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Farro Salad with Feta, Brussels Sprouts & Grapes

Greenletes / Recipes / Grain Bowls / Farro Salad with Feta, Brussels Sprouts & Grapes

This vegetarian Farro Salad with Feta has shaved Brussels Sprouts, red grapes, sliced almonds and a delicious maple balsamic vinaigrette.

With the winter fast approaching, I couldn’t think of a better time to introduce this Farro Salad with Feta, Brussels Sprouts & Grapes. 

Is it just me or are the weeks leading up to holidays always busy with deadlines, shopping, and end of year functions? And the hectic schedule continues into the winter months as it gets dark at 5pm.

When I don’t have much time to prepare meals during the day, I rely on quick and easy recipes that I can prep ahead of time, like this Farro Salad. It’s a simple grain bowl that comes together in no time flat and stays in the fridge for multiple days. 

farro salad with feta, sliced almonds, red grapes and sliced brussels sprouts, topped with maple vinaigrette

What is Farro? 

Farro is less popular than other common grains like couscous, rice and barley. But farro is one of my favorite grains because I love its delicious nutty taste and chewy texture. 

Farro is an ancient Mediterranean grain, and it sometimes goes by other names like Emmer, Spelt and Einkorn. It’s used often in Italian cooking, and there are actually three types: pearled, semi-pearled and whole farro.

Pearled farro is the quick cooking one that you see most often in the stores. For instance, Trader Joe’s sells a 10-minute quick cook farro. Pearled farro has the outer husk removed, but it still contains most of the fiber. 

tossed farro salad with feta, sliced almonds, red grapes and sliced brussels sprouts, topped with maple vinaigrette

Semi-pearled farro has some of bran removed, but not all of it. It takes longer to cook than pearled farro, but not nearly as long as whole farro. This variety (whole farro) is the intact grain, which takes about 45-60 minutes to cook. 

Farro is a high-protein and high fiber whole grain that is rich in nutrients like magnesium, iron, zinc and B vitamins. These vitamins and minerals support a healthy immune system, wound healing, strong bones, nerve and muscle function, hair, skin and eye health and regulate blood glucose levels. In addition, Vitamin B3 and other B vitamins help break down and convert food into energy. 

Farro is a good source of complex carbohydrates, meaning they are large carbohydrate molecules that are digested slowly. This is great for athletes because complex carbs slowly release glucose into the bloodstream, which helps maintain energy levels. 

The fiber content is also beneficial for healthy digestion, managing cholesterol, and increasing satiety. Believe it or not, farro has more fiber than grains like brown rice and oatmeal. 

Here’s a quick look at the nutrition facts. In a third cup serving of farro, you’ll get: 

  • 150 calories 
  • 29 grams carbs 
  • 3 grams fiber
  • 1 gram sugar
  • 5 grams protein 
  • 1 gram fat 
  • 0g sodium 
  • 2mg iron (10% RDA)

How to cook farro

The cooking time of the farro depends on the variety. But in general, here’s how you cook farro. 

First, rinse your farro. Place farro in a fine mesh sieve and run water over it. 

Now you’re ready to cook. For pearled (quick cooking) farro, the easiest method of cooking is similar to pasta. Bring a big pot of water to a boil, add the farro, cook for about 10-minutes and then drain the water. 

For other types of farro, you may want to cook it like rice. Use a 2:1 water to farro recipe and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for as long as the package instructions. Cook until the farro is soft but has a slight chewy texture.

Ingredients to make this farro salad 

This salad has all kinds of delicious flavors and textures …. nutty, sweet, crunchy, creamy. 

farro salad with feta, sliced almonds, red grapes and sliced brussels sprouts, topped

To make this, you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces farro
  • 1 cup red grapes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup shredded Brussels sprouts 
  • 1/4 cup feta
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

How to make this farro salad  

This recipe is quick and easy to make as a plant-based lunch or dinner side dish. The nice thing is you can dress thing salad while making it, and it won’t get soggy. That means it stays fresh in the fridge for 5-7 days.  

Here’s how to make it: 

  1. Cook farro according to package instructions. Allow to cool until it’s warm.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the farro with grapes, brussels sprouts, feta cheese and sliced almonds 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and salt.
  4. Pour the dressing on top of the farro salad and serve immediately or refrigerate. This salad can be eaten warm or cold. 

Ingredient Swaps & Substitutions 

While I love to use farro as a base for my grain bowls, I know that some people may prefer a different grain. This salad still works with a variety of whole grains. To swap out the farro, try using one of these options instead:

  • Quinoa 
  • Couscous 
  • Brown rice 
  • Wheatberries
  • Sorghum
  • Barley
  • Bulgur Wheat

Other swaps you may want to make:

  • Feta: Goat cheese or fresh mozzarella will also taste great. Or leave out the cheese entirely. 
  • Almonds: Any kind of nut works in this recipe, but some of my favorites are pine nuts, pecans and walnuts. Pumpkin seeds will also make a nice addition.
  • Brussels sprouts: Not a fan of brussel sprouts? No problem! Try using shredded kale or spinach instead  

How to make this salad vegan

The ingredients in this salad are incredibly versatile and can easily be mixed and matched to suit your individual preferences. 

To make this a vegan-friendly recipe, either swap the feta for a vegan alternative or you can leave out altogether. There are so many great vegan brands on the market that offer a wide range of cheese products. If you can’t get your hands on vegan feta, other vegan options like vegan parmesan, vegan goat cheese and vegan gouda will work just as well. 

How to add more protein to this salad 

Including enough protein at every meal is always a concern for plant-based eaters. But meeting your protein needs is doable with plant-based ingredients like beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy products and dairy (for vegetarians).

To up the protein content of this recipe, try adding some of the following ingredients: 

  • Beans: chickpeas, cannellini beans or white beans 
  • Seeds: pumpkin or hemp seeds
  • Tofu or tempeh 
  • Boiled egg

Serving Suggestions 

I’ve been eating this grain bowl for lunch lately, but it also makes a nice light dinner option.

If a grain bowl alone won’t satisfy you, serve it with some of these other sides: 

farro salad with feta, sliced almonds, red grapes and sliced brussels sprouts, topped with maple vinaigrette

Farro Salad with Feta, Brussels Sprouts & Grapes

This vegetarian Farro Salad with Feta has shaved Brussels Sprouts, red grapes, sliced almonds and a delicious maple balsamic vinaigrette.

Course Salad
Keyword farro salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 487 kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces farro
  • 1 cup red grapes sliced in half
  • 1 cup shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup feta
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Cook farro according to package instructions.
  2. Once the farro is cooked and cool enough to touch, place it in a large bowl. Combine farro with the grapes, brussels sprouts, feta cheese and sliced almonds.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and salt.
  4. Pour the dressing on top of the farro salad and serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Nutrition Facts
Farro Salad with Feta, Brussels Sprouts & Grapes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 487 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 15g
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 307mg13%
Potassium 452mg13%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 12g50%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 246IU5%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 125mg13%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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I’m Natalie Rizzo, an NYC-based Registered Dietitian.

My mission is to help everyday athletes fuel their fitness with plants.

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