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Best Farro Recipes

Best Farro Recipes

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Top Rated Farro Recipes

This trendy recipe for layered farro and chickpea salad is served in a mason jar and topped with a lemon wedge. Recipe courtesy of Planet Oat

Oven-roasted tomatoes, capers and basil liven up sautéed chicken and turn this into a dinner dish you'll crave.Recipe courtesy of The Cheesecake Factory

The fun thing about this salad is that everyone can create their own version of the dish. If you’re serving this salad at a party or potluck, have each of your friends bring one of the necessary items then, when everyone arrives, have fun building your salads.Recipe courtesy of Lisa Gorman, Director of St. Joseph Health Wellness CenterClick here for more of our best salad recipes.

Coming from a Barese family, eating broccoli rabe is non-negiotable — it's a staple. In my grandmother's town of Adelfia in Bari, Italy, the cousin of spinach and the sister to broccoli was on the table quite often. What wasn't on the table ever? Farro. Though an Italian grain, it never existed in our lives until I introduced it recently. Now, when blended with the familiar verde, hearty crumbed walnuts, and sharp Parmagiano, it is welcomed with a smile.

I can't lie — when I set out to make this recipe, I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing or how it would turn out. And I'll tell you this, it came out spectacularly. Granted, this is a simple dish, but the nuttiness of the farro, cooled down, paired wonderfully with ribbons of spinach and the creaminess of the cheese. Lemon zest added a pleasant tang and brightness. If you like, you could easily add in some avocado as well...

Despite its name, the Purple Pig serves fantastic vegetarian dishes like this lovely, light grain salad. Red pearl onions are worth seeking out here; they lend a wonderful sweetness and a beautiful purple hue to the combination of tender peas, creamy feta, and nutty, chewy farro.See all farro recipes.Click here to see Jump Into the Kitchen with 'America's Greatest Home Cooks'.

Here's a quick, easy, complete meal that comes together in about half an hour. It packs protein, some greens, and whole grains all into one complete package that can serve as a weeknight dinner for two. Feel free to substitute another protein such as chicken or fish, or another whole grain, such as bulgur, whole-wheat couscous, or wheat berries.Click here for 7 Easy Spring Salad Ideas.

You might not be familiar with red kuri squash, which looks like a mini pumpkin (it's about 4-5 inches in diameter) and which is undoubtedly my favorite type of winter squash. In French red kuri squash is called potimarron, translating to something like "chestnut pumpkin," and this name more aptly describes the deep and chestnutty flavor red kuri squash develops when cooked. Made with silky leeks and nutty farro, this is a healthy recipe that is sure to please almost any palate.Click here to see 10 Vegetarian Recipes.

Harissa is a spicy Tunisian chile paste often used in North African cooking. Here, a milder version spices up a tomato soup made with fresh vegetable stock, and a good amount of farro is thrown in for good measure, making this a light, nutritious meal. If you don't have access to farro, pearled barley would make a decent substitute.See all farro recipes.

Take advantage of the biggest perk of winter, blood oranges, with this healthy salad.

For a dish rich in whole grains, try this warm farro salad with tender butternut squash.Click here to see 10 Quick and Easy Vegetarian Recipes

The Age of Farro: 19 Recipes That’ll Win You Over

Once upon a time, a titan named quinoa swept across the globe and started dominating all kinds of recipes. We understand why: It’s full of protein, fiber, and nine essential amino acids. Navruz-Varli S, et al. (2016). Nutritional and health benefits of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) DOI: 10.1016/j.jcs.2016.05.004 But there’s a new super grain in town, and it’s here to stay.

Farro has actually been (subtly) on the scene for ages. And what we love most about this ancient strain of wheat is that it’s super filling and tastes kind of creamy. It also has more fiber than quinoa.

So next time you’re looking to bulk up a meal or are in need of something heart- and belly-warming, try one of these hearty farro recipes. You’ll wonder how you’ve survived so long without it.

1. Creamy chicken and farro soup

Healthier versions of indulgent recipes can sometimes be blah. That’s not the case with this heavenly soup.

The recipe opts for just the right amount of substitutions and doesn’t sacrifice the good stuff, ensuring it’s still as creamy and comforting as its cousin, chicken and rice soup.

