How to Cook Farro

Learn how to cook farro on the stovetop. It’s such a delicious, versatile, and hearty grain. I know you’re going to love it!

A little while ago, Bob’s Red Mill sent me a big box full of different kinds of grains. There was tri-color quinoa, millet, bulgur, spelt, teff, wheat berries and farro. I couldn’t decide where to start, which grain to cook with first. But then I remembered having a delicious side dish made with farro at an Italian restaurant and I knew that farro was the one.
Learn how to cook farro on the stovetop. It's such a delicious, versatile, and hearty grain. I know you're going to love it!

What is Farro?

Farro is an ancient grain that’s been around forever. Longer than any other grain, in fact. It’s believed that it is the grain from which all others derive (see thekitchn.com for more info).

Farro is high in protein, fiber, and B Complex vitamins and it’s pretty low in gluten.

When cooked, farro looks a bit like barley but it has a chewier texture. That chewy texture remains even after long-cooking so it’s great in soups and stews where it never gets soggy. That chewy texture also makes for tasty salads. You can pretty much take any pasta salad recipe and turn it into a farro salad recipe successfully.

The first time I made farro at home, I cooked it according to the package directions and then mixed in some shredded cheddar cheese just until it melted in. My 5 year old son was not a fan. But my 2 year old? “Mo fawo pweez,” came out of her mouth *three* times during that dinner. It was pretty amazing to watch her gobble it up and keep asking for more.

Since then I’ve been making a bunch of things with farro. There are these amazing meatballs with farro and rosemary in them and this easy creamy side dish with spinach and cream cheese.

Do You Need To Soak Farro Before Cooking?

You can speed up the cooking time for farro by soaking it in cool water. But honestly, since it only takes about 30 minutes to cook farro without soaking it I don’t usually bother with this step.

To soak farro measure it into a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add enough cold water to completely submerge the grain. Put the lid on the pot and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.

How to Cook Farro:

In terms of portion sizes, farro doesn’t expand as much as rice or barley. So I tend to make a bit more than I would other grains. Where I would have started with 1 cup of uncooked rice or barley, I’ll use 1 and 1/2 cups of uncooked farro.

You can cook farro on the stove, in the oven, in the slow cooker, or in a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot. I’m giving instructions for the stove today. Head here for farro in the oven, and here for farro in the slow cooker. Farro in the Instant Pot is great too!

Note: There are different kinds of farro out there (whole grain, pearled, semi-pearled, and different varieties too) and it’s not always easy to tell which kind you have. This means that cooking times aren’t exact. I’m giving the cooking times that were needed for the Bob’s Red Mill Farro. Other farros may take a little less or a little longer to cook. Generally, for stove top you’re looking at between 20-40 minutes simmering time, for oven-cooked farro 30-45 minutes and for slow cooker 2-3.5 hours.

Don’t worry too much about this large range though. Farro doesn’t get mushy when overcooked so if you plan for the longer amount of time and yours is ready sooner, it won’t hurt to keep cooking it for awhile. And if it’s ready earlier than you thought and you don’t need it yet, it reheats exceptionally well in the microwave.

How to Reheat Farro:

Just add a bit of water (1 tablespoon per 2 cups of cooked farro) and loosely cover it. Microwave it for 45 seconds at a time, stirring in between heats, until heated through.

And now, here are the instructions for cooking farro on the stove.


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How to Cook Farro on the Stove


  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Description

Learn how to cook farro on the stovetop. It’s such a delicious, versatile, and hearty grain. I know you’re going to love it!

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups farro
  • 4 cups water, stock or a mixture of both
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or olive oil (optional)

Instructions

  1. Measure 1 and 1/2 cups farro into a fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water. Drain.
  2. Transfer to a medium sized pot that has a lid. Add 4 cups water or stock or a combination of both and 1/4 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes, until it is softened but still chewy. If there is liquid remaining in the pot, drain it off or save it to add to a soup, stew or sauce.
  4. Use a fork to gently fluff in the butter or olive oil, if using.

 

 

Disclosure: Bob’s Red Mill provided items for a giveaway, which has closed, and provided me with the same set of grains to try as a sample. I have not been compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own. This post originally appeared in January of 2014 and was completely revised in May of 2016 and then again in January, 2020.