How to Cook Farro

Written By: Sofia Layarda, MPH

Title: Master of Public Health

Alumni: University of California, Berkeley

Last Updated on:

Farro Whole Grains

If you enjoy discovering new whole grains to add to your meal rotations, this month’s whole grain should give you a new way of enjoying wheat. Farro is the talian name for an ancient wheat strain known as emmer wheat. It is sometimes confused with spelt, but is actually an older strain than spelt. Farro is available whole (intact grain), cracked (whole grain cracked into smaller pieces), pearled (perlato), or semi-pearled (semi-perlato). Go for the whole or cracked form, where the grain – including the bran – is still intact. Otherwise, choose semi-pearled because it still retains more of the bran (where the nutrients and fiber are found) than the pearled version.

How to Cook Farro

​How to Cook Farro

Starting Amount: 1/2 cup raw

Pre-Soaking Requirement: ​Yes. Most suggests soaking whole farro overnight. We only soaked for 1 hour. It turned out alright!

​Pre-Rinsing Requirement: ​Yes for whole farro. Rinse pre-soaked grains under running water, then drain.

​Cooking Liquid: 1 cup water ​(or 1.5 cups for cooking whole farro)

Cooking Time: Add pre-soaked, pre-rinsed farro to water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. If you did not soak it overnight, simmer for about 40 minutes. The kernels should be tender but not split, and they should have a nice chewiness instead of being mushy. Drain, rinse, and use.

​Resulting Yield: 1 cup

​Nutritional Information (per 1/2 cup cooked farro)

  • Calories: ​160 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 32 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Fat: 1.5 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Glycemic Index (GI): ​Low
  • Gluten-free: ​No

​How to Add More Farro to Your Diet

  • Make a wholesome, filling salad for the lunch box such as this simple Farro Salad
  • Foodies who enjoy risotto, the Italian classic, can do a whole grain version by substituting farro for rice. Check out this Mushroom and Radicchio Farrotto.

Tell Us: How do you usually eat farro?


farro, home cooking, how to cook, vegetarian, whole grains


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