If you're not sure if you like farro, this Vegan Farro Pasta Salad with Orzo, Almonds, and Mint will definitely put you over the top.
Where do I begin? Lets start with protein. Farro is one of the best sources of plant-based protein coming in at 15 grams per cooked cup.
This hearty, nutty-tasting whole grain is also high in fiber and nutrients like magnesium and iron.
It is hands down my favorite resistant starch.
Resistant starch is a type of fiber found in some starchy foods. While most starch gets broken down into glucose, resistant starch resists digestion and can't be broken down. This not only leads to a healthier gut, it also keeps you full longer and faster.
Another thing I love about this Vegan Farro Pasta Salad is the addition of orzo, a small rice-shaped pasta.
The approximate ratio of farro to orzo in this Vegan Farro Pasta Salad is 4 to 1. So you are getting that pasta salad experience and taste without eating too much white pasta.
The grains and pasta are enhanced by the cheery notes of the lemon dressing. I don't often use a lot of oil, but today's recipe calls for olive oil. You could substitute all lemon juice if you are on an oil-free diet, but the olive oil adds a lot of richness.
Hope you enjoy this vegan farro pasta salad as much as we did. This recipe was inspired by a farro goat cheese pasta salad from the New York Times.
Vegan Farro Pasta Salad with Orzo, Almonds and Mint
By the way, farro also makes a yummy breakfast like this Warm Farro with Pistachios, Dried Sweet Cherries and Maple Syrup or topped on a salad like this Kale Salad with Farro, Pecans, and Dried Cherries.
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- 1 cup of farro
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup orzo
- ¾ cup thinly sliced onions
- ¾ cup thinly sliced celery
- ¾ cup sliced almonds
- ¾ cup diced dried apricots (optional but adds a sweet element)
- ½ cup chopped mint leaves
- ½ cup chopped parsley leaves
- Ground black pepper
- Juice from one lemon
- (options - ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes)
- Juice from two large lemons
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil plus 2½ tablespoons
- Cook the farro according to directions with 2 bay leaves being careful not to overcook. You want your farro to have a little bite. Remove the bay leaves.
- Cook the orzo according to directions being careful not to overcook.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
- When the orzo and farro have cooled, combine together.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Start tossing with the dressing, a little at a time until dressed to your liking. Squeeze the fresh juice of a lemon on top and lightly toss.
- Taste and add more ingredients if needed.
- Serve over fresh spinach leaves or arugula that has been lightly dressed with fresh lemon juice, salt, and ground black pepper.
- Garnish with lemon wedges.