Farro is a delicious whole grain that can be used in soups, salads, risottos, and breakfast recipes. It is amazingly easy to cook farro on the stove, in fact, it's one of the quickest whole grains to prepare. All you need is a pot, water, and some farro. It will be ready to eat in less than 20 minutes!
Farro is a member of the wheat family and is known as an "ancient grain" because it has been consumed for centuries. In fact, sometimes it is called the "mother of all grains" because it is considered the original ancestor of all other wheat species. This grain is still popular in Italian dishes and used throughout the Mediterranean area.
Uncooked farro looks similar to wheat berries, but is a softer grain with a much shorter cooking time. When cooked it is slightly chewy with a nutty, warm flavor. It can be used similarly to wheatberries, barley, or bulgar.
You should be able to find farro in the bulk section of your grocery store. Sometimes it is simply labeled "farro," but you might also see it called "Italian farro" or "pearled farro."
Let's learn how to cook farro!
Start by rinsing your farro under cold water. This removes any dust or extra starch that has settled on the grains in storage.
Next, bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove. Just like pasta, farro doesn't require a certain amount of water. Just make sure all the grains are completely covered in water.
Then, add your rinsed grains to the boiling water and turn the heat down a bit. You still want the water to be gently boiling, but not so much that it will boil over the pot.
Let the farro boil for 15-20 minutes (check out the "Top Tips" section for more info on cook time). You'll know it's done when the grains are tender, but still have some chew to them.
Finally, drain the water and rinse the farro under cool water. This will stop the cooking process of your grains, and keep them from getting mushy.
And just like that, your stove-top farro is ready to be served and enjoyed!
✨ Top Tips
You do not need to soak farro before cooking it. Pre-soaking an ingredient is usually done to help speed up cooking time. Farro already cooks up pretty fast, so soaking is unnecessary.
You do not need to cover your farro as it boils on the stove.
There are different types of farro and each one has a different cooking time.
- Pearled: 15-20 minutes
- Semi-Pearled: 30 minutes
- Whole: 40 minutes.
Pearled farro seems to be the most popular and widely available of the varieties. So if you are unsure which type you have, it is most likely that. However, do a taste test at 15 minutes of cooking, and if they are still very hard, just keep boiling them. Do a taste test about every 5-10 minutes until they have reached an al dente texture, and then you'll know they're done!
You can add more flavor to your farro by using broth (like chicken or vegetable) instead of water. Adding in some garlic and a few sprigs of your favorite fresh herbs to another great way to flavor your farro. Or consider cooking it in your favorite type of milk with cinnamon for a breakfast option.
I purposely kept this stovetop farro recipe very simple with no extra flavorings, so that the finished farro could be used in any way, from risottos to breakfast dishes.
Farro is a very nutritious whole grain and is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. One serving of cooked farro equals ⅔ cup. It provides 25% of the daily recommended fiber intake! It's also high in protein, containing 7 grams of protein. Farro is low in fat and has 200 calories in ⅔ of a cooked cup.
I created this nutrition label using Very Well Fit's Recipe Analyzer.
Farro is a member of the wheat family, so it does contain gluten. Also, like all whole grains, Farro is high in carbohydrates. Therefore, those eating a low-carb diet, such as people with diabetes, should consume farro in small portions.
Cooked farro should be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Farro can also be frozen for up to 6 months. This is great if you'd like to make a large batch and freeze it in smaller portions for quick use later on. Make sure your grains are cool before transferring them to a freezer-safe container. This will help prevent freezer burn.
To defrost, you can quickly thaw grains in the microwave or on the stove.
- Microwave: place grains in a microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover the bowl and cook in 1-minute increments, stirring between minutes, until warmed through.
- Stove: place grains in a small saucepan, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover the pan and heat over medium-low heat until warmed through. Stir occasionally.
You can also add frozen farro straight into soup recipes and just add a few extra minutes to the cooking time.
👪 Serving Size and Ratios
One cup of uncooked farro makes about 2.5 cups of cooked farro.
As stated before, cooking farro is like pasta. When it is finished cooking, the extra water is drained away so there is not an exact ratio of water to farro used. However, I like to add at least 3 cups of water for 1 cup of farro.
The recommended serving size, according to Bob's Red Mill, is ⅔ cup cooked.
Here are some of my favorite farro recipes from around the internet.
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Here are some kitchen tools that might help you make this recipe perfectly. Just click on the picture to find out more about the product.
You'll want to use a fine mesh sieve when rinsing your wheatberries so the small grains don't fall through any larger holes that might be on a regular colander.
I love my pots and pans that have glass lids so I can see how much water has been absorbed without needing to remove the lid.
I hope that farro turns out great. Let me know what your favorite way to use it is! I'm always looking for more ways to eat this tasty whole grain.
How to Cook Farro
- 1 cup farro
- Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove over high heat. Just like pasta, farro doesn't require a certain amount of water, so just fill the pot up at least 3 cups of water. You'll want enough to cover all the grains.
- Rinse your farro under cold water. This removes any dust or extra starch that has settled on the grains in storage. Add rinsed farro to the boiling water, and turn the heat down to a gentle boil. You do not need to cover the pot.
- Let the farro boil for 15-20 minutes.* The grains will always be a little chewy,, but are done when they are mostly tender.
- Drain the water and rinse the farro under cool water. This will stop the cooking process of your grains, and keep them from getting mushy.
- Serve and enjoy!