How to Cook Farro

Learning how to cook farro is quite straightforward. In this recipe, we show you how to cook farro and how to make it pop with garlic and herbs.

How to cook farro

Looking for an easy and different side dish idea? Instead of chips or potato salad at a summer barbecue, try farro!  Farro is a whole grain that can be used as an alternative to rice or pasta. We love it for its chewy texture and nutty taste. As a side dish for our grilled portabello sandwich with tzatziki and feta a few weeks ago, Alex whipped up some farro and threw in some butter, minced garlic and some chopped fresh herbs. It was a delicious accompaniment to the meal!

At that time, we were still working our way through excess farro from our friend Katy’s stash. Unfortunately, we’ll now have to go back to buying our own! Farro is becoming more accessible—we’ve found it at many mainstream groceries, including packaged or in bulk bins.

How to cook farro

If this is your first time working with farro, don’t stress! This grain is incredibly easy to cook and doesn’t require much doctoring to make it taste amazing. Because it’s such a hearty grain, farro requires much more water than quinoa or rice. For every 1 cup of farro, you’ll need 3 cups of water or broth for it to fully cook through. Then add a healthy pinch of salt (we prefer kosher) and heat the farro until it’s boiling.

Farro only needs to cook for around 15 minutes until it’s tender. You’ll have some excess water in the pot, which you’ll need to drain before serving your garlic and herb farro. We love adding a pat of butter to our farro, but you can substitute olive oil instead if you can’t have dairy.

Now that you know how to cook farro, you can use it in any number of recipes! Farro is an especially great base for grain salads. Chop up some fresh or cooked vegetables to throw in with the farro, then add some olive oil and vinegar. Try it in something like this Farro with Roasted Vegetables or Farro Salad with Feta & Cherries.

Got an Instant Pot or pressure cooker? You also can cook farro in an Instant pot! Go to Instant Pot Farro.

Farro Salad with Tart Cherries | A Couple Cooks

Looking for more easy farro recipes?

This recipe is…

Vegetarian. To make vegan, use olive oil instead of butter.

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How to Cook Farro

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


Learning how to cook farro is quite straightforward. In this recipe, we show you how to cook farro and how we like to flavor it with garlic and herbs.

Note: For how to cook farro in a pressure cooker, go to Instant Pot Farro.


  • 2 cups uncooked farro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (we used sage, thyme and oregano)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In a pot, place 2 cups farro with 6 cups of water. Season with a few pinches kosher salt and bring to a low boil. Cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes for pearled farro and about 30 minutes for semi-pearled, then drain excess water.
  2. Meanwhile, mince 2 cloves garlic. Chop the fresh herbs.
  3. When the farro is done, drain any excess water. Return to the stove; turn the heat to medium and stir in minced garlic, herbs, 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Heat, stirring, until the butter is melted, about 30 seconds.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: how to cook farro, farro recipe


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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    July 19, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I love farro and this is such a perfect side dish – I just love the simplicity of it!

  • Reply
    July 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Before going GF, farro was my absolute favorite grain. I especially love grinding it half way to flour and cooking it for breakfast. Texture perfection.

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    July 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    This sounds awesome! I haven’t even tried farro, and I really want to. This will be the first thing on my list once I get some!

  • Reply
    July 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I love farro, it has such a great texture! This dish looks quite yummy!

  • Reply
    Suzanne Perazzini
    July 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    That looks a lot like barley. Is it the same or in the same family perhaps?

    • Reply
      July 20, 2012 at 8:22 am

      I’m not sure if they are related, but they have a very similar texture. I prefer farro though — not sure why :)

  • Reply
    July 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I love farro! The shape always reminds me of sugar Smacks cereal though. Which interestingly I found is called honey Smacks now. Marketing… eye roll.

    This looks simple and delic! Great way to use summer herbs.

  • Reply
    June 20, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Made this farro dish tonight. It was my first time making farro but definitely not my last. I used fresh sage and oregano (no thyme) and added a little chicken bouillon and it was one of the best side dishes I’ver ever had. Love the flavors and texture. Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Was looking for a farro dish that wasn’t soup or salad, and this was it. Used parsley, cilantro, and basil as the herbs. A keeper.

  • Reply
    David Finch
    January 11, 2020 at 12:49 am

    I’m not sure you realize this but in the section entitled – How to cook farro – you say “For every two cups of farro, you’ll need around three cups of water or broth for it to fully cook through”. In the instructions a little below that it says “In a pot, place 2 cups farro with 6 cups of water”.
    So – I’m thinking 6 cups, but maybe you should correct this, thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      January 11, 2020 at 5:20 pm

      Thanks for noting this! It should be “for every 1 cup farro, use 3 cups water.” So 6 cups in the instructions is correct! Thanks so much and we’ve fixed the “How to cook farro” section accordingly.

  • Reply
    Sandra Behrle-Liebscher
    March 24, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    Farro is one of my favorite go to grains during the long dark days of winter, as well as it is in the summer months in a cold salad. A simple bowl of warm cooked farro for me is roasted garlic, olive oil, fresh shaved parm & roasted walnuts, sea salt. Heaven in a bowl! Wish more people were turned on to it rather then turn away from it, the feel intimidated by it, nonsense I say!

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