RecipeFarro Pilaf

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
  • Calories: 240
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Total Fat: 6g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 5.5 g
    • Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 41 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 7 g
  • Total Sugar: 6 g
    • Natural Sugar: 6 g
    • Added Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 140 mg

This scrumptious side features farro, a magical ancient grain that is definitely worth getting to know. Farro provides more than double the amount of fiber and protein compared to brown rice and is just as easy to make. Farro has a lighter flavor than brown rice, slightly nutty and a bit sweet (some even say with subtle hints of cinnamon). But most of all, I love its texture—it’s chewy and puffy so it’s quite filling and satisfying. It’s an ideal side to meat, chicken and fish, but it’s also a terrific vegetarian entrée and it’s super delicious when it’s chilled and added to salads. (Sometimes I swap in farro for quinoa in this salad)

For this recipe, I go “pilaf-style” by first toasting the dry farro pieces with aromatic onion, garlic, and smoked paprika in a hot skillet to infuse flavor. Next, I simmer in broth until the grains become perfectly soft and fluffy….and then bring it over the top by mixing in green peas, pistachios and cranberries for a pretty pop of color and tasty pizzazz. But really, there are countless ways you can personalize this faro pilaf and I encourage you to experiment with various seasonings, nuts, fruits, veggies and herbs. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser!

  • Prep time
  • Total Time
This recipe makes 5½ cups
  • • 1¼ cups dry farro, rinsed*
    • ½ diced onion (about ¾ cup)
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2¼ cups vegetable broth**
  • • ½ cup green peas (thawed if frozen)
    • ¼ to ½ cup pistachios
    • ¼ to ½ cup dried cranberries or raisins
    • Ground black pepper to taste

*It’s worth the effort to rinse farro because it removes some of starch, which helps prevent farro from becoming mushy or clumping. Add farro to a strainer or mesh colander and let cold water run over it for ~20 seconds as you toss with your fingers to ensure all pieces are rinsed. Let water drain and gently dab with paper towel or kitchen cloth to remove excess water.

**You can use any preferred broth or stock, including chicken, beef or bone broth.


Liberally mist the bottom of a large deep skillet or pan with nonstick olive oil spray (or add a few teaspoons oil from bottle) and warm over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes until onion is softened. Add rinsed farro and olive oil and sauté for 3 minutes or so. This will toast the farro and infuse the dried pieces with flavor. Add garlic powder, smoked paprika, and kosher salt. Stir for another 30 to 60 seconds to distribute the seasonings.

Add vegetable broth to the pan, turn up heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer over low flame for 35 minutes (or according to farro package directions). Remove from heat (do not stir) and let cooked farro sit for about 5 minutes to absorb excess water.

Fluff faro with a fork, add additional seasonings to taste, along with green peas, pistachios, dried cranberries (or raisins) and ground black pepper. Garnish with optional minced herbs and dig in!

Nutrition provided per 1 cup.

Try this Farro Salad with Chickpeas, Apricots and Sugar Snap Peas!