Farro, Cranberry and Goat Cheese Salad

by Erin

This farro, cranberry and goat cheese salad is perfect as a side dish packed with flavor and plant-based protein. Or add extra protein for an easy meal.

Farro, Cranberry and Goat Cheese Salad with Chicken

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I don’t cook side dishes very often because cooking for one it is hard enough to eat all the leftover entree, let alone a side dish too. But every now and then I find a special side dish that ends up being more of an entree, as it steals the show of the meal.

This farro salad is one such recipe. I served it with a small chicken breast that had only been seasoned with salt and pepper because I did not want to distract my taste buds away from the farro.

Farro, Cranberry and Goat Cheese Salad

The sweet cranberries and tangy goat cheese are joined together with the balsamic dressing and earthy herbs for a comforting effect. It was perfect for mixing in shredded chicken breast for an easy dinner or lunch. I could also definitely see this being a great side dish for Thanksgiving.

Never had or heard of farro? This was actually my first experience with farro. Texturally it reminded me of wheat berries and cooks like rice. Even though “farro” is the Italian word for multiple types of ancient grains, farro in the US refers to to a wheat grain that is slightly larger than barley. You could use them interchangeably in this recipe (and any others), but farro does have higher nutritional value and protein. 

Easy Farro, Cranberry and Goat Cheese Salad

Meanwhile, several of my friends are on their way to Memphis at this very moment for a belated Ph.D. celebration. And yes all 5 are staying with me in my 1 bedroom 800 square foot apartment. It’s going to be one big weekend-long slumber party and I am so excited! Most of them have not been here in over 4 years so I have a lot more to show them now that I’ve become more acquainted with this city. Just in time for me to move and leave right?

Farro, Cranberry and Goat Cheese Salad Side Dish

This post was revived for #NationalWholeGrainsMonth! Check out a couple other ideas below:

Farro Cranberry and Goat Cheese Salad

Post updated 9/20/21, photo above is the original.

One year ago: Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

Farro, Cranberry and Goat Cheese Salad with Chicken


Yield: 6-8 servings Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 2 cups farro
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled


  1. Place farro and 5 cups of water in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil,  cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-30 minutes or until tender. Drain an excess water and transfer to a bowl to cool.
  2. While farro is cooling, in a small bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and rosemary. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Allow to sit at room temperature.
  3. Once farro has cooled, toss with cranberries, parsley and goat cheese.
  4. When ready to serve, pour dressing over the top. Toss well and serve at room temperature.
Did You Make This Recipe?
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Source: Adapted slightly from Tasty Kitchen.

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Brandi April 21, 2014 - 9:57 am

I made this recipe this weekend for an Easter brunch and it was a hit! I doubled the amount of goat cheese. I stirred in half while the farro was still warm and then mixed in the rest when it was cool. I also added a cup of pinenuts. Very yummy! Thanks for sharing :-)

Carly @ Carly in the Kitchen November 8, 2013 - 4:48 pm

I love farro! I have a hard time finding it in grocery stores though :( This salad looks lovely (and delicious)!

Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry November 8, 2013 - 12:16 pm

My love affair with Farro only statred recently but i’m digging this recipe. I can only imagine how good all the flavors are together.


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