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.
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.
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-gram 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.
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 illnesses,” 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