How To Cook Farro (Recipe and Tips) - Gimme Some Oven (2024)

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My favorite method for how to cook farro! Plus tips for how to toast and season farro, how to freeze farro, and a collection of my favorite easy farro recipes.

How To Cook Farro (Recipe and Tips) - Gimme Some Oven (1)

Our series on pantry staples continues today with my all-time favorite whole grain — farro!

Guys, are you already doing lots of cooking with farro? If not, I sincerely can’t recommend it enough. Farro has long been a staple in my pantry and one of my favorite whole grains to toss into soups, salads, grain bowls, stuffed peppers, fried “farro” rice, risottos, porriges, and so much more.

I’m especially partial to farro because of its oh-so-satisfyingly chewy texture and toasty, nutty flavor. But I also really love that this whole grain is packed with nutrients, including lots of fiber and protein, plus a generous serving of vitamins and minerals. It’s easy to substitute farro in any of your favorite recipes that call for rice, quinoa or other grains. It’s quick and easy to cook, and also keeps well in the refrigerator or the freezer. And if you happen to have an Instant Pot at home, you can also pressure cook it too!

Seriously, there areso many good reasons to incorporate this whole grain into your diet. So here are all of my best tips on how to cook farro — including various options for how to season it, if you would like — as well as some of my favorite farro recipes to give you some inspiration.

Let’s cook some farro! ♡

How To Cook Farro (Recipe and Tips) - Gimme Some Oven (2)

What Is Farro?

Farro is an ancient whole grain that originated in the Middle East. It has been a staple in Middle Eastern and Italian cooking for many generations now, but it has recently become much more popular worldwide once people have discovered how tasty, nutritious, and versatile farro can be!

I love farro because of its nutty flavor and satisfyingly chewy texture. But I also love cooking with it because farro is high in fiber and protein, and it’s also a great source of nutrients including B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

When shopping for farro, are three different types of farro that you can purchase:

  • Whole farro: Farro that contains the entire husk and bran, which means that it has the most nutrients and the strongest flavor. Whole farro requires about 30-40 minutes to cook.
  • Semi-pearled farro: Farro with no husk and part of the bran polished away, giving it slightly less nutrients and a milder flavor. Semi-pearled farro requires about 25-30 minutes to cook.
  • Pearled farro:This is the type of farro available in most grocery stores, which has no husk and all of the bran polished away, and has less nutrients and a milder flavor. Pearled farro is a favorite with many cooks because it only requires 15-20 minutes to cook.

You can typically find farro in the grains or health food section of your grocery store. Or you can order it easily on Amazon too.

How To Cook Farro (Recipe and Tips) - Gimme Some Oven (3)

Basic Farro Ingredients:

Alright, so let’s talk about the basic ingredients that you will need to make a batch of farro. Those include:

  • Farro: Uncooked farro (either pearled, semi-pearled or whole), rinsed and drained.
  • Water:Or you can use vegetable or chicken broth, for extra flavor.
  • Sea salt:To bring out the flavor of the farro.
  • (Optional) Aromatics: Such as bay leaf, garlic, fresh herbs or other seasonings.

How To Cook Farro (Recipe and Tips) - Gimme Some Oven (4)

How To Cook Farro:

Here is my favorite basic method for how to cook farro! Simply…

  1. Simmer the farro. Add the farro, salt (plus any optional aromatics) to a large pot of boiling water and stir to combine. Simmer until the farro is tender and chewy — approximately 15-20 minutes for pearled farro, 25-30 minutes for semi-pearled farro, or 35-40 minutes for whole farro.
  2. Drain the farro. Drain the farro completely through a fine-mesh strainer.
  3. Fluff and season the farro. Fluff the farro with a fork. Taste, and season with extra salt if needed.
  4. Serve warm. Serve and enjoy!

See the full recipe below for detailed ingredient amounts and recipe instructions.

