This one pot farro recipe is slow-simmered with Italian sausage, cherry tomatoes, herbs, greens and finished with a sprinkling of pine nuts and Parmesan. Impressively easy to make and SO delicious.
Run, don’t walk, to grab the ingredients for this one. ♡
I fully give all of the credit here to Smitten Kitchen, whose famous one pot farro with tomatoes is the brilliant base for this recipe and has been a family favorite in our kitchen for many years now. Over time, though, we’ve found ourselves gussying up this side dish to turn it into more of an entrée, adding in lots of zesty Italian sausage (either traditional or plant-based, both work!), a few handfuls of greens (either baby spinach or kale), extra flavor boosters (veggie stock and more fresh basil), and a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts (for buttery flavor and crunch). And especially this time of year when juicy cherry tomatoes are in peak season, we find ourselves craving this farro nonstop. It’s just the best!
It’s incredibly cozy and flavorful and hearty, without feeling too heavy. It’s wonderfully hands-off once you have browned the sausage, since the farro and tomatoes will simmer together until perfectly tender. It’s super-easy to customize with any of your other favorite add-ins (hello, extra veggies that are hanging out in the crisper drawer, maybe a can of beans for extra protein, or a drizzle of cream for an indulgent finish…you name it). And of course, who can complain about just one pot to wash?!
Let’s make some farro!
One Pot Farro Ingredients
Before we get to the full one pot farro recipe below, here are a few notes about the ingredients you will need:
Italian sausage: We’ve made this recipe with both traditional and plant-based Italian sausage and both are delicious! Feel free to choose whatever flavor of sausage (mild, spicy, sweet) that you prefer.
Onion and garlic: We will sauté these along with the sausage to bring out their best flavors.
Vegetable broth: You are welcome to use either veggie or chicken broth, which will add another layer of flavor to the farro as it cooks.
Farro: I really recommend making this recipe with semi-pearled farro, versus pearled farro or un-pearled (a.k.a. “whole grain”) farro. Semi-pearled farro cooks in around 30 minutes, which is the perfect amount of time for the other ingredients in this dish to simmer too. If you only have pearled or un-pearled farro on hand, it can work too, but please note that you will need to adjust the cooking time for the farro and other ingredients.
Tomatoes: I always use fresh cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe, which are absolutely delicious this time of year.
Herbs: I recommend using lots and lots of fresh basil, then we will also use a fine sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for seasoning.
Spinach: Fresh baby spinach or kale work beautifully here to add some greens to the recipe.
Toasted pine nuts: Always love a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts on top.
Parmesan: Finally, I highly recommend finishing each serving with a generous sprinkle of freshly-grated Parmesan. If you happen to have an extra Parmesan rind on hand, you can also toss it in the pot to cook with the farro.
Optional Recipe Variations
Here are a few other variations to this recipe that you are welcome to try:
Add more veggies. We love adding whatever other veggies happen to be hanging out in the crisper drawer to the sauté, such as zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, eggplant, bell peppers, etc.
Add beans. For extra protein, stir a can of beans (rinsed and drained) into the mix.
Add cream. For a more indulgent finish, stir 1/2 to 3/4 cup of heavy cream into the dish before serving.
Make it spicy. For more heat, feel free to double or triple the amount of crushed red pepper flakes.
Make it vegetarian. As mentioned above, we’ve made this recipe with plant-based Italian sausage and it is absolutely delicious.
More Favorite Farro Recipes
Looking for more farro recipes to try? Here are a few of my faves…
3 ounces (about 2 large handfuls) fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus extra for garnish
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Brown the sausage.Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and onion and sauté – using a wooden spoon to crumble the sausage as it cooks and stirring the whole mixture occasionally – until the sausage is cooked and browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Simmer.Add the stock, farro, tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes, a few twists of black pepper, and stir briefly to combine. Continue cooking until the mixture comes to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a low simmer (approximately medium-low). Continue simmering for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the farro is tender and most of the broth has been absorbed.
Finish.Add the spinach and basil and very gently toss until the spinach has wilted. Taste and season with additional black pepper and salt, if needed.
Serve.Serve warm, garnished with a sprinkling of pine nuts, Parmesan and/or basil as desired.