It may be tempting to ditch the butter and use olive oil instead, but we say stick to the stick (of butter), and if anything, substitute the whole milk for a lower-fat variety — if you must.

2. Farro soup with meatballs

Who needs noodles when you can eat a piping hot bowl of meatball soup?

Made with fiber-filled farro, leafy greens, protein-rich beans, and tart tomatoes, it’s a great dish to warm up with on a crisp fall day — or any day, for that matter.

Homemade meatballs definitely yield the best flavor, but feel free to sub frozen meatballs if time doesn’t allow for making them from scratch.

3. Chickpea farro soup

Share on Pinterest Photo: Two Peas and Their Pod

Soups can feel uninspiring. They can also feel like they’re more work than they’re worth. This soup, however, is worth every minute — and every chop and stir.

Filled with hearty farro, protein-packed chickpeas, veggies and herbs galore, and topped with parmesan cheese, this soup is satisfying, flavorful, healthy, and freezes like a champ.

Serve with a loaf of crusty bread or simple Caesar salad.

4. Kale butternut squash farro salad

Sometimes eating leftovers can feel like a drag, but when you make a recipe that can be altered and transformed in all kinds of ways, leftovers become anything but bland.

This farro, squash, and kale salad tastes great as is, but can also be jazzed up with the likes of sausage and caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes and feta, beets and goat cheese, and many more tasty combos.

We’re definitely fallin’ for this fall comfort dish.

5. Strawberry farro salad with avocado and feta

Another amazing thing about farro: It pairs equally as well with savory and sweet. This salad brings the sweet with fresh strawberries and balsamic poppy seed dressing.

Avocado adds creaminess, red onions add crunch, and spinach and feta pull it all together. Feel free to experiment with additional nuts like sliced almonds, hazelnuts, or pine nuts.

6. Greek farro salad

A salad that keeps for days? Yes, it exists. This Greek salad is full of textures and flavors, is satisfying, and takes under 30 minutes to make.

Though the arugula will keep its crispness even if you mix it in straight away, we like to combine the rest of the veggies with the farro, and come eating time, toss that with the arugula and dressing.

For extra veggie oomph, add sliced pepperoncini and artichoke hearts.

7. Rainbow Thai farro salad

Farro is one of those grains that tastes good with just about any sauce. Though commonly paired with Italian and Mediterranean flavors, it’s equally as good with some Asian inspiration.

This Thai salad has veggies galore — carrots, bell pepper, cabbage — and even some crunch from scallions and chopped peanuts.

The peanut sauce is perfect parts savory and sweet, making it feel like more a treat than a healthy household staple.

8. Sweet potato farro salad

This recipe goes the extra mile by cooking the farro in chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, and bay leaves. The result is ultra-savory grains.

They perfectly complement the dried cranberries, pistachios, sweet potato, arugula, parsley, and Dijon dressing.

Pro tip: Double the recipe — it’s that good.

9. Strawberry caprese farro salad

This recipe is berry delightful. The strawberries, juicy sun gold tomatoes, and mozzarella pearls combine to create a summery salad that’s great for a picnic or potluck. With added protein, it also makes a great main course.

Pro tip: Need to make it in a jiff? Use store-bought pesto.

10. Farro bowl with figs, kale, and French goat cheese

It’s amazing how a few high-quality ingredients can be thrown together in a pinch and taste like hours of effort. This recipe is just that.

The fresh figs, tart goat cheese, lacinato kale (aka Tuscan kale), and farro come together with a light yet sweet balsamic maple mustard dressing, taking a mere 10 minutes to assemble.

Pro tip: For an extra dose of protein, add sliced grilled chicken.

11. Chopped grilled vegetable bowl with farro

Not sure what to do with all of those leftover grilled or roasted veggies? Why not toss them with some farro, hummus, and tzatziki?

To make the most of this recipe, grill or roast the veggies on the weekend, whip up the tzatziki, and toss together this veggie bowl as a last-minute lunch or dinner.

Pro tip: We love doubling the veggie quantities and using in scrambles and salads throughout the week.

12. Asiago white beans with farro, kale, and tomatoes

Talk about a one-pot wonder. With only five ingredients, this recipe tops our list of easy and tasty weeknight favorites. Bonus: It tastes even better the next day.

