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12 Best Farro Substitutes For Your Recipes That You Can Find Easily

It can be incredibly frustrating when you are making a recipe and it calls for an ingredient you don’t actually have.

It can make the whole process extremely stressful and in a lot of cases, most people will just stop cooking. 

If you have found your way to this article, then you’ve probably not got any farro at hand. Farro is a versatile grain that is filled with lots of nutrition and it is used in many recipes. 

Uncooked farro especially has a lot of protein and fiber, so it’s a great ingredient to use if you want to make sure you aren’t snacking after dinner.

12 Best Farro Substitutes For Your Recipes

It has been popular in Europe for a very, very long time but it’s only recently gained popularity in the US. 

You can use farro in almost any recipe as well, which is one of the main reasons why it’s so popular.

Combined with the fact that it is really healthy and filled with nutrients, it is a perfect addition to almost any of your recipes. 

If you don’t have any farro at hand though, then you are in the right place. We’ve put together a list of 12 of the best farro substitutes for your recipes that you absolutely need to try. So let’s take a look! 

Farro Substitute Calories

SubstituteCalories
Barley354
Teff366
Winter Wheat327
Bulgur342
Kasha155
Oat Groats346
Triticale Berries149.9
Rye Berries140
Wheat Berries300
Spelt Berries150
Freekeh130
Quinoa222

12 Best Farro Substitutes For Your Recipes

Besides not having any at hand, one of the main reasons people need a substitute for farro is because they are allergic to it.

Lots of people will say that farro substitutes do not do the job very well, but luckily, this isn’t true at all! 

Let’s take a look at the 12 best farro substitutes you can use now, and we promise that you won’t even notice the difference when your meal is made. 

1. Barley

Barley

Kicking off this list, we have barely. Barley is probably the best farro substitute you can get because it is incredibly similar in both texture and flavor. Both barley and farro are also grains. 

In terms of flavor, barley is very nutty and it also has a chewy texture. If you’re concerned you are going to lose out on nutrients by using barley, don’t! Barley actually has a similar nutritional profile to farro. 

If you are looking for a substitute that you won’t really be able to tell the difference between, then barley is your best bet.

Practically every recipe you have that calls for farro can be made with barely, and you’ll barely be able to tell the difference in flavor or texture. 

The main thing you have to watch out for when using barley is that it has a completely different cook time to farro, so make sure you check that if you use this substitute in your recipes!

How To Substitute

Barley is the best substitute for Farro with a similar flavor and texture. They even contain the same nutrient value. You may substitute them in a one-on-one ratio.

2. Teff

Teff

Teff is a great farro substitute for anyone who is allergic to farro. It doesn’t contain the compound that triggers the allergy in farro. 

Teff is also incredibly healthy. It’s completely gluten-free and filled with lots of nutrients.

On top of this, it is a great source of magnesium, calcium, and iron. Another great thing about teff is that it actually contains more vitamin C than a lot of other grains. 

It should be noted though that teff is actually a lot harder to harvest than a lot of other grains, so in turn, this makes it a bit more expensive.

It will cost you more to get this grain, but for the additional health benefits, it’s definitely worth it!

How To Substitute

Farro and Teff are a type of grain similar to wheat. Compared to Farro, Teff is more easily digested and has a higher nutrient content. By substituting the Farro with teff, the recipe becomes more nutritionally sound.

3. Winter Wheat

Winter Wheat

Though this grain is called “winter wheat” it’s actually harvested in the spring!

The reason it’s called winter wheat is that it only actually thrives and grows in freezing temperatures. If it gets too warm, winter wheat will actually die out. 

When it’s unprocessed, winter wheat actually has practically the same texture as farro. This is one of the main reasons why it’s such a good substitute. 

Winter wheat does have a longer soaking and cooking time than most other grains though, and this is because of its very unique characteristics and growing conditions.

Though it will take you a bit longer to get the winter wheat ready, it’s definitely worth it. 

How To Substitute

The unprocessed wheat is similar to Farro in texture. However, it takes a longer time to cook, but it is worth the effort. No one will be able to tell the difference in the texture.

4. Bulgur

Bulgur

Though bulgur has been around for 4000 years, it’s actually considered one of the “younger” grains.

It is a kind of precooked grain that is dried before it is packed and it comes from parboiled wheat kernels.

The reason bulgur is a good farro substitute is that it has the same chewy texture and nutty flavor. When it’s been cooked, it also smells quite nice as well, being similar in smell to popcorn. 

Bulgur has a faster cooking time that a lot of other grains too, and it is also a lot cheaper than some of the other ones on this list. 

Bare in mind though, while bulgur is free of cholesterol, it is high in calories. But it does have a healthy supply of proteins, omega3, and fibers. 

