Discover how you can transform a classic Italian Caprese salad into a light and refreshing whole-grain meal in a bowl.

By: Jodie Shield, MED, RDN

Looking for a quick and healthy meal that’s satisfying and takes only minutes to make? Your search has ended. My West Coast Caprese Bowl is the perfect summer meal – no cooking required – simply assemble and eat. It’s loaded with fresh arugula, chilled mozzarella, diced avocado and juicy tomato. But the star ingredient is farro. Farro is an ancient wheat grain popular in the Mediterranean. It has a dark color, earthy flavor and high protein and fiber content. This nutty, chewy grain may be used as a substitute for pasta or rice which makes it a perfect ingredient for building healthy bowls. You’ll find farro in most U.S. grocery stores in two forms: pearled and semi-pearled (semi-pearled takes longer to cook but has a higher fiber content). As a rule of thumb, one cup of uncooked farro yields 3 cups of cooked farro, so store extras in the fridge. While I enjoy the savory taste of lean, crispy perfectly cooked bacon, you can leave it out. Simply drizzle homemade balsamic-Dijon dressing over your bowl, and you’re ready to eat.

My inspiration for this recipe came from Cooking Light. Stay tuned for more delicious quick and healthy bowl recipes like Healthy BBQ Bowl, and Grilled Steak and Sweet Potato Bowl – yum!  All of these recipes are also on my FREE app Eat Healthy Homemade Meals in Minutes which you can download from iTunes or Google Play.


West Coast Caprese Bowl with Balsamic-Dijon Dressing

1 serving

Prep Time = 15 minutes

Cooking Time = None!


Bowl Ingredients:

  • 1 cup arugula
  • ½ cup cooked farro
  • ½ avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 ounce fresh mozzarella, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 slice center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt


  1. Place arugula in deep salad bowl; top with farro, avocado, tomato, mozzarella cheese, basil, salt and pepper, and bacon if using.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and salt. Drizzle over bowl.

Nutritional Information per Serving (with bacon): 479 calories, 15 grams protein, 44 grams carbohydrate, 32 grams fat, 32 grams saturated fat, 30 milligrams cholesterol, 13 grams fiber, 418 milligrams sodium


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About Author


Jodie Shield, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N. Jodie Shield has been a consultant and spokesperson in the field of nutrition for over two decades. A former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (1989-1995), she has worked extensively with the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and taught nutrition and medical dietetics at the University of Illinois. Currently she is a complemental faculty member of the College of Health Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in Chicago.

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