Farro Pilaf

Farro Pilaf is a delicious change from a traditional rice pilaf with a nutty texture and lots of flavor!

Pilaf complements all kinds of proteins from chicken and beef to pork; it even stands alone as a hearty vegetarian entrée.

close up of Farro Pilaf with nuts and garnish on top

What is Pilaf?

We love all kinds of healthy grains and love to share new and interesting recipes for grains outside of the typical white rice, brown rice, or quinoa.

Farro, also known as emmer wheat is an ancient wheat grain that has a unique chewy texture and nutty flavor. It’s a healthy, whole wheat grain loaded with fiber and vitamins, and an excellent alternative to pasta salads.

  • Similar to barley, farro holds up well in soups, and stews and is great served cold in a salad.
  • It’s great served hot or warm but we love leftover farro with veggies and dressing as a salad too.
  • We keep it simple but feel free to add in your favorite flavors like mushrooms or extra herbs.

ingredients to make Farro Pilaf

ingredients to make Farro Pilaf


The term “pilaf” means any grain that is cooked with broth and an assortment of vegetables and seasonings.

GRAINS Our Farro Pilaf is cooked with a bit of orzo for added texture and contrast. Orzo is a small, tender, rice sized pasta.

BROTH For ease, chicken broth can be from a carton, but feel free to use homemade chicken stock if you have some on hand.

VEGETABLES & SEASONINGS Shredded carrots and a handful of savory herbs and spices give our Farro Pilaf all the right flavors.


We also like to add colorful vegetables like chopped broccoli or cauliflower, sliced mushrooms, green peas, even sun-dried tomatoes.

How to Make Farro Pilaf

Farro Pilaf is as easy to make as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Sauté onion & garlic in butter. Add farro & orzo, broth, & carrots.
  2. Simmer per recipe below, until liquid is absorbed & farro is tender.
  3. Allow to rest, then fluff with a fork & stir in almonds, chopped parsley, & salt.

ingredients in bowls and pot to make Farro Pilaf

ingredients in bowls and pot to make Farro Pilaf

Farro Pilaf in an Instant Pot

  1. Set Instant pot to sauté, cook onion & garlic in butter until soft. Add Farro & orzo, toast until the grains are lightly browned & nutty smelling, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add broth & shredded carrots. Secure lid & set on manual mode (high pressure) for 4 minutes.
  3. Natural release steam for about 12 to 15 minutes. Open lid & add almonds & parsley. Let pilaf rest for about 5 minutes, fluff with a fork, & serve immediately.

Tricks for Perfect Pilaf

  • Thoroughly rinse farro before using—like dry beans, small bits of debris can end up in the bag.
  • Toast almonds in a sauté pan before adding to the pilaf. Toasting nuts intensifies their flavor and burns off some of their natural oil so they stay crunchy!
  • Cooking or toasting farro in the pan before adding other ingredients intensifies its flavor.

top view of cooked Farro Pilaf in the pot

top view of cooked Farro Pilaf in the pot


Keep Farro Pilaf in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will last about 5 days. Reheat in the microwave.

Leftovers can be added to a soup or a stew or mixed in with a bag of vegetable medley for a whole new side dish!

And as a cold salad, serve on top of a bed of greens, or tucked into a pita pocket with some of our Tzatziki Cucumber Yogurt Dip.

What to Serve with Farro Pilaf

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Farro Pilaf

Farro Pilaf is an easy, flavorful dish that complements all kinds of protein entrées like chicken, beef, and pork!

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

  • Rinse farro under cold water and drain.

  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

  • Add farro and orzo and cook until lightly browned and nutty smelling, about 6 minutes.

  • Add broth & carrots.

  • Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a low simmer for 30-35 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and farro is tender.

  • Remove from the heat and cover. Rest 5 minutes.

  • Fluff with a fork and stir in almonds, parsley, and salt.

Calories: 273, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 510mg, Potassium: 310mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1607IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 2mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Farro, Farro Pilaf, How to make Farro Pilaf, Pilaf

Course Side Dish

Cuisine American

close up of plated Farro Pilaf with writing
cooked Farro Pilaf in the pot with writing
close up of Farro Pilaf with a title
ingredients to make Farro Pilaf with plated dish and a title