To up the flavor, use a small can of diced tomatoes in place of the fresh grape tomatoes and tomato paste in place of the sauce. It also tastes great with shredded basil if you have it on hand.

13. 30-minute Greek shrimp and farro bowls

The nutty flavor of farro pairs perfectly with the tangy olives and bright veggies in this simple shrimp bowl. Because the marinade is so amazing, we say soak the veggies with it before cooking too.

Feel free to sub feta cheese for the Greek yogurt sauce and any lean protein for the shrimp (salmon tastes pretty darn awesome).

14. Farro bowl with shiitakes and winter greens

Great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this shiitake bowl is all kinds of awesome — and not just because it has a fried egg on it.

The homemade chimichurri sauce marries all of the ingredients and brings out of the best of the savory mushroom and bitter kale and brussels sprouts. Just add sriracha.

15. Skillet farro and turkey sausage casserole with kale and sweet potatoes

Skillet meals are all the rage. And for good reason: They’re easy to make, and they minimize dirty dishes.

This casserole is stuffed with turkey sausage, sweet potatoes, kale, and white beans, and topped with fresh parmesan cheese and basil.

Another great dinner party dish or meal for plenty of leftovers. The only downside is how damn good it tastes — meaning those leftovers may not actually be left over.

16. Farro tabbouleh with burrata and hummus

If we had to choose between hummus and burrata, we simply wouldn’t — we’d pick both, and we’d make this recipe.

The tabbouleh is brought to life with grilled asparagus, fresh blueberries, and traditional cucumber and tomatoes, and bulked up with farro in place of bulgur. Serve with warm pita bread or simply dig in with a fork.

17. Roasted carrots with lemon yogurt sauce and farro

Can we talk about how stunning this recipe looks? Easy and crazy-delicious, this roasted carrot dish is the perfect recipe for a date night, a dinner party, or a treat yo’self meal.

For the crispest chickpeas, make sure to pat them completely dry after rinsing. Also, mix them evenly in a bowl with the olive oil and spices before baking.

Pro tip: If spinach isn’t your favorite green, feel free to sub kale or layer the farro and carrots on top of a pile of fresh arugula.

18. Creamy farro with pesto, asparagus, and peas

Farro’s richness gives all recipes a creamy feel, even if there’s no added cream. The only “cream” in this recipe is the cheese from pesto — which differs depending on which pesto you choose.

The rest is all veggie, herb, and citrus. Since the flavor is so light, opt for high-quality olive oil and sea salt, as they’ll have a significant impact on the taste.

19. Farro risotto with sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and cashew cream

Comforting winter dishes don’t always mean a food coma is near. Instead of heavy cream and cups upon cups of cheese, this risotto uses homemade cashew cream to bind all of the ingredients together.

Mixed with tangy tomatoes, button mushrooms, a splash of white wine, and fresh rosemary, this recipe tastes like the holidays without the post-indulgence blues.

As much as we love quinoa, we admit, we get a little bored with it sometimes. So, like freekeh, farro is the latest addition to our list of lovable grains.

Not quite a wheat, and not quite a rice, farro adds a richness and chewiness to dishes that’s similar to that of other grains, but lighter. On its own, farro tastes savory with a hint of nuttiness or cinnamon flavor.

Use it anywhere you’d put in quinoa or brown rice, be it soups, stir-frys, or salads. Spend a little time with this versatile grain, and you’ll soon see that the options (and taste combinations) are endless.

The best substitutes for farro

Farro has been a staple food and a rich source of nutrients on our table for over 20,000 years. Ancient people probably didn’t know about the specific health benefits of farro, but they knew it was an easy and versatile food that makes your stomach feel full for a long time.

In fact, uncooked farro is packed with fibers and proteins that are perfect for those who wish to tame their appetite. A serving of farro with roasted chicken and vegetables makes for the perfect dinner that won’t leave you running for the fridge in the middle of the night.

Farro is fairly new in the U.S. but has been sitting in European kitchens for a long time. With a growing number of people choosing the vegetarian way, and also an increasing demand for healthy and nutrient foods, farro is quickly becoming popular around the world.

