This farro recipe with cream cheese and spinach is as simple as it is delicious.
My favorite kind of food is delicious, hearty, and healthy all at once. I think that’s why I’ve fallen in love with farro. It really meets my criteria for a favorite food. I love eating it and I feel good eating it. That’s why I came up with a simple but delicious farro recipe that everyone will love.
For this easy side dish, you cook the farro using any method you’d like. Then you mix it with a touch of cream cheese and some chopped fresh spinach and serve hot.
What Is Farro?
Farro is an ancient grain that is similar to barley and spelt. It has lots of fiber and is high in protein for a grain. It’s also rich in B Complex vitamins and 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 it great for salads, and for pilafs. And actually, I like to use farro in place of rice in all kinds of dishes, like today’s farro side dish recipe which used to be something that I made with rice and now make with farro.
How Do You Cook Farro?
If you haven’t cooked farro before, don’t worry. It’s really simple, kind of like rice, but with different timings. It’s almost always cooked in water. Here are instructions for:
- How to cook farro on the stove,
- How to cook farro in the oven,
- How to cook farro in the Instant Pot,
- How to cook farro in the slow cooker.
When it comes to farro, you don’t have to soak it before cooking but that does reduce the cooking time a bit. But even without soaking it can be ready in about 30-40 minutes on the stove, and much more quickly in the Instant Pot, so it’s not that big of a deal.
I do always rinse farro before cooking it, especially in the Instant Pot. The reason is to make sure that all of the grains are separated from each other by water and to remove any dustiness from the grains. Measure your uncooked farro into a fine mesh sieve and rinse it under cool tap water.
Making This Delicious Farro Recipe
To make this farro side dish, you’re going to cook the farro using any method that you’d like (the instructions below use stovetop method though). Once the farro is tender, you’ll drain off any remaining water (but don’t discard it yet!), and then stir in cream cheese and chopped fresh spinach.
The cream cheese melts into a creamy sauce. If you’d like the sauce a bit looser, stir in a little bit of the cooking liquid that you drained off. Then taste it and season with salt and pepper.
More Wholesome Grainy Recipes To Try
I’ve linked to the ways to cook farro above, and below I have links to two of my favorite recipes that use farro, and some recipes using other grain-type ingredients. You can also browse all of my delicious side dish recipes (there are over 100 of them!) over here.
- Beef and Farro Soup
- Special Fried Farro
- How to Cook Quinoa
- Cauliflower Quinoa Bake
- Quinoa and Feta Side Dish
- Quinoa Salad Bowl
- Millet Pancakes
- Millet Breakfast Skillet
Podcast Episode About Making Farro with Cream Cheese and Spinach
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this side dish, along with some other great tips, by clicking the play button below:Print
This delicious farro recipe is a great side dish with almost any protein. It’s creamy and healthy, and delicious, too. Enjoy! -Christine xo
- 1 and 1/2 cups farro
- 4 cups water or stock
- 1 cup packed fresh spinach, chopped
- 3 Tbsp. cream cheese
- Measure the farro into a fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water. Drain.
- Transfer farro to a medium-sized pot that has a lid. Add the water or stock and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- 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 but do not discard it.
- While the farro is still hot, stir in the spinach and cream cheese. If you’d like a thinner sauce, stir in a little of the reserved cooking liquid 1 teaspoon at a time. Add salt and pepper to taste.