January 3, 2022

by Alyssa

Warm Detox Farro Salad with Kale

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This Warm Detox Farro Salad with kale, sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, and balsamic dressing is a healthy vegan side dish that is perfect for winter.

bowl of farro salad with kale and greens

I love salads of all kinds. But when the weather is chilly, a raw and fresh salad isn't always what I'm craving. That's when I'll turn to hearty grain-based salads that are loaded with veggies.

And if you're feeling a bit off after a weekend, week, or month of indulging a bit more than you're used to, this is the recipe you need.

It's packed with nutrients, colorful vegetables, and most importantly, it's full of flavor. The mustard-balsamic dressing is made to coat tender farro grains. This is a delicious vegan side dish but it also doubles as a meal prep recipe or a full meal.

ingredients for salad with farro, squash, kale and onion

Ingredients in Warm Farro Salad

Here's what you need for this healthy salad:

  • Sweet potato. This adds a subtle sweetness and nice texture to the dish.
  • Red onion. You can also use white or yellow onion.
  • Garlic. You'll roast the garlic to add a sweet flavor to the salad dressing.
  • Thyme. If you'd like a different herb, try rosemary or oregano.
  • Farro. This healthy whole grain is packed with fiber and protein (or feel free to swap it with your favorite gluten-free grain!).
  • Kale. A healthy, high-fiber green that wilts nicely with the farro.
  • Dried cherries. Feel free to use cranberries or diced dates if you like.
  • Pumpkin seeds. For crunch and healthy fats.

pouring balsamic dressing over farro salad

Balsamic Dressing

This warm detox salad gets pulled together with a smooth, thick, and slightly sweet balsamic dressing. The farro absorbs the dressing nicely, so it can handle the thicker-than-usual dressing. Here's what you need to make it:

  • Olive oil. You only need two tablespoons so the dressing stays nice and thick.
  • Balsamic vinegar. Choose a nice high-quality vinegar if you can find it.
  • Dijon mustard. For a bit of peppery, acidic flavor.

tossing farro salad with greens and potato

More Farro Salad Mix-In Ideas

You can easily play with the flavors and textures in this salad recipe. Here are some other veggies, fruit, and nuts to throw into the mix:

  • Use squash instead of sweet potato
  • Add brussels sprouts or green beans
  • Swap kale for spinach or another hearty chopped green
  • Use slivered almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts instead of pumpkin seeds

green and squash salad with farro

Storage Suggestions

Store leftover farro salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days without the dressing. After dressing, I'd keep the salad for one to two days.

Cooked farro also freezes well, so go ahead and make a big batch so you can make another detox salad next week.

It's great for meal prep!

You can add extra protein the next day with Balsamic Grilled Tofu or Crispy Quinoa Chicken.

bowl of farro salad with kale and greens

More Grain Salad Recipes

Try these other healthy and vegan salad recipes next:

If you make this Warm Detox Farro Salad, be sure to let me know what you think with a comment below!

Warm Detox Farro Salad with Kale

This healthy warm detox farro salad recipe is a vegan side dish that is perfect for winter.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 477kcal
Print Pin
green and squash salad with farro
5 from 3 votes

Ingredients

for the salad:

  • 1 large sweet potato , diced
  • 1 medium red onion , diced
  • 5 garlic cloves , peeled and smashed
  • 5 thyme sprigs , plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup farro (or swap with quinoa)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 head kale , roughly chopped (about 5 cups)
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

for the dressing:

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • On a baking sheet, toss the sweet potato, onion, garlic, and thyme with the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender, stirring halfway through.
    1 large sweet potato, 1 medium red onion, 5 garlic cloves, 5 thyme sprigs, 1 tablespoon olive oil
    baking sheet of sweet potato, onion and garlic
  • Meanwhile, place the farro in a medium saucepan. Add the broth and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 35 minutes, until the grains are tender.
    1 cup farro
    collage of cooked and uncooked quinoa for grain salad
  • When the farro is cooked, add the kale leaves, cover the pot, and let sit for 10 minutes. Then remove the lid and stir to combine.
    1 head kale
    collage of steamed kale and farro
  • Remove the vegetables from the oven. Place the garlic cloves on a cutting board for the dressing. Discard the thyme sprigs. Smash the roasted garlic into a paste on your cutting board, then transfer it to a jar or cup.
    cutting board with roasted garlic and a knife
  • To finish the dressing, add the remaining dressing ingredients and whisk or shake to emulsify. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
    2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, Black pepper to taste
    measuring cup with dressing for farro salad
  • In a serving bowl, combine the farro, roasted vegetables, dried cherries, and pumpkin seeds. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Garnish with thyme.
    ½ cup dried cherries, ½ cup pumpkin seeds, Salt and pepper to taste
    pouring dressing over a salad with grains, veggies and dried cranberries

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 880mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 16994IU | Vitamin C: 107mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 4mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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6 comments
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  1. I made this and it was delicious! I was confused about the cooking time for the Farro as I have never had it or cooked it before. The recipe says to cook it for 35 min and then add the kale and cook for another 10 min however the total time is 40 min. I cooked it according to the package, 10 or 12 min. I will be making this for the rest of my life.

  2. This looks delicious but I need to say that Farro is most definitely NOT gluten free. Farro is a form of wheat and has Gluten in it, so advertising it as GF is dangerous for those that are celiac or new to GF diets and don’t know better. Just wanted to share that just in case, but the salad itself looks delicious, as long as gluten isn’t an issue for someone

  3. Typing does not show up when a person types so its impossible to change spelling mistakes if they are not visible. This recipe does not contain a broth amount. How much should I use?

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