15 Minute Farro Pilaf with Lemon Vinaigrette

The side dish that gets better with every bite! And, it’s a zesty 15 minute recipe thanks to some quick cooking farro. Drizzled with a tangy lemon vinaigrette, this farro pilaf doubles as a room temperature salad that’s perfect for a party or summer barbecue!

white gratin dish with farro pilaf and fresh basil sprinkled on top.

In the summer, easy recipes are ones that don’t take a lot of time to prep or cook and if you don’t have to turn on the oven? Even better! Here’s why you’ll love this really fresh and simple farro pilaf with lemon vinaigrette:

  • 15 minute side dish recipe(!). Sign me up for anything I can prep and make in 15 minutes!
  • Amazing leftovers. This easy summer salad recipe lasts in the fridge and is just as good leftover!
  • Salty and sweet flavor profile. The herbed farro teeters between salty and sweet thanks to pistachios, parmesan and golden raisins! 💛

Can’t get enough farro side dishes? Take a peek at this creamy burrata farro with peas , this AMAZING warm farro salad and this winter citrus farro salad with almonds!

p.s. don’t be thrown by the word “pilaf”!

Cooking school: what is a pilaf?

A pilaf is typically a rice dish that is cooked and seasoned with herbs. In this pilaf recipe, rice is being swapped for farro!

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Ingredients Role Call for Farro Pilaf

ingredients for farro pilaf on a wooden cutting board including lemon, bowls of golden raisins, farro, chives, parsley and pistachios.

You’ll start with:

  • Quick cooking semi pearled farro. Trader Joe’s 10 minute farro is recommended which is the same one used in this chopped farro salad. Plus it has all the info on all the different types of farro.
  • Herbs. A blend of chives, basil and Italian parsley create an herbed pilaf that is so fresh!
  • Salty. Fresh grated parmesan cheese and shelled pistachios bring the salty component.
  • Sweet. Golden raisins are the unexpected ingredient as they blend in color-wise with the farro and your party guests will be delighted with the added chew and texture

2 ingredient salad dressing

jam jar with lemon vinaigrette and white bowl of farro pilaf

Similar to the lemon vinaigrette found on this arugula salad recipe, the dressing has only 2 ingredients:

  • fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • really good olive oil


How to cook farro

There are several ways to cook farro. For this farro salad recipe, you’ll simmer it in water as you would rice. Other options are to cook in stock or to boil it like pasta.

How to make a simple farro pilaf

Set the timer for 15 minutes! While the farro cooks, you’re going to chop up the herbs and mix the dressing. Easy peasy!

cooked farro in a strainer and saucepan on a black and khaki striped runner.
Cook the farro until chewy according to package directions.
white bowl with vinaigrette salad dressing being whisked.
Make the dressing by whisking ingredients together.
Add the ingredients to a serving dish and toss with the dressing.
  • Cover the farro until chewy and soft for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together in a smaller measuring cup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Assemble farro pilaf salad by piling everything into a serving dish and toss with the dressing.

Alternatives to pistachios or golden raisins

Don’t have pistachios? Sliced toasted and salted almonds are a great alternative!

Not a golden raisin fan? Try chopped up dried apricots (FYI-it’ll take you a little longer to chop them up so the advertised 15 minutes might be more like 20 😊)

Tips for success

white bowl of farro pilaf salad with a spoon and bowl of pistachios.
  • Use a small saucepan to cook the farro. (I use this 2qt. All-Clad saucepan)
  • Drizzle over half the dressing on the assembled farro dish and save the rest until right before you plan to serve the it.
  • Save a little parmesan and fresh parsley to sprinkle over at the end right before serving.
  • Serve with some juicy grilled chicken breasts for a great summer dinner idea!

Make ahead + storage

Make ahead

You can make the farro and the dressing up to 3 days ahead and store in the fridge. Cool the farro and then refrigerate in a airtight container. Bring to room temperature or heat slight in a microwave to take the chill off before tossing with dressing.


Store any leftovers in an airtight container. You can freeze the farro once made but it’s not recommended to freeze with the pistachios and raisins.

white gratin dish with farro pilaf and fresh basil sprinkled on top.
5 from 1 vote

Farro Salad with Pistachios and Parmesan


For the salad

For the dressing


  • Cook farro in water according to package instructions. Drain as needed and set aside.
    1 ½ cup farro
  • Finely chop herbs.
    3 tablespoons parsley chopped, 2 Tablespoons fresh basil chopped, 1 Tablespoon chives chopped
  • Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together in a small glass measuring cup until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, adjusting quantities to your taste.
    Juice and zest of one lemon, 1/3 cup olive oil, Salt and pepper to taste
  • To a medium bowl, add farro, pistachios, golden raisins and parmesan cheese. Pour over half of the dressing to start. Toss until combined.
    ½ cup pistachios nuts, golden raisins, ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • To serve: Place a bed of greens in a large salad bowl. Top with the pistachio farro salad and serve with extra dressing on the side.
    Large bed of romaine


Alternatives to pistachios: sliced roasted almonds or toasted pine nuts.
No golden raisins? Try chopped dried apricots.
Make ahead
The farro and the dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead and store in the fridge. Cool the farro and then chill in a airtight container. Bring to room temperature or heat slightly in a microwave to take the chill off before tossing with dressing.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container. The farro can be frozen once made but I don’t recommend the pistachios and raisins be frozen.
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

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