Mediterranean Farro Salad Bowls
These healthy, vegan Mediterranean farro salad bowls are ready in under 45-minutes and easy to prepare in advance for quick weeknight meals.
- Dietary Features: Vegan, oil-free and can be gluten-free so works well if you have dietary restrictions.
- Great for meal prep. Prepare the bowls in advance and pack for lunch or make the ingredients ahead of time for quick assembly during the week.
- Mediterranean-inspired: This recipe features nutritious ingredients like olives, tahini and roasted red peppers.
Complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- Farro: This can be substituted with brown rice, quinoa or another whole grain of choice.
- Roasted Red Peppers: It’s easy to make your own but you can also use store-bought.
- Olives: I like kalmata olives but any variety works.
- Kale: I use kale in these bowls because it’s sturdy and holds up well for leftovers but spinach or any other greens work too.
- Chickpeas: These can be substituted with white beans or green lentils. Canned or cooked from scratch both work.
How to Make this Recipe
Step 1. Cook the Farro
The farro can be cooked stovetop or in an Instant Pot. To cook farro stovetop:
- Rinse farro under cold water in a fine sieve.
- Bring 2 cups water, 1 cup farro, and a pinch of salt to a boil stovetop.
- Cover and reduce to a light simmer.
- Cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes, then drain off any excess water.
Learn how to make Instant Pot farro here.
Step 2. Make the Roasted Red Peppers
After you’ve started the farro, move on to the roasted red peppers.
- Washing the red peppers then slice into two halves and remove the seeds.
- Smash the peppers down on a baking tray and broil for 12-15 minutes until blackened.
- Let cool until you can handle them then peel away the skin,
- Slice them up and they’re ready to use in the recipe.
You can find detailed instructions on how to make roasted red peppers here.
Step 3. Prepare the Tahini Dressing.
The tahini dressing can be whisked or blended. Mix everything together until smooth, adjusting the amount of water used to reach you desired consistency. It should be thick and creamy, but pourable.
Quick Note: If whisking the dressing together instead of blending I’d recommend using garlic powder instead of minced garlic.
Step 4. Chop and Assemble.
For the kale, give it a good wash then remove the leaves from the tough stems and finely chop them.
I recommend massaging the kale with a bit of olive oil to help soften to improve its taste and digestibility. Drizzle with 1-2 tsp oil and squeeze with your hands until softened and dark green in colour.
If an oil-free option, you can use a squeeze of lemon juice instead of oil or steam or cook it stovetop for just 1-2 minutes until lightly wilted.
After you’re prepared the kale, chop the roasted peppers, red onion and parsley.
When everything is ready, divide the kale between 4 bowls or storage containers the portion the rest of the ingredients between the servings.
Finish each bowl off with the tahini dressing and enjoy!
Notes & Tips
- For a super quick dressing alternative, add a little water to hummus to thin and use that as your dressing.
- If you don’t have red bell peppers on hand, sun-dried tomatoes would also be yummy.
- Other ingredients that work well here are fresh chopped tomatoes, feta cheese, avocado, pine nuts.
- Serve with fresh pita, if desired!
Note that farro is a type of wheat so these bowls are not gluten-free as written. To make this recipe gluten-free, use brown rice or quinoa instead of farro.
- Assembled salads can be kept in the fridge up to 3-4 days.
- If possible, keep the dressing separate until serving.
- Individual ingredients can be kept longer, cooked farro, roasted red pepper and tahini dressing will keep for 5-6 days in the fridge.
- These bowls are not suitable for freezing.
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For the Farro Salad Bowls
- 1 cup uncooked farro (about 2/3 cups cooked per bowl)
- 4 large handfuls of de-stemmed and finely chopped kale (about 1 cup per bowl)
- 1 cup finely diced red onion (1/4 cup per bowl)
- 2 red peppers for roasting (about 1/2 a pepper per bowl)
- 1 cup drained and rinsed chickpeas (about 1/4 cup per bowl, or more if desired)
- 32 kalamata olives (8 olives per bowl, use. more if desired)
- 1 cup lightly packed, finely chopped parsley (1/4 cup per bowl)
For the Lemon Tahini Sauce
- Cook the farro according to package instructions.
- While the farro is cooking, make the roasted red peppers. Find complete instructions for roasted red peppers here. Don’t worry, it’s easy and there are no other ingredients required.
- Prepare the dressing by blending all of the ingredients together until smooth, start with 1/4 cup of water and add a bit more if you’d like to adjust the consistency. It should be thick and creamy but pourable. If you aren’t able to blend it, replace the garlic cloves with 1 tsp garlic powder and whisk everything together in a container until smooth.
- To prepare the kale, give it a good wash then tear the leaves away from the stems. Finely chop the leaves and either add 1/4 tsp olive or or a squeeze of lemon and massage and squeeze the kale for 1-2 minutes until softened. Alternatively, you can cook or steam the kale stovetop until it lightly softens.
- To assemble the bowls, divide the ingredients between 4 bowls or containers and serve right away. If only making 1-2 bowls, use the bowl specific amounts and store the extra dressing for another use.
Find detailed instructions on how to make roasted red peppers here.
The dressing can be whisked or blended. If whisking, use 1 tsp garlic powder instead of whole garlic.
I recommend massaging the kale with a bit of olive oil to help soften to improve its taste and digestibility. If oil-free, use a squeeze of lemon juice instead of oil or steam or cook it stovetop for just 1-2 minutes until lightly wilted.
Assembled salads can be kept in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. If possible, keep the dressing separate until serving. Individual ingredients can be kept longer, cooked farro, roasted red pepper and tahini dressing will keep for 5-6 days.
To make this recipe gluten-free, swap the farro for brown rice or quinoa.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 558
- Fat: 23 g
- Carbohydrates: 69 g
- Fiber: 17 g
- Protein: 19 g
Keywords: farro salad, farro bowl
UPDATE NOTE: The recipe was originally published March 12, 2018. It was updated on April 29, 2020 with new text and photos.