If you don't have Farro on hand, or would like to make a healthier version of your favorite dish, these 14 substitutes might be able to help!
Farro is a cereal grain that is traditionally used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Farro has a unique taste, but its versatility allows for many different styles of cooking.
14 Foods That Can Substitute For Farro in Your Recipes
Barley is an ancient grain that is often used as a substitute for farro in recipes. It is similar in flavor and texture, but barley can be processed into flour or malt, which gives it a different flavor profile than farro. Barley is also a good source of fiber, protein, and B vitamins.
Barley can be cooked in a variety of ways, including as a side dish, in soups or stews, or as a main course. Some common methods of cooking barley include boiling it in water, simmering it in broth or dashi, or roasting it with spices.
Basil is a culinary herb of the family Lamiaceae (mints) that can be used in many recipes as a substitute for farro. It has a mild flavor and can be substituted for other grains, such as quinoa, in dishes such as pilafs, salads, and stir-fries.
Basil is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Basil is good for people with allergies to other plants because it contains very low levels of allergens.
Basil can easily be grown in a garden or a pot. To get the most out of your basil, grow it in a sunny location with well-draining soil. Water regularly and fertilize only when necessary. Harvest the leaves as they grow, and use them fresh or dried.
3. Beet Greens
Beet greens are a great substitute for farro in your recipes. They are high in nutrients and have a mild flavor that pairs well with most flavors. You can enjoy them as is or use them in salads, soups, and stir-fries.
4. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a versatile vegetable that can be substituted for farro in many recipes. Butternut squash is high in vitamins A and C, both of which are beneficial for your skin and overall health. Butternut squash also contains potassium, magnesium, and fiber, all of which are essential for good health.
Callaloo is a type of seaweed that can be substituted for farro in your recipes. It has a slightly bitter taste and is often used in Caribbean cuisine.
Callaloo also contains high levels of vitamins C and K, which are beneficial for overall health. Callaloo is good for people who are trying to reduce their sodium intake.
Though they're not a commonly used grain, chickpeas can easily be substituted for farro in many recipes. Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, making them a great choice for vegetarians and vegans.
They also have a relatively low glycemic index, meaning they won't cause blood sugar spikes the way some other grains can. Plus, they're inexpensive and easy to find in most grocery stores.
7. Finger Millet
Finger Millet is a cereal grain that can be used in place of farro in many recipes. It has a slightly sweet flavor and a chewy texture.
Finger millet, also known as ragi or finger wheat, is a gluten-free and low-carbohydrate alternative to farro in many recipes. It cooks quickly and can be substituted for farro in any recipe that calls for whole grain or pasta. Finger millet is available in both white and brown versions, and either version can be used interchangeably in most recipes.
Finger millet is a member of the grass family and is grown in many parts of the world.
8. Lupin Bean Flour/Lupine flour
Lupin bean flour is a great substitute for farro in recipes. It is a gluten-free flour made from ground lupin beans. Lupin bean flour has a nutty taste and is slightly sweet.
This flour can be used in place of farro in many gluten-free, grain-free, and Paleo recipes. For example, it can be used to make polenta, pizza crusts, and pasta dishes.
9. Mung Beans
Mung beans are a great replacement for farro in many recipes. They're high in fiber and have a nutty flavor, which pairs well with many flavors and ingredients. Try them in soups, stews, salads, or as a side dish. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Mung Bean Stew with Curry Ramen Noodles
- Curried Mung Bean Stew with Quinoa and Greens
- Mung Bean and Lentil Veggie Burger Bowls
- Mung Bean and Rice Burrito Bowls with Avocado Ranch Dressing
Nori is a type of dried edible seaweed that’s typically used in Japanese cuisine and can also be used in place of farro in many recipes. Nori is a bit more expensive, but it offers a unique flavor and texture that can be difficult to replicate with other ingredients. Nori can also be dried and used as a substitute for rice.
To prepare Nori, you will first need to soak it in water for 10 minutes. Then, rinse it and cut it into thin strips. To prepare a dish using Nori, you will simply add it to the recipe after the other ingredients have been cooked.
Quinoa is a whole grain that is considered a complete protein, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids. It can be substituted for farro in most recipes, as it cooks similarly and has a nutty flavor.
Quinoa is also gluten-free, so those with dietary restrictions can enjoy it. It has a high nutritional value and is recommended to those who wish to start a gluten-free diet.
Quinoa is one of the few plant foods that is a complete protein coupled with amino acids that a body can't produce itself.
Quinoa is an ancient grain that has been popular in South America for centuries. It's also high in fiber and magnesium, making it a healthy substitute for farro in your recipes.
12. Rye berries
Rye berries are a good alternative for farro in recipes. They are a seed, so they have a nutty flavor and a chewy texture. You can also use them in salads or as a side dish. Shelled rye berries are a great option if you're looking for a gluten-free option.
Rye berries are rich in fiber, which is beneficial for digestion. They are also a good source of iron, proteins and mineral, antioxidants, and vitamin E.
They taste almost the same as farro, but with a lower glycemic index, which is very good for type 2 diabetic patients, and have less gluten. That's what makes it a healthier option than farro.
Try these recipes with rye berries:
- Rye Berry Salad with Feta and Pomegranates
- Sautéed Rye Berry Salad with Hazelnuts
- Quinoa and Rye Berry Bowl with Cranberry Vinaigrette
Freekeh is a wheat-based grain that has been dried in the sun or in a dehydrator. It has a nutty, earthy flavor and can be used as a replacement for Farro in many dishes. The name 'Freekeh' is derived from the Arabic word for 'dried fruit.'
Freekeh makes the best substitute for rice and oats and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It is especially good in salads, pilafs, couscous bowls, and as a garnish for meat or vegetables. It also makes a great base for vegetarian stews.
Freekeh is high in protein and fiber and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is cholesterol free, making it a healthy choice for those on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Freekeh doesn't taste like farro but is nuttier and earthier, which can add an interesting flavor to your dish.
It takes about 35-45 minutes to cook wholegrain freekeh, but if you go for cracked freekeh, it’s a great option for a quick and easy meal. You can find freekeh in most natural or health food stores.
14. Oat Groats
Oat groats are the whole kernel that is removed from the husk or hull. Oats are gluten-free grain that is high in protein and fiber. They can be enjoyed as is, or cooked into a variety of dishes.
They are quick and easy to cook, and they have a nice nutty flavor that can add depth to your dishes. Plus, they're a good source of fiber and nutrients, including protein, potassium, and magnesium. So if you're looking for an alternate grain to use in your recipes, oat groats are a great choice.
To cook oat groats, simply rinse them and place them in a pot with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the temperature to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through. They can be eaten as is, or cooked into dishes like oatmeal, pilafs, or even salads.
Tip: If you're looking to maximize the flavor and nutrition in your oat groats, try to buy them pre-ground. This will give them a more consistent texture and flavor, and they will also be easier to cook.
How To Choose A Farro Substitute?
There are many substitutes for farro that share similar qualities and bring great flavor to your food. But having said that, one has to look out for health benefits and individual characteristics of the specific substitute before settling on it.
You should look out for flavor so that they bring the exact flavor to your dish as with farro. Also, see if you could find a gluten-free option because some people have an intolerance to certain food groups or suffer from a serious disease.
And last but not the least, check out health benefits. Because even though all grains are highly nutritional but some offer more nutritional value than others, so why not opt for them?