When shopping for dried farro, you will find Einkorn (farro piccolo), Emmer (farro medio), and Spelt (farro grande). But the most important difference is in regard to the nutrients:

– Pearl farro: the most common variety you will find in grocery stores, however, it’s also the least nutritional because it’s basically polished farro that has had its nutrient-packed layers removed in favor of a shorter cooking time.

– Semi-pearled farro: a sort of compromise between nutritious farro and a shorter cooking time. It has around half of the nutrients of whole farro and it also takes a little less time to cook.

– Whole farro: the most nutritious variety of farro, but also the longest to cook (25-30 minutes). You can shorten the cooking time (down to 10-15 minutes) by soaking it for a whole night before cooking it.

Farro enthusiasts will tell you it’s impossible to find a substitute for farro that checks all the right boxes, but luckily for us, this is not quite true. There are several farro alternatives with different characteristics, so you can choose the one that better fits your needs and taste.

1. Barley

Barley is the best substitute for farro in a recipe because the two grains share both flavor and texture. Barley has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture just like farro and speaking of nutrients, they’re also really similar.

In fact, farro and barley are interchangeable because they can be used for the same recipes with barely any difference in the final result.

Pearl barley, which is the less nutritious version of barley but also the one that needs a shorter cooking time, is also the perfect replacement for pearled farro.

While barley can be used in all the recipes that feature pre-cooked farro, including salads and soups, it’s important to remember that the two have a different cooking time.

2. Quinoa

Quinoa is a superfood that features a large variety of recipes, including pasta , soups, and even baking products. It is highly-nutritional and one of the gluten-free alternatives to farro.

Quinoa has become increasingly popular and is always recommended to those who wish to improve their diet or start a gluten-free diet. This super grain is a good source of minerals, proteins, and vitamins among other nutrients.

It is a versatile grain and one of the few plant foods that provides complete proteins and all the essential amino acids, which the body cannot produce on its own. That’s why when looking for substitutes for other grains, quinoa is usually the first option to pop up.

3. Freekeh

Freekeh is a whole grain from North Africa which is growing increasingly popular in the U.S. as an alternative for the usual grains and as a substitute for rice and oats.

This grain is similar to bulgur and wheat berries, but has its own peculiarities, starting from the way it’s harvested.

The name ‘freekeh’ doesn’t refer to the plant, but to the production process. Durum wheat is harvested before it’s fully ripe, the chaff is removed during the burning of the stalks. The surviving young grains are then rubbed to release the toasted kernels.

It has a long cooking time (50 minutes), but you can greatly shorten this time by purchasing cracked grains.

Freekeh doesn’t taste like farro, but it has the same texture and can add a new interesting flavor to your dish.

4. Spelt berries

Despite their name, there is no berry in spelled berries. In fact, these are simply kernels from spelled grain. When cooked, they make a great addition to your soups and stews, but they adapt perfectly to any rice-based recipe.

Their flavor when cooked closely resembles that of farro because of its nutty connotation. Spelled berries are a good alternative to farro for those who suffer from certain kinds of wheat intolerance.

The names spelled and farro is often confused or used to indicate farro, but despite the similarities, they’re very different things. The most evident difference is in the texture: while farro has a soft texture that is ideal for soups and risotto, spelled berries tend to remain tougher, which is great for grain salads.

5. Wheat berries

The edible part of the wheat kernel is called wheat berry. Despite being such a basic and fundamental part of the kernel, wheat berries are often overlooked and not as popular as one may think.

This whole grain has the same characteristics as the other whole grains: it’s full in fibers and proteins and has a chewy texture and nutty flavor which makes it perfect as a substitution for farro.

Wheat berries can work in many recipes, from sweet to savory dishes. Usually, they take some of the flavors from the ingredients they’re cooked with. They’re especially great in chili or served with cinnamon, milk, and honey for breakfast.

6. Rye berries

Rye is a variety of grain that is not yet well-known as other grains, but it’s just as good. When the whole kernels of rye grain are cooked, they become deep brown in color and are called rye berries.

The color of rye berries is very particular because rye is actually grey-ish in its base form, which is why caramel and molasses are usually added in baking recipes with this grain in order to make the finished product visually more appealing.

Rye berries are rich in fibers, iron, proteins, and minerals such as magnesium and manganese. They taste similar to farro but have less gluten and a lower glycemic index , which makes them healthier than farro for people affected by type 2 diabetes.

