How to Cook Farro

Learn how to cook farro with this step-by-step guide! Plus, find my favorite farro recipes, along with more serving suggestions for this delicious grain.

Herbed Farro

Do you have a favorite whole grain? I love everything from millet to quinoa, but if I had to choose one, I think it would be farro. It’s hearty and wholesome, with an amazing chewy texture and nutty flavor. I enjoy it all year long, but it really becomes one of my kitchen staples in the fall. Its toasty flavor is delicious with fall produce like squash, apples, and kale, and cozy herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme are its natural companions.

If you’ve never tried it before, now is the perfect time – toss it into salads, add it to bowls, or stir it into your next autumn soup!


How to Cook Farro

My cooking method for farro is a lot like cooking pasta. Some farro recipes swear by using a specific number of cups of water for every cup of the grain, but I find I get the best results when I simply boil water, add the grain, and cook until it’s tender! Here’s my easy, tried-and-true method for how to cook farro:

First, rinse the dried farro. Add it to a fine mesh sieve and rinse it with cold water.

Then, it’s time to cook! Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over your stove top, and add the rinsed grains. Cook until they become tender and chewy but still have an al dente bite. The cook time will vary depending on the age and variety of your farro. (Find more on that below!)

How to cook farro

Next, drain the grains and transfer them to a baking sheet or large plate. Spread them into a single layer to cool and dry for 20 minutes or so. Skipping this step means that your grains will continue to steam, which can make them mushy.

When your farro is cool, transfer it to the fridge for future use, or enjoy it right away!

How to cook farro

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.

Whole grains on a baking sheet

Favorite Farro Recipes

You’ll find my go-to way to serve farro in the recipe below: I like to toss it with a zingy lemon dressing and plenty of fresh herbs (Feel free to add crumbled feta or goat cheese, dried cranberries or tart cherries, or your favorite nuts for a fun twist!). Once it’s dressed, I serve it as a side dish with grilled or roasted veggies or a hearty salad – it’s excellent with this kale salad in the fall and winter and with my Greek or broccoli salad in the spring and summer.

If I’m not serving it as a side dish, I like to add it to bowls and salads. Top plain or herbed farro with your favorite roasted veggies (maybe butternut squash, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts or tomatoes?), a protein like roasted chickpeas, and a delicious sauce like tahini sauce, tzatziki, or hummus to make an easy, healthy meal. You could also toss it onto any salad or stir it into a brothy vegetable soup.

Want more ideas? Try one of these farro recipes:

Let me know what farro recipes you try!

Farro recipes

Looking for more healthy cooking components?

Serve any of these grains or veggies as a healthy side dish or base for your next bowl:

Herbed grain salad

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How to Cook Farro

rate this recipe:
5 from 71 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4
Learn how to cook farro perfectly every time! Toss it with the zippy lemon dressing and herbs listed below, or add it to salads, bowls, soups, and more.


For the Farro:

  • 1 cup uncooked farro, rinsed

Lemon Herb Dressing:


  • 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 - 10 to 20 minutes for pearled farro; 20 to 30 minutes for semi-pearled farro; up to 40 minutes for whole farro.
  • Drain, then spread onto a large plate or sheet pan to cool and dry for 20 minutes. This keeps it from continuing to steam which makes it mushy.
  • Make the lemon herb dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, garlic, mustard, salt, and several grinds of pepper in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add the farro and toss. Stir in the parsley and a pinch of red pepper flakes, if using. Season to taste and serve.


Store cooked farro in the fridge for up to 5 days. To freeze farro, first freeze it on a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer container.



5 from 71 votes (56 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Jess

    5 stars
    Really simple and delicious. Will be making it again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Lana

    5 stars
    Loved the dressing!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so happy to hear!

  3. Lissette

    Thank you so much for your great description and details. You made it easy to understand, and kept me hooked not to scroll and skip. This was my first search about Farro and you definitely got me excited to use it in my meals.

  4. Tonya

    5 stars
    This is such a delicious, light way to dress farro. I find it works perfectly with so many things, definitely a new versatile staple I will keep on hand. It’s also easy to make substitutions with what you have on hand, like I substituted some fresh basil for parsley. Yum!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  5. Stephanie

    5 stars
    Awesome salad recipe. I added a can of garbanzo beans and some diced avocado. 🙂 thank you!

  6. Susie

    I want to substitute farro for barley in a soup recipe (barley hurts my tummy). In the recipe the barley is added uncooked. Should I add the farro uncooked? I’ve never tried farro.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Susie, you can use quick cooking farro (sometimes called pearled farro), uncooked, in your soup and it should sub in perfectly if the recipe has you simmer the soup for 25-ish minutes. If your farro is not labeled that way, you may have to simmer a little longer… just test it until the farro is tender.

  7. Vienna

    5 stars
    I am cooking farro for the first time, and I really appreciated this post about how to cook it perfectly. If I had followed the instructions on my bag of farro it’d have turned out totally overcooked and mushy and not what I would want my family’s first intro to farro to be! I was going to make the dressing in this recipe but then I saw your Farmhouse Farro Salad and I’m going to try that first. Thanks!

  8. Dee

    Is this calling for fresh or dried parsley?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Dee, it’s fresh parsley.

    • DeeBlanch

      Generally when a recipe says to chop it will be for a fresh herb. Looking at the photo you can tell it’s fresh parsley vs dried.

  9. Jeanine Donofrio

    Hi, I probably should have titled them more distinctly – but I would use the farro one with the farro and the lentil one with the lentils. There’s more lemon juice in the lentil one because plain lentils in that quantity are more bland to begin with.

  10. Noe

    5 stars
    The sheet pan tip was 👌 my farro always gets mushy but not this time!

  11. Madi

    5 stars
    I just discovered farro and found this recipe. This was sooooo good and was my first farro dish!!! Thank you so much for this awesome recipe. 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  12. Liz

    5 stars
    My youngest, 18 months, won’t touch anything else on his plate when we have this – it’s that delicious – & everyone else loves it too!

  13. Amie

    5 stars
    I love it! Farro is unique in texture and adds a wonderful nutty taste to dishes.
    It pairs so well with the lemon tones in your dressing! Thank you for showing just how easy it is to cook it! Sharing!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved the farro!

  14. Lucy C.

    5 stars
    THIS is a game changer!! Perfect method. Thx!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!!

  15. Jonny St.Laurent

    Great ideas

  16. Christian

    5 stars
    First time for farro, this was outstanding!
    I used Bob’s Red Mill pearled farro and cooled it down on the sheet tray. I can see how this could become mushy I followed this recipe to a T and it was delicious definitely would be making again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Christian, I’m so glad your farro came out perfectly!

  17. I had never had farro until I made this dish and wow it was amazing! So easy to make!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Gabrielle, I’m glad you loved it!

  18. Floranet

    Totally enjoyable one!! Thanks a lot!

  19. Connie

    Oh my goodness, I literally decided yesterday to make your Fall Farro Salad tonight and bought some of the components – acorn squash, shallots, etc. (had to stop my daughter from eating all the pomegranate seeds last night). This is perfect timing!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      We both had farro on the mind! I’m so glad you enjoyed the salad!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.