This easy farro salad is packed with crunchy vegetables, a tangy vinaigrette, fresh herbs, and delicious chewy farro.
It’s a tasty, satisfying, and colorful recipe. It’s excellent to make ahead and bring to potlucks, barbecues, cookouts, and picnics or as a healthy lunch or quick dinner.
Table of Contents
You will love farro salad because it’s nutritious, fulfilling, easy to make, colorful, and tastes delicious.
It’s a burst of freshness, crunch, and wholesomeness at every bite!
Farro is an ancient grain; you’ll love its nutty flavor, irresistible chewy texture, and many health benefits.
Thanks to its chewy al dente texture and wholesome nutrition is excellent for making salads.
We are sure you’ll feel fabulous and glowing after eating our farro salad!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Find the complete recipe with ingredients and instructions in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.
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, often imported from Italy.
Pearled farro is our favorite for farro salad because compared to whole farro, it takes only 15 to 25 minutes to cook and 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 reduced-sodium vegetable broth to infuse more flavor into the grain.
Add a couple of thyme sprigs or bay leaves to the broth for even more flavor.
Substitute water for vegetable broth.
- Cucumber: substitute thinly sliced radishes or celery.
- Cherry tomatoes: substitute plum, roma, or vine tomatoes.
- Green bell pepper: substitute yellow, orange, or red bell pepper.
- Canned corn: substitute frozen corn, baby corn, or green peas.
- Black olives: substitute green, Kalamata olives, Gaeta olives, capers, marinated artichoke hearts, or sun-dried tomatoes.
- Red onion: substitute green onions or shallots.
- Chickpeas: substitute cannellini beans, black beans, lentils, or red kidney beans.
Feel free to swap the veggies around with what you have available. To make a tasty and nutritious salad, try to include as many colors and textures as possible.
We use flat-leaf parsley to give the salad a Mediterranean spin.
You can substitute fresh mint, dill, chives, cilantro, and basil for the parsley.
Feta is optional. Most of the time, we don’t add it because the salad is fulfilling and tasty. You can use regular feta cheese or non-dairy feta.
Substitute feta with shaved parmesan cheese, mozzarella balls, goat cheese, or non-dairy alternatives.
Quick Italian Dressing
- Olive oil: extra virgin olive oil is best if you can.
- Vinegar: red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- Lemon juice: freshly squeezed.
- Dried oregano: substitute Italian seasoning for oregano.
- Salt and black pepper: sea salt or kosher salt is best.
How to make farro salad
1: Cook the Farro
Rinse the farro, then add it to a medium saucepan with the vegetable broth and 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 all 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: avoid cooling down the farro under running water. The water will remove flavor and slightly change the texture.
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 rinse the chickpeas.
3: Make the dressing
To a small jar, add all ingredients for the dressing: olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper.
Shake well till combined. Whisk the ingredients in a small bowl if you don’t have a jar.
4: Mix the farro salad
Add the cooked farro, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper, red onion, corn, olives, chickpeas, parsley, and 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 feta
Crumbled feta cheese (or non-dairy feta) adds even more flavor to the salad.
Mediterranean farro salad
This farro salad with roasted veggies is absolutely delicious and inspired by Mediterranean cuisine.
To make it, we use roasted eggplants, zucchini, 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.
Barley is another delicious whole grain with a similar texture and taste to farro. It’s an excellent substitute for farro to make a salad.
Check out our barley salad recipe.
As a main meal
This farro salad is a complete, nutritious, and satisfying meal that doesn’t need much next to it to make you feel great and satiated.
Sometimes we serve it with something creamy next to it; for example, try adding a dollop of these delicious spreads:
- Guacamole (red onion, avocado, lime juice, salt, garlic, etc.)
- Hummus (chickpea, tahini, salt, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, water, etc.)
- Tzatziki (Greek-style yogurt, cucumber, garlic, mint, dill, lemon, etc.)
- Baba Ganoush (eggplant dip with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, etc.)
- Muhammara (red pepper, walnuts, toamtoes, molasses, etc.)
- Egg-free mayonnaise (soy milk, vegetable oil, olive oil, mustard, garlic, etc.)
As an appetizer or side dish
In Italy, farro salad is often served in restaurants in smaller portions as a starter with:
Make ahead: this 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.
Refrigerator: 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.
Freezer: we do not recommend freezing the salad because of the fresh veggies. 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, 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.
Add a couple of bay leaves or thyme sprigs to the broth to make the farro tastier.
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 pesticides (unlike wheat). You can often, almost always, find organic-grown farro in most supermarkets.
Finally, farro is one of the few grains containing methionine, an essential amino acid often lacking. , this means that farro is a good protein source.
No, farro contains gluten; therefore, farro salad is not gluten-free.
You can replace farro with gluten-free grains such as brown rice or with pseudo-grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth.
More Salad Recipes
If you love wholesome salads, take a look at our other lunch–worthy meals:
- Sweet potato salad (roasted sweet potato, avocado, cranberries, arugula, etc.)
- Moroccan carrot salad (parsley, cumin, carrots, shaved almonds, olive oil, etc.)
- Black bean salad (black beans, corn, bell pepper, avocado, sweet potato, etc.)
- Rice salad (olives, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, rice, parsley, etc.)
- Couscous salad (couscous, chickpeas, bell pepper, olives, lemon, etc.)
- Brussels sprouts salad: (shaved Brussels sprouts, mustard dressing, etc.)
For many more salad ideas, check out our salads category page.
FOR THE SALAD
- 1 cup farro uncooked
- 3 cups vegetable broth + 2 bay leaves optional
- 1½ cups cucumber diced
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1½ cups green bell pepper diced
- ½ cup corn canned
- ½ cup pitted olives sliced
- ⅓ cup red onion chopped
- ⅓ cup parsley finely chopped
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas
- 2 ounces feta cheese or dairy-free feta, optional
- 2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vinegar apple cider or red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
COOK THE FARRO
- Rinse 1 cup farro, then add it to a medium saucepan with 3 cups vegetable broth and bay leaves.
- Cook the farro on a gentle simmer until it absorbs all broth and it's cooked al dente (about 25 min), stirring occasionally.
- Spread the cooked farro onto a clean baking tray to help it cool down and not overcook.
MAKE THE DRESSING
- To a small jar add 2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Close and shake to combine. Alternatively whisk ingredients in a bowl.
MIX THE FARRO SALAD
- To a large bowl, add the farro, 1½ cups cucumber (diced), 1½ cups cherry tomatoes (halved), 1½ cups green bell pepper (diced), ½ cup corn, ½ cup pitted olives (sliced), ⅓ cup red onion (chopped), ⅓ cup parsley (chopped), and 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas (drained and rinsed).
- Toss well, then taste and adjust for salt before serving.
- Optionally, sprinkle with 2 ounces feta cheese.
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