You will love these Mediterranean farro bowls loaded with whole grains, juicy chicken, cucumber, and tomato! What makes it even better is that it’s topped with Tzatziki sauce and feta cheese for the ultimate Mediterranean grain bowl.
In addition to the recipe, I’ll show you how to make it for a weeknight meal or turn it into a healthy meal prep lunch for the office.
Healthy Mediterranean Chicken Farro Bowls
All the classic Mediterranean flavors in one bowl filled with fresh and good-for-you ingredients.
Every bite of juicy marinated chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy Tzatziki over tastes incredible, and the farro ties everything together to make it a hearty meal you’ll want to make on repeat.
This is the perfect recipe for those days where you crave something filling and healthy at the same time but don’t want it to include lettuce.
Now if you’ve never cooked with farro, don’t worry. It’s a lot like cooking rice and resembles barley when cooked. Its nutty flavor also makes it a healthy and delicious alternative to regular rice in soups, stews, and salads.
What is Farro
Farro is a whole grain that looks similar to barley but has a nutty taste and chewy texture. It’s one of the oldest cultivated grains in the world, and the high protein and fiber content make it a prime choice for whole grains.
Farro comes in three different forms: whole, semi, and pearled. The whole and semi-variety can take over 30 minutes to cook, so I prefer to use pearled farro, which is ready in less than 30 minutes.
This ancient grain is versatile and great for salads, stews, soups, side dishes, or even breakfast. If you’ve never cooked with farro, don’t worry, it’s like cooking rice.
How to Cook Farro
To cook farro, combine 1 part (1 cup farro) with 3 parts liquid (3 cups) into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil before reducing the heat to medium-low and allowing the farro to simmer for 25-30 minutes. When the grain is tender, drain the excess water.
Farro readily takes on flavors, so cook it with broths, stocks, or herbs you keep on hand.
Chicken Farro Bowl Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make these chicken farro bowls at home.
- Farro: packs so much more flavor and nutrients than regular rice or couscous.
- Chicken breast: marinated in delicious lemon oregano flavors and pan-seared to juicy perfection.
- Lemon-oregano marinade: a very simple marinade that packs on the flavor.
- Cherry tomatoes: chopped fresh tomatoes also work great.
- Cucumber: crisp and refreshing with the farro and chicken.
- Kalamata olives: have a unique flavor, but you can swap them out for your favorite variety of pitted olives.
- Red onion: if you love their sharp flavor, add them!
- Tzatziki sauce: a delicious sauce made with cucumber and Greek yogurt. Check out my recipe for homemade Tzatziki below.
- Feta cheese: tangy feta brightens the flavors of the farro bowls and adds a creamy element.
- Lemon: to squeeze over the toppings.
- Fresh dill or parsley: chopped and sprinkled over the chicken and veggies.
If you want to make it vegetarian, swap the chicken for chickpeas. Hummus, chopped red bell pepper, and red onions would also be a good idea here.
How to Make Mediterranean Farro Bowls with Chicken
I like setting these Mediterranean Farro Bowls up self-serve so everyone can build their bowl.
All of the cooking and chopping steps can be done beforehand and the ingredients stored in separate containers. Come dinner-time, having everything ready will make things go quickly, just give the farro and chicken a quick warm-up in the microwave and build your bowl.
Here’s what to do:
- Cook the farro
Prepare the farro according to package directions.
- Marinate the chicken
Marinate the chicken in the lemon-oregano marinade for at least 20 minutes.
- Cook the chicken
Pan-sear the chicken on the stove-top until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Let it rest before slicing.
- Build your bowl
Scoop the cooked farro into bowls and top with juicy chicken slices, fresh cucumber, tomato, and red onion. Add a sprinkle of feta cheese.
- Finishing touches
Prepare the homemade Tzatziki recipe, or use your favorite storebought option and drizzle it over the top of your bowl.
A squeeze of lemon and some freshly chopped dill or parsley. Grab a fork and enjoy!
In this video, not only do I show you how to make this wonderful recipe but also how to cook farro.
How to Prep Ahead
These farro bowls are a great Mediterranean meal you can prep ahead and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Layer the cooked farro and chicken inside your glass meal prep containers and top with cucumber, tomato, olives, and red onion. Pack the feta cheese and Tzatziki sauce into separate sauce containers.
When ready to eat, enjoy this salad cold or reheat it in the microwave and top with the sauce and cheese. So good and simple!
Mediterranean Chicken Farro Bowls
The Marinated chicken:
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, more for cooking
- 1 lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup farro
- 3 cups water or stock
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 seedless cucumber, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup kalamata olives
- ½ red onion, sliced
- Tzatziki sauce
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- 1 cucumber
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon dried dill
Marinate the chicken:
- In a large zip bag, place the chicken breasts, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, ideally 4 hours or overnight.
Cook the farro:
- Rinse and drain farro. Place farro in a pot with salt and water or stock. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes until the grain is tender. Drain off any excess water.
Cook the chicken:
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, place the chicken breasts on the hot surface, and cook the first side for 7 minutes. Flip the chicken breast over and continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until the internal temperature has reached 165F. Discard the marinade.
- Remove chicken from pan onto a plate and wait 5 minutes before slicing.
Make the tzatziki sauce:
- Grate the cucumber on top of a couple of paper towels. Once grated, squeeze any excess moisture over the sink and transfer the grated cucumber into a bowl. Grate the garlic clove in the bowl. yogurt, salt, lemon juice, and dill. Stir to combine and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In a bowl, make a base of farro. Top with sliced chicken, tomatoes, cucumber slices, olives, red onion, tzatziki sauce, and feta cheese. Serve with lemon wedges.