How to cook Farro - step by step pictures

I know I have said it quite a few times already, but then here I am at it again – I love wholegrains!. I cook with it often enough and you can see my passion for whole grains here. If you like the texture of Wheat berries, then you would like Farro too.

Farro (Triticum dicoccon) is Italian for Emmer wheat – which is known to be an old form of wheat. It was supposedly first cultivated in Babylonia, and is still prevalent as a cereal grain in Europe. It is also referred to as “two grained spelt” or “starch wheat.” But Farro is not Spelt. If you see Spelt in your aisle, don’t confuse it with Farro and vice versa. Though they have connections, they are different. Farro looks like a plumpier version of Barley. The number of wheat products that you get in the market nowadays is mind boggling! Much to the chagrin of the celiacs but a boon to most of us with generous all-purpose (but no nutritional use) flour laden pantries. Farro can be used in stews, as a substitute for rice or in salads. They are not fussy to cook with. Look out for the semi-pearled variety, give it a quick rinse and cook as mentioned below.

How to cook Farro - step by step pictures

Although most purists insist on soaking the grain overnight, it is not the end of the world if you forget  to – It still does not take hours to cook like wheat berries. The cooking time to properly cook Farro ranges between 20-40 minutes.

I give this range in order to accommodate one’s taste preferences – Just Tender, chewy or full mushy! I like mine chewy and I love it in salads so it takes about 30 minutes for me to cook farro. Overnight Soaking would of course reduce the cooking time even further taking about 10-15min for the chewy texture. Since there aren’t really any steps that I can show when it comes to cooking it in Rice/pressure cooker, I have posted pictures only for stove top method.

How to Cook Farro on a stove top?

For 1 cup Farro, add about 2 and 1/2 cups salted water in a saucepan

How to cook Farro - step by step pictures

and bring it to a boil.

How to cook Farro - step by step pictures

Reduce the heat and simmer the grain with a closed lid

How to cook Farro - step by step pictures

for another 15-30 minutes until tender.

How to cook Farro - step by step pictures

Drain the water if any – I use this sometimes for my soup or cooking vegetables – cool and then use as per need.

How to cook Farro - step by step pictures

How to Cook Farro using Rice Cooker?

I have cooked Farro using cooker only once. I soaked 1 cup Farro overnight – added 3 cups water and cooked it on Brown Rice setting. It took about 45 minutes to get cooked completely.

How to Cook Farro using Pressure Cooker?

Soak Farro overnight. I used 3 cups water to 1 cup Farro – and cooked it for 2-3 whistles. Takes approx 10-15minutes. It is fine even if you forget to soak – it takes about the same time to cook too. If you have forgotton to do the due diligence to the grain beforehand (!!!), simply pressure cook it – it saves lots of time, effort and electricity/gas! :)

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30 Responses to “How to cook Farro”
  1. hi, I’m looking for an old Italian desert cake recipe with the grain soaked over night .like a pan style very sweet with powder sugar topping yellow color or white. :-| please help fulfill my childhood memories.

  2. Susan

    Thank you! I cooked it in my rice cooker, I like it chewy. Is it really normal to have little water when cooked, not like cooked brown rice.

  3. Zizana

    ok, here is recipe for farro desert.
    cook farro in a pressure cooker for 13 min, or i a pot for 40 min. Cool down and drain.
    Measure with cups. Put xy cups of cooked and cooled farro in a food processor. Add the same number of cups of walnut (or almonds or mix of nuts). Sweeten with agave nectar. Process in food processor until even and mushed. Taste for sweetness of your choice. (you may add a bit of spring water, if you need to be more creamy texture). Serve in small glasses, decorate with fruit or cream. Enjoy.

  4. SR

    do you have any recipes with farro. I searched the blog using farro but nothing showed up?

  5. Fran

    I fell in love with the Santorini Salad from Chessecake Factory and ran to William and Sonoma and bought a bag a Farro and made it… never cooked! Now I soaked it over night and i am cooking it. I just realized reading your blog page that there is A Pearl verison and that is what they cook. I am a bit unhappy this morning. Hope it is still good. I am serving it to 30 People today. :-P

  6. Pat Wyder from Ottawa, ON Canada

    Like faro; looking forward for delicious grains; happy to see many enjoying it. Thank u. Pat Wyder

  7. Melanie

    :?: Hi! So when you mention that farro does not take long to cook, was that specific to pearled farro? It seems that I have purchased unpearled farro and I guess that does require soaking overnight? I am looking forward to cooking it but I am stuck on the pearled vs unpearled… Thank you!

  8. Grapefruit

    I love your site! So easy and user friendly, especially for those of us who enjoy Indian cuisine and are newbies at cooking it! I’ve enjoyed Farro at a few restaurants, can’t wait to try it in the vegetarian paella I’m making for dinner (subsituting Farro for the white rice).

