Salmon Farro Salad with BBQ Cranberry Dressing

Hi Friends!

Sometimes the best meals come to me when I desperately need groceries. I’m not really sure why…perhaps because it forces me to get creative and try new things. Prior to my most recent grocery store trip, I managed to put together an amazing salad, so I thought I would share the process with you.

Here’s what happens:

Step 1: Pull out almost everything left in the fridge, which is usually not a lot because I wait until pretty much EVERYTHING is gone before I go to the store.

Step 2: Raid the freezer and pantry, which I do a good job of keeping well stocked, for both a protein source and a grain.

Step 3: Pile everything on the counter, stand there and stare at it for several minutes.

I needed to use up that spinach so I decided that the base of our dinner would be a salad.

In that pink container is one leftover roasted beet. I decided it would be good to add some roasted veggies to the salad, but I also wanted there to be some crunchy veggies. So, cut up that sweet potato and a couple of carrots and threw them in the oven to roast with a little EVOO and some paprika.

While they were roasted, I cooked some farro and added it to a big bowl with the raw veggies- diced yellow pepper, lots of sliced green onions- and the roasted beet.

Next, I settled on the protein. I had some salmon in the freezer so I pulled that out and pan-seared it with a little black pepper and cayenne pepper. When the veggies were done roasting, I added them to the bowl, along with the salmon (flaked into bite sized chunks).

Finally, I tackled the dressing. For some reason, I really wanted cranberries. I always have a stock of fresh cranberries in the freezer because I stock up when they go on sale. I didn’t want to make a cranberry sauce with a lot of sugar, but I did want to sweeten them up…so I put some cranberries in a small saucepan with some orange juice and just a little agave nectar and let them boil away until the cranberries popped open and the mixture thickened.

Then I decided to go a little crazy and I threw in a little bbq sauce and some mustard and called it a dressing.

Here’s the final product:

Here’s the recipe for ya!

Serves 3

Salmon Farro Salad with BBQ Cranberry Dressing

This colorful salad is just the right mix of healthy fats, nutrients, and pure deliciousness!

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Salmon Farro Salad with BBQ Cranberry Dressing


11/2 c farro, cooked
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 beet, roasted and diced
1 sweet potato, roasted and diced
1 large carrot, roasted and diced
1/4 c green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c pecans, chopped
11/2 pounds salmon, cooked and flaked
goat cheese, optional
3-4 c spinach
1 c fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 c orange juice
1-2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp bbq sauce


  1. Salad
  2. Combine all ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Spoon over spinach.
  4. Dressing
  5. Combine cranberries, oj and agave in a small saucepan.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until cranberries burst and mixture thickens.
  7. Stir in mustard and bbq sauce and spoon over salad.

I forgot to add the goat cheese to our salads for dinner- GASP! But you better believe I remembered when I packed the leftovers for lunch the next day!

I ate this salad warm for dinner and cold for lunch. It was great both ways!


About Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston is a Registered Dietitian and new mom from Columbus, Ohio. On her blog, she shares simple, healthy recipes, nutrition tips, workouts and snapshots of her life. Follow her on Twitter @LeanGrnBeanBlog and Instagram @TheLeanGreenBean and be sure to subscribe via RSS or email so you never miss a post!


  1. I love that dressing you created! BBQ + cranberry: brilliant for that salmon salad. Bet chicken would be good too.
    Christine @ Oatmeal Bowl recently posted..WIAW: Carrot-Ginger Soup, Chobani and Coffee

  2. Yummy! That salad looks delicious! It’s so pretty with all the colors.
    Krissy recently posted..Dinner of Champions: Ice cream and fries

  3. this is JUST MY SPEEEEED.

    Miz recently posted..Standing on my head changed my life.

  4. SO in love with this!! And it looks like it would keep fairly well if you were to make enough for left overs.
    Quick question: How long do you roast your beets for? I’ll be trying it for the first time in the next few days and am wondering — because they’re so dense, will they need longer than broccoli or cauliflower? About as much time as sweet potato?
    Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale recently posted..Full of Fuzz

    • they take a while. i usually roast mine for about an hour. i drizzle with a little olive oil, cut the top/greens off and wrap in foil. you can check them after a while by pulling them out, unwrapping and sticking a knife in. if it goes in easily, it’s done, if not..throw them back in. you can’t really over roast them unless you left them in forever.

  5. random leftover salads are the best! and that dressing looks SO GOOD!!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted..RW Half Marathon Discount Code

  6. Grocery desperation meals are the BEST! I love your creativity here – especially the dressing!
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted..Eat Your Tequila Lime Tilapia

  7. This looks delicious!
    I love farro, but don’t use it often enough. This is a great idea!
    Kristen @ Swanky Dietitian recently posted..My Exciting News

  8. I have some leftover beets, couscous and salmon – I just got an idea! 😉
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..What’s Beautiful – Re-Motivating Myself

  9. I love those spontaneous cooking moments! Salmon with cranberry and bbq sounds like a perfect combo!
    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist recently posted..Coconut Party Cupcake, for one (gluten-free, vegan)

  10. that dressing sounds awesome!
    sarah k @ the pajama chef recently posted..Peach Raspberry Clafouti

  11. Wow does this ever look good! :) That dressing sounds unreal- we will definitely be trying it out! :)
    Julie and Brit @ recently posted..A Protein-Filled Mess

  12. Beautiful salad, Lindsay! You always post the most amazing meals. It reminds me of my husband… He always comes up with delicious creations from practically nothing! Definitely a great talent to have!

  13. What a salad! There’s so many beautiful and vibrant colours! And the combination of flavours sounds so tasty!

  14. The salad looks great! I also tend to be able to produce some interesting dishes out of whatever is left in the pantry and fridge. My husband laughs every time I say I threw together something with what we had left and says “for not having anything, this tastes awesome.”

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