15 Minute Farro Salad with Citrus Dressing

If salads could online date, this one would have a full social calendar. Farro salad with citrus dressing complements a big grilled steak, balances spicy smoked pork, and shines at a girls’ lunch or on a holiday buffet table. Plus, the whole salad including cooking the farro can be made in under 15 minutes!

a black bowl with farro and orange salad with two wooden spoons on a black and khaki striped background

Does the word “salad” sometimes bum you out? If the answer is yes, I completely get you, my friend. Because while I luuurve a good salad and especially love making them, sometimes I want something that feels a little more substantial. Something like this super easy, light but cozy farro salad with citrus dressing.

It has enough oomph to be a main course yet doesn’t leave you feeling like you just ate a pound of pasta.

BTW, if you, too, love farro, you’ll really love a big bowl of farro with asparagus and peas (bonus: it has burrata) because it eats way more like a pasta. As does this fall farro with roasted veggies.

How to pronounce farro

Before we launch into the recipe, we should probably discuss how to pronounce the word “farro.” Is it “far-ro”? Or is it “fair-o”?  FYI -I typically say the latter so conjure that up in your head when you read this. Chances are you don’t care-o?

What is farro?

closeup of farro on a marble trivet dumped out of a measuring cup on a black and khaki wide striped horizontal background

Farro is old. Really old. So old it’s referred to as an ancient grain. And Italians love farro probably because it’s been ingrained (pun intended) into their culture for years.

Further illustrating its importance is the fact there are actually three different kinds of farro.

  • farro piccolo (tiny) also known as einkhorn
  • medio (medium) or emmer
  • grande (self-explanatory) or spelt.

While each of these refers to the size of the grain, there’s also the delineation of “how” whole grain a particular farro is.

Farro can also be whole, semi-pearled or pearled (the type mostly found in the US) meaning the hull is on completely, sort of left on or completely off. Their cooking time is less in that respective order.

Why you’ll love it

a black bowl with farro and orange salad with two wooden spoons on a black and khaki striped background

Other than being a really great, fresh-tasting side dish, this citrus farro salad:

  • has a spicy, sweet dressing thanks to some juice from the oranges and sriracha (one of my top 5 favorite condiments that I use in salad dressings all the time)
  • is crunchy thanks to celery and almonds
  • can be made into a main course by adding shredding this beyond easy, foolproof chicken.

Before you get started

You can cook farro a few ways but first, make sure to understand what kind you have. Whole grain, hull on farro takes about 30 minutes to cook, while the pearled version (similar to the Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Farro – my favorite) cooks up super-fast.

Check the package ingredient list for more info!

How to cook farro in 10 minutes

I tested 3 (of the 5) different ways to cook farro but found that boiling it in liquid (like pasta) produced the best chewy, texture for this salad.

Plus, it only takes 10 minutes if you use the fast cooking pearled farro from Trader Joe’s.

Preferred method: cook farro like pasta

  • Substitute chicken broth (or vegetable) for water.
  • Add the farro and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Drain

Other ways to cook farro

  1. Simmer as you would rice, allowing the farro to absorb all the broth.
  2. Cook as you would risotto – toasting and adding broth a little at a time.
  3. In your Instant Pot or pressure cooker (takes about 10 minutes as well)
  4. Speedy Farro Cooking Method (courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill).
    • Soak farro in water overnight in the fridge. The next day, add approximately 3 cups of water to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and use as needed. Simple!!

Ok – enough farro schooling. We need to eat!

What you’ll need

cutting board with farro, oranges, green onions, and parsley
  • Farro. I used Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Farro (a pearled, quick cooking farro).
  • Mandarin oranges. These little gems add a big burst of flavor and color.
  • Green onions. For a little bite.
  • Celery and almonds. This duo adds so nutty flavor and crunch.
  • Citrus dressing. And bringing it all home is a dressing that is part sweet, part sass thanks to some of orange juice and sriracha.

Hungry yet?

