Farro salad is refreshing and delicious, thanks to chewy farro, crunchy veggies, and a tasty Italian dressing.
It is a great make-ahead recipe that you can have as a quick and nutritious lunch or as a light dinner. It's also perfect for bringing with you to potlucks and picnics.
Check out our Best Salad Recipes
Farro is an ancient grain with a pleasant nutty flavor, an irresistible chewy texture, and many health benefits.
It's perfect to use in soups and salads, and here we will show you how to make one of our three favorite farro salad recipes.
You will love this recipe because it's nutritious and fulfilling, but most importantly, it tastes delicious.
We use simple everyday ingredients to make this salad, including fresh seasonal vegetables, olives, seeds, and fresh herbs.
To make the farro extra tasty, we cook it in vegetable broth, then toss it in a simple but effective Italian dressing.
To make the salad even more flavorful, we recommend adding some crumbled feta cheese (we use dairy-free feta) to add that rich, savory taste that makes the salad pop.
And finally, to make this farro salad recipe even more fulfilling, you can add a can of chickpeas, which fits perfectly with the other ingredients, and adds healthy plant protein to this meal.
Farro is the Italian word to describe three wheat spices: spelt, emmer, and einkorn.
In most supermarkets, you can easily find it as Farro or pearled Farro, a type of farro often imported from Italy.
Pearled farro is our favorite for farro salad because it takes only 15 to 25 minutes to cook, and it keeps "al dente".
Farro is sold dry and, like other grains, needs to be boiled in hot water or broth before you can eat it.
In this recipe, you can substitute other whole grains or pseudo-grains such as brown rice, barley, quinoa, and buckwheat for the farro, although they won't have the same satisfying chewy texture.
For this farro salad recipe, we boil the farro in lightly salted vegetable broth to infuse more flavor into the grain.
For even more flavor, add a couple of thyme sprigs or bay leaves into the broth to cook with the farro.
Farro has a slightly nutty but overall neutral flavor that goes well with most veggies.
In this recipe, we use green bell pepper, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, canned corn kernels, black olives, and red onion.
Take these veggies as a guideline. Then, feel free to swap them around with your favorite veggies, including as many colors and textures as possible, to make a tasty and nutritious salad.
Some good alternatives are fresh arugula, apples, garlic, radish, and roasted veggies such as zucchini, eggplant, and sweet potato.
We use plenty of flat-leaf parsley to give the salad a Mediterranean spin. You can substitute dill, chives, cilantro, and basil for the parsley.
Pepitas or pumpkin seeds are a great way to add crunch and healthy fats to this farro salad recipe.
You can substitute sunflower seeds, toasted pistachio nuts, crushed walnuts, pinenuts, shaved almonds, or pecans.
Although optional, we recommend adding crumbled feta cheese to this farro salad recipe to add a popping, savory flavor. We use dairy-free feta.
Chickpeas are also optional. They add a nutty flavor and make this salad a fulfilling meal. We add drained canned chickpeas.
Extra virgin, if possible, it has a richer, fruitier flavor.
You can use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best. However, you can replace it with vinegar if you don't have lemons at hand.
Maple syrup balances out the acidity of the vinegar and lemon.
Use dried oregano, dried basil, or both.
Garlic powder adds a light garlic aroma without overpowering the farro salad with garlic flavor.
Salt and pepper
Sea salt or kosher salt freshly ground black pepper.
Step 1: Cook the Farro
Rinse the farro, then add it to a pot with the vegetable broth. Optionally you can add a couple of bay leaves.
Tip: we cook one part of pearled farro in three parts of liquid. For instance, if you cook 1 cup of farro, you'll need 3 cups of vegetable broth.
Cook the farro on a gentle simmer until it absorbs the broth and it's cooked al dente, stirring occasionally.
If necessary, add more vegetable broth.
Spread the cooked farro onto a clean baking tray to help it cool down and not overcook.
Tip: we don't recommend cooling down the farro under running water. The water will remove flavor and slightly change the texture.
Step 2: Prep the veggies
While the farro cooks, chop the cherry tomatoes in half, dice the green bell pepper, chop the cucumber, slice the black olives, drain the canned corn, finely chop the red onion and parsley, and prep the pumpkin seeds.
Step 3: Make the dressing
To a small jar, add all ingredients for the dressing: olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, maple syrup, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
Shake well till combined. Whisk the ingredients in a small bowl if you don't have a jar.
