How To Cook Farro | Mount Zero Olives

July 9, 2021

How to cook farro

Farro is an ancient grain that has been used in Middle Eastern cooking for thousands of years.

There are many reasons to love farro beyond its long history. It’s wholesome, it has a unique chewy but soft texture, its nutty taste and the fact that it’s chock-full of protein, fibre, B vitamins and antioxidants.

As whole grains come farro is not only delicious but one of the most nutritious options around.

Want to give farro a try? Here are our instructions and top tips on how to cook farro, to help you perfectly cook your next farro dish.

Types of farro

When you’re shopping for farro you may notice that there are several different varieties to choose from. The three most common types you’re likely to come across are:

  1. Whole farro is unprocessed and contains the entire grain husk and bran. It needs a longer cooking time than other types or soaking overnight to speed up the cooking process. Has a strong flavour.
  2. Cracked farro has been stone ground to crack the bran and has a very fast cooking time because it has been crushed into smaller pieces.
  3. Pearled farro has no husk and has had its bran removed completely. It has a relatively quick cook time and a lovely mild nutty flavour.

Browse Mount Zero Olives farro varieties and our entire range of nutritious pulses and grains.

How to cook cracked farro

  1. Add 1 and ½ cups of Mount Zero Olives Cracked Farro to a sieve and rinse under cold water. (This removes any powdery residue that may be coating the farro and helps safeguard your farro from turning gluggy.)
  2. Transfer the rinsed farro to a medium saucepan and add 4 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring farro to the boil on the stovetop over high heat. 
  3. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until al dente. 
  4. Drain farro of any excess water. If desired, stir olive oil in using a fork to gently fluff the farro.

How to cook pearled farro

Note: Some people soak their farro overnight before cooking to speed up cooking time, but a great advantage of our pearled farro is it doesn’t need to be soaked and has a relatively fast cooking time.

  1. Add 1 cup of Mount Zero Olives Pearled Farro to a sieve and rinse under cold water. (This removes any powdery residue that may be coating the farro and helps minimise the risk of your farro going gluggy.)
  2. Transfer the farro to a saucepan and add 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring farro to the boil on the stovetop over high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for the amount of time required to achieve your desired texture. We suggest simmering your pearled farro for around 15 minutes for chewy, 20 to 25 minutes for tender and around 30 minutes for soft. 
  4. Drain farro of any excess water. If desired, stir olive oil in using a fork to gently fluff the farro.

The best farro recipes

Farro is such a versatile grain, so there is no shortage of serving suggestions and innovative ways to prepare a main, side dish or, if you’re feeling especially adventurous, even dessert and breakfast bowl to showcase its unique chewy texture and yummy nuttiness.

If you think of farro as a substitute for pasta, couscous, lentils or rice, you could easily introduce farro into your diet using it to shake up one of your favourite recipes.

From hearty winter soups, oozy autumn risottos (farotto!), fragrant spring casseroles and summery grain salads, there’s bound to be a recipe to suit the season and your tastebuds.

Here are some of our favourite farro recipes to try:

Mount Zero grain salad with barberries

Transformer Head chefs share their Middle Eastern influenced grain salad recipe.

Transformer Head chefs Luke Florence and Bryce Edwards divulge the details of their delicious Middle Eastern influenced grain salad. The nutritious heroes of this salad include farro, freekeh, quinoa and black lentils.

View the full recipe

Char-grilled corn, zucchini and farro salad with miso dressing


Cook Julia Ostro gives her secrets to preparing one of her favourite farro salad recipes.

Cook Julia Ostro says farro is one of her favourite grains and that its nuttiness and texture makes it perfect for refreshing summer salads like this one. Her tangy miso dressing sets this salad off beautifully and she swears it’ll keep you coming back for more.

View the full recipe

Mount Zero Pearled Farro, roasted cauliflower, kale and blistered grape salad


Food writer Allyse Wafer shares her wholesome roasted cauli and pearled farro salad recipe.

Food writer Allyse Wafer combines an exciting mix of ingredients including cauliflower, cumin, pearled farro, red grapes and kale, to create a tasty, healthy and filling salad. She recommends topping it off with some crumbled feta or ricotta. Yum!    

View the full recipe

Grant’s rabbit cacciatore with pearled farro

Grant Freeman from Mount Zero Olives takes us through his rabbit cacciatore recipe.

Grant Freeman, Operations Manager Mount Zero Olives, shares the method to create his hearty and tomatoey rabbit cacciatore. Naturally, the recipe features many Mount Zero Olives products like pearled farro, kalamata olives and extra virgin olive oil. If you’re not game to cooking up some rabbit you can substitute rabbit meat with chicken or duck.

View the full recipe

Explore even more delicious recipes that incorporate farro.

Bonus tips when cooking farro

Here are some handy hints to make sure your farro dish is amazing:

  • For extra flavour add vegetable or chicken stock, or aromatics like bay leaves, garlic, or fresh herbs to your farro and boiling water.
  • To enhance the nutty flavour of your farro you can toast the grains on the stove or in the oven before boiling. If you use the oven, toast the farro for 10 minutes at 180°C on a baking sheet or dry-fry it in a saucepan for about 4 minutes.
  • After cooking, season with salt and pepper, your favourite fresh herbs, butter or extra virgin olive oil while it’s still warm to add flavour.
  • Dress your farro salad just before serving. If you leave your salad dressed for too long the dressing can overpower the beautiful nutty flavour of your farro grains. We recommend a decent slurp of lemon pressed extra virgin olive oil, a simple vinaigrette or even a tahini dressing to top off your farro salad.
  • Batch cooking makes meal prep a breeze. Your farro can keep in the fridge for up to five days, so you can whip up healthy grain salads for lunch or a super speedy weeknight farro risotto for dinner. 

Common mistakes when cooking farro

Some common pitfalls to try to avoid when preparing farro:

  • Not boiling enough water. Ideally, you want to cook your farro using a 1:3 ratio of farro to water. So, 1 cup of farro with 3 cups of water. Regardless of type, it’s better to boil water that fully submerges your farro grains to give it plenty of time to cook and drain any excess water later, rather than letting it go dry and chewy, and not giving it enough time to simmer.
  • Forgetting to taste as you cook. Every type of farro can have a slightly different cooking time so the best way to determine if your farro is ready is to taste test it every 15 minutes or so. It should be chewy yet tender. But if you prefer a softer texture, simply let it cook for a little longer.  
  • Skipping cooling time. After cooking and draining, we recommend spreading out your farro into a single layer on a baking tray or large plate to allow it to cool and dry for around 25 minutes. This helps to avoid your farro from going mushy as a consequence of the steam it emits post-cook. This step is especially important if you’re making a cold salad with your farro.

We hope we have inspired you and given you the confidence to add a bit of nutrient-rich farro into your cooking repertoire. With so many mouth-watering recipes and different uses, farro has great potential to become a pantry staple that you can enjoy year-round.

Why not pop in an order to have some of our fantastic biodynamic pearled farro or cracked farro delivered to your door and get cooking!

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