This sweet and savory farro breakfast salad is a nutritious and seasonal breakfast for autumn. It’s made with roasted sweet potatoes and apples, and I include an air fryer option. The almond butter citrus dressing is not to be missed!
This farro breakfast salad combines a few of my favorite things: sweet and salty flavors, autumn vegetables, creamy dressings. Plus, it’s a savory breakfast, and I have a real weakness for savory breakfasts.
Salad for breakfast isn’t for everyone, and of course you can choose to have the recipe at lunch or dinnertime instead. But if you’ve never had a breakfast salad, it’s worth trying one. It’s a great feeling to have a bunch of veggies and whole grains first thing in the morning. And breakfast salads are a good opportunity to pack in plant protein, along with greens.
This particular breakfast salad is made with nutty, wholesome cooked farro, along with roasted sweet potatoes and apples. The salad base is curly kale, and the dressing is a sweet, salty almond butter citrus creation. The salad was inspired by fall produce, in all of its bounty. It has become one of my favorite salad recipes, period.
Salad for breakfast?! I’ve gotten this response when I mention breakfast salad to clients and friends.
But actually, salad is a great breakfast. It’s nutritious, fresh, and—if it’s meal-sized and you pay attention to macronutrient balance—a great way to stay satisfied for hours. Sure, it’s not a typical breakfast option, but it’s really no different from any other savory breakfast.
The trick to giving a breakfast salad staying power is to pack it full of satiating ingredients. Try to include some healthful fat, some protein, complex carbs, and plenty of veggies for fiber. In other words, make it a power plate.
Here are some example of foods from these macronutrient groups that you can use to build a breakfast salad:
…or whatever else you’re craving! This is just a roundup of some of my favorite breakfast salad ingredients. However, you can use what you have and greet breakfast salad as an opportunity to enjoy your favorite foods.
Farro is the whole grain star of this breakfast salad. It also happens to be one of my favorite whole grains. I often serve it as a side dish. It also shows up in a lot of my salad recipes, including my pesto farro and baby kale salad, balsamic roasted cauliflower salad, and carrot beet farro salad.
Farro isn’t gluten-free, so if you follow a gluten-free diet, you could replace it with quinoa or millet. Other whole grain options that work well in the breakfast salad (and also have great, chewy texture):
Roasted sweet potatoes and apples give the breakfast salad some natural sweetness. In addition, they help to make it more filling. Both are great sources of fiber.
The sweet potatoes and apples can be oven roasted or prepared in your air fryer. I give options for both!
I love the hearty texture and slightly bitter flavor of curly kale. I also love how it holds up well in leftover form. For this reason, it’s one of the greens that I rely on most when I do meal prep. If you don’t care for kale, you can replace it with another salad green that you love.
I’m a big fan of using nut and seed butters as a salad dressing base. For the farro breakfast salad, I use an irresistable blend of almond butter, orange juice, lemon juice, and Bragg’s liquid aminos. It’s a really simple mix, but it’s surprisingly wonderful.
The almond butter in the dressing is mild enough to not compete with the apples or sweet potatoes. It works so well in the recipe. If you have a tree nut allergy but can tolerate seeds, then Sunbutter is a great substitute for the almond butter.
As with many of my hearty, grain salads, you can prepare the farro breakfast salad ahead of time and incorporate it into your weekly meal prep routine.
I recommend whisking together the dressing, roasting or air frying the veggies, or cook the farro in advance. Any and all of those steps will make this salad come together pretty easily. All three components can be prepared up to four days in advance of mixing the salad together.
If you love this breakfast salad, and you decide to make breakfast salads a regular part of your routine, then I have a few more options for you. Try any of the following vegan salads for a nutritious morning meal:
However, it’s nice to interrupt all of the baked treats with something vegetable-forward, crispy, and fresh. For those moments, this breakfast salad is my favorite—and I hope that it might become a favorite of yours, too.