Assembling farro salad

cutting board with a mason jar with salad dressing along with a whisk, sriracha, olive oil bottle and salt.
Shake up the honey sriracha dressing in a jar with a lid.
a black bowl with farro and orange salad with two wooden spoons on a black and khaki striped background.
Toss the farro, drained oranges, chopped celery with the dressing and sprinkley with almonds and parsley.
  • Drain the mandarin oranges, reserving some of the juice.
  • Add the orange juice along with the olive oil, white vinegar and seasoning to a jar or bowl. Shake or whisk until emulsified.
  • To a large serving bowl, add the cooked farro. Toss in chopped celery, oranges and green onions.
  • Drizzle over dressing, toss until the farro is coated. Top with a sliced almonds and freshly chopped parsley.

Storage tips

Refrigerate farro salad for up to 4 days.

Make ahead. You can make ahead orange farro salad up to 2 days. Leave out the celery and almonds until you plan to serve.

Farro can also be cooked, cooled and then frozen. Defrost completely before adding to this salad.

What to serve with farro salad

Tips

For a crowd: Make a double or triple batch of the salad and at least double the dressing for a buffet table.

For a few: Make the recipe as described and you’ll have enough for lunches the next day or two. Serve with chicken for a main course.

Made this recipe?

I’d love it if you’d share your review and leave a star rating and comment!


a black bowl with farro and orange salad with two wooden spoons on a black and khaki striped background
5 from 6 votes

15 Minute Farro Salad with Citrus Dressing

A salad chock full of zesty oranges, crunchy celery and almonds brightened with a sweet tangy dressing. So easy to make ahead for a party. The whole salad including cooking the farro can be made in under 15 minutes!
Prep Time:20 minutes
Total Time:20 minutes
Servings 6
Share by Text

Ingredients
 

For the farro:

  • 2 cups farro, I use Trader Joe's 10 Minute Farro
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ tsp salt

For the dressing:

For the salad

Instructions

  • Cook farro according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool completely.
  • In a glass measuring cup or mason jar, combine dressing ingredients and shake to blend completely.
  • In a wide serving dish, add cooled farro and top with the remaining ingredients except reserve some of the oranges, almonds and parsley to use as a garnish on top.
  • Toss with dressing. Garnish with additional toppings.

Notes

  • For those with nut allergies, leave the nuts out and serve them on the side for guests to choose to add them if desired.
  • Trader Joe’s has unsalted, toasted sliced almonds that work beautifully in this recipe.
  • Make ahead option:
    • Can be made 1 day ahead.
    • Toss everything together ahead of time and reserve 1/4-1/2 cup of dressing to toss with right before serving.
Course: Lunch, Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

Leave a Comment or Ask A Question

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

12 Comments

  1. Love adding mandarin oranges to salads and the combo of ingredients of this salad sound and look so yummy! Pinning to make later!5 stars

    1. Thanks so much, Ana! Gotta love those bright spots of sunshine. I love the whole sweet/sour thing in this dressing♥️

  2. Love this recipe! I made it tonight and my husband LOVED it, saying it was delicious and unlike any other salad he has had before. I made it as written except– I used fresh clementines and their juice in place of the canned mandarins–because it’s all I had and I toasted the almonds for an extra nutty punch. This recipe is a keeper!5 stars

    1. Thanks Katherine! Love the use of the clementines and definitely toast the almonds. I think when I first created the recipe originally for a wedding shower, I used Trader Joe’s toasted almonds (and def shld have added that in). Thank you for the memory jog – I am updating the recipe right now 😀. So happy you and your husband enjoyed it!! Stay well!

  3. Hi Lori! My son’s girlfriend is a vegetarian and I’m always looking for mains for when they come for dinner. I’m assuming that I can substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth here. Have you tried that? Hoping it will be just as delicious!

    1. Hi Erica! You can most definitely use vegetable broth! I will update the recipe to reflect that for sure. And thank you for the great suggestion.🤗If you make the recipe, please let me know how you like it!