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Farro Salad Recipe

This warm farro salad recipe with kale, sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, and nutty grains is perfect for cooler weather! It's bursting with roasted veggies and tender greens, tossed with sweet-tangy homemade balsamic dressing.

Overhead view of a large bowl of farro salad with kale and sweet potato.

Don't get me wrong, I love fresh salads like my kale Caesar salad and massaged kale salad. But when the weather is chilly, raw veggies aren't always what I'm craving. That's when I'll turn to hearty grain-based salads that are loaded with cooked veggies, like this farro salad with kale. This recipe is packed with satisfying grains and colorful oven-roasted vegetables, with a bit of crunch thanks to pumpkin seeds. Meanwhile, the creamy homemade balsamic dressing is made to coat tender farro grains. Every bite is popping with cozy flavor!

If you're looking for more fall and winter salad recipes packed with wholesome ingredients, try my creamy kale and quinoa salad and this Thai superfood kale salad, too.

Why You'll Love This Farro Salad Recipe

  • Flavor-packed. My farro salad has it all. Sweetness from the sweet potato and dried cherries, savory garlic and herbs, and a touch of heat from the mustard-balsamic dressing. So good.
  • Filling. This recipe comes loaded with grains and veggies, and it's super satisfying. It's just what you need on a chilly weeknight evening, and it's quick enough to make with easy ingredients.
  • Versatile. This farro kale salad is delicious as a vegan side dish, and it doubles as a full meal. It's easy to bulk up this recipe with add-ons and it's even great for meal prepping.
Ingredients for farro kale salad.

Farro Salad Ingredients

Here's a short overview of what you need for this easy farro salad recipe, plus some notes. Scroll down to the recipe card for a printable list of ingredients.

  • Sweet Potato – I love the subtle sweetness and texture of roasted sweet potatoes in this salad. You can substitute sweet potato with butternut squash or chopped baby potatoes, too.
  • Red Onion – You can also use white or yellow onion.
  • Garlic – Roasting garlic brings out its sweet flavors. It goes perfectly in the balsamic dressing.
  • Thyme – Fresh thyme leaves are best. Another herb, like rosemary or oregano, will also work here.
  • Farro – Farro is a hearty whole grain (see below). It has a nice nutty flavor and chewiness that makes it super satisfying to eat, and it's a tasty alternative to pasta or rice. Feel free to swap out the farro with your favorite gluten-free grain if you'd prefer. Pearl barley is a good substitute.
  • Vegetable Broth – Boiling the farro grains in
  • Kale – Kale is a hardy green that wilts nicely with the farro. I like to use curly kale, but any variety works. You can also use spinach or chard.
  • Dried Cherries – Feel free to use cranberries or chopped dates if you'd like.
  • Pumpkin seeds – For crunch. You can also use chopped nuts, like pecans or almonds, or sunflower seeds.
  • Dressing – This warm salad gets pulled together with a creamy, sweet-tangy balsamic dressing. It's so easy to make with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard. You can also use your favorite store-bought brand, or another type of dressing entirely!

What Is Farro?

Farro grains are a chewy, nutty kind of wheat. It's popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, used in everything from soups to salads. Farro comes pearled, semi-pearled, or whole. All are delicious in this recipe! To cook the farro, you'll need to boil it. The cooking times are around 15 minutes for pearled farro, 30 minutes for semi-pearled, and 40 minutes for whole farro. The exact times might vary a bit, so taste to check.

How to Make Farro Salad

The beauty of this farro salad recipe is in how easy it is to make. It comes together in just a few quick steps. Scroll to the recipe card for printable instructions.

Diced sweet potato, onion, and garlic cloves on a baking sheet.
  • Roast the veggies. Toss sweet potato, onion, and garlic cloves with thyme, oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the veggies out on a baking sheet and roast at 400ºF for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Side by side images of farro boiling in a pot.
  • Cook the farro. Bring farro, vegetable broth, and salt to a simmer on the stovetop. Cook for 35 minutes, until the farro is tender.
Side by side images of kale being steamed in a pot of farro grains.
  • Steam the kale. Once the farro is cooked, add the kale over top. Cover the pot and let the leaves steam and soften for 10 minutes in the leftover heat. Afterward, stir the kale and farro together.
Side by side images of balsamic dressing being whisked together in a glass measuring cup.
  • Make the dressing. First, transfer the roasted garlic cloves to a cutting board and use the side of knife to smash them into a paste. Next, whisk the garlic paste together with the dressing ingredients.
Dressing drizzled over a bowl of farro salad ingredients.
  • Assemble the salad. Add the farro and kale to a bowl with the roasted vegetables. Sprinkle in dried cherries and pumpkin seeds, and then drizzle over the dressing. Give everything a final toss to combine, and dig in.
A large bowl of farro salad with kale and sweet potato, with tongs for tossing.

