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This versatile autumn salad is hearty and satisfying, starring whole grain farro, tart cherries, arugula, apples, and feta cheese!

Farro Salad with Tart Cherries

This post was created in partnership with Oregon Fruit. All opinions are our own.

Need a simple salad recipe that maximizes flavor and minimizes headaches? Try this hearty autumn salad with farro, apples and cherries! This grain salad is full of contrasts: the crisp crunch of the apple against the chewy farro, and the zing of the dressing against the savory feta cheese. You don’t always find cherries in an autumn recipe, but use canned or dried cherries and it’s the perfect way to infuse sweet tart flavor. Ready to get started?

Farro Salad with Feta & Cherries

How to make autumn salad

This autumn salad with tart cherries takes about 25 minutes to put together. But it’s a pretty simple concept. Here’s what to do:

  • Cook the farro. Boil up a pot of farro (or use the Instant Pot). Make sure to use pearled farro for this recipe, which ensures the quick cooking time.
  • Add apple, baby arugula, cherries and feta. Make sure to use baby arugula, which has a feathery texture (standard arugula is much too strong). Can’t find canned tart cherries? Use dried instead!
  • Add the dressing. Cover the entire autumn salad in a tart cherry vinaigrette.

With the red and the green, it’s visually stunning and it tastes incredible: tangy, tart, sweet, and savory all at once. Another great thing is that it can be eaten year round since many of these ingredients are available throughout the year. However, it’s a perfect fall salad or winter salad.

Tip: If you like this recipe, you also might enjoy our Farro with Mushrooms & Parmesan! It turns farro into a filling main dish or bowl meal.

tart cherry recipe

For the tart cherries: use canned or dried

Typically we don’t think of using fruit in cans. However, we’ve been introduced to Oregon Fruit canned fruit, which we used for this recipe. Canned fruit is an easy way to incorporate the flavor and nutrients of fresh fruit; it’s available nationwide and year round. Oregon Fruit is packed in the USA during the summer for maximum ripeness and flavor.

Some other great features: it’s non-GMO and there’s no High Fructose Corn Syrup or BPA in the cans. Here we’ve used canned tart cherries, which bring a sweet-tart flair to the salad. I’m a huge fan of tart flavor (my favorite drinks: margaritas or sour beer), so this one hits it out of the park for me.

Can’t find canned tart cherries? Substitute dried tart cherries instead.

Farro Salad with tart Cherries

How to serve this autumn salad

Versatility is another thing we love about this recipe. You can use it as a side dish at a holiday meal; it would look lovely piled onto a large a platter. Or, turn it into a main dish as a grain bowl! Simply mound a larger quantity into a bowl and serve it with avocado toast or crackers as a filling lunch or weeknight meal. It can be served warm, room temperature, or cold, which makes it endlessly versatile.

And finding recipes that work for many occasions is part of that pretty simple approach to the kitchen! We hope you’ll find this autumn salad hits all those elements for you–an uncomplicated concept for many occasions that looks pretty and tastes pretty delicious.

This autumn salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and naturally sweet. For gluten-free, substitute quinoa.

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Farro Salad with Tart Cherries | A Couple Cooks

Autumn Salad with Farro and Apple

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: About 3 as a main, 4 to 6 as a side 1x


This versatile autumn salad is hearty and satisfying, starring whole grain farro, tart cherries, arugula, apples, and feta cheese!


  • 1 ½ cups dry pearled farro
  • 15-ounce can Oregon Fruit tart cherries or ¾ cup dried tart cherries
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon or stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 tart apple
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles (goat cheese would also work)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


  1. In a saucepan over high heat, bring 9 cups of water to a boil. Add the farro, stir once, and continue to boil uncovered for about 20 minutes, bubbling rapidly. Taste a grain of farro; if the grain is plump and tender, remove the pan from the heat and pour it into a strainer. (If not, continue to cook and taste until tender.) Rinse with lukewarm water to cool slightly and shake it dry. Brands of farro can vary, so adjust the cook time as necessary. Or, if you have an Instant Pot, go to Instant Pot Farro.
  2. For the vinaigrette, drain the cherries. Finely chop 2 tablespoons of the cherries, then reserve the remainder for the salad. Combine chopped cherries, vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard in a small bowl. Drizzle in oil, whisking constantly, until incorporated.
  3. With the remaining cherries, roughly break some of them in half, or slice them in half. Thinly slice the shallot into rings. Chop the apple into very small bite-sized pieces. When farro is done, mix it with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Then in a large bowl, combine the farro, cherries, shallot, apple, arugula, feta crumbles, and cherry vinaigrette. Top with fresh ground pepper. Taste and adjust flavors as desired. (When serving leftovers, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the salad if you find it to be dry.)
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Looking for recipes with whole grains?

Eating whole grains is more than just multigrain bread! In addition to this autumn salad, here are a few of our favorite recipes with grains:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Valerie VanBergeijk says:

    Wow! This was amazing! The chewiness of the farro was perfect with the crunch of the apple and lettuce. The dressing is tangy and it all works perfectly together. My husband and I both love it

  2. Heidi says:

    I’m not a registered member, but I have made this salad a couple times and would give it 5 stars. It’s great!

    1. Sonja says:

      Oh thank you so much, Heidi — we are so glad to hear you’ve enjoyed it!!

  3. Katie | Whole Nourishment says:

    This sounds like my kind of salad; chewy, tart, a little bit of crunch and sweet, and salty. Though I’ve never thought to use canned fruit either. Nor would I be able to find canned cherries here in Europe, but at least there’s frozen cherries. Loved your video as well. Can’t wait for your book!

    1. Sonja says:

      Yes, this would absolutely work with frozen cherries — are the ones you have in Europe sweet or tart? Thank you so much for the kind words about the book too!

      1. Katie | Whole Nourishment says:

        They’re on the tart side. But the fresh ones in summer are sweet. I don’t think we could go wrong with either.

  4. Abby @ Heart of a Baker says:

    I would never think to use canned fruit in a salad, but this looks so perfect!

    1. Sonja says:

      Thank you so much! This was our first time using canned in this way but it was delicious!