This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Classic Italian comfort food, meet breezy summer vacation. This is Farro Risotto, and it is bursting to be your garden-fresh, leftover-friendly, let’s feel fancy without actually being fancy dinner, side dish, or lunch. Oh, and if you eat this for breakfast, I promise, I will not judge.

Farro Risotto with Tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan in a bowl with a spoon

A less-work, more-wholesome twist on regular risotto, farro risotto is

  • 100% whole grain
  • Packed with fiber, iron, protein, and magnesium
  • Ultra-creamy thanks to a nutty, salty Parmesan cheese
  • And tastes fabulous when served warm and at room temperature (we enjoyed round one for a cozy dinner on our porch, then I packed up the leftovers to take with us to an outdoor picnic with friends)

To anyone who has been intimidated by risotto: this farro risotto is for you.

Farro risotto (aka, farroto. <—I find this word fun to say) is simpler to make than traditional risotto (although this Slow Cooker Risotto with Butternut Squash is pretty simple too) because it requires less tending on the stove (as in, you ignore it for large portions of the recipe cook time).

Further helping our cause: because farro is firm and nutty, it’s far more forgiving.

Farro Vs. Risotto

There are several differences between farro risotto and regular risotto.

  • The key one, as its name suggests, is that farro risotto uses farro instead of the traditional arborio rice.
  • Traditional risotto is made with arborio rice, Parmesan, butter, and white wine, plus any other vegetable or meat option you care to stir into it. It’s not difficult per se but does require a certain level of babysitting.
  • I adore risotto (especially this Beet Risotto). It’s rich, creamy, decadent, and indisputably delicious. However, it’s also kind of a pain, and the sort of thing I prefer to make for special date-night dinners.
  • Farro risotto, on the other hand? It is much more simple, AND it’s healthy too!
A pan of Farro Risotto on a cooling rack with burst cherry tomatoes and a wooden spoon

5 Star Review

“I will make it again! Farro is a wonderful, nutty alternative to arborio rice. The directions were excellent, as was the video. And the dish came out as described, creamy, but nutty, richly flavored.”

— Holly —

How to Make Farro Risotto 

If you’re looking for a fresh meal idea to brighten your summer spread, this make-ahead farro risotto recipe is ideal for packed school or work lunches, or a unique potluck dish.

The Ingredients

  • Farro. The nutty, chewy cousin to risotto is not only delicious but healthy and filling too (try it in the Honey Lime Tofu Stir Fry next).

What Is Farro?

Put most simply, farro is an ancient grain, dating back to Roman times. It’s a relative of modern-day wheat. Think of farro like little nuggets of yummy, flavorful grain goodness.

A few fun farro facts:

  • Farro is 100% whole grain.
  • It’s high in fiber, iron, and nutrients, and is a plant-based protein.
  • Farro is nutty, pleasantly chewy, and super-duper tasty.
  • It’s incredibly popular in Italy.
  • You can find farro at any grocery store.
  • There are OODLES of ways to use farro!

The farro brand I recommend is Bob’s Red Mill. I purchase Bob’s because the company prioritizes the quality and nutritional value of its products over quantity and profit, and I consistently have better results with Bob’s products than other brands I’ve tried.

Bob’s products are available in most grocery stores and on the Bob’s Red Mill website, and you can find its farro on Amazon here.

Need more detail on how to best cook farro? Check out my guide on How to Cook Farro.

Burst Tomato Farro Risotto in a bowl with a spoon
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes. Ultra-convenient, these stand in for part of the chicken stock traditionally used for risotto. Canned tomatoes make the risotto especially flavorful and add that pretty red hue too.
  • Fresh Cherry Tomatoes. Jewels of the garden, they burst with every bite.

Market Swap

You can make farro risotto with almost any vegetable. Start the recipe by sauteing your veggie of choice, then add it back to the recipe at the end. Farro risotto with butternut squash is perfect for the fall, and I make farro risotto with peas and mushrooms year-round.

If you happen to have a plethora of fresh garden tomatoes, I am so jealous. Here’s how to swap those into the recipe instead:

  • Use 2 cups of diced tomatoes in place of the cherry tomatoes.
  • To stand in for the canned diced tomatoes, puree fresh tomatoes in a food processor. Measure out a scant 2 cups, then use in the recipe as directed.
  • Garlic and Shallot. For a little zip and Italian pizzaz.
  • Vegetable Stock. Our cooking liquid that allows the starches in the farro to slowly release, thicken, and become creamy.
  • Parmesan. PLEASE grate it right from the block. The green can will not taste the same.
  • Fresh herbs. I went for thyme, but basil, parsley, or a blend would all be tasty.
  • Sugar. To balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. You can omit it if you prefer or if you are making farro risotto with something besides tomatoes.
Farro Risotto with burst grape tomatoes and herbs.

The Directions

  1. Saute the shallots until softened. Add garlic, salt, and pepper, then add the farro.
  2. Toast the farro until it begins to turn golden, and then add 3/4 cup of the broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir until absorbed.
  3. Add remaining broth and the diced tomatoes in their juices. Then, bring the farro risotto to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes, adding more broth if it becomes dry at any point.
  5. Uncover, add the cherry tomatoes, and cook, uncovered, until the farro is tender.