Tips for Success

This wholesome farro salad recipe is very straightforward, but a few tips never hurt. Here are some final things to keep in mind:

  • Drain off any excess liquid. If your farro is cooked but some of the broth is still left in the pot, drain it before adding the kale.
  • Try not to overcook the kale. The kale should be wilted, but not too soft or browned. The goal with steaming is to soften the leaves while keeping them bright vibrant green.
  • Meal prep this recipe. You can easily meal prep this salad by cooking the farro up to 3 days in advance. Store it airtight in the fridge and then warm it on the stove. You can also prepare the balsamic dressing ahead of time.
Balsamic dressing being poured over a bowl of farro salad ingredients.

What to Serve With Farro Salad

This salad is perfect to enjoy as a light lunch or as a side with dinner. Soup and salad is one of my favorite meal combinations, so in the wintertime, I'll serve this salad warm with my red lentil soup or this creamy roasted pumpkin soup and a side of almond flour bread for dunking. It's also a great side to protein, like this flavorful Moroccan chicken or this vegan-friendly herb-crusted baked tofu.

If you're looking for a tasty Thanksgiving side dish, consider this farro salad! It pairs perfectly with more holiday sides like cornbread stuffing, green bean almondine, and mashed cauliflower.

Overhead view of a bowl of farro salad with kale and sweet potato, next to a small bowl of pumpkin seeds.

Add-ins and Variations

You can easily change up the flavors and textures in this salad recipe with your favorite veggies, fruit, nuts, etc. Try these ideas:

  • Substitute the sweet potato. As mentioned earlier, you can swap sweet potato for squash instead. Small waxy potatoes, like red or baby potatoes, are also a good option.
  • Add fruit. Sliced apples, like Honeycrisp, taste delicious in this salad. Mandarin oranges are also a great way to brighten it up.
  • Add cheese. Top this salad with grated parmesan cheese, shaved pecorino cheese, feta, or goats cheese. You can also sprinkle over some nutritional yeast to keep it vegan.
  • More greens. Swap kale for spinach or another hearty chopped green. You can bulk up this salad with Brussels sprouts, green beans, peas, or asparagus. Roasted or steamed broccoli would also be great.
  • Add nuts. Sprinkle in some slivered almonds, walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts instead of pumpkin seeds
  • Add protein. Top this salad with balsamic grilled tofu or crispy quinoa chicken for a heartier dish.
Overhead view of a large bowl of farro salad with kale and sweet potato.

How to Store Farro Salad

  • Refrigerate. Ideally, store this farro salad without the dressing. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Dressed salad is best eaten within 2 days.
  • Freeze. While I don't recommend freezing the finished salad, cooked farro on its own freezes well. Make a big batch so you can make another salad next week!

More Grain salads and Bowls

Farro Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote
This warm farro salad recipe is just what your weeknight needs! It's a flavor-packed winter salad loaded with with tender greens, sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, and hearty grains, tossed with homemade balsamic dressing.
author: Alyssa
yield: 4 servings
Overhead view of a bowl of farro salad with kale and sweet potato, next to a small bowl of pumpkin seeds.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes


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:


  • 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
    Diced sweet potato, onion, and garlic cloves on a baking sheet.
  • 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
    Side by side images of farro boiling in a pot.
  • 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
    Side by side images of kale being steamed in a pot of farro grains.
  • 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.
    Overhead view of a knife resting on a cutting board next to partially mashed roasted garlic.
  • 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
    Side by side images of balsamic dressing being whisked together in a glass measuring cup.
  • 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
    Dressing drizzled over a bowl of farro salad ingredients.


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
cuisine: American
course: Salad

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