feta IN the mixture or would you put it on top (in place of the fresh mozzarella slices)? Thanks!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I hope you love it!! And yes I would put the feta IN the mixture!

      1. Montana Miller Avatar
        Montana Miller

        Thank you!

  3. Emily Maulucci Avatar
    Emily Maulucci

    I am keeping this tab open because it is exactly what I am looking to make!! So excited to try this, do you think subbing out Farro for cooked wild rice would work as well?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      YES! Great idea! Enjoy!

  4. AbbieW Avatar
    AbbieW

    Do you drain the Fire Roasted Tomatoes first?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Nope no need!! :)

  5. Robyn Avatar
    Robyn

    A bit late to the party on this one … it popped up on Pinterest and just looks amazing. Question: do you think I could substitute sweet potatoes for the butternut squash? Given the COVID-19 situation, not sure I can find the squash, but I do have the sweets. Thanks!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh yes you definitely can swap that!! Enjoy Robyn! Stay healthy!!

  6. Sarah B. Avatar
    Sarah B.

    My kids dislike jarred roasted red peppers — too mushy I think. Would diced red pepper work? Would it need to be sauteed first?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Yes – exactly! Just saute the first!

  7. Carolyn Avatar
    Carolyn

    This looks delicious!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      It truly is!! Enjoy!

  8. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) Avatar
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)

    Amazing is an understatement for this dish!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Thank you!!

  9. Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen Avatar
    Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen

    I love that layer of melty cheese!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      So good right?

  10. alyssa | everydaymaven Avatar
    alyssa | everydaymaven

    Love the combination here – I have to try this!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Thanks lady!

  11. Liz Avatar
    Liz

    Oh, my gosh, I love everything about this casserole! The farro and double dose of mozzarella sold me!!!

  12. ashley Avatar
    ashley

    I want this for dinner!!!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I hope you make it!

  13. Aggie Avatar
    Aggie

    I’m all about this!! Farro and butternut squash and sausage?? Match made in heaven. Looks delicious Liz!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Thank you friend!! Happy Holidays!

  14. Amy @ Amy's Healthy Baking Avatar
    Amy @ Amy’s Healthy Baking

    ALL OF THAT CHEESE!!!! ???????????? Raul did an awesome job with that pulled cheese shot… It’s making me SO hungry!! Your food always looks amazing, Liz!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Isn’t it great?? He’s the best!! Thanks so much Amy!!

  15. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness Avatar
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

    Sausage AND butternut squash in ONE?! Be still my beating heart. LOVE!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      hahah thank you!

Liz Della Croce eating black bean dip

Hi I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones.