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Recipe Challenge: Farro Caprese Salad

Nick Leonardo, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ July 23, 2022
farro caprese

Looking for your staple complex carbohydrate source this summer? Try this Farro Caprese Salad for an easy and flavorful way to get those fibrous carbs on your plate.

Below is the base version of the recipe. A healthful modification would be to add a lean protein such as poultry, fish, egg, or tofu. This would boost the protein content over the recommended 20g threshold per serving. Additionally, your preferred protein source would fit in nicely with the base ingredients and dressing. 

You can also try experimenting with different complex carbohydrate options such as quinoa, barley, bulgur, or freekeh, though farro’s consistency is likely most suitable for this recipe. 

Lastly, for a leaner dressing option, try a vinegar such as balsamic or rice wine in place of the oil. This would cut the calories from the oil and allow the mozzarella (or different cheese of choice) to serve as the sole fat component. 

This recipe is perfect for a base meal where you can easily make modifications around the edges to match your goals and preferences.

Farro Caprese Salad

Adapted from OhMyVeggies.com

Base Recipe:
Yields ~8 servings


  • 2 cups farro
  • 4 cups water
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 10 ounces small fresh mozzarella balls quartered
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup basil leaves packed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup pine nuts toasted


  1. In a medium pot, combine the farro and the water with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer, covered, for 13-15 minutes or until the water has evaporated and the farro is tender. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the cooked farro with the cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.
  3. To make the dressing, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic and basil. Pulse until minced, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the olive oil, parmesan cheese, champagne vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Pulse again until combined and smooth. Season to taste with salt.
  4. Toss the dressing with the farro salad. Serve topped with toasted pine nuts.

Nutrition Facts

Per ½ cup serving*: ~350 calories, 16g fat, 40g carbohydrates (5g fiber), 11g protein

*For VLCD recommended serving size is ¼ cup: ~175 calories, 8g fat, 20g carbohydrates (2.5g fiber), 5.5g protein. Recommended to add lean protein source for VLCD to meet protein goal.  

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