How To Substitute

With a chewy and nutty flavor, the bulgar is a great substitute option for Farro. However, it won’t be a good choice for people trying to watch out for their weight since it contains a higher calorie count.

RELATED: The 8 Best Substitutes for Tamari

5. Kasha

Kasha

Kasha actually comes from buckwheat groats. You take the buckwheat groats and you roast and simmer them until they are soft and this produces the kasha. 

Kasha has a very strong nutty flavor, which is why it’s a great substitute for farro. The texture is quite firm, but it also has a bit of gumminess to it. 

You need to be careful how much liquid you add to kasha when you’re using it because too much can cause it to go mushy.

You don’t really need any more than 1 ½ cup of water per cup of grain, so make sure you stick to this if you use it. 

Kasha is a bit difficult to find in the US, but it can be ordered online quite easily. 

How To Substitute

Kasha is a grain in many traditional Eastern European dishes. Substituting it for Farro will give your dish a different texture and taste. Kasha is a whole grain that is also high in fiber and protein. It is easy to prepare and can be served hot or cold.

6. Oat Groats

Oat Groats

You’ve heard of oat kernels, but oat groats are basically kernels without the husk. This version of the grain actually has the most nutrients which include iron, calcium, fiber, fat, and proteins.

Oat groats also have a pretty long shelf life because they are filled with antioxidants.

You just need to make sure that you store them well, so make sure their container is airtight and they are kept in a cool, dry place. 

They are a great farro substitute and they are especially good if you want a gluten-free substitute.

In order to reduce the cooking time needed for the oat groats, it’s in your best interest to soak them overnight. 

Just like farro, oat groats have a nutty taste and they are also a little sweet. 

How To Substitute

If you are familiar with oat groats, you have another substitute for Farro. It’s gluten-free and has a long shelf life. Like Farro, they provide a nutty and sweet taste to your recipe.

7. Triticale Berries

Triticale Berries

Like bulgar, triticale berries are a “younger” grain, but they have been around for quite a few decades. They were created by humans in the 1950s, and they are actually a cross between wheat and rye. 

Triticale berries are twice the size of wheat berries and they are very high in fiber. They are also a great source of thiamin and minerals.

Like farro, they are nutty in flavor and they also have a little bit of sweetness to them. 

In order to use triticale berries in your recipe, you will need to soak them for an entire night and make sure you soak them in the refrigerator. 

How To Substitute

To get the taste and texture of triticale berries, substitute Farro. The taste and texture are similar to wheat berries, but the nutritional benefits are better. The ratio of triticale berries to Farro is 1:1. Triticale berries are not just any type of berry; they are higher in fiber, vitamin C, and protein than other berries.

8. Rye Berries

Rye Berries

This substitute isn’t as well known as some of the others on this list, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored! 

Rye berries are not very visually appealing in their natural form.

They are greyish at first, but then caramel and molasses are added to make them look nicer. When they are cooked, they take on a deep brown color.

They are especially more healthy for people who are diabetic, and in this case, they are actually better to use than actual farro. This is because they have far less gluten, as well as a lower glycemic index. 

On top of this, rye berries are very rich in fibers, protein, and irons, as well as lots of minerals including magnesium. In terms of taste, they are very similar to farro, which is why they make a great substitute. 

How To Substitute

When you substitute Farro for rye berries, you have to be careful to avoid over-thickening the dough, which can happen if you don’t use enough rye berries. However, it is a gluten-free substitute with a lower glycemic index and fulfills the need for fibers, protein, and irons.

9. Wheat Berries

Wheat Berries

Wheat berries actually come from the wheat kernel and they are the edible part of the wheat. It might surprise you to know that wheat berries tend to get overlooked, but this shouldn’t be the case at all. 

Wheat berries have a lot of the same characteristics as other whole grains, making them full of proteins and fibers.

They have a very nutty texture with hints of sweetness, which is why they are a great substitute for farro. 

They are incredibly versatile as well and can be used in so many different recipes and dishes, both sweet and savory.

One popular dish that wheat berries are used in is chili, but they are also popular in honey, cinnamon, and milk. 

How To Substitute

If you are looking for a gluten-free and nut-free option, you should substitute Farro for wheat berries. You can replace wheat berries with a combination of quinoa and oats. However, they are ground into a coarse meal and must be cooked.

10. Spelt Berries

Spelt Berries

Though they have berries in the name, there are no actual berries in this grain. They are actually the kernels of spelled grain. 

They are very nutty in flavor, so they emulate farro really well and this is why they are a great substitute.

They are also a great substitute for anyone who has wheat intolerances, so you can still enjoy wheat-based recipes, without having to worry about the consequences. 

Though they are quite similar in taste, spelt berries and farro do have some very obvious differences. Farro has quite a soft texture, but spelt berries are a lot tougher. 

