How To Cook Farro (Best Stovetop Method)
Ever wondered how to cook farro? This is the BEST and easiest way to make farro on the stovetop. This technique is similar to cooking pasta and takes only 30-ish minutes. Say goodbye to mushy farro and hello to fluffy, chewy goodness!
If you’ve found your way to this page, you may have tried cooking farro in the past only to end up with a big mushy mess. Trust me – I’ve been there, even when I’ve followed package directions exactly.
But after trying various cooking techniques, I’ve finally landed on one way to make farro perfectly. This method is so easy (like cooking pasta) and always ends up in a chewy, fluffy farro – NOT mushy.
Farro is one of my favourite grains to add to my meals, and I hope this post inspires you to give it a try!
In this post we’ll cover:
- what farro is exactly
- the health + nutrition benefits of farro
- how to cook farro on the stove (using the “pasta method”)
- some frequently asked questions that arise when cooking farro
- what to serve farro with (including some easy recipe ideas)
- links to more cooking how-to’s, in case you’re interested!
What Is Farro?
Farro is an ancient grain that is popular in Italy. The term “farro” refers to three different types of wheat varieties, including einkorn (farro piccolo), emmer (farro medio), and spelt (farro grande).
The texture of farro is chewy, nutty, and slightly denser than some other grains. Taste and texture wise, it’s similar to spelt berries, wheat berries, barley, or even brown rice.
Is Farro Good For You?
Whole grain farro is an excellent source of a variety of nutrients. A 1/4 cup serving of dry farro provides:
- 5 grams of dietary fibre (20% of your daily needs)
- 6 grams of plant-based protein
- 20% of your daily niacin (vitamin B3) needs
- 15% of your daily magnesium needs
- 15% of your daily zinc needs
- 4% of your daily iron needs
- antioxidants, like polyphenols and carotenoids
Because it’s made from wheat, farro is NOT a gluten-free grain and therefore not suitable for people with celiac disease.
As farro is a gluten-containing grain, it’s also not suitable during the elimination phase of a low FODMAP diet.
Farro Cooking Time
Farro comes in different varieties, which differ in the level of processing (having the whole grain fully in tact, with part of the bran removed, or no bran at all).
This level of processing determines the cooking time:
- Pearled farro: 15-20 minutes
- Semi-pearled farro: 25 minutes
- Whole farro: 30-40 minutes + overnight soaking
My advice? Refer to the package of farro that you purchase to determine the exact cooking time!
How To Cook Farro
Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil, similar to how you would cook pasta.
While the water is heating up, rinse the dry farro in a fine-mesh sieve to remove any powdery coating or debris.
Add the rinsed farro to boiling water, then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow it to cook for the amount of cooking time indicated on the package.
NOTE: Most varieties sold in North America will be pearled or semi-pearled, so cooking time is typically around 20-ish minutes (see above).
Once cooked, drain the farro into the same sieve. The farro will NOT absorb all the water in the pot; again, just like pasta.
Once drained, spread the farro onto a large baking sheet in a single layer. Allow the farro to dry for about 10 minutes. This step is key – I find it really helps prevent farro from getting mushy!
After that, your farro is ready to be used in whatever recipe you choose, or can be easily stored and kept for later.
Frequently Asked Farro Questions
Do you need to soak farro before cooking?
The only type of farro that needs to be soaked before cooking is whole farro. Pearled and semi-pearled farro do not need to be soaked.
Most farro sold in North America is pearled or semi-pearled – I’ve personally never soaked farro prior to cooking.
What is the ratio of farro to water?
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! I typically just fill a medium-large pot about 3/4 full with water.
Do you cover farro when cooking?
It’s not necessary to cover the farro when cooking for the pasta method that I’ve explained above!
How can you tell when farro is done?
The texture of cooked farro should be tender and chewy, but not mushy.
I’d recommend tasting your farro after the pre-determined cooking time is up, as often this comes down to personal preference. If you want your farro to be a bit softer, then allow it to cook for a few minutes longer until it reaches your desired texture.
Dry to cooked farro: how much?
1 cup of dry farro will yield about 3 cups cooked. Depending on how much farro you need, you can adjust your recipe accordingly.
That said – having leftover farro in your fridge is an awesome way to cut down on cooking time through the week, as it can be added to so many of your meals.
What To Serve With Farro
Because of it’s chewy texture, farro holds up well in soups, stews, salads, or pilafs. It works great in grain bowls or even as a simple side dish to your favourite proteins.
Need some ideas? Here are some of my recipes using farro:
- Kale Butternut Squash Salad With Farro & Goat Cheese
- Roasted Broccoli Salad With Cranberry, Farro & Feta
- Roasted Pepper Salad With Farro & Goat Cheese
- High-Protein Chimichurri Grain Bowl With Farro
Here are some of my favourite protein dishes that you could easily pair with farro:
- Crispy Turmeric Salmon With Yogurt Sauce (swap with rice)
- Sautéed Shrimp With Tomato Sauce & Feta (swap with rice)
- Garlic Shrimp With Smoked Paprika & Honey
- Honey Lemon Oven-Baked Salmon With Thyme
- Crispy Baked Tofu With Maple Miso Sauce
- Shrimp & Broccoli With Lemon, Honey & Feta
- Balsamic Baked Salmon With Strawberry Basil Salsa
More Cooking How To’s:
- How To Cook & Season Quinoa: 3 Recipes
- How To Massage Kale (For A Salad)
- How To Make Chia Jam: 3 Ways
- How To Poach An Egg
- How To Make A Low FODMAP Cheese Board
Did you give these Farro Cooking Tips a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!
If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!
Get the Recipe: How To Cook Farro
- 1 cup farro, dry
- Start by bringing a large pot of salted water (at least 3 cups) to a boil, similar to how you would cook pasta.
- While the water is heating up, rinse the dry farro in a fine-mesh sieve to remove any powdery coating or debris.
- Add the rinsed farro to boiling water, then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow it to cook for the amount of cooking time indicated on the package. NOTE: Most varieties sold in North America will be pearled or semi-pearled, so cooking time is typically around 20-ish minutes.
- Once cooked, drain the farro into the same sieve. The farro will NOT absorb all the water in the pot; again, just like pasta.
- Once drained, spread the farro onto a large baking sheet in a single layer. Allow the farro to dry for about 10 minutes. This step is key – it really helps prevent farro from getting mushy!
- After that, your farro is ready to be used in whatever recipe you choose, or can be easily stored and kept for later.