Last Updated on March 30, 2020 by Chef Mireille
Italian Chicken Farro Salad
This protein packed salad utilizes many pantry items and is a healthy way to satisfy constant snackers.
Nowadays, when we go to the supermarket, it’s take what you can get. You don’t know when the next time is that you will be going to the market and you don’t know what your options are going to be. (2020)
I am based in NYC and things are very serious here and only leaving the house when absolutely necessary and that too, with a face mask and hand sanitizer after every interaction I have with another human being.
When I went to the supermarket last week, there was no fresh chicken, but there were some Perdue Grilled Chicken Strips. These are fast and convenient. These pre cooked grilled chicken strips can be added to almost anything from soup and salad to rice and pasta. The Italian seasoned option was what was available at my local market so I picked up a few packages.
While pantry items are hard to come by now, there is an abundance of fresh produce. Since I have a well stocked pantry, I purchased as many vegetables as I could keeping in mind just enough so that they would not spoil before I had the opportunity to utilize them.
I picked up some zucchini and yellow squash, vegetables used often in Italian cuisine, to go with my Italian seasoned chicken strips.
I used what was in my pantry and refrigerator to whip up this salad, however I am going to give you some substitution options so that you can whip it up with whatever you have available. I don’t want you to risk going outside unless absolutely necessary.
|Chicken Strips||leftover roast chicken or pork, rotisserie chicken, shredded chicken, canned chicken, canned tuna. Vegetarians can use tofu, paneer, soya chunks or seitan.|
|Farro||orzo, couscous, Israeli couscous, wheat berries, quinoa, bulgur wheat, freekeh (green wheat)|
|Zucchini/Yellow Squash||broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, frozen vegetable medley|
|Canned Corn||canned or frozen corn, canned or frozen green peas, canned or frozen peas and carrots|
|Roasted Red Peppers||fresh bell pepper with a little smoked paprika|
|Canned Kidney Beans||canned cannellini beans, black beans or any beans. Cooked dried beans can also be used.|
|Fresh Parsley||fresh mint or dried parsely/mint|
My sister and I have been holed up together since all this chaos started. While I am not a snacker, she is. She is constantly grazing for food. If you have kids at home or others who are constantly grazing, having a big batch of Italian Chicken Farro Salad in the refrigerator at any time is a good idea.
So full of protein with beans, chicken and farro, it is a complete meal on its own. However, it can also be made more filling when eaten with some crusty bread.
Here are a few bread recipes that would compliment the Chicken Farro Salad deliciously.
Spice & Herb French Braid Loaf for #BreadBakers
It's not as difficult as you think to create this fancy braid. A great project with the kids!
Roasted Tomato & Pesto Sausage Bruschetta
This post includes the recipe for classic French Bread as well as some ideas for bruschetta.
Zucchini Proscuitto Grissini
These breadsticks enriched with proscuitto and zucchini are so tasty you won't be able to stop munching on them!
Even after this crisis is over, these chicken strips are handy. You might like to try this Mango Pomegranate Chicken Salad for a switch!
Is farro new to you? Well then let’s learn a little more about Farro.
What is farro?
Farro is a generalized term often incorrectly used to represent any one of three ancient grains including spelt, emmer and einkorn. In Italian cuisine, emmer farro is the most common.
Sometimes people often use spelt and farro interchangeably, however, for most Italians farro is emmer.
The three wheat varieties are often indicated in Italy by farro grande, farro medio and farro piccolo. This may be the reason for the generalized term of farro.
Most farro is grown in northern Italy and is used predominantly in the cuisines of northern and central Italy, especially Tuscany.
Farro Health Benefits
- High Fiber
- 28 grams of Protein per serving
- Rich in Antioxidants
- Low Fat and Low Calorie (100 calories and 0 fat per 1/2 cup cooked farro)
- Vitamins & Minerals
- Vitamin B3
Farro can help in controlling many health conditions including high blood pressure, asthma and heart disease.
Now with this protein packed healthy salad, I know you can’t wait to try it!
Italian Chicken Farro Salad
- 1 cup farro
- 1 zucchini chopped
- 1 yellow squash chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 9 oz. cooked chicken chopped
- 7 oz. jar roasted red peppers
- 15.5 oz. can corn
- 15.25 can kidney beans
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Toss zucchini and squash with salt and pepper. Put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Alternately, you can steam or blanche.
- Combine farro and 4 cup water in a pot. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered for about 30 -35 minutes, until all of the water has been absorbed. Let it cool for a few minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine farro, chicken, zucchini/squash, roasted red peppers, corn, beans, tomatoes, parsley and red pepper. Toss to combine.
- Add vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well.
- Leave to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
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What a great salad. Like your sister, I’m a grazer too! It’s unusual to see farro in a recipe, and I always like to have variety in my grains so thank you!
I am sure you are going to love it!
Great recipe for these difficult times. I’ve had to really plan my meals too so that I get everything I need. Lots of improvisation too to work with the ingredient we have at home so nothing goes to waste.
yes its making meals out of what we have and constantly being mothers of invention 🙂
I’m a big fan of farro and this looks delicious! Stay safe!!
it was – If you have some farro, you can try making this today.
You had me at chicken and farro. And OMG — I absolutely love the substitutions chart you have. This is amazing!
Sure. I hope it helps.
The salad looks really colourful and tasty.Thank you for giving substitutions so that the salad can be made with store cupboard ingredients.
Yes right now SUBSTITUTE is the most important word in the kitchen. Going to the back of the cupboards and using that last bag of something in a recipe is the name of the game. I always say recipes should be a guide not a bible. Now is the perfect time to exercise that philosophy.
I love using left over chicken for salads. I haven’t seen faro but I think orzo would work really well.
Yes orzo is a good substitute, although it wont be as healthy as the farro 🙂
This looks like a nice and filling salad with so many healthy ingredients gone into it. Very true dear the situation is very bad everywhere. Do take good care and stay safe.
It is and so adaptable to whatever ingredients you do or do not have on hand.