How To Substitute

When it comes to nutrition, spelt berries are no match for Farro. They’re low in protein and carbs, but Farro is high in protein and carbs. That means substituting spelt berries for Farro will result in a healthier dish. It’s as easy as that.

11. Freekeh

Freekeh

Originating from North Africa, freekeh is used a lot as an alternative for rice and oats. It’s only now seeing its popularity rise in the US.

Freekeh is actually quite similar to both wheat berries and bulgur, which is why it’s a great alternative to use as a substitute for farro.

However, it does have its own unique properties, one of which is the way it’s harvested. 

It is actually harvested from durum wheat before it is fully ripe. When the stalks are burned, the chaff is removed.

Any young grains that survive the burning process are then rubbed which releases toasted kernels. The name “freekeh” actually comes from the harvest process rather than the name of the grain. 

This is one substitute that takes a long time to cook. It will take about 50 minutes in total. If you are short on time though, you can buy the cracked version instead, which has a much shorter cooking time. 

While freekeh doesn’t have the same taste as farro, the texture is almost identical. This is a great substitute for farro if you want to try mixing the flavors of your dish up a bit. 

How To Substitute

Farro is a whole grain made from wheat berries that are nutty and chewy than wheat. Freekeh is a type of roasted whole wheat. Freekeh is made from green, unroasted wheat berries roasted for longer than other grains, making it a good substitute for Farro.

12. Quinoa

Quinoa

And finally, we have quinoa. It is actually a superfood that is used in lots of different dishes and recipes, some of which include pasta and soup.

This is a great substitute for farro if you want something that is gluten-free and very high in nutritional value. 

Quinoa is great for anyone who is trying to regulate their diet and wants to eat a bit more healthily. There are plenty of minerals and proteins in quinoa, and it has lots of vitamins and other nutrients. 

Quinoa is also packed with complete proteins and amino acids, which is great because the human body can actually produce these independently. 

How To Substitute

Quinoa is a seed-like grain that has recently been popular. Quinoa has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and is higher in protein and fiber than other grains. In addition, it is considered to be gluten-free; it is rich in iron and B vitamins and works as a substitute for Farro exceptionally.

Different Types Of Farro

There are actually a few different types of farro that you can purchase, so it’s important to know a little bit about each of them before you buy them. 

In most cases, the type of farro you buy doesn’t really matter, but if you are focusing on the nutritional value, then it does. 

Here are some of the different types of farro you can get

  • Pearl Farro: This is the most common type of farro you can buy. Though it is the most common, it is actually the least nutritional. This is because it has had its nutritional layer removed so the cooking time will be shorter. 
  • Semi-pearled Farro: This is the best version you can get if you want a shorter cooking time, but you also want to make sure you are getting some nutrients. It’s still not the best type though, because it only has half the nutritional value of whole farro, but it takes half the time to cook. 
  • Whole Farro: This is the most nutritional variety of farro you can get. It also has the longest cooking time, so be prepared to set aside 25 to 30 minutes for that. You can actually shorten the cooking time down to 10 to 15 minutes, but this will require you to soak the farro for an entire night before you cook it. 

Conclusion

As you can see there are plenty of farro substitutes out there that will work just as well in your dish as the real thing. If you have a farro allergy, a lot of these substitutes will actually be better for you. 

If you don’t have one version of farro, you can always substitute it for another version of farro too. Remember, the main difference between the farro forms is the cooking time and nutritional value. 

Try some of these substitutes out today and see which ones you like the most. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try out lots of different dishes!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Couscous A Good Substitute For Farro?

Couscous is one of the best substitutes for Farro in the context of flavor. Farro is a type of wheat. It is commonly found in dishes from Italy and the Mediterranean. And It is used as the main ingredient in dishes rather than a side.

Is Farro Like Rice Or Pasta?

Yes, Farro is similar to rice and pasta and often used as a substitute for them. However, Farro contains vitamins A, C, and E, fiber, Magnesium, etc., making it a healthier option.

Is Farro The Same As Oats?

Farro is a type of wheat, and oats are a type of grass, meaning they are both grains. The main difference is that Farro has a larger kernel than oats. It is used in many dishes, such as this farro salad.

12 Best Farro Substitutes For Your Recipes

5 from 5 votes
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Total time

30

minutes

Have you run out of farro and you don’t know what to use instead? Click here to learn about 12 of the best farro substitutes for your recipe!

Ingredients

  • Barley

  • Teff

  • Winter Wheat

  • Bulgur

  • Kasha

  • Oat Groats

  • Triticale Berries

  • Rye Berries

  • Wheat Berries

  • Spelt Berries

  • Freekeh

  • Quinoa

Directions

  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith