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This hearty farro bowl recipe is packed with Mediterranean flavors! Juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, briny olives, and a creamy dressing make a satisfying grain bowl that’s the perfect meal for summer or any season.

Farro bowl recipe in bowl with tomatoes, hummus dressing, and lemons around
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It’s no secret that bowl meals are a super satisfying, fun way to eat all the veggies. Here’s Alex and my latest in a stream of easy dinner ideas: the hearty farro bowl! It’s our ideal Mediterranean diet dinner or lunch, pairing plump grains of farro with tangy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, salty olives, and seasoned chickpeas.

The icing on the cake (er, bowl) is our new innovation: hummus dressing! It’s so simple to make a sauce using hummus, which you may or may not have on hand. It comes out creamy and bursting with flavor with only 3 ingredients—kind of a like a tahini sauce, but even easier. This one is on repeat in our kitchen: and we hope it will be in yours!

Ingredients in this farro bowl recipe

This farro bowl is a spin on a classic grain bowl: a meal built around a whole grain, veggies. a sauce, and protein. We have recipes for a rice bowl and lots quinoa bowl recipes, but this is the first official farro grain bowl in our recipe library. Here are the essential ingredients for this farro bowl:

  • Farro is a whole grain that can be used as an alternative to rice, barley or other grains. It’s actually an ancient grain that has been eaten since the Roman times! We love it for its chewy texture and nutty flavor.
  • Fresh herbs, olive oil, and garlic: These essential ingredients are for flavoring both the farro and the chickpeas. We like to use parsley, dill or cilantro.
  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas are the plant-based protein here. You can also use other proteins like tofu, shrimp, or chicken.
  • Cucumber, tomato, and Kalamata olives: These Mediterranean-style vegetables have big, bold flavor. Substitute other raw veggies if desired!
  • Feta cheese: It’s not required (omit for vegan), but feta adds a nice salty counterpoint to the flavors.
  • Greens (optional): We used a handful of baby arugula, but other greens like spinach, butter lettuce, or romaine work well.
  • Hummus dressing: The best part of this bowl in our opinion! It’s creamy and irresistible hummus, olive oil, and lemon juice.
Hummus dressing in bowl with spoon

Tips for the hummus dressing

If you’re making the hummus dressing, make sure to use a quality brand of hummus! We suggest steering clear of the popular Sabra brand: the flavor has a strong chemical aftertaste (possibly due to the citric acid used as a preservative, at least according to Reddit).

Whatever the case, use a hummus brand with a creamy, tangy and smooth flavor. Experiment to find a brand you love.

Variations: sauce and vegetable ideas

This farro bowl is perfect for healthy dinner ideas or healthy lunch ideas, and it’s easily customizable to your tastes and dietary needs! It’s kind of like making your own Sweet Green menu (one of our favorite restaurant concepts for bowl meals). Here are some ideas for varying the ingredients:

Of course, you can also vary the whole grain, especially if you’re cooking for gluten-free eaters. For gluten-free, use quinoa or rice.

Lemons on plate with farro grain bowl

Protein adders

Another way to customize this farro bowl recipe is with adding different proteins! It currently uses chickpeas as a plant-based protein, but we’ve found this sometimes is not enough for hungry eaters (especially if you’re serving it for dinner). Here are a few protein adders we love:

Storing leftovers and make ahead notes

This farro bowl recipe is simple to make ahead. You can make the farro up to 3 days in advance, the chickpeas up to 1 to 2 days in advance (open chickpeas are only good for up to 3 days), and the hummus dressing 1 week in advance. Refrigerate all components separately. We suggested chopping the fresh vegetables directly before serving.

More farro recipes

There are so many fun ways to eat farro! This basic farro recipe is a great side dish, and you can also use it in farro with mushrooms, farro salad, or farro soup.

Dietary notes

This farro bowl recipe is vegetarian. For vegan, omit the feta cheese. For gluten-free, use quinoa or rice.

Frequently asked questions

What is farro, and why should I use it in this bowl?

Farro is an ancient grain with a chewy texture and nutty flavor. It’s packed with fiber and protein, making it a hearty and satisfying base for this bowl. It also holds up well when mixed with other ingredients, so your bowl won’t get soggy.

Can I use a different grain if I don’t have farro?

Absolutely! If you can’t find farro or want to try something different, you can substitute it with quinoa, brown rice, barley, or even couscous. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Can I make this bowl ahead of time?

Yes, you can! The farro and chickpeas can be cooked in advance and stored separately in the refrigerator. The dressing can also be prepared ahead of time. Assemble the bowls just before serving to keep the vegetables fresh and crunchy.

How can I customize this bowl to my liking?

Feel free to get creative! You can add other vegetables like roasted red peppers, grilled zucchini, or chopped kale. You can also swap the feta for goat cheese or omit it for a vegan option. Experiment with different herbs and spices to change up the flavor profile.

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Farro bowl

Farro Bowl

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
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This hearty farro bowl recipe is packed with Mediterranean flavors! Juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, briny olives, and a creamy dressing make a satisfying grain bowl that’s the perfect meal for summer or any season.



For the farro

  • 1 cup uncooked farro, pearled or semi-pearled (not whole)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill or cilantro)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

For the bowl

  • 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon each cumin and coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon each smoked paprika and onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 handful olives, sliced in half
  • 1 handful baby greens (like arugula)
  • Feta cheese, to serve (optional)

Hummus Dressing

  • ½ cup high quality hummus (avoid Sabra)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (more water if necessary)


  1. Rinse the farro under cold water in a fine mesh strainer. In a large saucepan, place the farro, 3 cups water and ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the grains are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes for pearled farro and 25 to 30 minutes for semi-pearled farro. Taste test a grain to see if it is tender (if the package is unmarked, just cook until tender). Drain any excess water. Add the additional ¼ teaspoon salt and olive oil or butter. Stir in the minced garlic and herbs. Taste and add additional salt if desired.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Mince the garlic. In a small bowl, mix the cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, onion powder, and salt. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant but before it browns. Add the chickpeas, spices, salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Cook 2 minutes until warmed through.
  3. Make the hummus dressing by mixing together the ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste and if desired, you can add a pinch or two of salt or sugar.
  4. Place the green in a shallow bowl (if using), then the farro, tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, and olives. Top with feta cheese, if using, and drizzle with hummus dressing.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegetarian

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. Carol Lynn says:

    We loved this recipe—so many great flavors and textures. I did not have hummus and made the tahini sauce with white vinegar instead. I also added pickled onions as was suggested. Will make again, a great summer meal.

  2. Tammy D says:

    I made this tonight for dinner! It was delicious and filling. Next time, I think I will add some pickled onions for a bit more zing and, if I get organized enough, bake a loaf of bread to go with it 😊
    An excellent, healthy, simple meal!

  3. michelle says:

    just wondering why I should avoid sabra hummus? is it not good quality? thinking about making this today :)

    1. Great question! We find that the flavor of Sabra has a strong chemical aftertaste (we did some research and it’s possibly due to the citric acid used as a preservative, at least according to Reddit). So we prefer other brands that have a more clean, straightforward flavor! We have Esti in our fridge right now. Let us know if you make it and what you think — and what brand of hummus you used! :)