Mediterranean Farro Salad
These vegan Mediterranean farro bowls are easy to prepare in under 45-minutes with simple, nutritious ingredients.
This delicious farro bowl is loaded with whole grains, fresh veggies and herbs and a creamy lemon tahini sauce for the perfect medley of flavours and textures.
The recipe is completely plant-based, can be made gluten-free and easy to prepare in under 45-minutes for a healthy dinner or meal prep bowl.
This is a great recipe to try if you’re new to plant-based eating. It’s flavourful, nutritious, easy to make and sure to be a new favourite!
A complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable 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 jarred roasted red peppers.
- Olives: I like kalamata olives but any variety of olive works.
- Kale: I use kale in these bowls because it’s sturdy and holds up well for leftovers but spinach, arugula or any other greens work too.
- Chickpeas: These can be substituted with white beans or green lentils. Canned or cooked from scratch both work. If you’re using canned, drain and rinse before adding to the bowl.
- For a super quick dressing alternative, add a little water to hummus to thin it out and use that as your dressing.
- For a gluten-free bowl, use quinoa or brown rice instead of farro.
- Add toasted almonds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for crunch and extra nutrients.
- For additional fresh ingredients, try avocado or halved cherry tomatoes.
- To add roasted vegetables, try zucchini, lemon roasted potato or eggplant.
- For more herbs, add a few tbsp of finely chopped mint or cilantro.
- Sun-dried tomatoes or chopped marinated artichoke hearts would be a flavourful addition.
- Add a scoop of hummus or tzatziki.
- Serve with fresh pita.
- Add tofu feta or a scoop of tofu ricotta.
- Make these pickled red onions instead of using raw red onion.
- For more protein, you could add crispy tofu or marinated tempeh.
- Replace the lemon tahini sauce with balsamic vinaigrette for a tangy flavour.
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. Making your own is easy but you can also use jarred roasted red peppers.
- Wash the red peppers then slice each into two halves lengthwise and remove the seeds.
- Smash the peppers down on a baking tray so they lay flat with the skin side up and broil for 12-15 minutes until starting to blister and blacken.
- 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 easy to drizzle.
Step 4. Prepare the Vegetables
For the kale, give it a good wash, then remove the leaves from the tough stems and finely chop.
I recommend massaging the kale with a little olive oil to enhance its taste and make it easier to digest. Drizzle 1-2 teaspoons of oil onto the kale and use your hands to squeeze and massage it until it becomes softened and dark green in color.
If you prefer an oil-free option, you can substitute the oil with a squeeze of lemon juice instead.
If you choose not to use kale, baby spinach or any other salad greens can be used instead. However, it’s important to note that these greens may become slightly soggy if you plan to store leftovers or prepare the bowls in advance for meal prep.
After you’re prepared the kale, chop up the roasted peppers, red onion and parsley.
Step 5: Assemble the Farro Bowls
When everything is ready, divide the kale between 4 bowls or storage containers for meal prep, then portion the rest of the ingredients between the servings.
Finish each bowl off with the tahini dressing and enjoy!
Yes, if you don’t have farro or prefer a different grain, you can substitute it with quinoa or cooked brown rice for a gluten-free option. Both quinoa and brown rice work well in this recipe and provide a similar wholesome base. Brown rice will be closest to farro.
No. Farro is not gluten-free but the remaining ingredients are so be sure to substitute the farro for brown rice or quinoa if you need the recipe to be gluten-free.
- 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 if you’re making them in advance.
- These bowls are not suitable for freezing.
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You’ll love these hearty bowls featuring farro and Mediterranean-inspired ingredients smothered in creamy lemon tahini sauce.
For the Farro Salad Bowls
- 1 cup (200 g) uncooked farro
- 4–5 cups (200 g) finely chopped kale
- 1 cup (150 g) diced red onion
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 cup (240 g) drained and rinsed chickpeas, or more if desired
- 32 kalamata olives, or more if desired
- 1 cup (50 g) lightly packed, finely chopped parsley
For the Lemon Tahini Sauce
- 6 tbsp (90 g) tahini
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 tsp (10 ml) maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 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 (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 splash more at a time if needed to adjust the consistency. It should be thick and creamy but easy to drizzle.
- 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.
- To assemble the bowls, divide the kale between 4 servings then top each with equal amounts of the other ingredients. Drizzle with tahini dressing.
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 days.
To make this recipe gluten-free, swap the farro for brown rice or quinoa.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 431
- Fat: 17 g
- Carbohydrates: 58 g
- Fiber: 11 g
- Protein: 16 g
Keywords: farro salad, farro bowl
The recipe was originally published March 12, 2018.