Pancetta and Sweet Pea Cheesy Farro

Sharing our favorite farro recipe today and talking about how to cook farro too! Simple and so delicious!

how to cook farro


If you haven’t had a good farro recipe yet I’ve got the perfect recipe for you! I remember being served farro at a nice restaurant a couple years ago for the first time and I was smitten!  You can find farro pretty easily. I would first try Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Sprouts, Fresh and Easy. You can also order it online if you have trouble. Let’s take a look at this cheesy dreamy farro dish that I developed. You are going to love it!

Try my Cheesy Chicken and Rice recipe too! Follow Picky Palate on Instagram for daily recipe inspiration.

how to cook farro

Here’s what farro looks like after it’s cooked. You cook it just like pasta. It’s tossed right into boiling water then drained once cooked. Easy easy.

How To Cook Farro

  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a pot with salt. Add rinsed farro, return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-high and boil uncovered until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain off cooking water, then serve.
Pre-Soak Method
  1. Cover farro with water and soak in the refrigerator overnight, then drain. Place in a pot and add 3 cups water or stock (enough to cover the grains). Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain excess liquid and serve.
Slow Cooker
  1. Place rinsed farro, 4 cups water and salt into a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2–2 ½ hours or high for 1 ½ hours. Drain excess water and serve.
  1. Place rinsed farro, 3 cups water and salt in the pot of a multi-cooker. Set the valve to sealing. On manual setting and high pressure, set for 12 minutes. Quick release the pressure. Drain excess water and serve.

how to cook farro

Ok, let’s check out my homemade cheese sauce. You start by making a roux. You often start homemade mac and cheese this way. Melt your butter, then whisk in flour, salt and pepper.

how to cook farro

Whisk in your chicken broth, increase your heat and continue whisking until thickened.

how to cook farro

Stir in your cheese until melted and fabulous. Reduce heat to low.

how to cook farro

Totally optional, but very recommended….add a few drops of hot sauce. Adds great flavor.

how to cook farro

Time to brown your pancetta. Pancetta is not quite ham, not quite bacon, but right in the middle somewhere. It’s salty, somewhat sweet and delicious.

how to cook farro

Add your cooked farro to the pot.

What Is Farro?

Farro is often used as a substitute for pasta or rice, and is a grain with a nutty flavor similar to brown rice. It is rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C, and E. Sounds good right? Well it is. I LOVE the texture. Think bigger and better brown rice but better tasting, lol!

how to cook farro

Add about 1/2 can drained sweet peas. If you despise sweet peas, no big deal. Either leave them out or substitute with another cooked vegetable of your choice.

how to cook farro

Pretty! Now mix.

how to cook farro

My favorite part. Pour it in baby!

how to cook farro

Let me just take a moment here, lol!

how to cook farro

If I haven’t convinced you to try this yet, I’m betting this picture does the trick 🙂

how to cook farro

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

how to cook farro

Pancetta Sweet Pea Farro

This Pancetta Sweet Pea Farro is the perfect side dish to your favorite meals! Full of flavor!
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 708kcal
Author: Jenny
Cost: 10
Print Pin


  • 4 cups cooked Farro or rice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup pancetta
  • 1 cup sweet peas drained if using canned


  • Place cooked Farro into a bowl to use later. Place butter into a small saucepan over medium heat to melt. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper to combine. Whisk in chicken broth, increase heat to high whisking constantly. When thickened, reduce heat to low and stir in cheese until melted. Simmer on low.
  • Place oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring until browned. Add cooked Farro, cheese sauce and peas stirring to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper to your liking. Serve warm.


Calories: 708kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 352mg | Potassium: 485mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 636IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 183mg | Iron: 4mg
Keywords: farro, farro recipe, farro recipes, pancetta

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27 Responses
  1. shelly (cookies and cups)

    This is my kind of meal! I don’t think I have ever had farro..need to get on that!

  2. Shea Goldstein

    This looks delicious! I have everything on hand to make it – can’t wait to try it!!

  3. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    My first experience with faro was in a small cafe in the Ferry Building in SF. I had a faro oatmeal and it was ridiculously good! Loving the cheese sauce part!

  4. Leanne @ healthful pursuit

    I wish farro was gluten-free. I’d eat it by the heapful. Yep no doubt about it. On a completely unrelated note, you have such a beautiful kitchen!!

  5. Kim

    So, if you aren’t a pork fan, what would you use instead? Since I’ve never used farro, I’m deferring to the expert!

  6. Alyssa at Kitchen Cures

    I’ve never tried farro before, but this recipe makes me want to check it out! I love the combination of cheese, peas, and pancetta, you can’t go wrong.

  7. Katherine R.

    I have been tiring of my traditional grains lately, lol! I can’t wait to give this healthy alternative a shot! Looks delicious (plus who can say no to cheese and pancetta?!). Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective

    What a beautiful dish–love that you’re sneaking it spring flavors. I need that after all the nasty weather. 🙂

  9. Heather (Heather's Dish)

    My husband hates peas (weird!) so I think I’ll just have to eat the whole batch myself.

    DARN 😉

  10. Janet Helm

    Looks good. I love farro, it’s a fabulous whole grain, although it’s NOT gluten-free. Farro is wheat. It may be lower in gluten than modern-day wheat varieties, but it is not fully gluten-free. So some folks with a gluten intolerance may have better luck with farro, but for those with celiac, this is not a gluten-free grain. Farro is similar to freekeh, another ancient wheat variety (also, one of my favorites). They’re both lower in gluten, but not classified as gluten free.

  11. Julie @ Table for Two

    oooo I LOVE the pancetta added into this for that bacon-esque bite and the cheese!! yum 🙂 this looks like a great alternative to other grains! i love that big whisk too, btw 😉

  12. Tabitha (From Single to Married)

    I’m so glad you explained what farro is because I didn’t know and didn’t want to ask for fear of looking silly. 🙂 I will say that this dish looks amazing – very risotto-like!

  13. Ellen @ The Baking Bluenoser

    I’ve never tried farro before and have never seen it used in a recipe but this might just give me an excuse to try it! Looks amazing Jenny. I could eat anything that had as much cheesy-goodness as this does!

  14. Madison

    Wow! That looks like creamy, cheesy goodness. 🙂 I have not tried farro before and may now have to try it out. Thanks for sharing!!

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