Farro Breakfast Salad with Sweet Potatoes & Apples
5 from 4 votes

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!

A small, white bowl is filled with a kale, sweet potato, and apple salad. The salad contains grains of farro.

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.

Is salad a good breakfast?

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.

Building blocks of a nutrient-dense salad

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:

Healthful fats

Complex carbohydrates

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Whole grain bread (croutons, breadcrumbs, etc.)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Farro
  • Barley
  • Whole wheat couscous
  • Root vegetables
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Corn

Proteins

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Vegan meats
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Shelled hemp seeds
  • Leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Seitan

Vegetables

  • Leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Onions

…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.

An overhead image of roasted apples and root vegetables, farro, kale, and a creamy dressing.

Farro breakfast salad ingredients

Farro

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):

  • Spelt berries
  • Wheat berries
  • Oat groats

Sweet potatoes and apples

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!

Kale

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.

Almond butter

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.

Meal prep and storage

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.

More breakfast-worthy salads

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:

A white, ceramic salad bowl has been filled with a kale and whole grain salad. The salad contains orange sweet potato pieces and has a creamy dressing.
A small, white bowl is filled with a kale, sweet potato, and apple salad. The salad contains grains of farro.
5 from 4 votes

Farro Breakfast Salad with Sweet Potatoes & Apples

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry farro (pearled or regular)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
  • 2 large or 3 small apples, cored and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 3 cups tightly packed, chopped curly kale

For the Creamy Almond Butter Citrus Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons almond butter (choose a creamy almond butter if possible; substitute sunflower seed or cashew butter)
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or Bragg's Liquid aminos

Instructions

  • Cook the farro according to package instructions.
  • To roast the potatoes and apples in the oven, preheat your oven to 400F and line one or two baking sheets with parchment. Toss the sweet potatoes and apples in the oil and transfer them to the sheet or place them on the sheet and spray them with oil spray. Roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking, or until they're tender and golden.
    To air fry the sweet potatoes and apples, transfer them to your air fryer basket and spray with oil. Air fry, in batches if necessary, for 12 minutes at 375F.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil and use a steamer attachment to steam the kale for 5 minutes, or until tender.
  • To make the dressing, whisk the ingredients together till smooth.
  • Once the farro, potatoes, apples, and kale are cooked, mix them together in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over them and toss to combine. Serve the salad warm or chill and enjoy. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Notes

In place of cooked farro, you can use cooked whole oat groats, cooked brown rice, or cooked wheat or spelt berries.
An overhead image of a plant-based salad with roasted sweet potatoes and apples. It's served in a white salad bowl and sitting on a white surface.

Baked goods are all the rage when autumn rolls around. And I love muffins, baked oatmeal, scones, and pumpkin bread with every centimeter of my heart.

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.

xo

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Recipe Rating




    7 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe, Gena! I used chickpeas instead of farro since I was making a quinoa bake to go with, and all lemon juice plus a tbsp of maple syrup because I didn’t have any oranges on hand. I will definitely be keeping this on the weekly rotation for the rest of the season, and just might have to serve it as a side for our Thanksgiving dinner next weekend. 🙂

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Allison. I’ve made it a few times now, and I’m not slowing down. I’ll have to try the chickpea variation!

  2. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I saw your email this morning, happened to have time to cook and similar ingredients, and am so glad I made it! It was a perfect fall morning breakfast. I made it with delicata squash instead of sweet potatoes and 100% cranberry juice instead of orange. Thanks for a nice fall morning