This easy fall farro salad features chewy grains, sautéed carrots, cranberries, and herbs. Works as a vegan main or holiday side dish.
Since I don’t cook turkey anymore, I’ve become a big fan of whole grains as part of the Thanksgiving meal. They’re not meant to replace the turkey obviously, but something chewy-textured is a must for a plant-based feast and grains fit the bill perfectly.
Enter this fall farro salad, which I designed specifically for T-giving. It has the familiar flavors we’ve come to expect for the holiday – cranberries, root vegetables – in an easy grain salad format that can be served warm or at room temp. Let’s dive in…
Why It Works
- It’s balanced. The contrast of chewy, soft, and crunchy textures, and of sweet cranberries and sour lemon, makes it super satisfying to eat. Plus, it has enough protein, complex carbs, and vegetables to be a complete meal on its own.
- No special equipment required. No need to bust out a food processor or blender here. All you need is a pot, a skillet, and a mixing bowl.
- Delicious warm or at room temp. This autumn farro salad is perfect for Thanksgiving feasts of all kinds (including potlucks!) because it can sit out at room temp for an hour or two without getting weird.
What’s In This Fall Farro Salad
This vegan grain salad has chewy farro, sautéed carrots, crunchy raw celery, creamy white beans, roasted almonds, dried cranberries, and parsley. It’s dressed simply with olive oil and lemon juice.
- Farro: Comes in two forms – pearled and whole. Pearled has had its outermost layer polished away, which strips some of the nutrients but does help it cook faster. Whole farro takes about 15 minutes longer to cook than pearled. As a substitute, you can use wheatberries or barley.
- Carrots: Parsnips or sweet potatoes cut into a similar size would work well here.
- Celery: If you’re not a fan, use finely diced fennel.
- Shallot: You can use red onion instead.
- Dried Cranberries: As substitutes, use raisins or dried currants. Alternately, use fresh pomegranate seeds.
- Almonds: You can use slivered, sliced, or just roughly chopped almonds here. Make sure they’re roasted, though! Sub with pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts.
- Lemon Juice: If you don’t have fresh lemons around, use a mild vinegar (like apple cider or red wine).
How to Make This Fall Farro Salad
Cook the Farro: Start by boiling water for the farro (it cooks just like rice). Salt the boiling water, add the grains, cover with a lid, and simmer til all the water is absorbed. Do not stir during cooking, or you’ll risk ending up with mushy, sticky grains.
Sauté the Carrots: Meanwhile, cut up the carrots. Saute them with olive oil and spices until they’re golden and softened, but still have a bit of a bite. This takes about 10 minutes.
Gather the Other Ingredients: While the farro and carrots cook, chop up the celery, shallot, and parsley, and place them in a big mixing bowl. Drain and rinse a can of white beans in a mesh strainer and add to the veg. The cranberries and almonds can go in, too.
Finish the Salad: Add the warm farro and carrots to the bowl and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Note: It’s important that the farro is warm when you mix the salad so it can absorb the other flavors. You can serve the salad warm or at room temp, though.
Tips for Making This In Advance
If making the salad for a party or potluck, you can assemble it up to ~2 hours in advance and keep it at room temperature. If you want to prep it a day or two in advance, cook the farro and carrots and combine them; combine all the other salad ingredients separately (except the almonds and dressing), too. Keep everything in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, warm up the farro-carrot mixture, then combine with the other ingredients, dress with oil and lemon juice, and toss in the almonds. (If you add the almonds too soon in advance, they’ll lose their crunch).
More holiday recipes…
- The Ultimate Thanksgiving Salad
- Whole Roasted Cabbage with Mushroom Gravy
- Roasted Cauliflower with Curried Tahini
- Balsamic Caramelized Onion Crostini
Let me know if you try this recipe! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag your creation with @thenewbaguette on Instagram.Print
Fall Farro Salad
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 35
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6–8 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
This vegan fall farro salad features chewy grains, sautéed carrots, white beans, and cranberries. Perfect for Thanksgiving!
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- 1 cup farro
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 small carrots (about 1/2 pound), cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips* (see note below)
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- One 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup roasted slivered almonds*
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- In a small pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup farro and 1/4 teaspoon salt (do not stir). Cover tightly with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook until all the water is absorbed (~20 minutes for pearled farro and ~35 for whole farro). Turn the heat off and leave covered for another 10 minutes without stirring.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the carrots, 3/4 teaspoon each garlic powder and smoked paprika, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Cook until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 2 diced celery stalks, 1 diced shallot, 1/4 cup minced parsley, the beans, and 1/4 cup each cranberries and almonds.
- Add the farro and carrots to the bowl and season with 2 tablespoons each lemon juice and olive oil. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve warm or at room temp.
- No need to peel the carrots if they’re organic.
- You can sub the almonds with roasted pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts.
- Serving Size: 1/8 of the recipe
- Calories: 235
- Fat: 7.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 35.3 g
- Fiber: 7.4 g
- Protein: 8.2 g
Keywords: vegan, farro, salad, thanksgiving