This easy and delicious farro bake recipe is made by combining uncooked pearled farro with pesto-spiked broth and chopped kale. Similar to a baked risotto, it’s cooked in the oven until creamy then dotted with gobs of mozzarella cheese for serving. You’ll love making this simple casserole for a healthy, vegetarian dinner!
If you love risotto, you’ll love this farro bake! It highlights the nutty, chewy goodness of whole grain farro and includes simple yet flavorful ingredients. I love that it requires no active cooking once it’s in the oven. The perfect set-and-forget dish that comes out creamy, comforting, and oh-so-delicious 45 minutes later!
Seriously, the hardest part of this recipe is chopping the kale. You could even use pre-chopped or frozen kale if you want to skip that step. The other steps are as simple as rinsing farro, bringing the broth to a simmer, and putting it all together. You don’t even need to pre-cook the farro! Have I sold you on it yet?
Even though this isn’t technically a risotto (it’s a farrotto, if you will!), it uses a technique similar to my Baked Brown Rice Risotto with Asparagus. Baked farro is creamy like a risotto too. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Farro: Use pearled farro. I really like the Bob’s Red Mill brand. Pearled farro cooks more quickly than whole farro, since it has part of its bran removed. It’s the most common type sold in the US, so it’s not difficult to find.
- Kale: I like to use lacinato (aka dinosaur) kale, but any kind of kale works. Use pre-chopped or even frozen kale to save time. You can also substitute chard, spinach, or collard greens.
- Vegetable broth: Use low-sodium broth, since the pesto’s going to pack a lot of salty flavor. Substitute chicken broth if needed or even half broth and half water if that’s what you prefer.
- Pesto: Homemade pesto would be delicious in this farro bake, but I often make it with store-bought options too! If you need/want the dish to be strictly vegetarian, look for a pesto made with parmesan cheese that’s labeled vegetarian.
- Lemon: A little zest and juice are great additions to the broth. You can omit if you don’t have them on hand.
- Mozzarella cheese: You can use a log of mozzarella or smaller balls of mozzarella. I used small balls that I tore into pieces. Even shredded mozzarella would work!
The full recipe card for this farro bake, including ingredient quantities, is at the bottom of the post. Here’s a preview of the VERY easy steps!
In a 9×13 baking dish (preferably one with a lid), combine the uncooked farro and chopped kale.
In the meantime, prepare the broth. Add the vegetable broth to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the lemon juice and zest and pesto. Bring to a simmer again and remove from heat.
Pour the heated broth/pesto combo over the farro and kale in the baking dish and stir. Cover the dish with the dish lid or foil. Bake until the broth is absorbed and the farro is tender, about 40 to 45 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Give the farro a good stir after it comes out of the oven, then stir in the pieces of mozzarella. They will melt into the dish. Serve and enjoy!
Storage and Reheating
Similar to risotto, a farro bake is best enjoyed right away. However, it will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat individual portions in the microwave or in a skillet. Add splashes of extra broth if needed to prevent if from drying out. You can also bake the dish ahead of time, keep it covered in the fridge, and reheat (covered with the dish lid or foil) in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes.
Baked farro makes a perfect vegetarian main or side dish. You can also bulk it up by adding white beans, chickpeas, or shredded chicken before serving. It’s a great base for additions.
More Farro Recipes
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Farro Bake with Pesto and Kale
- 9×13 baking dish (with a lid if available)
- 1.5 cups uncooked pearled farro - rinsed
- 1 bunch lacinato kale - stems removed and chopped, about 6 cups
- 2.5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice - from ½ a large lemon
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest - from 1 lemon
- ¾ cup pesto
- 8 ounce mozzarella balls - torn into smaller pieces
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F/204 degrees C.
- Combine the rinsed farro and chopped kale in a 9×13 baking dish.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the vegetable broth to a simmer (not a boil). Stir in the lemon juice and zest and pesto. Bring the mixture to a simmer again. Remove from heat.
- Pour the pesto/broth mixture over the farro and kale in the baking dish. Stir to combine.
- Cover the baking dish with a lid (if it comes with one) or tightly with foil. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the broth is absorbed and the farro is tender. If for some reason your farro is not cooked but the broth has been absorbed, add a few tablespoons of extra broth to the dish and return to the oven until it's cooked.
- After removing from the oven, stir the dish well. Add the mozzarella cheese to the pan and stir again. It will melt into the dish easily.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post).
- This dish is best enjoyed right away, but you can keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave, adding splashes of broth as needed.
- You can also cook the entire casserole ahead of time and keep it covered in its dish in the fridge. Reheat, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees F until warmed through.
- Serve as a main or side dish, and feel free to bulk it up by adding white beans or shredded chicken before serving.