Farro with Coarse Pesto

Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Farro with Coarse Pesto is a nutritious and hearty whole grain side dish bursting with flavor. No one will know it’s actually healthy!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Nutty, cheesy, slightly salty, fresh. A perfect balance of flavors.
Texture: This was the first time I had eaten farro and I LOVE it. The texture is wonderful, slightly crunchy and chewy.
Ease: The food processor does almost all the work in this recipe
Appearance: Rustic yet elegant.</div>
Pros: Healthy, keeps well in the fridge, simple.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Already eaten this dish twice!

The first time I heard about farro was while watching Giada de Laurentiis on the Food Network years ago. She explained farro as an ancient Italian wheat grain that boasted major nutritional benefits. I neatly packaged that parcel of information in the back of my mind. If I ever saw farro at the store (for an affordable price), then I would try it out.

A few weeks ago while at work, a royal purple package jumped out at me from the metro shelf dedicated to food items. It was a 1-pound box of farro. If you have access to a store like Whole Foods that has rows upon rows of bulk legume and grain bins, I’m sure you’d be able to score some farro there. I bought it that day and came home to scan Giada’s (who else?) cookbook where I found a beautifully simple, fresh, and rustic recipe that was right up my alley. I ended up eating this farro with pesto for lunch one day and as a side for dinner the next. It keeps well, tastes fabulous, and is seriously good for you.

How good? It is rich in fiber and high in vitamins A, B, C, and E plus protein, minerals, and easy to digest.

Farro with Coarse Pesto

Yield 6-8 servings     adjust servings
Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Total Time 40 mins

Farro with Coarse Pesto is a nutritious and hearty whole grain side dish bursting with flavor. No one will know it’s actually healthy!


  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound farro
  • 2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pecorino cheese wedge, for garnish


  1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the farro and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the farro, covered, until tender, about 25 minutes.

    Drain farro and set aside in a large bowl.

    Meanwhile, in a food processor combine the parsley, basil, thyme, and garlic. Pulse until the herbs are roughly chopped. Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pulse again until the herbs make a coarse mixture.

    Toss the warm farro with the coarse pesto. Transfer to a serving bowl. Using a vegetable peeler on the cheese wedge to make about 1/2 cup of cheese shavings. Top the farro with the cheese shavings and serve.


Recipe Notes

Note: If you don’t own a food processor, you could always use a mortar &amp; pestle.

From Giada's Kitchen

About Tessa...

Tessa is a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. She loves to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. She's on a mission to make the world a more unapologetically DELICIOUS place. Tessa lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

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5 Responses to “Farro with Coarse Pesto”

  1. #
    [email protected] — July 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I've never heard of farro, but with the pesto it sounds like a nice cool and refreshing summer dish. And if it came from Giada it has to be tasty for sure!

    PS – New Subscriber! πŸ™‚

  2. #
    fooddoodles — July 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    I've seen quite a few recipes using farro but still haven't tried it! I have yet to find it πŸ™ This is on my to-make list for when I do, it looks fantastic and I love the pesto. Yum πŸ™‚

  3. #
    Maris — July 19, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    I have never had this but can honestly say that everything you make is excellent!

  4. #
    Ariel Paz — March 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Made this tonight and it was delicious. Perfect with the Mediterranean salmon.
    Thank you!

  5. #
    Miss Food Fairy — January 24, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Oh yumm! I think tis might go perfectly with my steak tonight! Thanks for sharing & inspiring – so simple but looks so tasty πŸ™‚

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