Learn how to cook farro and find out why it’s the perfect healthy grain to cook with! I’ll also show you 4 cooking methods; stove top, oven, slow cooker, and Instant Pot farro.
But, before we get into the different ways to cook farro, let’s discuss what it is.
What is farro?
Farro (Italian for “wheat”) is a hearty, extremely healthy form of hulled wheat. It classifies a category of three ancient grains; Spelt, Emmer, and Einkorn. When it’s cooked, it has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture that make it delicious in soups, salads, casseroles, or simply as a side dish.
There is also more than one type of farro. Those types are: whole, pearled, and semi-pearled farro.
Although it isn’t a whole grain, farro is still very nutritious, and a healthier option than refined grains like rice. It is a good source of protein, magnesium, and fiber.
Because it is a type of wheat, unfortunately, farro is not gluten-free. However, good gluten-free substitutes include brown rice, sorghum, and oat groats.
How to Cook Farro
Generally speaking, farro is one of the most versatile and adaptable grains to cook with. As the grains cook, they split open, almost like popcorn, and release their starch. As a result, you can cook farro risotto style. Rather than calling it risotto, some people choose to call the dish farrotto.
As was mentioned earlier, I’m going to show you how to cook farro four different ways. All four cooking methods are explained in detail in the recipe card, below. Here are my thoughts on each of the methods.
Method 1: Stove Top
This is the most common way to make farro. Although the method is straightforward and easy, it requires a pretty long cooking time. It takes almost 40 minutes to cook farro in boiling water on a stove top. And the water necessary depends on the size of the pot and how well the lid seals the pot.
Method 2: Instant Pot Farro
My absolute favorite! Making farro in an Instant Pot yields the best and most consistent results, the cooking time and water necessary are always the same.
Method 3: Slow Cooker
Making farro in a slow cooker is perfect if you have a busy schedule. All of the cooking is hands-off, so you can start the slow cooker, then run off to deal with other things. I use a 7 quart Crock Pot and it gives me consistent results.
Method 4: In the Oven
This method of preparing farro is also very simple. Like the stove top method, cooking time will vary with this method. It depends on the size of the baking dish and how tightly the baking sheet/aluminum foil sits on top.
If you want to try farro as an ingredient in a main dish, these recipes are perfect choices:
- Toss a cup of cooked farro into this Warm Goat Cheese Salad
- Swap out quinoa for farro in this easy quinoa salad recipe
- Add some cooked farro to roasted garlic butternut squash soup
How to Cook Farro
- 1 cup farro
- water or broth/stock
- sea salt
Small Pot with tight-fitting lid: Add 1 cup farro, 1.5 cups water, and a little sea salt, place lid on top and bring to the boil. Once boiling immediately lower heat to low and let simmer for approximately 35-40 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
Large Pot or not tight-fitting lid: Add 1 cup farro, 1.75-2 cups water, and a little sea salt, place lid on top and bring to the boil. Once boiling immediately lower heat to low and let simmer for approximately 35-40 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
Instant Pot: Add 1 cup farro, 1 cup water, a little sea salt, put on the lid and turn the valve to the sealing position. Set pressure cooker to 22 minutes on high pressure and then let the pressure release naturally (for approx. 15 minutes).
Slow-Cooker: Add 1 cup farro, 2 cups water, and a little sea salt and set to high for 2 hours.
Oven: Preheat oven to 400F. Add 1 cup farro, a little sea salt to a baking dish and 2 cups of boiling water (from the kettle) to a baking dish and cover with a baking sheet or aluminum foil. Add to the hot oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Most packagings suggest using more water. I was always left with a ton of water in all my devices using the suggested amounts of water and had to drain my farro.
I also like my farro on the rather "al dente" side so I use less water and let it absorb completely and have it ready to serve without needing to drain it.
Timings may vary depending on how well your lids fit on your pots/slow cookers and how big the circumference of the pot is. The bigger the circumference the more water evaporates.
The best and most consistent results are achieved in an Instant Pot.
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