Mediterranean Farro Salad Bowls
These vegan Mediterranean Farro Salad Bowls with lemon tahini sauce are easy to prepare in advance so you can quickly assemble them for healthy and delicious weeknight meals. They feature farro, red onion, roasted red peppers, parsley, kalamata olives, chickpeas and a creamy tahini sauce to bring it all together. This yummy and filling dish is high in plant-based protein and fibre and packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
What is Farro?
If you’ve read my real food guide to whole grains you’ll know farro, or emmer wheat, is a delicious and healthy whole grain similar to barley. Farro is hearty, nutty and chewy and works well in salads and soups. I like stocking farro in my pantry as an alternative whole grain to brown rice, quinoa, freekeh and bulgur. As farro is a type of wheat it is not gluten-free however as an ancient unprocessed whole grain, it does contain lower levels than the refined wheat found in processed foods today.
As for its nutritional benefits, farro is essentially fat-free yet high in iron, zinc and magnesium. It’s also an excellent source of fibre and has 7 grams of protein per serving. In addition, it contains B vitamins essential for metabolic health, brain health and energy and is a good source of antioxidants such as lignans known to reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
How to Make Roasted Red Peppers
Roasted red peppers are very easy to make, don’t require any special ingredients and are a simple alternative to store-bought roasted red peppers.
To make them, all you need is a baking sheet and whole red peppers, cut in half and de-seeded. You’ll smash the red pepper halves flat, place on a baking sheet with the skin facing up and then broil them in the oven until they’re starting to bubble and blacken. This usually takes about 15 minutes.
Once they’re bubbling and starting to burn, take them out of the oven and cover them with a dishcloth. This will keep them steaming so once they cool down you can easily peep off the skin and use in any recipe you like.
Mediterranean Farro Salad Bowls
These healthy farro salad bowls are filling, nourishing and full of flavour. They’re also vegan, oil-free and can be made gluten-free by using another whole grain such as brown rice. To prep these in advance, make the farro, roasted red peppers and lemon tahini sauce ahead of time and then assemble as needed.
Farro Salad Nutrition Details
These farro salad bowls are high in fibre and plant-based protein and contain a range of essential vitamins and minerals. Depending on exactly how you build your bowl, one serving is 558 calories with 69 grams of complex carbohydrates, 23 grams of healthy fats and 19 grams of protein. You’ll also be getting a whopping 17 grams of dietary fibre, 37% of your daily iron, 14% of your daily calcium and more than your daily vitamin A from beta-carotene and vitamin C.
They also contain a high amount of magnesium, manganese, folate, vitamin E and vitamin K. Epic! You can feel really good digging into this meal. If you’re interested in learning more about vegan nutrition check out my vegan nutrition guide and list of the best vegan protein sources.
Prefer a visual of this recipe? Follow along as I make in the video below.
For the Farro Salad Bowls (per bowl)
- 3/4 cup cooked farro (1/4 cup dry)
- handful of de-stemmed and finely chopped kale
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/2 to 1 chopped roasted red pepper (see notes)
- 1/4 cup chickpeas (or more if desired)
- kalamata olives
- chopped parsley
- sprinkle of dried oregano
For the Lemon Tahini Sauce (Serves 4)
- 6 tbsp (90 g) tahini
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water + more to adjust consistency, as needed
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp sea salt, or more, to taste
- Cook the farro according to package instructions. I cooked 1 cup dry farro which made enough for 4 large bowls.
- While the farro is cooking, make the roasted red peppers (see notes).
- Prepare the dressing by blending all of the ingredients together until smooth and creamy, start with 1/4 cup of water and add a bit more if you’d like to adjust the consistency.
- To assemble the bowls, add a scoop of farro, a big handful of finely chopped kale, kalamata olives, chopped roasted red peppers, red onions, parsley and chickpeas and then drizzle with desired amount of lemon tahini sauce, sea salt and pepper and a sprinkle of dried oregano.
- To make the roasted red peppers, set the oven to broil with a rack near the top. Cut the red peppers in half and remove the seeds. Place them face down on a pan and smash them so they lay flat. Broil them in the oven until they’re starting to bubble and blacken. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with a dishcloth, let cool. Once you can handle them, you should be able to easily remove the skin. Peel, then chop them up for use in the recipe. I used approximately 1/2 to 1 red pepper per bowl.
- The lemon tahini sauce makes enough for at least 4 bowls. I like a lot of sauce so I used it up in 4 bowls, you could use a bit less and make 5-6 bowls. Adjust the rest of the ingredients as needed for how many bowls you’re making.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 558
- Fat: 23 g
- Carbohydrates: 69 g
- Fiber: 17 g
- Protein: 19 g