Exploding with color and flavor, this farro salad recipe has it all: roasted sweet potatoes, spicy roasted poblano peppers, black beans, corn, and cilantro, with an easy homemade chili lime dressing.

Image of a colorful farro salad in a white bowl. Ingredients included are farro, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted poblano peppers, roasted red onion, cilantro, and queso fresco cheese.

Farro salads are way at the top of my favorites list. Roasted vegetables are right up there, too. So this southwestern farro salad recipe with roasted sweet potatoes, poblano peppers, and red onions has rocketed right to the top. Friends, I could eat this salad every day and not grow tired of it! I know you’re going to love it too!

Have you tried farro yet?

 

Farro has been around for literally thousands of years but has more recently become popular again. It’s an ancient wheat grain, usually emmer wheat, although it can be einkorn or spelt. Farro has a nutty flavor, a chewy texture, and loads of health benefits.

 

Notice that it is wheat, so it’s not gluten-free.

So delicious, and healthy, this vegetarian farro salad recipe is sure to become one of your favorites, too. 

Image of a colorful southwestern farro salad in a white bowl with a black spoon. A bunch of fresh cilantro is also pictured.

About this southwestern farro salad:

If you’re looking for a side salad with lettuce or greens, southwestern farro salad isn’t it. This farro salad recipe is hearty: a vegetarian main dish, or a substantial side dish. Eat it for a satisfying lunch or dinner. You won’t be feeling hungry again in an hour. The complex carbohydrates will stick with you for awhile.

Begin by making the farro. This can easily be done ahead of time. I almost always have a couple bags of cooked farro in my freezer.

Roast the poblanos using one of the 4 methods outlined in this post. For this farro salad recipe, I recommend using the oven method since you’ll be using the oven anyways to roast the sweet potatoes and red onions. You might as well do it all at once, right?

Whisk together the easy dressing: lime juice, olive oil, honey, and chili powder. By the way, this dressing is delicious on all sorts of salads with a southwestern flair.

Okay, now it’s time to assemble that delicious southwestern farro salad! Combine the roasted vegetables, farro, black beans, corn, queso fresco, and cilantro, then gently fold in the dressing. 

Garnish with more cheese and cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

Overhead image of a farro salad made with poblano peppers, roasted sweet potatoes and onions, queso fresco, black beans and corn.

How to make this farro salad recipe your own:

  • Make this salad dairy-free simply by leaving out the cheese, or using a non-dairy cheese. Vegans, same thing, and use agave instead of honey.
  • Looking for gluten-free recipes? You can substitute another sturdy grain for the farro, such as quinoa or brown rice. 
  • Instead of poblano peppers, for a less spicy salad, use red or green bell peppers. You can roast those right with the sweet potatoes and red onions, no need to peel.
  • Use a store-bought dressing of your choice instead of making your own. 

Image of a southwestern flavored farro salad in a white bowl with a black serving spoon.

Storage Tips

You can easily make this salad ahead. Tightly covered, southwestern farro salad will keep in the fridge for three to four days. It will taste just as good as the day you made it. Perfect for lunchboxes, too.

Or, if you prefer, make the components of the salad ahead. Make a big batch of farro and keep it in the freezer. I usually cook the whole bag of farro at once so I can easily put together one of the recipes listed below, or a brand new one. Roast the veggies ahead of time and store those in the fridge. 

Overhead image of a colorful farro salad with sweet potatoes, poblanos, cheese, black beans, corn, and cilantro.

Other farro recipes

Since farro is so nutritious, filling, and versatile, I like to use it in lots of recipes. Here’s a few for you to consider:

 

Image of a colorful farro salad in a white bowl. Ingredients included are farro, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted poblano peppers, roasted red onion, cilantro, and queso fresco cheese.

Southwestern Farro Salad Recipe with Poblanos

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Exploding with color and flavor, this farro salad recipe has it all: roasted sweet potatoes, spicy roasted poblano peppers, black beans, corn, and cilantro, with an easy homemade chili lime dressing.

Ingredients

  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 2 cups cooked farro, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15.25 oz) can corn, drained, or 1 ½ cups fresh kernels
  • ½ cup queso fresco, crumbled
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and more queso fresco, if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. 
  2. Place whole poblano peppers on a baking sheet (line with foil for easy clean-up) and roast for 40 minutes or until skins are blackened, flipping once.
  3. Meanwhile, on a separate baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes and onions with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring once, or until golden brown and fork tender. 
  4. When peppers are blackened, place them in a plastic bag, or a bowl covered with plastic wrap and let cool for 10-15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel off skins using your hands or a paper towel. Discard skin. Remove stems and seeds. Dice.
  5. In a large bowl, combine farro, roasted sweet potatoes and onions, diced poblanos, black beans, corn, queso fresco, and cilantro.. 
  6. In a small measuring cup, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, honey, and chili powder. Pour over salad and toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed
  7. Serve immediately or store tightly covered in refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Notes

  • Dairy-free: omit cheese, or use a non-dairy cheese.
  • Vegan: omit cheese, use agave instead of honey.
  • Gluten free: Use quinoa or brown rice instead of farro.
  • For less spiciness, use red or green bell peppers, instead of poblanos.
  • Use a store-bought dressing of your choice instead of making your own. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 327mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 12g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: I love all the fun flavors in this salad. I also realllly love salads that I can make once and eat for a lunch all week and this one fits the bill perfectly.
Husband’s take: Ben is surprisingly a big fan of this salad as well!
Changes I would make: None are necessary, but you can work with what you have in the house.
Difficulty: A little bit of chopping involved, but it’s easy!