Farro Vegetable Risotto

  • By Jess Dang
  • December 29, 2012

Semi-pearled farro

For week 3 of January’s Super-Food Challenge with Hey Fran Hey, we’re going to introduce you to farro, also known as the new “it” grain (if the Huffington Post declares it, it must be true). Farro is a whole grain (though unfortunately not gluten-free but gluten-low) that has a hearty but chewy texture that makes it hold up incredibly well in a lot of different type of dishes – soups, gratins, and salads.

The farro recipe we’re going to suggest you make first though is our low-maintenance take on risotto. If you’ve ever tried to make risotto, you know that it’s a labor of love. You attentively stir, stir, and stir over a period of 45 minutes. It’s definitely not what I would call a weeknight dish. However, substituting the traditional arborio rice found in risotto for farro makes risotto doable for a weeknight and also much healthier.

The farro is prepared just like pasta. Make sure to purchase the semi-pearled or husked variety and it will become tender in 25 minutes. This step can easily be prepared ahead of time. You can also make it in large batches and freeze portions to always have on hand. Once you have your farro ready, we pack this farro-based risotto with healthy vegetables and then finish it off with creme fraiche to lend some richness (it’s not a risotto unless there is some rich-feeling finish). You will never guess how much healthy fiber this dish is packed with!

Check out our full list of farro recipes here

*We are so excited to be part of Hey Fran Hey‘s January Super-Food Challenge. We know that everyone wants to kick off the new year with some healthy eating habits, so we put together a list of our favorite super foods. Throughout the month of January, you’ll be challenged to cook a new super food every week. Get ready to feel super!

Vegetable farro risotto

Farro Vegetable Risotto
Cook time
Total time
This is a hearty and healthy meal that hits the spot every single time. It has the richness of risotto without needing the time and attention risotto requires. We can all say, “Yes!” to that for a weeknight dinner
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Serves: 4
  • Farro, semi-pearled – 1 cup
  • Salt – ½ tbs.
  • Olive oil – 1 tbs.
  • Garlic cloves, minced – 2
  • Onion, diced – 1
  • Zucchini, cubed – 3
  • Diced tomatoes, open & drained – 1 can
  • White beans, open & rinsed – 1
  • Crème fraiche – ¼ cup
  1. Cook farro by bringing 3 quarts of water to boil. Season with salt and add farro. Turn heat down to a medium flame and boil like pasta until the farro is al dente – softened but will with a chewy bit to it (about 20 to 25 minutes). Drain. This step can be done ahead of time. Just store farro in Tupperware for up to 5 days in the fridge
  2. Prep vegetables by mincing garlic, dicing onion, and chopping zucchini into ½” cubesChopped zucchini
  3. Heat a 4 quart sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Add garlic to heated oil, and let those flavors sizzle for a little while. Add diced onions with a dash of salt and cook for ~3 minutes
  4. When onions are softened, add zucchini, diced tomatoes, and another pinch of salt. Sauté for ~5 minutes, stirring the pan to prevent sticking
  5. Add the beans and cooked farro. Cook for another 2 minutes
  6. Turn off heat and add crème fraiche. Season with salt and pepper to desired flavor. Add chopped basil and serve piping hot. What a fabulously healthy vegetarian meal you’ve created!

You can also see a video of how to make this recipe here


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