This autumn apple farro salad contains crunchy Granny Smith apples, pecans, dried cranberries, feta cheese, farro and spinach, all tossed in a tangy vinaigrette. The perfect way to celebrate apple season!
When it comes to salad, I go back to my 'formula' time and time again: something crunchy, something salty, something sweet and something tangy. It worked for this pear, gouda and hazelnut spinach salad, and for this kale, barley salad, and it works in this autumn apple farro salad, as well!
With the perfect blend of textures and deliciously contrasting flavors, this salad is hearty and so perfect for fall!
This autumn apple farro salad
- is hearty yet healthy
- can be made into a meal by adding protein
- is flexible and can be partially prepped ahead
Watch the video below to see how to prep this salad! You can find more recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
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- farro- a whole wheat grain that is a great alternative to processed grains, it's lower on the glycemic index, meaning it will keep you feeling full for longer. Note that farro is not gluten-free; you may swap for rice or quinoa
- apples- I can't resist a tart, crunchy Granny Smith apple, however feel free to swap your favorite apple- honey crisp, ambrosia and fuji are all great options! I would avoid macintosh or red delicious as they are just not as crisp.
- leafy greens- I've used spinach for this salad, but massaged kale, arugula or romaine lettuce would all swap in beautifully
- nuts- toasted pecans compliment the apples well; swap for sunflower seeds, almonds or walnuts
- feta cheese- gives this salad a briney/salty flavor as well as added creaminess. Gouda, aged cheddar or parmesan crisps could go nicely in this salad
Cook farro first
Farro is a whole wheat grain that originated in Mesopotamia. Farro is gaining popularity because it’s so healthy for you and a great alternative to processed grains. Farro differs slightly in its cooking method compared to rice or quinoa- rather than using the exact amount of liquid, we use a 'boil and drain' method.
Make sure to start cooking the farro first, as we need it to cook through and cool before assembling the salad.
You can cook farro on the stove top, or in the Instant Pot! Find more detailed information in this how to cook farro post.
Making the vinaigrette
We are using a neutral but tangy white wine vinaigrette recipe for this salad, as it coats and enhances the flavors of all the ingredients. To make a vinaigrette, simply shake together olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper.
You can do this in a mason jar with a lid, or a salad dressing shaker.
Make it a meal
This farro salad is hearty and is great served as a side dish. Add a protein on top to make it into a meal!
- Herb Crusted Broiled Salmon
- 3 Ingredient Maple Glazed Salmon
- Perfect Baked Chicken Breast
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Sweet Chili Chicken
Meal prep + storage
This salad keeps OK for a few hours, but it would be better to keep everything separate and dress right before serving!
- cook farro up to 4 days ahead (store in an air tight container in the fridge).
- crumble feta and slice onions up to 4 days ahead (store in an air tight container in the fridge).
- prepare the vinaigrette up to 2 weeks ahead (shake well before adding)
Do not cut the apples until just before serving, as they will oxidize and turn brown.
More side salads
- Asian Slaw with Sesame Vinaigrette
- Staple Kale Salad
- Healthy Greek Chicken Pasta Salad
- Refreshing Quinoa Black Bean Salad
- Spinach Bacon Salad with Maple Walnuts
Autumn Apple Farro Salad
- ¾ cup farro uncooked; see note 1
- 1 apple chopped; can use any type of apple
- 4 handfulls spinach or arugula
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup pecans
- ¼ cup feta cheese crumbled
White Wine Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt & pepper
- Cook farro: rinse under tap water for a minute. Combine in a pot with 2 cups of water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Simmer for 30 minutes, then drain off extra water and allow to cool.
- Shake together all vinaigrette ingredients in a jar or salad dressing shaker.
- Combine the cooled farro with the apple, spinach, cranberries, pecans and feta cheese. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, toss it up and enjoy!
- cook farro up to 4 days ahead
- crumble feta and slice onions up to 4 days ahead
- prepare the vinaigrette up to 2 weeks ahead