How to Cook Farro in the Oven
Learn this hands-free method for cooking farro in the oven.
What is Farro?
Farro is an ancient grain. In fact, it’s thought to be the grain from which all others derive (see thekitchn.com for more info).
Farro is considered a healthy grain that is high in protein, fiber, and B Complex vitamins. It’s fairly 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 doesn’t get inflated and soggy the way rice or barley can.
Things to Make with Farro
As mentioned, farro is great in soup. Here’s a delicious recipe for Beef and Farro Soup. It’s like Beef Barley but using farro makes for more texture since it tends to stay chewy even when in soup for a long time.
You can also do something like a baked pasta using cooked farro. This one has the flavor of a bolognese baked pasta.
Another great thing to do with farro is to use it as the main ingredient in a salad, like rice salad or pasta salad. Here it is in a mediteranean-style salad kind of like tabouleh topped with feta.
Do You Need To Soak Farro Before Cooking?
You can speed up the cooking time for farro by soaking it in cool water. But since it does’t take that long to cook farro without soaking it I don’t usually soak it.
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 in the oven, on the stove, in the slow cooker, or in a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot (recipe coming soon!). I’m giving instructions for the oven today.
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 oven-cooked farro 30-45 minutes.
Don’t worry too much about this large range of time 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.
And now, here are the instructions for cooking farro cooked in the oven.
- 1 and ½ cups farro
- 1 Tbsp. butter or olive oil (optional)
- 4 cups water
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Fill a kettle with water and bring it to a boil.
- Measure the farro into a fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water. Drain. Transfer the farro to a medium-sized pot that has a tight-fitting lid. Add the salt and the butter or olive oil (if using).
- Measure 4 cups of boiling water from the kettle and pour it into the pot. Stir and then immediately cover and put it into the oven.
- Cook for 35-40 minutes, until softened but still chewy.