There are so many Farro substitutes and I bet you didn’t even know about it, right? don’t worry today I am sharing some of the best substitutes for Farro.

Do you like the really nutty taste of Farro but have run out of it? Or perhaps like me you want to get the chewy and wholesome experience of Farro but have developed an allergy to it? Are you perhaps wondering what you can use to get the taste and goodness of Farro without using Farro?

Farro can be easily substituted by barley, buckwheat groats, spelt berries, quinoa, oat groats, and teff. Some of these substitutes are even gluten-free. 

Do you want to learn more about the substitutes you can use for this ancient grain? Keep reading to know more.

Farro – A Healthy Grain

Farro has been a staple grain of Italy that has been used for many years. It is a wholesome and nutritious grain that is packed with essential amino acids. 

These days there are so many restaurants in America that use Farro in their dishes like Soups, salads, etc.

Farro’s nutlike taste and chewy texture make it an ideal serving with dishes like chicken and vegetables. Known to keep your stomach feeling full it is my favorite go-to grain. 

Also Read: Best Substitutes For Garlic Salt

I use Farro mostly as a base for vegetable bowls, porridge, and stew. But you can also make dressings, pilafs, and rice preparations.  Roasted Farro is also added to dishes for that extra crunch. 

Top 6 Substitutes for Farro 

When I am in a fix or Farro is not available in the nearest supermarket, I end up using the following substitutes for farro: 


Substitutes For Farro

At the top of the list of Farro substitutes is barley. Barley and Farro are so similar that they can be used interchangeably. 

Just like Farro, barley has a nutty, cashew nut-like taste. It can be easily used instead of Farro if you are using it to make porridge, soups, stews, or any risotto dish. It can also be added to casserole dishes like lasagna.

Nutrition wise barley is considered high in fiber and improves digestion.

Texture wise barley is closely similar to Farro with barley being slightly softer in texture. 

So, when substituting barley for Farro, just add barley keeping in mind the desired consistency of the dish. 

The cooking time of barley is also almost the same as that of Farro.  

Buckwheat Groats

Substitutes For Farro

Buckwheat groats is another substitute that I have used instead of Farro. Buckwheat groats are a nutritious grain and have a similar nutty and chewy texture as that of Farro. 

Buckwheat groat is not only rich in fiber but also has protein content. So it acts as a perfectly healthy substitute for Farro in salads, soups, and stews or as flour in baked items.

Another best part of buckwheat groats is that their cooking time is slightly less than that of Farro.  

The only precaution you must take while cooking buckwheat groats is not to overcook it. The more the grains are cooked in excess amounts of water, the more water the grains will absorb and become mushy.

Spelt Berries

Substitutes For Farro

The name spelt berries can be misleading. Spelt berries are not actual berries but are are kernels of the spelt grain. Tastewise they have a nutty flavor.

When it comes to the texture I have found that Farro has a softer texture, whereas spelt berries have a firm and tough texture. 

Due to the texture, spelt berries are best used as a roasted hard grain in salads and other dishes where you need to add an extra crunch to your dish. 

Also Read: Best Substitutes for Thyme

Nutrition-wise spelt berries contain fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. This makes spelt berries one of the nutrition-laden Farro substitutes. 

Spelt berry is a type of wheat that can be used by people who cannot tolerate other wheat grains. 

Since spelt berries are harder than Farro, the cooking time is significantly higher as compared to Farro. In order to cook spelt berries, I would recommend you to simmer it  longer than Farro.  


Quinoa is another healthy and nutritious substitute that I end up using often. 

Just like Farro, quinoa has a nutty connotation. However, you may find the taste of quinoa to be milder than that of Farro.  

Quinoa is slightly softer and fluffier than Farro when cooked. So, you must consider the consistency of the dish you want to achieve when you are using quinoa as a substitute. 

Quinoa is best used in salads, porridge, and side dishes. I add extra spices to compensate for the mild flavor of quinoa. 

Quinoa contains essential amino acids and is also rich in fiber. Since quinoa does not contain gluten it is a great substitute for people who cannot tolerate gluten. 

Oat Groats

Oat groats are unprocessed whole oats. Since they are not processed, oat groats tend to be loaded with nutrients. Oat groats also happen to be rich in antioxidants. 

Since oat groats are gluten-free, they can be used by people with gluten – intolerance.

Oat groats have a nutty, buttery, and sweet taste. So they work well with stews, soups, and porridge. 

The only downside of using oat groats is their cooking time. Oat groats need to be soaked overnight if you want to reduce their cooking time. 


Teff is a gluten-free substitute for Farro. It is considered one of the best substitutes for farro, especially for people who are allergic only to Farro.

Teff is highly nutritious and rich in protein. It also happens to be loaded with magnesium, iron, and calcium, and therefore is a power-packed wholesome grain.

Since it is similar in texture and taste to Farro, you can substitute Farro with teff in almost all dishes. 

The cooking time for teff is more or less the same as that of Farro. The texture may vary depending on the amount of water you use.  

The only downside of teff is that teff can be slightly more expensive than other Farro substitutes. 

Conclusion | Substitutes For Farro

All Farro substitutes can be used in a 1:1 ratio. That is for every portion of Farro use one portion of the substitute. Teff, quinoa, and oat groats are gluten-free substitutes. 

While differing slightly in texture and cooking time, most substitutes give the same nutty and filly experience of Farro. Barring teff, all Farro substitutes are cost-effective and easy to find. 

If you know any better substitutes for farro then do let us know by dropping your valuable comment down below.

By David McGill

David McGill who is the owner of the American City Diner blog is a big-time foodie, professionally he is a software developer who works at Amazon Web Services in Seattle, Washington. In his free time, he tries different food recipes in his home, and whenever he gets a chance he tries to visit and review restaurants across the state.

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