7. Triticale berries

Triticale is one of the ‘modern grains’ because its history doesn’t go back thousands of years unlike quinoa, barley, and many others.

It is a human-made grain from the 1950s, the result of a cross between rye and wheat. Its name is also a cross between the Latin word for wheat (Triticum) and rye (Secale).

Triticale berries are twice the size of wheat berries. They are especially high in fibers and are also a good source of minerals and thiamin .

Before cooking triticale berries, they will need to be soaked for a whole night in the refrigerator. Their taste is rather sweet and keeps the nutty flavor of farro.

8. Oat groats

Oat groats are oat kernels without the husk, which is the protective outer layer. They are the most intact form of the grain, which contains all the nutrients such as proteins, fibers, fats, calcium, and iron.

They’re also rich in antioxidants, which means they withstand shelf life pretty well if properly packed into an airtight container and kept in a cool and dry place.

Oat groats are a gluten-free farro substitute and work especially well in stews and porridge, but they should be soaked overnight to reduce the cooking time. Their flavor is similar to farro because they’re nutty and slightly sweet.

9. Kasha

When you roast and soak buckwheat groats, then simmer them slowly until they become soft, you get kasha.

This cereal has a strong nutty flavor that comes out when cooked, along with a firm and rather gummy texture.

Kasha doesn’t need a lot of liquid when cooking (no more than 1 ½ cup of water per cup of grain), because with this grain ‘less is more’. More water, and therefore a longer cooking time, could turn kasha into a mushy mix that is certainly not appetizing.

This grain is not always easily found in the United States but can be purchased online.

10. Bulgur

Bulgur has been around for ‘only’ 4,000 years, which makes it one of the less ancient ‘ancient grains’.

Bulgur is a sort of precooked grain that has been dried before being packed because it comes from parboiled wheat kernels. That’s why bulgur cooks way faster than most grains and it’s also cheaper than some of them.

Bulgur works as a farro replacement because it has the signature nutty flavor and chewy texture of farro. On top of that, cooked bulgur has a very pleasant scent that resembles that of popcorn.

Bulgur is cholesterol-free but is highly caloric (150 kcal per cup). However, it makes up for it with a healthy amount of fibers, omega3, and proteins.

11. Winter wheat

Why is winter wheat ‘winter wheat’? Contrary to what the name might make you believe, winter wheat is not harvested in winter, but in late spring. So why isn’t it called ‘spring wheat’?

That’s because not only winter wheat can withstand very cold temperatures, it actually needs them. In fact, without going through a freezing winter, this kind of wheat doesn’t produce seeds.

This unprocessed wheat tastes almost exactly like farro. Due to its characteristics, it needs a longer soaking and cooking time than most grains. However, its resemblance to farro and its large availability makes it worth it.

12. Teff

Teff is one of those seeds that function as a whole grain. It is the ideal farro substitute for those who are allergic to farro because it lacks the compound that triggers that type of allergy.

Teff is also gluten-free and extremely nutritional. One single cup of it contains 43 grams of complete proteins. In addition, it’s a good source of magnesium, iron, and calcium. Teff also has more vitamin C than most other grains, with 88 grams of vitamin per 100 grams.

This grain is hard to harvest, therefore it is more expensive than other grains. However, its nutritional value and its gluten-free status are definitely worth the price.

Farro Tips

  • Know what kind of farro you have. Grocery stores typically sell 3 types of farro: pearled, semi-pearled, and whole. The cooking times for each vary widely, ranging from 15 minutes for pearled to 40 minutes for whole. When you buy your farro, make sure you know what kind you have – you don’t want it to come out too hard or too mushy! If you don’t know what type you have – start tasting it for doneness at 15 the minute mark and go from there.
  • Batch cook and freeze. Having a stash of cooked grains on hand is a lifesaver when it comes to meal prepping lunch or whipping up a quick dinner. Cooked farro keeps in the fridge for 5 days, but you can freeze it for even longer. To freeze it, spread the grains in a single layer on a baking sheet, and transfer it to the freezer for at least 2 hours. After the grains are frozen, you can store them in a freezer-safe container. Don’t skip the initial freeze on the baking sheet, or the grains will freeze in one big clump!
  • Dress right before serving. I love to toss my farro with anything from a lemon vinaigrette (see the recipe below) to cilantro lime dressing or chimichurri. If you plan to dress yours, do it right before serving, as the flavor of dressed grains fades in the fridge. But if you end up with leftovers, not to worry! Just give them an extra squeeze of lemon or lime and a sprinkle of salt and pepper before serving.