How To Cook Farro (Recipe and Tips) - Gimme Some Oven (5)

Pearled farro before (uncooked) and after (cooked)

Farro Flavor Boosters:

If you would like to kick up the flavor of your farro, feel free to use one or more of these flavor boosters too:

  • Toast the farro: This easy step only takes 3 minutes, but it makes a major difference in bringing out the nutty, toasty, natural flavors of farro. Simply heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the dry uncooked farro and let it toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the farro is fragrant. Remove from heat and cook as directed.
  • Add aromatics to the water:I almost always add a bay leaf to my farro for extra flavor, plus maybe a clove or two of fresh garlic. But you can also add in any other fresh herbs that go with your farro recipe, chicken or veggie bouillon, or any of your favorite spices or seasonings.
  • Season the farro after it has cooked:I also like to add a few twists of freshly-cracked black pepper to my farro after it has cooked. But feel free to also add in any fresh or dried herbs that you love.

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Farro FAQ:

How to pronounce farro? It is pronounced “fah-roh.” (Rhymes with “sorrow.”)

Is farro gluten-free?No, unfortunately farro is not gluten-free.

Is farro keto? No, farro is not keto. It has too high of a carb count for the keto diet.

Is farro a whole grain?Yes, farro is a whole grain.

Why do you have to rinse farro? Farro is typically coated in a dry, powdery coating that needs to be rinsed off before cooking.

How do you know when farro is cooked? Honestly, the best way to tell if farro is done is to taste it. The texture should be chewy yet tender. That said, if you would like your farro to be softer (less chewy), just simmer it a few minutes longer until it reaches your desired consistency.

How do you freeze farro?It’s best to spread the farro out in a shallow layer on a baking sheet, then place the baking sheet in the freezer for 2 hours until the farro is frozen. Then you can remove and transfer the farro to a food storage container or ziplock, so that the farro does not freeze together as one large brick.

Can you make farro in the Instant Pot?Definitely! Cooking time will vary depending on which type of farro (pearled, semi-pearled or whole) that you use. But for pearled farro, just combine 1 cup (rinsed) pearled farro, 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt in the bowl of your Instant Pot. Cover and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes, followed a quick release. Drain off any extra liquid, then fluff and serve!

Farro nutrition facts? Here are a few quick stats! One cup of cooked farro includes: 337 calories, 15g protein, 71g carbs, 2.1g fat, and 11g fiber.

Favorite Farro Recipes:

Here are a few of my favorite farro recipes! Also, feel free to use farro as a substitute in other recipes that call for quinoa, rice or other grains too!

  • Roasted Broccoli and Farro Bowls(pictured above)
  • Creamy Farro with White Beans and Kale
  • Mediterranean Farro Salad
  • Cilantro Lime Farro
  • Slow Cooker Vegetarian Farro Chili

How To Cook Farro (Recipe and Tips) - Gimme Some Oven (8)

How To Cook Farro

5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Star5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
Print Recipe


My favorite method for how to cook farro! See notes above for various seasoning options, plus my favorite farro recipes.




  1. Bring water to boil.Heat the water over high heat in a saucepan until it is boiling.
  2. Simmer the farro. Add the farro, salt (plus any optional aromatics, see below) and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium to maintain a vigorous simmer. Cook the farro until it is chewy and tender — approximately 15 to 20 minutes for pearled farro, 25 to 30 minutes for semi-pearled farro, or 35 to 40 minutes for whole farro.
  3. Drain the farro. Drain the farro completely through a fine-mesh strainer.
  4. Fluff and season the farro. Fluff the farro with a fork. Taste, and season with extra salt if needed.
  5. Serve warm.Serve and enjoy!

posted on March 18, 2020 by Ali

How To's, Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker), Main Dishes, Sides, Vegan, Vegetarian


How To Cook Farro (Recipe and Tips) - Gimme Some Oven (2024)


Should farro be cooked covered or uncovered? ›

Bring the water back to a boil, then lower the heat so it maintains a fast simmer. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the farro is softened through, 20 to 40 minutes, depending on whether it's pearled or whole farro. Unlike rice, farro won't get mushy if it's a bit overcooked.

How long does 1 cup of farro take to cook? ›

Cook the farro: Fill a medium pot half full of water and bring to a boil. Add the farro, reduce the heat and simmer until the farro is tender, chewy, but still has an al dente bite - 15 to 20 minutes for pearled farro; 20 to 30 minutes for semi-pearled farro; up to 40 minutes for whole farro.

