Farro Salad w/ Citrus Vinaigrette {Heart Healthy Recipes}

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Farro salad with citrus-basil vinagrette is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. Once you try it, will likely become one of your favorites, too. Nutty, whole grain farro, dried cranberries, and fresh apples are tossed with a fresh and tangy vinaigrette. The texture and flavors in this salad will have you in side dish delight!


Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette- Crunchy farro, apples, and walnuts paired with a citrus basil dressing is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. A great side dish or vegan entree.

During rough times in my life, having supportive friends to lean on helps the tough times pass more quickly. Not that the pain goes away altogether, but the people who care about me keep my brain and body occupied. That way, I don’t feel so alone with my troubles. Praying for God’s help is always first on my list, but the friends who offer a shoulder to cry on, or crack jokes to make me laugh are always a blessing to me.  Those friends are my “rough riders”.

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette- Crunchy farro, apples, and walnuts paired with a citrus basil dressing is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. A great side dish or vegan entree.

My farro salad recipe is at the end of this post, but first, I need to share a back line story to go with it.

One of those “rough riders” is Kim, from Cravings of a Lunatic.  I’m not sure if she realizes this, but the first time I read Kim’s blog was just two days after my my mom passed away. On August 28, 2011, she went home to Heaven, after a 5 year battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

The next day, I was a hot mess. I was feeling depressed and sorry for myself, too. After all, it didn’t matter that I was 47 years old… I was now an orphan!  My dad had died many years before, at the age of 48, when I was just 15 years old. Among other things, heart disease took his life.

Anyway, the day after my mom died, through a strange twist of fate, I came across Kim’s post for mint chocolate chip ice cream. That is one of my favorite comfort foods to eat when I’m sad. It was at that moment that the stars aligned and a little orphan girl in Wisconsin was linked up with a ‘lunatic’ orphan girl in Canada. Kim’s post made me smile for many reasons, and it didn’t take me long to learn just how much we have in common.

Well, besides our obsessions with bacon and caramel.

You see, Kim lost her Mom to heart disease when her mother was 47, and Kim was 15. Every year, on the anniversary of the day her Mom passed, Kim shares stories and photos of her Mom. This year she joined forces with Jen of Juanita’s Cocina, whose life was also touched by heart disease when her stepfather had a heart attack. More than a decade later, Jen’s stepfather is alive and well, and for that, Jen is thankful every day.

The ladies reached out to other bloggers (myself included) asking us to share stories about how heart disease has touched our lives. So in memory and honor of “Momzie” (Kim’s mom), we’ll share stories and heart healthy recipes from our hearts to yours.

As I mentioned, the recipe I’m sharing is a delicious, heart healthy recipe for farro salad with citrus basil vinaigrette.

Since heart disease is hereditary, and it’s also a rising epidemic and one of the leading causes of death, I think it’s become more important than ever for me to find ways to incorporate heart healthy foods into my diet.  This farro salad is one of them.

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette- Crunchy farro, apples, and walnuts paired with a citrus basil dressing is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. A great side dish or vegan entree.

Words don’t describe how yummi this farro salad is!

What is Farro? 

  • Often used as a substitute for pasta or rice, farro is a gluten free grain with a nutty flavor similar to brown rice.
  • It’s rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C, and E, too.

I could easily have added a protein like cooked chicken or turkey to it, or even some shaved Parmesan cheese.
I feel like it needs a little more pop of color, so next time, I may serve it over some baby spinach or with some Spring greens.
As simple as this salad is, a 1 cup portion is perfect for lunch -I felt INCREDIBLY full and satisfied!

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette- Crunchy farro, apples, and walnuts paired with a citrus basil dressing is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. A great side dish or vegan entree.

I hope you make and enjoy this farro salad, as well as the heart healthy recipes from my blogger friends.

5.0 rating
1 reviews

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette

Yields 4

A heart healthy salad with crunchy farro and walnuts, tart apples & cranberries, and a lightly sweetened citrus, basil & honey vinaigrette dressing.


  • 3/4 cup farro, uncooked
  • 2 Tablespoons grape seed oil, divided
  • 1/4 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 large gala or granny smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped basil (I used 1/2 tsp Pampered Chef Sweet Basil Spice)
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeeze lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Craisins
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Soak farro in cold water for 20 minutes; drain well.
  2. Bring 2 quarts salted water to a boil in a medium pot. Add farro and simmer, uncovered, until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Drain well then rinse under cold water for 30 seconds. Drain again, then transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate.
  3. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add apples, stir well and cook until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  4. Transfer apple mixture to bowl with farro. Add basil, lemon juice, remaining 1 Tablespoon oil, walnuts, Craisins, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.
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Thank you so much for visiting me today!

If you make this recipe, I'd love it if you'd share a photo and/or give your feedback over on my Facebook page, Cooking with Chef Bec!

I hope you’ll share the heart healthy farro salad recipe with someone you love!

Now, here are some more heart healthy recipes of mine, as well as from my friends.

