Farro is a rustic ancient grain from the Tuscany and Umbria regions of Italy. The grain arrived in Rome about 44 BCE and has been cooked the same way since—which is why it’s considered an “ancient grain.” Farro recipes are a staple of the Mediterranean diet, with high levels of protein, fiber and iron.
Farro has a subtle nutty flavor and a nice hearty texture. What you’ll love most about farro is that it cooks in just under 30 minutes, making it a great substitute for barley or brown rice in most recipes. Whether you toss it in a salad, or add it to a soup, farro will quickly become one of your favorite grains.
If you’re looking to incorporate more farro into your meals, try one of these deliciously satisfying farro recipes.
Related: Everything About Farro—From It Tastes Like to How to Cook It
What foods work well with farro?
Since farro has a nutty but relatively light flavor, it’s pretty versatile. It works well in just about any recipe that needs a grain. Use it to make cold salads, put it in soup or eat it on its own. You can even make a pilaf, risotto or casserole using farro.
Is farro gluten-free?
Farro is not gluten-free, since it’s a type of wheat. But don’t worry—you can still make your favorite farro recipes, just with a substitution. Some good gluten-free alternatives include sorghum and brown rice. Be sure to consider cooking time, though. Bob’s Red Mill notes that for cold grain salads, you can simply replace the grain. But when the recipe calls for cooking farro in a soup or some other dish, you’ll want to make sure to check the cook time for whichever grain you plan to use.
Related: How Much Quinoa You Should Eat Each Week
(scroll to keep reading)
Is farro allowed on a keto diet?
If you’re on the keto diet, you’ll want to stay away from farro. It’s high in net carbs, clocking in at about 60 grams for each 100 grams serving of the grain. That being said, it is low-fat and minimally processed.
Instead of making farro recipes with that grain, try substituting it with keto-friendly alternatives like quinoa, bulgur, couscous or barley.
What’s the best way to store farro?
If your farro is uncooked, store it in the pantry or freezer. It will easily last up to six months. Whole farro lasts even longer, up to a year in a cool and dry spot. If it’s cooked though, make sure you keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. Eat it within four or five days.
Related: Asian-Influenced Heavenly Grain Bowls
Farro is getting more popular
With plant-based meals and the Mediterranean diet on the upswing, more and more people are turning to ancient grains like farro as a way to be healthier. And it’s possible thanks to the health benefits.
“All whole grains are healthy—packed with fiber and other nutrients and help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other diseases,” Trisha Calvo, Consumer Reports deputy editor of health and food, told TODAY. “But farro stands out for its complex nutty flavor and versatility.”
15 Best Farro Recipes
Natalie Morales’ Asian Farro Chicken Salad
Update cold chicken salad with an Asian-infused recipe from today‘s Natalie Morales.
Get the recipe: Natalie Morales’ Asian Farro Chicken Salad
Warm Farro Salad with Stone Fruit and Chive Truffle Vinaigrette
Farro mixed with stone fruit is the essence of autumn in a single dish.
Get the recipe: Warm Farro Salad with Stone Fruit and Chive Truffle Vinaigrette
Hot and Tangy Salmon
It’s hot. But it’s also sweet. And a little tart, too. Call it a dream salmon, if you will.
Get the recipe: Hot and Tangy Salmon
Chopped Kale and Farro Salad
This kale and farro salad shines with a barbecue vinaigrette dressing.
Get the recipe: Chopped Kale and Farro Salad
Related: 16 Healthy Quinoa Recipes to Fill You Up
Italian-Inspired Grilled Chicken and Farro Salad
This next-level Italian-inspired dish features Lemon-Olive Oil Rubbed Grilled Chicken Breast, prosciutto and a hearty farro salad.
Get the recipe: Grilled Chicken and Farro Salad
Creamy Farro with Pesto, Asparagus, and Peas
Served warm or chilled…either way it’s delicious. Grab the recipe here.
Warm Farro Breakfast Bowl with Cinnamon Apples
A breakfast bowl the entire family will love. Grab the recipe here.
Summer Farro Salad
A yummy side-dish with a southwest twist. Grab the recipe here.
Cherry and Farro Salad with Pressure-Cooked Farro
The perfect summer salad. Grab the recipe here.
Farro Stuffing with Sausage and Sweet Potatoes
Full of flavor and sure to impress. Grab the recipe here.
One-Pan Farro Recipe with Mushrooms and Peas
This will quickly become a family favorite. Grab the recipe here.
Hearty Orca Bean Soup
An easy-to-make yet elegant soup. Grab the recipe here.
Related: 45 Best Orzo Pasta Recipes to Cook Tonight
Harvest Butternut Squash Farro Salad
A delicious & healthy side dish. Grab the recipe here.
Related: 14 Satisfying Grain Recipes
Umbrian Farro & Swiss Chard Soup
Comfort in a bowl. Grab the recipe here.
Farro with Pork Ragu
A must-try dish. Grab the recipe here.
Up next: 12 Best Nutritionist-Recommended Whole Grain Foods to Add to Your Diet