NOURISHMENT – Recipe for Success

Harvest Grain Bowl With Creamy Citrus Dressing

By Elle Penner, MPH RD

Between packed back-to-school schedules and shorter, darker days, fall can be a busy time of year. If you need a nutritious, make-ahead meal that takes less than a minute to assemble, this harvest grain bowl has been a weekday staple for us this season.

The combination of caramelized roasted veggies, nutty, whole-grain farro and creamy citrus dressing will wake up your taste buds and keep your fork coming back for more. Not only do the flavors pair well together, but the nutrients do, too! The healthy fat in the dressing and on the veggies themselves enhances absorption of fat-soluble vitamin A found in carrots and broccoli, while the citrus increases absorption of plant-based iron.

This meal-prep-friendly bowl makes a great reheat-and-eat dinner or grab-and-go lunch. Simply cook your farro and veggies ahead of time and divide into four containers. Whip up a batch of the dressing and store everything in the fridge for perfectly portioned meals all week long.

Here’s what you can prep ahead:

  • Cook the farro. I like to cook the farro using the pasta method because it requires absolutely no measuring. Just bring a big pot of salted water to a rolling boil, add your farro (roughly 1⅓ cups uncooked for this recipe) and cook until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Store it as you would cooked pasta—drain, rinse and refrigerate the farro in an airtight container once cooled.
  • Roast the veggies. These veggies taste just as great several days after roasting, so if you’ve got time over the weekend, cook them up and store them in the fridge. If you prefer freshly roasted veggies, chop them in advance so they’re prepped when you’re ready to roast.
  • Make your dressing. Add your goat cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, orange juice and freshly ground black pepper to a wide-mouth Mason jar and hit it with the immersion blender. Screw on the top and store in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your bowl.   

When it’s time to eat, just pop the farro and veggies in the microwave, add a drizzle of dressing and dig in!

Harvest Grain Bowl With Creamy Citrus Dressing

MAKES: 4 meal-size bowls and ⅔ cup (about 10 tablespoons) dressing


For the bowls:

  • 1⅓ cups uncooked farro
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into ¼-inch slices
  • 8 ounces bite-size cauliflower florets (about 4 cups)
  • 12 ounces trimmed Brussels sprouts (about 3½ cups), large sprouts sliced in half
  • 8 ounces bite-size broccoli florets (about 4 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the dressing:

  • 4  ounces plain goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (from ½ orange)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cook farro. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add farro and cook until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  3. While farro cooks, roast veggies. Combine carrots and cauliflower in a large mixing bowl and Brussels sprouts and broccoli in another. Drizzle each with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using your hands, toss well to coat. Spread carrots and cauliflower in a single layer onto one prepared baking sheet and broccoli and Brussels sprouts onto the other.
  4. Put carrots and cauliflower in oven first to give them a head start. After 5 minutes, put Brussels sprouts and broccoli in oven and roast for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
  5. While veggies roast, prepare dressing. Combine dressing ingredients in a small wide-mouth Mason jar or mug and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, mash goat cheese with a fork and whisk by hand until smooth.
  6. To serve, divide farro and vegetables between bowls and top each with a generous drizzle (about 2½ tablespoons) of dressing. Top with freshly ground black pepper and more goat cheese, if desired.

Video & photo credit: Elle Penner, MPH RD


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Elle Penner, MPH RD

Elle Penner is a registered dietitian and former lead dietitian at MyFitnessPal, turned full-time writer, recipe creator, photographer, blogger and mama. Her favorite things include her camera, carbs, sweaty workouts and her son.