Step 4: Mix the farro salad
Add the cooked farro, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper, red onion, corn, olives, pumpkin seeds, parsley, and Italian dressing to a large mixing bowl.
Toss well, then taste and adjust for salt before serving.
Tip: If you have the time, let the farro salad sit for 15 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
Farro salad with chickpea and feta
To make an even tastier and more nutritious farro salad, you can add crumbled feta cheese (we use dairy-free feta) and drained canned chickpeas.
The savory taste of the feta and the nutty flavor of the chickpeas make this one of our favorite salad recipes.
Mediterranean farro salad
This farro salad with roasted veggies is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine and is absolutely delicious.
Like the other farro salad, this one too is excellent for lunch, dinner, potlucks, and picnics.
To make it, we use roasted eggplants, zucchini, and onions, jarred roasted bell peppers, pistachios, parsley, and a ground cumin and paprika dressing that is out of this world.
Check out our mediterranean farro salad recipe.
We often eat farro salad as a light lunch or a healthy dinner. It's a colorful, tasty, and nutritious meal that keeps us full and happy for hours.
You can serve the farro salad as is or offer different toppings and dressings with it. We love it with a spoonful of one of our plant-based dips on top, such as:
In Italy, farro salad is often served in smaller portions as a starter with:
This farro salad is a great recipe to make ahead because you can store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Also, the farro salad has even more flavor the next day because the ingredients have time to meld together.
Store farro salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Serve cold straight out of the refrigerator, or let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving it.
We do not recommend freezing the salad. However, you can freeze the cooked farro for up to 3 months.
To freeze cooked farro, let it cool down at room temperature, then put it in freezer-friendly ziplock bags in small portions (we freeze 2 portions in one bag) and freeze.
Thaw in the fridge overnight, in the microwave, or boil for 2 minutes.
Farro salad is made of cooked farro, mixed vegetables, and a dressing of your choice. We make it with Italian dressing and seasonal vegetables.
The best way to cook farro for a salad is to boil it in lightly salted water or vegetable broth.
To make the farro tastier, add a couple of bay leaves or thyme sprigs to the broth.
According to multiple studies, farro is good for you as it's a good source of fiber, healthy carbs, and plant-based protein.
In addition, it helps to improve digestive health, maintain a healthy weight, and can even help increase longevity.
Farro is a resilient crop that rarely requires the use of pesticides (unlike wheat). You can often, almost always, find organic-grown farro in most supermarkets.
Finally, farro is one of the few grains that contains methionine, an essential amino acid often lacking in grains. In simple words, this means that Farro is a really good protein source.
No, farro contains gluten; therefore, farro salad is not gluten-free.
You can replace farro with other gluten-free grains such as brown rice or with pseudo-grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth.
More Salad Recipes
If you love salads with wholesome ingredients, take a look at our other lunch-worthy salads:
- 1 cup farro uncooked
- 3 cups vegetable broth + 2 bay leaves optional
- 1 cup cucumber chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup green bell pepper diced
- ½ cup corn canned
- ⅓ cup black olives sliced
- ½ red onion chopped
- ½ cup parsley
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas optional
- 2 ounces feta cheese optional (we used dairy-free feta)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vinegar white or apple cider
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
STEP 1: COOK THE FARRO
- Rinse the farro, then add it to a pot with the vegetable broth. Optionally you can add a couple of bay leaves.
- Cook the farro on a gentle simmer until it absorbs the broth and it's cooked al dente (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.Some farro might take longer, if necessary, add more vegetable broth.
- Spread the cooked farro onto a clean baking tray to help it cool down and not overcook.
STEP 2: PREP THE VEGGIES
- While the farro cooks, chop the cherry tomatoes in half, dice the green bell pepper, chop the cucumber, slice the black olives, drain the canned corn, finely chop the red onion and parsley, and prep the pumpkin seeds.
STEP 3: MAKE THE DRESSING
- To a small jar, add all ingredients for the dressing: olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, maple syrup, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.Shake well till combined. Whisk the ingredients in a small bowl if you don't have a jar.
STEP 4: MIX THE FARRO SALAD
- Add the cooked farro, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper, red onion, corn, olives, pumpkin seeds, parsley, and Italian dressing to a large mixing bowl.
- Toss well, then taste and adjust for salt before serving.
- To make an even tastier and more nutritious farro salad, you can add crumbled feta cheese (we use dairy-free feta) and drained canned chickpeas.
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