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What’s the Difference Between Pearled, Semi-Pearled, and Whole Farro?

Farro comes in three different varieties, each requiring slightly different cooking techniques. If the variety isn’t clearly labeled on the front of the packaging, check the ingredient list.

Pearled: This is the most common variety sold in grocery stores and the one we use in this recipe. Pearled farro has its bran removed, making it the easiest and quickest to cook.

Semi-pearled: This type of farro is not as readily available as pearled. The bran is partially but not completely removed, meaning it takes longer to cook than pearled.

Whole: Whole farro (also called “berry” or “whole-berry”) contains the entire husk and bran. This type of farro takes the longest to cook and benefits from being soaked in water overnight in the fridge. This is the second most common variety of farro sold.

Farro Recipes

Cooking with farro has become quite popular over the past few years. It was one of the first domesticated grains in Mesopotamia before other cereal grains took over as preferred grain crops. Farro has been enjoying a resurgence in interest not only because of its nutritional profile, but also because it is hearty and deeply satisfying and pairs nicely with a fantastic range of seasonal ingredients year round. Like barley, farro can be used as an alternative grain for risotto-type dishes, and is often found slightly pearled. When shopping, look for Triticum dicoccum, farro’s Latin name. If you can’t find farro for a recipe, substitute barley and cook until tender.

Simple Farro & Bean Soup

The sort of hearty, timeless, comforting soup that helps in times like these. The foundation ingredients are flexible and straight from the pantry - grains, canned tomatoes, beans. There’s chopping to do, which keeps the hands busy and mind focused. And if you have a lot of produce that needs to be used, a soup like this is perfect - eat some, freeze some.

Chicory Soup & Camino Photos

Camino in Oakland hosted a celebration dinner last week based on recipes included in Near & Far - I though I'd share some photos. Also, one of my favorite soups made the menu that night(!) and I've included the recipe here - a brothy, restorative barley soup with chicories punctuated with flecks of preserved lemon, a bit of chile confetti, and a silky dollop of creme fraiche.

Spicy Chickpea and Bulgur Soup

I was asked to bring a soup for a group of friends getting together for a casual, coastal overnight in beautiful west Marin. There were a number of recipes that were contenders, but a spicy chickpea soup from Yotam Ottolenghi's upcoming cookbook, Plenty More, caught my attention. It features a seductive, red harissa broth fragrant with cumin, coriander, and caraway, and enough chickpeas and bulgur to make it work as a main course. An herb-whipped feta is the crowning dollop.

Farro and Millet Risotto

A few behind-the-scenes shots from the Whole Living magazine photo shoot. And a simple Farro & Millet Risotto that is easily adaptable based on what is in season.

Baked Farro Risotto

A baked farro risotto recipe - lemon-kissed, bright tomato sauce, lots of Parmesan, and chopped fresh oregano.

Baked Farro Pasta

A cold-weather crowd-pleaser made of alternating layers of broken farro pasta, sliced potatoes, two cheeses, and mustardy shredded cabbage. The sort of thing you can prep a day or two ahead of time, and then bake when convenient.

Buttermilk Farro Salad

A buttermilk farro salad inspired by one I had at Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon - farro with shaved radishes, zucchini, and fennel tossed with a tangy herbed buttermilk vinaigrette.

Farro & Herbs

Because I can't seem to get enough farro lately- a lunch made from farro, bocconcini, a bit of homemade creme fraiche, and herbs from last weeks farmers' market. And a couple pics from Golden Gate Park.

Pounded Walnut Strozzapreti

Inspired by Mona Talbott's recipe in the new Coco cookbook, a pounded walnut pesto with marjoram and parsley, tossed with farro pasta and Pecorino cheese.

Pierce Street Vegetarian Chili

The best pot of chili I've made in years. A vegetarian chili recipe Inspired by a bunch of those little bags of remnant grains and pulses that collect in my cupboards - bulgur, farro, and lentils, join chile peppers, crushed tomatoes, some chickpeas, and a secret ingredient.

