Harvest Bowl

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This hearty Harvest Bowl is made with rosemary-roasted butternut squash, farro, kale, pecans, apples, pomegranate seeds, and feta cheese tossed in an apple cider vinaigrette with a splash of maple syrup. The hearty kale holds up well for meal prep, and the whole salad is colorful and nutritious.

A harvest bowl with farro and kale.


 

This Harvest Bowl represents the way I love to cook and eat: an assortment of colors, textures, flavors, and whole food ingredients. In a world where we never cook at home enough and we probably eat far too quickly, a hearty grain bowl feels like our own personal return to farm-to-table cooking.

With so many fun ingredients comes prep and labor, so I highly recommend you pull this recipe out for special occasions or for meal prep. It’s fine to cook farro, roast butternut squash, and massage kale if you’re going to get 4 meals out of it. Or, double the recipe to feed another soul.

After a week of this combination, you’ll probably be sick of it. And that’s fine! Keep the spirit of the dish but change out everything that feels tired. Come up with your own flavors or theme and carry on eating the best of what you can find.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for a harvest bowl.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Garlic powder: Or substitute 1 clove of minced fresh garlic. The garlic is really important here. Without it, the maple vinaigrette will taste flat and overly sweet.
  • Squash: Aim for 1 pound of peeled, seeded, and cubed squash. If your squash is bigger than that (and it’s likely to be), feel free to roast all of it and reserve the remainder for another use (the roasting time may be longer). 1 pound of raw squash will yield about 2 cups of roasted squash cubes (enough for ½ cup per bowl). 
  • Farro: There are three types of farro: pearled, semi-pearled, and whole farro. For this recipe, choose pearled or semi-pearled farro.
  • Kale: Aim for 1 bunch of kale that is 9 or 10 ounces with stems (it will be 6 or 7 ounces without stems, about 8 cups tightly packed). 
  • Pecans: Toasting makes a big difference flavor-wise! Toast pecans in a skillet over medium heat until browned (one shade darker than they originally were) and fragrant, about 2 to 5 minutes.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper).
A bowl of apple cider vinaigrette.
  1. To make the butternut squash, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, add diced squash. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary, and season with salt and pepper (I like ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper). Toss until evenly coated.
A bowl of raw butternut squash cubes.
  1. Spread in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast until squash is tender and browning in spot, stirring occasionally, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature. You will have about 2 cups roasted squash.
Roasted butternut squash on a baking sheet.
  1. In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add farro and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
Cooking farro in a saucepan.
  1. Add water and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until farro is tender, about 15-18 minutes.
Cooking farro in a saucepan.
  1. Drain through a fine-mesh sieve, then spread farro out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet to cool to room temperature. You will have about 2 cups cooked farro.
farro cooling on a baking sheet.
  1. In a large bowl, add kale, 1 tablespoon maple vinaigrette, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Massage kale vigorously until dark and wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. You will have about 4 cups tightly packed massaged kale.
A bowl of massaged kale
  1. To assemble, divide the ingredients among 4 bowls. Build each bowl with 1 cup massaged kale, ½ cup farro, ½ cup butternut squash, ¼ of the apple slices, 2 tablespoons pecans, 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, and 2 tablespoons feta cheese. Drizzle each bowl with 2 tablespoons maple vinaigrette.
A harvest bowl with farro and kale.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 4 Harvest grain bowls. Each bowl contains 1 cup massaged kale, ½ cup farro, ½ cup butternut squash, ¼ of the apple slices, 2 tablespoons pecans, 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, 2 tablespoons feta cheese, and 2 tablespoons maple vinaigrette.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: These Harvest bowls are great for meal prep! Build your bowls right in glass storage containers. This set of 4 glass Pyrex containers (3-cup capacity) with lids are ideal for this recipe.
  • Freezer: Make a big batch of farro and store it in the freezer for future use, just like rice.
  • Starchy vegetables: Swap the butternut squash for another squash or for sweet potatoes, roasted beets, or your other favorite starchy vegetable. Even roasted carrots could work here.
  • Hearty grains: I love cooked farro in this salad, but sturdy kale can handle anything from cooked brown rice or a wild rice blend to cooked quinoa or bulgur wheat. It’s also fine to leave the grains out if needed.
  • Dressed up: I love apple cider vinegar with a splash of pure maple syrup in this bowl, but Balsamic vinaigrette (made with balsamic vinegar and a touch of honey) is another great choice. You can also make your own dressing with avocado oil, lemon juice, and fresh thyme.
  • Crunch: Swap the pecans for roasted almonds, toasted walnuts, or roasted pumpkin seeds. Or, add more crunch from vegetables like red onion, pickled shallots, or shredded cabbage.
  • Packed with protein: Try leftover rotisserie chicken, baked salmon, grilled shrimp, or juicy chicken thighs.
A few harvest bowls with farro and kale.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is in Sweetgreen’s harvest bowl?

