This is the ultimate guide on how to cook farro in an Instant Pot with and without soaking, using any brand of farro for delicious grain bowls, breakfasts, and salads.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This is the absolute best, most foolproof way to make perfectly cooked, tender farro in a pressure cooker. There’s nothing to watch on the stove, and you can even skip soaking the grains!
We’ve tested dozens of ways to cook all kinds of grains on the stove and in the Instant Pot, and we love the convenience of pressure cooking. With all of our testing, we’re thrilled to share the best way to make perfect farro every time, with no guesswork necessary.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED
You only need three simple ingredients to make the perfect farro in an Instant Pot:
- Farro. Like rice, you can buy whole-grain farro (with the outer layer intact) or pearled farro (with the hull). Pearled seems to be most common in the U.S., so that’s what we tested in this recipe.
- Salt. Whether you’re making a sweet or savory farro, it will benefit from adding just a little salt.
- Water. You’ll need water to soak the farro if you choose to, as well as to cook it.
You can customize the recipe to correspond with how you’re serving it. (For example, if you’re making it for breakfast, add a little sugar and maybe a little butter. If you’re serving it with a salad, you can toss in additional salt, olive oil, and seasonings and replace the cooking water with broth.)
How to Cook Farro in an Instant Pot
The great thing about making farro in the Instant Pot is that you can choose to soak the grains or not, depending on how much time you have. Unsoaked grains will still cook up nicely in the pressure cooker, just with a slightly longer cooking time.
If you’d like to soak the farro, cover it with water in a large bowl (or the Instant Pot cooking pot) and soak it overnight. Then drain the grains and place them in the Instant Pot pot along with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Cook the farro on high pressure for 5 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 10. Finish with a quick pressure release, then remove the lid, drain the farro, and enjoy!
If you’re skipping the soaking step, simply add a cup of farro and 2 cups of water to your Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 12 to 20 minutes (depending on the brand of farro you’re using). When the pressure cooking is over, let the pressure release for up to 5 minutes, the finish with a quick pressure release. Remove the lid and drain off any excess water before serving.
Do you have to soak farro?
You don’t have to soak the farro, but you can choose to if you prefer. (I’ve found that people tend to have strong opinions on this one.)
Reasons to soak farro Some studies have shown that soaking farro helps remove phytic acid and other anti-nutrients from grains, which can help with digestion. Soaking for 4 to 12 hours also shortens the cook time.
If you do soak the farro, be sure to drain the water from soaking and use fresh water for cooking.
Reasons to cook right from dry: Soaking farro can also correspond nutrients getting leeched out into the soaking water. It’s also something you have to remember to do ahead of time, which I often struggle to do.
Important Tips for Making Instant Pot Farro
- Don’t skip the rinse and drain step! Farro often has a fine starchy coating that can affect the flavor of the finished dish.
- The cook time is a range to account for differences in the brand of farro you’re making and how you’re serving it. The farro I cooked for 12 minutes with a quick release kept their grain shape beautifully, but the texture was a little firmer than I like. However, if you plan to add it to a soup or salad, this option would definitely be prettier.
- Cooking the grains for 20 minutes with a 5-minute natural release resulted in softer farro, but it still had a little bite. Some of the individual farro grains looked like they had popped open a bit. This was my preferred texture if I’m eating farro for breakfast. Cooked this way, it still has a chewier texture than steel-cut oats.
We tested this recipe in an Instant Pot Duo Nova using two popular brands: Bob’s Red Mill and the Kroger store brand. While both brands are pearled farro, the Kroger brand cooked a few minutes quicker than Bob’s Red Mill.
Frequently Asked Questions about Farro in an Instant Pot
If you don’t soak your farro, the exact cooking time will depend on how chewy or crunchy you like your grains. For softer, more tender farro, add a few extra minutes of cooking time.
There are dozens of delicious ways to serve cooked farro. We love making salads with dried fruit, nuts, and a simple dressing. You can make grain bowls and top them with Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork, or serve farro for breakfast as a porridge like oatmeal.
Yes, cooked grains like farro store great, so feel free to make a big batch. Store leftovers in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.
You can freeze farro in an airtight container for up to 6 months. (My favorite way to freeze is to divide it into individual servings in freezer-safe ziptop baggies.)
Ways to Amp Up Farro’s Flavor
If you’re using the cooked farro in a salad or soup, allowing it to dry after cooking can help farro absorb flavors better. Place a sheet of parchment on a rimmed baking sheet, then refrigerate until ready to use.
If you want to take it a step farther, preheat your oven (around 350°F) and pop the baking sheet in until the farro is dry and toasted, anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.
MORE Instant Pot Grain Recipes
Once you’ve mastered cooking farro, try these other pressure cooker grain recipes:
- Lemon Cranberry Breakfast Farro is a bright and sweet morning meal that’s full of fiber and dried cranberries.
- Farro and Cherry Salad is a delicious make-ahead grain salad with dried fruit and a savory dressing.
- Breakfast Quinoa is a creamy porridge made with healthy quinoa instead of oatmeal for breakfast.
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- 1 cup pearled farro, rinsed well and drained
- Optional, spices or sugars that will complement your finished dish
TO SOAK THEN COOK
- 2 cups water, plus more for soaking
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
TO COOK FROM DRY (NO-SOAK Method)
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
To Cook from Dry (No-Soak Method)
- Add farro, water, and salt to the cooking pot, along with any optional seasonings. Stir until combined. Lock the lid in place, then select High Pressure and 12 to 20 minutes* cook time, depending on how firm you want your farro.
- When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 0 to 5 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- If needed, drain excess water from the farro, then serve.
To Soak then Cook
- Add the farro to the bowl and then add enough water to cover the grains. Soak in the refrigerator overnight.
- Drain the farro well. Add farro, 2 cups water, and salt to the cooking pot, along with any optional seasonings. Stir until combined. Lock the lid in place, then select High Pressure and 5 minutes cook time.
- When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- If needed, drain any excess water from the farro, then serve.
*The farro I cooked for 12 minutes with a quick release kept their grain shape really well, so it’d be prettier to add to a soup or a salad, but the texture was a little firmer than I liked.
The 20 minute cook time with a 5 minute release was cooked softer and the grains had "burst" a little, but the farro still had a little bite. This was my preferred cook time for a breakfast porridge.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 56Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 361mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.
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