Farro, spinach and cranberry salad

Nov 13, 2013 at 2:15 p.m. ET

Some of us love the Thanksgiving side dishes more than the main attraction. If that sounds like you, get ready to enjoy this flavorful salad made with farro!

Farro, spinach, and cranberry salad

This year, skip the brown rice as a side dish at Thanksgiving and pass the farro instead. Farro is a whole grain that has a bit of a nutty flavor. It's firm and chewy and makes a perfect side dish to serve at Thanksgiving.

Included in this salad are some great ingredients that add flavor and texture, including spinach, cranberries, orange juice and almonds. Top with shaved Parmesan just before serving, and you have the makings of a mouthwatering side dish.

Farro, spinach and cranberry salad recipe

Serves 6


  • 2 cups farro (4 cups water)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
  • 1-1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/3 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, as garnish


  1. Add the farro and 4 cups of water to a saute pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and cook, covered, for 25-30 minutes. The farro will be chewy, but not overly soft.
  2. As the farro is cooking, combine the dried cranberries, orange juice and zest in a bowl and set it aside.
  3. When the farro has finished cooking, use a mesh strainer to drain it.
  4. Add the farro to a serving bowl along with the olive oil, salt and black pepper. Immediately toss in the spinach while the farro is warm. This will help wilt the spinach slightly.
  5. Add in the cranberries along with the orange juice and zest. Stir in the almonds and toss the salad.
  6. Serve on individual plates and top with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Serve this super side for Thanksgiving!

More Thanksgiving recipes

Wine-braised turkey breast
Rich turkey gravy
Crimson cranberry-orange tart