Tuna Spring Rolls Recipe

Sundried Tomato Tuna Spring Rolls Recipe - Albacore tuna, crunchy veggies, spinach, and avocado are rolled up for a healthy, portable Summer meal. Recipe from @itsyummi (www.itsyummi.com)

click on this photo for the tuna rolls recipe

Spicy Oven Fries, from Cravings of a Lunatic.

Healthy Snacking with Radish Dip, from Juanita’s Cocina.

Arugula, Walnut Pesto by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts.

Chicken-Quinoa Burgers with an Avocado Yogurt Sauce, from The Spiffy Cookie.

Pasta House Wilted Salad, from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.

Gooey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars, from The Cooking Actress.

Dark Chocolate Covered Walnuts, from All Day I Dream About Food.

Mini Pear Walnut Crisps with Blood Orange Caramel Sauce, from Chocolate Moosey.

Kung Pao Chicken Tacos, from The Dutch Baker’s Daughter.

Honey Soy Glazed Salmon, from Curry and Comfort.

Apple Walnut Spinach Salad, from Magnolia Days.

Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon, from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

Make-Ahead Chocolate Oatmeal, from Crumb.


Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette, from me!


Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen.

Veggie Nachos, from Dine & Dish.

Cheesy Quinoa Asparagus Bake, from Hungry Couple.

Ahi Tuna Salad, from Noshing with the Nolands.

Apricot Goat Cheese Canapes, from Cook the Story.

Thai Chicken Soup, from Cupcakes to Caviar.

Italian Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf, from Rachel Cooks.

Black Bean Quesadillas, from Pastry Chef Online.

Sautéed Rataouille with Quinoa, from Whipped.

Polenta Rounds with Apples and Cheddar, from Diethood.

Habanero Chicken Black Bean Soup

Habanero Chicken Black Bean Soup from @itsyummi This soup is full of flavor, but it's not super spicy!

click on this photo to get the recipe for my Habanero Chicken Black Bean Soup


Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette from ItsYummi.com #RecipesFromTheHeart


Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette from ItsYummi.com - This is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. The crunch of farro and apples paired with a citrus basil dressing makes the perfect side dish!


Will you please do me a favor and hug a loved one tightly today?  We just never know how long we’ll have them, so it’s important to make the most of every moment.

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette from ItsYummi.com - This is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. The crunch of farro and apples paired with a citrus basil dressing makes the perfect side dish!

31 Replies to "Farro Salad w/ Citrus Vinaigrette {Heart Healthy Recipes}"

  • Marian Minugh July 22, 2017 (1:38 am)

    Farro is most certainly.not a gliten free food. It is a member of the wheat family and could kill a person with celiac disease or a gluten allergy. Please DO NOT feed this to a person with a wheat allergy.

    • Becca July 24, 2017 (6:56 am)

      Marian, you are correct that farro is NOT a gluten free food. Where in my post do you see that I mentioned it being gluten free? I’ve read through my post 3 times looking for where I mentioned that, and I don’t see it.

  • Healthy Wheat Berry White Bean Vegetable Salad - Basilmomma June 9, 2017 (9:40 am)

    […] Farro Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette […]

  • Cakespy August 11, 2015 (10:38 am)

    Awesome! This is my kind of heart healthy offering. And I Love the entire group effort worth of recipes!

  • amanda August 6, 2015 (3:44 pm)

    This is such a touching post, thank you for sharing.

  • heather August 6, 2015 (11:34 am)

    thanks goodness for great friends – and delicious food too 🙂 thanks for sharing

  • Jennifer August 26, 2014 (3:43 pm)

    I lost my dad when I was 14 and he was 51, to heart disease. I am lucky to still have my 78-year old mom with me and try to talk to her every day.

    I am looking forward to trying to recipe tomorrow night and seeing how my four kids like it. It sounds delish!

    • Chef Becca August 26, 2014 (4:01 pm)

      Wow, Jen… I didn’t realize how similar our stories are. Losing dads early in life is definitely challenging.
      I’m excited to hear the reaction from your kids! I hope you all love it 🙂

  • Italian Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf » Rachel Cooks June 27, 2014 (8:02 pm)

    […] Farro, Apple & Pecan Salad by It’s Yummilicious […]

  • 2 Weeks of Healthy Salads January 4, 2014 (7:32 am)

    […] Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette […]

  • JanetFCTC March 8, 2013 (4:04 pm)

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Becca. I’ve lost both my parents too as well as a sister so I can understand how you feel and how you miss them.

    I love salads like this even more than I do the typical lettuce ones. Definitely giving this a try.

  • Renee March 6, 2013 (5:20 pm)

    Heart disease affected your life in a big way. Losing a parent is difficult enough and when they are taken so young it is so hard to deal with. Thank you for sharing your story and how you connected with Kim. It’s amazing how the internet leads us to find valued friends.
    I could eat farro plain I love it so much. It is filling and keeps you going for a long time. I like your salad and the vinaigrette. I’m a major fan of homemade dressings.

