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The easiest way to cook farro! Make this farro recipe paired with onions, garlic, tomatoes, basil, and parmesan. It’s a heavenly side dish, or grain bowl made in one pot!
Step by step guide and instructions below!
If you’ve never had farro before, you are in for a treat! Farro is a new-to-me delicious grain. Much like quinoa, it really didn’t hit my radar until fairly recently. I’d heard of it, but wasn’t entirely sure how to cook with it.
With a little experimenting, I came up with a recipe that really highlights this ancient grain!
Grab your farro, enough water to cover it (you can use chicken broth or stock if you prefer) and some extra add ins (I use garlic, onion, basil and parmesan) and cook it over the stove top!
Ways to cook farro
You can cook farro in a pressure cooker, rice cooker on on the stove top.
Instant Pot Farro
Add farro, water and salt to the instant pot. Close the seal and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Do a natural release for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. Drain any extra water.
See above the recipe card for instant pot terms.
What kind of farro?
In this recipe, I used pearled farro (the cook time reflects that – it is a quicker cooking variety) Check out the FAQs below for the different types of farro you will find in most grocery stores,
This is my favorite way to cook it, because combining tomatoes, basil and parmesan was ALWAYS going to be a great addition to this, right?
The end result is almost like a farro risotto, or a warm farro salad. You can chill it and serve as a cold salad as well.
I make this as a side for grilled pork chops, steak, or whatever I’m cooking that day. This can be eaten hot or cold, and makes fantastic leftovers.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is a type of wheat. I’d describe it as a brown rice type consistency with a chewy texture and a slightly nutty flavor – perfect for blending with some quality ingredients. It is a healthy grain that can be spiced up with some basic ingredients, or eaten plain.
There are several different kinds of farro. These are pearled farro, semi-pearled farro and whole grain farro/unpearled). Pearling basically describes how much of the exterior part of the bran is removed, and will determine cooking time. Pearled will take about 15-20 minutes, semi pearled 25-30 and whole/unpearled up to 80 minutes!
I usually serve farro in place of rice, potatoes, pasta or other starchy sides.
It is not a great option for those with celiac disease, since farro is NOT gluten free.
How to serve Farro
Farro is a great side for pretty much anything. You don’t have to do the basil, garlic, onion, tomato etc, you can make it plain and serve it with Italian cuisine, or anything middle eastern.
Obviously, my favorite is the recipe below, with the tomatoes, onions, garlic and fresh herbs.
It’s also great in a grain bowl. Top farro with roasted vegetables and a tangy dressing.
You can replace rice with farro in stir fries, or in soups (use farro in place of barley in this vegetable barley soup.
I have included step by step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Farro. I like Bob’s Red Mill Farro for this, but any brand is fine, of course. You’ll need 2 cups of water for 1 cup of farro
- Olive Oil
- Basil. Fresh herbs stirred through at the end make this super fresh and yummy tasting.
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How to cook Farro
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The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Add the water and uncooked farro to a small saucepan, and let it sit while you cut the onions, garlic and tomatoes.
Add the sliced onion, sliced garlic and halved tomatoes to the saucepan, along with the salt and olive oil.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally for around 15-20 minutes.
The farro is cooked when the liquid is almost all absorbed, and the farro is tender (will have a chewy bite to it but will not be hard. Kind of like past that has that al dente bite).
Add the parmesan cheese.
Transfer to a serving dish,
Garnish with with the basil and extra parmesan.
To cook Farro in an instant pot
Add farro, water, salt, tomatoes, onion and garlic to the instant pot. Close the seal and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Do a natural release for 7 minutes, then quick release. Open the pot and stir in the fresh basil and parmesan.
What to do with leftovers
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat until it is piping hot!
You could add bay leaves to the cooking water if you want a nice savory addition to the flavor. Be sure to remove them after cooking!
Instant Pot Cooking Terms
What is Natural Pressure Release – aka NPR?
A natural pressure release happens when the cooking time is over and the valve is left closed. The pressure decreases without doing anything. Your Instant Pot will automatically switch to the Keep Warm setting.
As soon as it switches to Keep Warm the pressure will begin to drop and will release the pressure by itself. You’ll know it’s done when the pin drops!
What is Quick Release?
Quick Release: this means to let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally for a few minutes. After the time has elapsed, switch the valve to “venting” to quickly release any remaining pressure. The pressure will release to a point where the pin drops, and you can open the lid.
More delicious sides:
- Cilantro Lime Rice. Cilantro Lime Rice is a kicked up rice side that pairs well with anything, but especially Mexican or Indian cuisines. Super easy to make!
- Brown Rice Pilaf. Cranberries, pecans and rosemary feature in this sweet and nutty brown rice pilaf. Easy to make, this is a fantastic side dish for holidays!
- Southwest Quinoa Salad. Healthy Quinoa Salad with black beans, jalapenos, bell peppers with a touch of spice, and a ton of flavor. Make ahead for a great lunch or dinner!
- Twice Baked Potatoes. A drool-worthy side dish, these Twice Baked Potatoes are SO good! Make a lot and freeze some for another day.
- Creamy Garlic Parmesan Risotto. Risotto in 17-25 minutes?! I’m in!
- Roasted Broccoli. The unsung hero of weeknight dinner sides. This easy recipe is hands-off and super delicious! If you want your family to eat broccoli and LOVE it, give this a try!
- Sauteed Green Beans. Garlic and shallots gently flavor these sautéed green beans making them a wonderful weeknight or holiday side dish!
- ALL SIDES
Farro with Tomatoes (and Basil and Parmesan)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (shredded )
- Add the water and farro to a small saucepan, and let it sit while you cut the onions, garlic and tomatoes.
- Add the sliced onion, sliced garlic and halved tomatoes to the saucepan, along with the salt and olive oil.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally for around 15-20 minutes.
- The farro is cooked when the liquid is almost all absorbed, and the farro is tender (will have a chewy bite to it but will not be hard)
- Add the parmesan cheese.
- Transfer to a serving dish,
- Garnish with with the basil and extra parmesan.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.