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Mediterranean Farro Salad with Orzo

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This Farro Salad combines chewy farro and orzo pasta with Mediterranean ingredients like cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon, feta, and mint. It’s a delicious and satisfying dish with varying textures and scrumptious flavors in about 30 minutes.

Closeup side view of farro salad in a white salad bowl with wooden serving utensils.

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What I Love About Farro Pasta Salad

This delicious and healthy Mediterranean pasta salad is perfect during the warm months, and anytime you want to make a healthy pasta salad alternative.

I’m in love with the textures and flavors this Mediterranean pasta salad brings, to be sure, but I also love that it’s easy to make. The farro and orzo cook together in the same pot, making this dish super convenient.

If you love make-ahead salads, this is a great option too!

Top view of farro salad in a white embossed salad bowl with fresh parsley.

Mediterranean Farro Salad Ingredients

The recipe card at the bottom of this post contains ingredient measurements, but here are some quick notes on what you will need.

  • Farro: Depending on which farro variety you are using, cooking time may vary. Consult your package cooking instructions.
  • Uncooked orzo: You could also substitute any small pasta like Acini Di Pepe pasta.
  • Red onion, chopped or minced
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: I like to use julienned sun-dried tomatoes and then give them a rough chop. You could also substitute fresh halved cherry tomatoes, but the sun-dried tomatoes bring a lot of flavor to the salad.
  • Cucumber: Be sure to remove the seeds. I’m using an English cucumber, but any variety will work. Try to keep the vegetables and fruit (cucumber) chopped to a similar size.
  • Bell pepper: I’m using a yellow bell pepper, but use your favorite color. You could also substitute another pepper variety for additional heat if you prefer.
  • Baby spinach leaves: If using larger spinach, give it a rough chop.
  • Fresh herbs: Mint is delicious in this salad, but parsley also works.
  • Cheese: Both grated or crumbled feta or goat cheese are delicious.
  • Additional Ad-ins: To keep the varied texture theme, I love to also add toasted nuts. In this case, I’m using toasted sliced almonds, but use your favorite or eliminate it all together.

Lemon Dressing Ingredients

  • Fresh lemons
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Olive oil

Is pearled farro the same as regular farro?

When shopping for Farro, you may come across several varieties. Here are some of the differences between them.

Whole farro is unprocessed and completely encased in the outer germ. It contains more fiber and nutrients but is more difficult to find and takes longer to cook. Semi-pearled farro has some of the bran removed and pearled farro has all of the bran removed and less nutrients, but cooks a lot faster.

How to Make Farro Salad

This pasta salad is easy to make in a couple of steps. I did want to pass along one tip that shaves minutes off the prep. I love chopped salads where the ingredients are chopped into similar sizes. Using a chopper saves tons of time. I used mine to prep this salad and was able to chop the veggies in 2 minutes flat, a really, really nice time saver.

Step 1: Cook the Farro and Orzo

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farro, bring it back to a boil, and let simmer for about 10 minutes if using pearled farro. In this recipe, I’m using semi-pearled farro and do simmer it for about 15 minutes, just until it begins to soften.

Add the orzo to the farro and continue to simmer until both are cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes more. Drain the water and let it cool. I like to speed up the process by rinsing with cold water.

Top view of chopped vegetables and cooked farro and orzo in a glass bowl.

Step 2: Prep the ingredients

While the farro and orzo are cooking, prep the vegetables. As mentioned, I use a vegetable chopper, which saves me a lot of time.

Top view of lemon dressing ingredients on a white marble board.

Make the dressing at the same by zesting and squeezing the lemons and then whisking the juice, zest, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and olive oil until combined. Set aside.

Step 3: Serving the salad

Add the onions, chopped cucumbers, bell peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes to the cooled farro and pasta. Gently fold in the spinach, feta, mint, and or parsley, nuts if using, and the lemon dressing. Add additional olive oil and salt and pepper if needed, and serve!

If making farro salad ahead

I’ve saved this salad in my refrigerator, fully assembled, for several days, which makes utterly delicious lunches! But for the best texture and flavor, I do recommend the following:

  • Cook the farro and orzo ahead.
  • Make the dressing ahead.
  • Chop the cucumbers and vegetables ahead of time and store them separately until ready to serve.
  • Before serving, toss the ingredients together, adding additional olive oil as needed.

More Pasta Salad Recipes to Try

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Top side view of farro salad ready for serving in a large white bowl.
Three-quarter view of farro salad in a white salad bowl for serving.

Farro Salad with Orzo Recipe

Try this easy-to-make Mediterranean Farro Salad with orzo pasta, fresh veggies, and tangy feta. A delicious and healthy alternative to traditional pasta salads.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Save
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 14 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup uncooked pearled farro
  • 1 pound uncooked orzo
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 medium cucumber (seeds removed) and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (or parsley) finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta grated or crumbled
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds (optional) or your favorite toasted nut

Lemon Dressing

  • 2 large lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add farro and let simmer for 10minutes. Add orzo to the pot and continue to simmer until farro and pasta are cooked through, about 8 minutes more.
  • While the farro is cooking prepare the dressing and chop the onion, cucumber and bell pepper.
  • Drain the farro and orzo and let cool.

To Make the Dressing

  • Finely zest the lemons and place it in a bowl. Then, whisk together the zest, lemon juice from 1 1/2 lemons, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Gradually whisk in the oil. Taste and season as needed.

To Serve

  • Add the onions, chopped cucumbers, bell peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes to the cooled farro and pasta. Gently fold in the spinach, feta, mint and or parsley, and almonds, if using, along with the dressing. Add additional olive oil and salt and pepper if needed.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 263mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 583IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: pasta salad, farro

2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So delicious and well-balanced! Each flavor stands out.

    Our grocer only carries Bob’s Red Mill un-pearled farro, so I cooked it the slowest method— 27 minutes before adding the orzo for 7 minutes — and made sure to stir often so the orzo wouldn’t stick to the pan. I read that they absorb sauces readily when warm, so I put the dressing in while the grain and pasta were freshly drained. Just before serving, I mixed in the chopped vegetables and other ingredients. The lemony starches stood out, while the onions, cucumber, mint, sun-dried tomato, and feta each retained distinct flavors. So good!

    1. Thank you, Emily! I’m so glad you liked the salad and for sharing your cooking time!

5 from 1 vote

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