Mediterranean Farro Salad Bowls
These healthy, flavorful, vegan Mediterranean farro salad bowls are ready in under 45-minutes and easy to prepare in advance for quick weeknight meals.
Why Make this Recipe
- vegan, oil-free and can be gluten-free – this recipe is great if you have dietary restrictions
- great for meal prep – prepare the bowls in advance for a packed lunch or make the ingredients ahead of time quick assembly during the week
- Mediterranean-inspired – this recipe features nutrition Mediterranean ingredients like olives, tahini sauce and roasted red peppers
- farro – can be subbed with brown rice, quinoa or another whole grain of choice
- roasted red peppers – making your own is easy but store-bought works too
- olives – kalmata olives work well with the others flavors but any variety works
- chickpeas – can be subbed with white beans or green lentils, canned or cooked from scratch 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 stems and finely chop them
- finely chop the parsley and red onion
- divide all the ingredients between 4 bowls, top with tahini sauce and enjoy
Quick Note: 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.
Can I make these gluten-free?
Farro is a type of wheat so it is not gluten-free, however, as an ancient, unprocessed whole grain, it does contain lower levels of gluten than the refined wheat found in processed foods. To make this recipe gluten-free, use brown rice or quinoa instead of farro.
How should I store these?
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.
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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: best farro recipes, farro salad, how to use farro
UPDATE NOTE: The recipe was originally published March 12, 2018. It was updated on April 29, 2020 with new text and photos.