What is the ratio of water to farro? ›

The typical farro to water ratio is 1:3. For example, 1 cup of dry farro to 3 cups water. That said, using the pasta method is a bit more flexible as the water isn't meant to all be absorbed. So long as you have at least a 1:3 ratio, you'll be ok!

Which cooking method is preferred when cooking the grain farro? ›

Pasta Method: In this method, the faro is boiled like pasta in a large pot of salted water. The advantage of the pasta method is that you won't over- or under-cook your grains, and the additional water absorbs some of the farro's starch, preventing an overly gummy texture.

How do you know when farro is fully cooked? ›

Honestly, the best way to tell if farro is done is to taste it. The texture should be chewy yet tender. That said, if you would like your farro to be softer (less chewy), just simmer it a few minutes longer until it reaches your desired consistency.

Why do you soak farro before cooking? ›

Soaking farro is not required, but it can help to reduce the cooking time and some say it improves the texture of the cooked grain. Others also say that soaking the farro can also help to make it more digestible by breaking down some of the complex carbohydrates and proteins that can be difficult to digest.

What happens if you don't rinse farro? ›

Farro is sometimes covered in a dusty residue as a result of processing. To remove it (and any other unwanted debris that might be present), always rinse your farro under cool, running water in a fine-mesh strainer before cooking it.

Is farro better for you than rice? ›

What is healthier to eat: farro or pasta or barley or rice? All grains have a place in a healthy diet. Farro and barley, being whole grains, contain more fiber and health benefits than white pasta or white rice.

How much water do I need for 1 cup of farro? ›

Add 1 cup farro to a pot with 3 cups of water. Boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the grains are tender, about 30 minutes. For faster cooking, the farro can be pre-soaked in water overnight in the refrigerator.

Why is my farro mushy? ›

The farro will absorb a lot of the water, but the excess should be drained off. You can either use a colander or just carefully tilt the pot while using the lid to hold the grains in place. Drain off as much water as possible to prevent it from turning mushy.

Can you over cook farro? ›

Farro is sturdy enough to maintain a pleasant bounce even when overcooked. If you prefer a more hands-off approach, consider preparing farro in the oven or in a slow cooker.

How much does 2 cups of farro make? ›

500 grams (1.1 lb.) of farro is about 2 1/2 cups; each cup yields about 2 cups cooked. Before cooking, sort through farro and discard debris, then rinse and drain the grain. Use 1 part farro to 3 parts seasoned liquid, such as chicken broth.

How to cook grains in the oven? ›

Spread the grains evenly on a baking sheet and place in an oven preheated to 350ºF. Let them roast for about 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so, until they've taken on some color and are beginning to smell fragrant.

What country is farro from? ›

Farro may seem trendy, but it's actually ancient. It was first domesticated 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, has been found in Egyptian tombs, and is believed to have sustained the Roman legions. Today, farro grows in the central and northern Italian regions including Lazio, Umbria, and Tuscany.

Should I toast farro before cooking? ›

"You don't have to toast farro before you cook it, but I know that once you've tasted farro made with this toasting method, you'll never look back," says chef Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene's in Portland.

Do you cover farro when simmering? ›

Once toasted, add about 3 cups water, or enough to cover the farro by a few inches, as well as ⅛ tsp salt. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the water to come up to a boil. Once the water reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the farro simmer for 20-30 minutes.

How do you make farro easier to digest? ›

Farro is often thought to contain lower levels of gluten than modern wheat, and many people think ancient grains are safer for people with gluten-related conditions. The theory is that if farro is soaked overnight and sprouted, it's more tolerable and easier to digest for anyone sensitive to gluten.

What is the difference between cracked farro and pearled farro? ›

Cracked farro has been stone ground to crack the bran and has a very fast cooking time because it has been crushed into smaller pieces. Pearled farro has no husk and has had its bran removed completely. It has a relatively quick cook time and a lovely mild nutty flavour.

What is the difference between cracked farro and farro? ›

Farro has a delicious nutty flavour with a chewy texture and can be substituted for rice, lentils and couscous in soups, salads and more. Our cracked farro is passed through a stone grind to crack the bran, making it much quicker to cook. *Allergy information: Contains gluten.

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