  • Tara March 6, 2013 (5:09 pm)

    So sorry that you have lost both of your parents. I am in the same situation and have been since 2006. My daughter never did know her grandparents. It is hard that is for sure!!

    I have never had farro before but I know I would love this recipe!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  • Carla March 6, 2013 (9:41 am)

    First, I’m so sorry for the loss of your parents (no matter how long ago it was). Second, I’ve never had farro before. I’ll have to try it out!

    • Becca March 6, 2013 (9:45 am)

      Thank you SO much, Carla! I hope you enjoy the farro… it’s SO good!

  • ProGait Gait Analysis March 6, 2013 (6:12 am)

    Thank you for sharing your story and your recipe, I’ve been so touched that people have taken time to share their stories with us.

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious March 6, 2013 (12:57 am)

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so glad to be a part of this blogger group with you.

    And this salad looks amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever tried farro before but that really needs to change soon!

  • Isabelle @ Crumb March 5, 2013 (10:44 pm)

    I’m ever so glad that you two orphan girls found each other. Life can suck sometimes, and it’s good to know you’ve got friends to lean on when the going gets tough.
    On a happier note, I am madly in love with this salad. I’ve got a soft spot for grain-based salads, especially when they’ve got something sweet and crunchy mixed in, so this recipe is right up my alley.
    In fact, I just happen to have a package of farro sitting in my cupboard from a shopping expedition I went on with the lovely Kim Bee herself… if that’s not a sign that this salad and I are destined to be together, then I don’t know what is! 🙂

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts March 5, 2013 (8:14 pm)

    I am going to have to take a break, my family is wondering why I am getting all teary eyed reading food blogs! What a touching story. My dad’s cousin has Parkinson’s, and he has 2 very young children.
    The salad sounds so fresh, healthy, and delicious.

  • Susan March 5, 2013 (4:10 pm)

    Thank you for sharing your story. My grandfather suffered from parkinsons disease, so I know how difficult it is. Also, thanks for the great recipe, this looks amazing.

  • Kristen March 5, 2013 (3:18 pm)

    Reading all of these stories today has made me a blubbery mess. I am so glad that I could be part of this event. Your salad looks like a great hearty meal.

    • Becca March 5, 2013 (3:34 pm)

      OMGosh… ME TOO, Kristen! Pass the danged tissues! <3

  • Anita at Hungry Couple March 5, 2013 (1:39 pm)

    Great salad. I love farro and all the other whole grains. And thank you for sharing your story today. Big hugs.

  • Liz March 5, 2013 (1:22 pm)

    Oh, no. I am so, so sorry for both your losses. I’m hoping there will be more cures found in our lifetime for diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer…and of course, heart disease. Thanks for sharing this beautiful farro salad…one of my favorite grains!

  • The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time March 5, 2013 (12:00 pm)

    Oh my. Every story I read puts a bigger and bigger lump in my throat. Hugs to you. Thank you for sharing your story though. It is incentive for me to take as good care of my body as I can so I can be around for a long, long time for my daughter. This salad looks like a good place to start. It’s delicious.

  • Jen @JuanitasCocina March 5, 2013 (9:50 am)

    I absolutely got chills by reading your words. Thank you for sharing about your parents. I watched a very close family member die of Parkinson’s, and it was beyond difficult. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I’m so glad you shared with us today.

    Thank you so much for also sharing a “new to me” food! I can’t wait to try farro!

  • Jenni March 5, 2013 (9:31 am)

    Oh, sweet Becca! Much love to you! God sends us the folks who we need. And that’s what I have to say about that.

    The salad sounds wonderful. The lemon juice just makes it sing, I bet. 🙂

    • Becca March 5, 2013 (9:49 am)

      He surely does, sweet Jenni! Thank you so much for being a part of my life <3
      P.S. I actually had DREAMS about this farro salad last night! Whoa... is Beccalicious going HEALTHY?! Eeek!

  • Kim Bee March 5, 2013 (8:20 am)

    Awe Becca, I’m so touched by what you said. You are such a sweetheart and a wonderful friend. I am so thankful you found me and we’ve gotten to know each other. You are a pleasure to have as a friend. I’m honoured to have come into your life, but sorry for the circumstances that lead you there. My heart goes out to anyone who loses a parent. I can honestly say having lost one when I was young and one when I was older, that it really does not matter your age when they go. It hurts like hell when it happens.

    Your dish is beautiful and your sentiments as well. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining us today. It’s an absolute privilege to know you. xx

  • Jessica | Oh Cake March 5, 2013 (8:10 am)

    My eyes just welled up reading your description of meeting Kim through her blog at a time when you needed solace. I know that feeling well of having a friend, a “rough rider” when we need them most and it is such a blessing.

    The recipe today is a bonus! Great post.

  • Christine (Cook the Story) March 5, 2013 (8:03 am)

    Your story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for the reminder – I will hug my loved ones close today. I’ve never had farro before. I’m excited to try it now. Thanks for that as well!

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