30minf wfpb farro salad

Farro Salad With Oil-Free Italian Vinaigrette

Do you have the memories too? The checkered tablecloths? The bowls of salads and snacks neatly arranged? The smell of charcoal wafting through the air? The chattering voices and kids playing in the yard? 

Family picnics were a massive part of my life growing up—lots of beautiful memories and family time. When we adopted a plant-based way of eating, we had to find alternative salad options to bring to those potlucks, parties, and picnics. 

We tried our hand at picnic salads, carrot dogs, and veggie burgers, but we still hadn’t nailed down a tasty whole-food, plant-based (oil-free) pasta salad that could stand up to the oily one from childhood…Until we made this one. 

farro with vegetables and olives tossed in oil-free Italian dressing

Farro Salad with Oil-Free Vinaigrette

Sure, we have other vinaigrettes made with aquafaba (the juice from a can of chickpeas), but nothing quite compared to this tangy and tasty Italian one. 

The dressing has all the flavor of your favorite Italian dressing and works anywhere you use Italian dressing – toss those roasted or grilled veggies in it, dress your green salad with it, or dip your veggies in it. And don’t forget that rich, umami and cheesiness from the (best ever, Foods Alive) Nutritional Yeast

The farro provides a nice nutty flavor and heartiness, making this salad a popular one to take that can also serve as your main meal (if you are plant-based, you know what I am talking about).

And with the colorful veggies, it looks beautiful on any table. 

It pairs well with Carrot Dogs, Black Bean Burgers, or blackened tofu.  


Farro Salad With Oil-Free Italian Vinaigrette

Farro Salad With Oil-Free Italian Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This scrumptious farro salad is adapted from my favorite pasta salad with Italian dressing. Loaded with vegetables and a tangy dressing and served cold, it is a refreshing meal on a hot day. This salad is even better the second day, after the farro has started to absorb the dressing and the vegetables break down to crisp and
tender bites. Prepare this dish for a summer picnic or a make-ahead lunch. I like to use an English cucumber or remove the seeds from a standard cucumber.


  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 2/3 cup aquafaba (liquid from 1 can chickpeas)
  • 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning (page 124)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon red miso paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • For the salad:
  • 2 cups cooked farro, chilled
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, strained (reserve the liquid for the dressing) and rinsed
  • 1 cup diced peeled cucumber
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup sliced green olives with pimentos
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives


    To make the vinaigrette
    1. In a small bowl or container with a lid, combine the aquafaba,
    vinegar, Italian seasoning, nutritional yeast, miso, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Whisk vigorously or shake.

    To make the salad
    2. In a large bowl, combine the farro, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, broccoli, green olives, and black olives. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gently mix together.
    3. Pour the dressing over the salad, and stir to coat. If you’re making
    for the next day, refrigerate until ready to serve.


Variation Tip: Serve a scoop of this on a bed of mixed greens for a unique salad.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 to 6 servings Serving Size: per serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 497Total Fat: 13gCarbohydrates: 74.7gFiber: 14.3gProtein: 14.8g

30-Minute Whole-Food, Plant-Based Cookbook

This recipe comes from the 30-Minute, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Cookbook. That cookbook is full of tasty and easy recipes ready in under 30 minutes with whole foods to help you start your plant-based journey OR continue with new recipes and ideas. 

With Everything from breakfast to desserts and sauces and spice blends to soups and salads, this book has it all! 

When you make this recipe, tag @veginspired on Instagram; we love to see your creations!