Dishing Up the Dirt

butternut squash “farrotto” with blue cheese


Taylor thinks I’m crazy because one of my favorite dishes to cook is risotto. I find so much comfort in the slow and methodical process of preparing this lovely meal. I will happily stand in front of our stove stirring my little heart out for 45 minutes without taking breaks. Okay, that’s a lie, I always take a few breaks to sip on some wine (all good risotto recipes call for wine!) Aside from that I don’t budge from the stove.


Since most of the recipes I cook take less than 30 minutes to whip up, I always welcome a more time consuming meal to prepare. It’s a great way to disconnect and daydream while I slowly stir, sip my wine, and stir some more.

My mom and dad recently came out to visit us. They came armed with plenty of housewarming gifts including lots of groceries (non produce groceries of course!) I was really excited by the gigantic bag of farro that my mom brought us. I don’t cook with farro nearly enough and I thought it would be a fun way to switch up my traditional risotto dish.


We still have some butternut squash storing in the barn and I thought it would be a nice addition to this “farrotto” along with some blue cheese and diced parsley.

This meal was totally delicious. The flavor combination of sweet butternut squash and strong blue cheese goes beautifully together. However, please take into consideration that the texture of farro is very different than traditional risotto rice. Farro is very chewy while arborio rice is creamy and smooth. I took the advice from Bob (Bob’s Red Mill) and soaked my farro overnight before cooking. I think this is an important step to take if using farro. You can also sub arborio rice if you want to go the traditional creamy route (the recipe below will work fine both ways.) Regardless of which grain you choose, the flavor combination is what stole the show.  Pour some white wine (you’ll need it for the recipe) roll up your sleeves, and enjoy 45 minutes in your kitchen disconnected from the world. Cheers!

Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese "Farroto"

Prep Time: 15 mins.    Cook Time: 45 mins.    Serves: 4

  • 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled/seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup farro, soaked overnight
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4-6 cups veggie stock
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles, plus more for topping
  • 1/4 cup diced parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil of choice for cooking, I used grapeseed oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash with a little oil salt and pepper. Place on a prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven until tender. About 15-25 minutes. Toss hallway through cooking time. Squash is done when fork tender and slightly browned.
  2. In a saucepan heat all 6 cups of veggie stock until a light boil (you may end up with a little leftover) Reduce heat to a low simmer.
  3. Heat 1 TBS oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add wine and cook until wine evaporates. Add farro and 1/2 cup of simmering stock. Continue to stir until farro has absorbed the stock. Repeat the process of 1/2 cup of stock/absorbing until farro is tender. About 40-45 minutes.
  4. Stir in butternut squash and blue cheese crumbles. Stir well until the blue cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Taste test and add more cheese, salt, or pepper if necessary.
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley and more blue cheese crumbles.


Use this recipe as a guide. Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. Always taste test as you go.

Leave a Reply

8 thoughts on “butternut squash “farrotto” with blue cheese

  1. Clare says:

    Looks lovely! I’ve made a mushroom version of farroto & really enjoyed it, I’ll have to try this version!

  2. Julia says:

    Nice! Just the other day, I was wondering about the butternut squash and blue cheese combo…I figured it’d have to be great and now I’m thinking I need to get on this ASAP! For a meal like this, I’d gladly hover over the stove for 45 minutes, easy!

  3. Kier says:

    As long as there is a bottle of wine nearby, I could stir for hours!

  4. Ohhh man, I get many requests for risotto at home, but I find it hard to commit to all that stirring. I think this butternut squash and blue cheese combination looks worth it, though! I am loving my butternut squash lately, and have some farro in the cabinet to boot. Yum! Have a great weekend!

  5. Farro is my favorite grain- I hate how expensive it is though! Trader Joe’s does now carry a quick 10 minute cook farro that is close enough to the original, so I skip the soaking step. Delicious recipe!

  6. Im with you, theres something quite cathartic about making risotto – put on a good record, hand me a glass of wine and I could stir for hours 🙂 Love the flavour combination you’ve used here – how good is butternut squash and blue cheese together!

  7. Your description makes me want to go make some risotto for dinner tomorrow! And this would be my ideal recipe to try – I love butternut squash risotto but I’ve never tried it with blue cheese – yum!!

  8. Molly Jacobson says:

    Hi Andrea! So I finally made this last night, I had my boyfriend and my best friend in the kitchen with me and it made for a very fun evening! We all loved it, including my boyfriend who is very wary of “stinky cheeses”, where as my best friend and I loaded up on the cheese! Despite being new to cooking it was very easy and I was shocked and pleased when the stock ran out right as the risotto was plump and ready. I did, however, have a terrible time cutting the squash – that is a beast of a vegetable! I might ask for new knives for Christmas… Thanks for all your wonderful recipes, I can’t wait to try more!


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