  9. Wonderful site. Plenty of helpful info here. I’m sending it to several friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks in your effort!

  10. :wink: When you cook 2 or 3 cups of Faro do you double/triple the amount of water?

  11. Charles

    I just got some pearled organic farro, and organic quinoa at Costco. Thanks for the cooking advice for pressure cookers.

  12. Tara

    Thanks for the instructions! I’ve been sprouting wheat berries and decided to branch out and try cooking farro. I found a recipe I want to try, but it calls for 4 cups cooked farro. How much does farro plump up when cooked? If I have 3 cups dried – I’m guessing that will be enough… Thanks!

  13. ladynasdaq

    I bought some farro,wheat berries and red quinoa today to try them out. I am getting pretty good making some grain salads and wanted to branch out more with selection. Looking forward to a good meal ahead and making whole grain foods a part of my meals so that I can permanently get white flour out of my life as much as possible. I’m down almost 30 lbs. with some serious menu changes and feel very empowered!

  14. Girl Hobo

    I am catering a vegan wedding next month and to my delight a friend brought me a bag of farro from Italy. I plan to make a Morrocan-style pilaf using the farro, barley, couscous & brown rice, then maybe some dried fruits and toasted nuts. Thank you for your advice!

  15. Thanks so much. And here I was thinking that I always had to soak the stuff overnight. I am whipping this up tonight. No more soaking!

    Hi John, Having a pressure cooker is like a blessing in disguise. Soaking ceases to be an issue :) –DK

  16. Ruthey

    I never heard of farro til I saw it in the Market Buys for Poulsbo Central Market. I had to do a search for it and found your link. Thank you for the great information. I plan to buy some this weekend and try it. I use barley in soups quite a lot, I will try substituting farro for barley next time.

    Thanks Ruthey…I love Farro – Like you said it works so well in soups too. I use it more often in salads..–DK

  17. Guess this is my first time to your blog,u have a nice blog out here.I kept laughing reading the comments too:).I have never heard of Farro…this sounds interesting though.Shall try to get some and cook.Thanks for sharing!

    Welcome to my little world Nithya. Thanks for your kind words and hoped you liked what you saw around here :) –DK

  18. hahah..thats a lovely conversation!…and a lovely post too dhivi…good job!

    LOL Valli – As madhu said in the previous comment – trust K to ‘spam’ my comment section! and reading Pavani’s comment he is lucky – he is like of course I know I am lucky – Dint I mention that in my fav dish?! I have nothing to say to that–DK

  19. First I thought it was a spam! Then only I read your reply to Pavani’s comment and understood it was K’s thiruvilaiyadal!

  20. Hey DK, when did you start cooking pancetta?

    I said it before – He will kill my blog – dint I ? Now u know why! ;) –DK

  21. I’m still laughing reading your husband’s dish.. Tell him he’s a very luck guy to be able to eat all these delicious dishes first hand.

    umm…I will show him your comment – mine doesnt seem to have any impact !! ;) –DK

  22. "The Husband"

    PS: I dont think you will get any more comments on this post :)

    I agree with you!–DK

  23. "The Husband"

    “Pan seared kamut patties broiled with stuffed ravioli shells with a dash of lemon tinged sorbet!!!”

    What a load of junk! The right one is:

    “Pan seared panchetta broiled with stuffed ravioli shells with a dash of alfredo!!!” Sorbet works too but its not ideal :) .

    Jokes aside, you cant accuse it of being unhealthy – not one drop of oil! ;)

    *Taking a bow * I rest my case!!!!!!!!–DK

  24. Farro is new to me. I’ll look out for it. Just now noticed the tag line, Making vegetarian recipes easy. Why not, “Vegetarian Recipes Made Easy”.

    Thats a good one too madhu – Oh well, I put that one on instincts….you know me, I am too lazy to make a change now :)

  25. Yet another grain I’ve yet to try.. Dhivya you are Wholegrains queen. I read about these grains in veg. magazines and keep thinking about them, but never dared to buy any, ‘cos I’m not always sure if we’ll like it. Once you post the detailed info abt the grain with the cooking instructions, it goes on my grocery list. So thank you very much for enlightening people like us with your detailed posts.

    LOL! That made me smile – my husband teases me on those lines too…Since he cant remember most of the grains /dishes that I make, he will twist some 7-9 different ingredients and say – yeah dint you make that dish? His fav oft repeated name is – “Pan seared kamut patties broiled with stuffed ravioli shells with a dash of lemon tinged sorbet!!!” Gawd! I tell him never to repeat whatever I make to any of his friends – that would kill my blog ;)

  26. Thanks for the info, Dhivi! Another grain I need to try out soon. Sounds delicious! :)

    Thanks dear :) Do try it, I am sure u will luv it

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