Craving more fun farro dishes?

Farro can be used in just about any number of cuisines and courses. Swap out your favorite oatmeal dish for a warm bowl of farro served with a dollop of yogurt, nuts and fresh fruit. Keep a large batch in the fridge for easy, on-the-go lunches or serve it under a big portion of vegetables and your favorite lean protein for a satisfying grain bowl at dinner time. You can even swap farro flour for all-purpose to make cookies more nutritious.

"I love farro because it is just as delicious hot as it is cold — it works in warm soups and chilled salads," Doyle said. "I love to add farro in as a substitute for rice in dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). It's easy to prepare and a great appetizer or snack."

Calvo cooks farro with bay leaves and a cinnamon stick, then enjoys it warm, tossed with chickpeas and golden raisins. Moore, on the other hand, uses farro as the key ingredient in veggie burgers and often incorporates it as the principle grain in Italian risottos and Indian-style pilafs.

No matter how you decide to use it, farro deserves a regular spot in your weekly meal rotation. And just like that, what's old is new again.

Erica Chayes Wida is an award-winning journalist, food writer and recipe editor who helmed a local newspaper before joining TODAY's freelance team. A mother of two, she loves singing, collecting old vinyl and, of course, cooking. Erica is forever on a worldwide quest to find the best ham and cheese croissant and brainstorms best over a sauce pot of bubbling pasta sauce. Her work has been featured on BBC Travel, Saveur, Martha Stewart Living and PopSugar. Follow along on Instagram.

10 Easy, Healthy Farro Recipes

If you need more whole grains in your life, farro is a good place to start. This ancient grain (it was a dietary staple of ancient Romans) packs a lot of flavor, plus a good dose of fiber and protein. Once you have the basic cooking part down, farro is an easy ingredient to serve a zillion different ways—the only catch is choosing the right kind. Semi-perlato (semi-pearled) farro has had some of the bran removed, and perlato (pearled) farro has had even more bran removed. They cook in 15 and 25 minutes respectively. The bran is fully intact in true whole grain farro, which needs to be soaked for 24 hours before cooking for 30 to 40 minutes. Most recipes call for semi-perlato. When it doubt, read the cooking directions on the package—the instructions should tell you whether the farro needs to be soaked or can be cooked right away.

1. Suvir Saran’s Farro and Mushroom Burgers

When you tire of the same old soup, salad, risotto routine with farro, this burger will blow the doors off. We’re using the term “healthy” loosely here, for a recipe with a fair dose of butter and cheese, but when you’re loading up on nutritious farro instead of fatty ground beef, it’s a fair label. Get the recipe.

2. Butternut Squash, Kale, and Farro Soup

Save this one for a chilly fall stay-at-home Saturday dinner. Hearty and wholesome, it takes some time to prepare but the payoff in flavor is worth every step. Get our Butternut Squash, Kale, and Farro Soup recipe.

3. Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad

Once you’ve eaten farro prepared this way—simmered in a seasoned apple cider “stock”—it will change the way you cook any robust, chewy grain (think: barley). The grains are infused with flavor and good enough to eat solo, but let’s be honest: the top-shelf olive oil and Parmesan are the real reason you’ll make this healthy salad over and over again. Get the recipe.

4. Balsamic Farro Salad with Tomatoes, Grilled Veggies, and Kale

Think of this as your post-cookout, refrigerator clean-out “recipe”—a way to use up all of the leftover grilled veggies no one ate because the cheeseburgers were so good. Tossed with an outstanding, herb-packed vinaigrette, this weekday lunch salad makes up for the second cheeseburger. Get the recipe.

5. Seared Scallops with Lemony Farro and Arugula Salad

Don’t worry if you can’t find great scallops—this punchy, bright farro and arugula salad will be your new go-to “bed” for whatever light seafood or fish you’re serving. Just remember to use semi-pearled farro, which does not require an overnight soak. Get our Seared Scallops with Lemony Farro and Arugula Salad recipe.