According to the Sweetgreen menu, their harvest bowl contains roasted chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, crisp apple, goat cheese, roasted almonds, wild rice, shredded kale, and balsamic vinaigrette.

Does farro need to be rinsed before cooking?

Unlike quinoa (at least the un-rinsed kind), farro doesn’t need to be rinsed before cooking. It’s never a bad idea to rinse grains before cooking in general, though.

How do you roast full halves of butternut squash?

If you’re making mashed or puréed squash, cut the squash in half, rub the sides with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast cut-side down for 45 minutes to 1 hour. For more information, see my tutorial on How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (it works the same way).

What is the best way to cut apples?

See my full tutorial on How to Cut Apples for more information, but here’s the gist: On a cutting board, set an apple upright and slice in half. Place each apple half cut-side down and cut in half again (you will now have 4 quarters of an apple). Set each apple quarter on a flat angle side and slice out the core. Cut each cored apple quarter into slices (or chop or dice as desired).

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A harvest bowl with farro and kale.

Harvest Bowl

This hearty Harvest Bowl is made with rosemary-roasted butternut squash, farro, kale, pecans, apples, pomegranate seeds, and feta cheese tossed in an apple cider vinaigrette with a splash of maple syrup.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings (1 bowl each)
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 608
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients 

For the vinaigrette:

For the butternut squash:

To make the farro:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup farro pearled or semi-pearled (see note 3)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch kale stemmed and torn (about 8 ounces or 8 cups raw, see note 4)
  • 1 apple cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans (see note 5)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese or goat cheese

Instructions 

To make the vinaigrette:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper).

To make the butternut squash:

  • To make the butternut squash, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, add diced squash. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary, and season with salt and pepper (I like ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper). Toss until evenly coated.
  • Spread in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast until squash is tender and browning in spot, stirring occasionally, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature. You will have about 2 cups roasted squash.

To make the farro:

  • In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add farro and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add water and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until farro is tender, about 15-18 minutes. Drain through a fine-mesh sieve, then spread farro out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet to cool to room temperature. You will have about 2 cups cooked farro.

To make the bowls:

  • In a large bowl, add kale, 1 tablespoon maple vinaigrette, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Massage kale vigorously until dark and wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. You will have about 4 cups tightly packed massaged kale.
  • To assemble, divide the ingredients among 4 bowls. Build each bowl with 1 cup massaged kale, ½ cup farro, ½ cup butternut squash, ¼ of the apple slices, 2 tablespoons pecans, 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, and 2 tablespoons feta cheese. Drizzle each bowl with 2 tablespoons maple vinaigrette.

Notes

  1. Garlic powder: Or substitute 1 clove minced fresh garlic. The garlic is really important here. Without it, the maple vinaigrette will taste flat and overly sweet.
  2. Squash: Aim for 1 pound of peeled, seeded, and cubed squash. If your squash is bigger than that (and it’s likely to be), feel free to roast all of it and reserve the remainder for another use (the roasting time may be longer). 1 pound raw squash will yield about 2 cups roasted squash cubes (enough for ½ cup per bowl). 
  3. Farro: There are the three types of farro: pearled, semi-pearled, and whole farro. For this recipe, choose pearled or semi-pearled farro.
  4. Kale: Aim for 1 bunch of kale that is 9 or 10 ounces with stems (it will be 6 or 7 ounces without stems, about 8 cups tightly packed). 
  5. Pecans: Toasting makes a big difference flavor-wise! Toast in a skillet over medium heat until browned (one shade darker than they originally were) and fragrant, about 2 to 5 minutes.
  6. Yield: This recipe makes 4 Harvest grain bowls. Each bowl contains 1 cup massaged kale, ½ cup farro, ½ cup butternut squash, ¼ of the apple slices, 2 tablespoons pecans, 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, 2 tablespoons feta cheese, and 2 tablespoons maple vinaigrette.
  7. Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 bowlCalories: 608kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 11gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 542mgPotassium: 848mgFiber: 15gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 15437IUVitamin C: 59mgCalcium: 275mgIron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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