This Farro Salad Recipe has the perfect combination of textures with the crunchy and salty flavor notes contrasted by the tender farro, all tossed together with a tangy homemade vinaigrette dressing that gives salad it's refreshing flavor. A tasty side dish for summer cookouts or to make for cold winter months.
Farro is an ancient grain, similar to barley and wheat. It has been used for centuries as an alternative to wheat, and it's even gluten-free!
This farro salad recipe is simple to make and has fresh and bold Mediterranean flavors. Simply cook farro similar to the way you would rice. Let it cool while you make a homemade vinaigrette dressing with basic ingredients like olive oil, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar.
Toss cooked farro with salty feta cheese, crunchy walnuts, and other healthy add-ins for a salad that is packed with texture and flavor.
Farro salad is served warm or cold and can be made year-round. Customize it by adding your favorite vegetables, toppings, or round it out with protein for a full meal! We like to use a variety of dressings like our apple cider vinegar dressing, lemon honey vinaigrette, or red wine vinaigrette.
Ingredients You’ll Need for the Best Farro Salad
- Cooked Farro - You’ll need cooked and fully cooled farro to make up the base of this grain salad. Cooking is similar to cooking rice or quinoa.
- Feta Cheese - Gives the salad a salty tangy flavor that contrasts the sweet ingredients.
- Walnuts - Adds a layer of crunchy and nutty flavor.
- Golden Raisins - Gives the salad a sweet and tart flavor and beautiful pop of yellow color.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese - Used to add even more cheese flavor.
- Apple - Diced apple adds a pop of natural sweetness and a refreshing crunch to the salad.
- Arugula - Peppery arugula gives this salad a fresh taste and a slight hint of spice.
For the dressing:
- Olive Oil - Makes up the oil base of the dressing while helping to marinate and develop all the flavors.
- Maple Syrup - Naturally sweetens this dressing with a warming maple flavor.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - Gives the dressing its classic acidity and light apple taste.
- Dijon Mustard - Adds a tangy bite to the dressing and helps the ingredients emulsify together.
- Salt & Pepper - Balances and enhances all the flavors in the dressing.
How To Make Homemade Farro Salad
- Cook the farro: Use the directions on the package of farro as some may vary slightly. Overall, the farro needs to be boiled in water until cooked and tender before cooling completely.
- Prepare the dressing: To a large mason jar, add all of the dressing ingredients together. Seal the jar tightly and shake vigorously until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Assemble the farro salad: To the cold farro, toss in the feta, walnuts, raisins, parmesan, apple, and 2-3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette together in a large bowl. Before serving, add the arugula, then add additional dressing as needed.
- When cooking farro, you may prefer more of a chewy texture. This can be achieved by slightly undercooking the grain. Feel free to experiment with cooking times.
- Make sure the farro is fully cooled before adding the additional ingredients. Warm farro can turn the walnuts soggy and melt the cheeses too much.
- The arugula should be added right before serving to ensure it does not wilt into the salad.
- If your dressing is not emulsifying properly, try blending it in a high-speed blender or using an immersion blender.
- Don’t like farro? Try replacing it with your favorite blend of quinoa, barley, or brown rice.
- Change up the nuts: Instead of walnuts, try using chopped pecans, cashews, or slivered almonds. Roast the nuts for a couple minutes to bring out wonderful flavor.
- Change up the fruit: Raisins, currants, or dried cranberries can be used instead of golden raisins in this recipe.
- Swap out the arugula: Use baby spinach, baby kale, or your other favorite greens in place of arugula.
- Make it a full meal by adding oven baked chicken breast, beef, leftover orange turkey, or using seasoned cubed tofu.
- Instead of Parmesan cheese and feta use gruyere, gorgonzola, bleu cheese, or goat cheese crumbles.
- Add tangy and salty olives to the salad to add fresh Greek or Mediterranean flavors.
- Fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano can be minced up and added to the farro salad for lots of fresh flavors.
- You can even add cooked farro to our apple cranberry walnut salad.
Storing and Freezing
Storing: Leftover farro salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. It can be easily prepped for lunches throughout the week as it's great eaten cold! The vinaigrette can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Shake well before serving.
Freezing: While it's not recommended to freeze the dressed farro salad with the mix-ins, you can freeze plain farro to use for later. Once cooled, put the farro into a freezer bag and then freeze for up to three months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon(s) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon(s) apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon(s) Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cup farro, cooked and cooled completely
- ½ cup feta cheese
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 apple, cored and diced
- 4 cups arugula
- Add the olive oil, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to a jar, seal it and shake well.¼ cup olive oil2 tablespoon(s) maple syrup2 tablespoon(s) apple cider vinegar1 tablespoon(s) Dijon mustard½ tsp. kosher salt½ tsp. ground black pepper
- Toss the farro, feta, walnuts, raisins, parmesan, apple and 2-3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette together in a large bowl. Add the arugula right before serving with additional vinaigrette if desired.1 ½ cup farro½ cup feta cheese½ cup walnuts½ cup golden raisins¼ cup parmesan cheese1 apple4 cups arugula
- See post for storage options.