6. Black Bean Farro with Avocado

Think of this as a healthy, packed-with-flavor riff on regular rice and beans. The recipe calls for pre-cooked farro, which cuts the prep time to practically nil and makes this an easy weeknight meal to toss together. Pre-cooked farro will last up to five days in the refrigerator. Get the recipe.

7. Farro Salad with Peas, Asparagus and Feta

When you’re charged with bringing a vegetarian side dish to a potluck-style meal or picnic, this is the whole grain salad that will make you a legend. It’s ridiculously easy to prepare – simmering the farro is the most labor-intensive part – and it delivers on all levels: a wallop of flavor from the red onion, Sherry vinegar and dill, and a great texture (crunchy, chewy, cheesy). Get the recipe.

8. One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes

Farro is hard to overcook—the grains really hold their chewy, piece-y texture—but it is very easy to undercook and that toothsome-ness can come across as more “cattle feed” than al dente. Regardless of the recipe, always pay close attention to the cooking instructions on the bag. Because there are several varieties and the labeling is inconsistent, the packaged instructions will reveal whether the farro is pearled, semi-pearled or whole grain. Get the recipe.

9. Curried Farro Salad

If the word “bland” comes to mind whenever you think of whole grain salads, this amped-up farro salad will change that frame of mind. If you make the farro ahead of time (cooked farro keeps up to five days in the refrigerator) and use a store-bought rotisserie chicken (or make it all-veggie), you can rip this meal out in about 20 minutes. Allowing farro and seasonings to rest a few hours, or even overnight, enriches the flavor even more. Get the recipe.

10. Coconut Farro Porridge with Mango

Don’t let the word “porridge” dissuade you. This exotic spin on plain ol’ oatmeal will make getting out of bed something you look forward to. Get our Coconut Farro Porridge with Mango recipe.

Colleen Rush is a food and travel writer who eats, drinks, cooks, and writes mostly in New Orleans, but also … everywhere else. She is the author of “The Mere Mortal’s Guide to Fine Dining” (Broadway Books, 2006), and coauthor of “Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons” (Running Press, 2009) and the upcoming “Low & Slow 2: The Art of Barbecue, Smoke Roasting, and Basic Curing” (Running Press, 2015). Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Farro Veggie Burger Recipe

This farro veggie burger recipe was developed exclusively for and our customers by Miryam Quinn Doblas, Registered Dietitian (RD). Miryam shares her passion for nutrition and healthy cooking on her blog, Eat Good 4 Life.

Veggie burgers are a healthy, vegetarian alternative to conventional meat burgers. They tend to be low in fat and rich in fiber, while still providing adequate levels of protein. When I make veggie burgers at home, I always add a combination of legumes and grains to increase the protein content and lend the patties a nice texture.

For this veggie burger recipe, I used a combination of organic farro and baked beans. Whole-grain organic farro is even more nutritious than the pearled version because it still has the fiber-rich germ and bran intact. You’ll find that this ancient grain is similar to light brown rice in consistency. It behaves like risotto, but will not become gummy even if it sits out for a while after it’s cooked. Unlike other whole grains, farro is light and elegant. Tender to the touch, it is an ideal grain to use for making veggie burger patties.

Organic farro is a nutritional powerhouse. Per serving, farro contains 5 grams of dietary fiber and 6 grams of protein. This makes it a particularly satisfying meal, and a great source of protein for vegan and vegetarian diets. It’s also rich in iron, magnesium, and B-complex vitamins. The sweet, nutty flavor of farro combined with savory ingredients like basil, baked beans and corn creates a perfect vegetarian patty that packs a healthy punch.

I used a whole egg and some mayonnaise as a binder for the patties, but egg whites will work well as a substitute. You can also consider adding some panko bread crumbs as a binder, which is made from bread without crusts and absorbs less oil than regular bread crumbs.

These vegetarian burgers will turn out best if you cook them on the stove top or under the broiler and then flip them very carefully when the time comes. Avoid using your grill because they may not hold together well through grilling.

This hearty farro veggie burger recipe will give you a new perspective on burgers. Prepare them for a nutritious, meatless lunch or dinner. They are delicious served on whole wheat buns or English muffins, along with any toppings or condiments of your choice. If you cook up a big batch of farro, you can make these veggie burgers one night, and try the grain in a soup or salad the next. The whole family will enjoy these healthy, easy-to-make burgers as a tasty meal!