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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
Add the fire-roasted diced tomatoes, sliced red peppers, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Stir all together until evenly combined.
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.
Top with parmesan cheese before serving, and enjoy your Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Farro Bake!
- 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.
More Balanced Dinners
- Butternut Squash and Sausage Pasta
- Sesame Chicken and Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry
- Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Arugula
- Bison and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers
- Lebanese Lentil Soup with Greens
Eat It, Like It, Share It!
Did you try this recipe and like it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your dish.
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
- 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)
- 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.