If the risotto becomes dry at any point, splash in a bit more vegetable broth or water. The farro is ready when it is tender, yet maintains a good chew in the center (al dente).

  1. Turn off the heat. Stir in the sugar, Parmesan, and thyme.
  2. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan, then serve. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Leftover farro risotto can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight covered container.
  • To Reheat. Warm the farro risotto in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through. You may add a few tablespoons of water or broth to the farro, if needed, to rehydrate.

What To Serve With Farro Risotto

Tomato Farro Risotto garnished with herbs and Parmesan in a bowl with a spoon

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Farro Healthier Than Arborio Rice?

Yes. Farro is 100% whole grain, meaning it offers more protein, fiber, and nutrients than white rice. And fiber + protein = keeping you full and happy for longer.

Is Farro Easier to Cook Than Arborio Rice?

Yes. Farro risotto is more hands-free than traditional risotto made with arborio rice. Once you start the farro cooking, you add the remaining liquid all at once and let the pot simmer mostly untouched. Unlike traditional risotto, there’s no constant adding liquid bit by bit. You’ll need to give it a stir about once every 15 minutes—a major upgrade from stirring every 2 to 3 minutes, as required by traditional risotto.

How Can Farro Be Used In Cooking?

Whenever I’m asking you to try a new ingredient, I always want you to have multiple ways to use it. In addition to this farro risotto, farro is a delicious, hearty addition to salads (like this Italian Farro Salad, Strawberry Farro Salad, and Cherry Detox Salad). It is also a great addition to soups or used as an alternative to pasta or rice.

Farro Risotto with Tomatoes and Parmesan

4.96 from 21 votes
Farro risotto (farrotto) is a hearty, healthy dinner bursting with cherry tomatoes, Parmesan, and herbs made using a no-stir method.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour

Servings: 8 cups


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small shallot finely diced (or 1/2 small yellow onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked farro rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth divided (or use chicken broth if you do not need the farro risotto to be vegetarian)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can no-salt-added petite diced tomatoes or 1 pound grated fresh tomatoes
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Chopped fresh basil optional


  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Watch the heat and adjust as needed so that the shallot cooks but does not turn crispy and brown. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper. Let cook just until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the farro, increase the heat to medium, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to coat the farro in the butter. The farro should begin to toast and the pan will be mostly dry.
  • Add 3/4 cup of the broth and increase the heat to medium-high. Stir until it is absorbed. Add remaining broth and the diced tomatoes in their juices (reserve the last 1 cup of broth for later).
  • Give the pot a big stir and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high. Reduce the heat to a steady simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Stir the mixture vigorously every 15 minutes as it cooks, adding more broth if it becomes dry at any point.
  • After the farro has been simmering for 30 minutes, add the cherry tomatoes. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 15 to 20 additional minutes, or until the farro is tender throughout but maintains a good chew in the center (al dente), stirring it more frequently as the end of the cooking times nears. If the risotto becomes dry at any point, splash in a bit more vegetable broth or water.
  • Turn off the heat. Stir in the sugar, Parmesan, and thyme. Cover the pot and let rest 5 minutes. (During this time, the farro will release additional starches and become more creamy.) Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Serve warm, topped with a sprinkle of fresh basil, additional thyme, and Parmesan.



  • TO STORE: Leftover farro risotto can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight covered container.
  • TO REHEAT: Warm the farro risotto in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through. You may add a few tablespoons of water or broth to the farro, if needed, to rehydrate.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 195kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgPotassium: 260mgFiber: 7gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 454IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 2mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite recipes and access FREE meal plans.

Sign Me Up

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
Sign Up for FREE Weekly Meal Plans
Each includes a grocery list, budget, and 5 healthy dinners, helping you save time, save money, and live better!

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


Leave a comment

  1. I always thought that I didn’t like risotto, and maybe I don’t, but this dish was off the chain delish!! I made it exactly as written with the exception of using dried thyme instead of fresh because that’s all I had. Since I used dried thyme, I added it as the farro was cooking so that the flavor would infuse. So good!5 stars

    1. Julie, thank you so much for taking the time to leave this review! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe.

  2. Your recipe looks so great!  I can’t wait to try it.  Would you mind giving more specifics on how to use it with other veggies?  Do we still add the canned tomatoes?  Thanks!5 stars

    1. Hi Pooja! If using other veggies like squash or peas, I wouldn’t use tomatoes as it would overwhelm the flavor. I’d probably use chicken or vegetable broth instead!

  3. This was so yummy!  I made it for dinner tonight exactly as written (okay, I added some white wine) and it was PERFECT.  Thanks, Erin!5 stars

  4. We really enjoyed this and were surprised how creamy it was. It was actually even better the second day!5 stars

  5. I made this for lunch today and it was delish! I was thinking zucchini would really make a wonderful addition to this. What would be the best way to go about it? Thanks again for all of your yummy recipes!5 stars

    1. Thank you for sharing, Holli! I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe! If adding zucchini, I probably wouldn’t use tomatoes as it could overwhelm the flavor. I’d probably use chicken or vegetable broth instead!

  6. I made this last night to last me for a couple meals and it was so yummy! Didn’t have any thyme so added some fresh rosemary instead and a little extra cheese but it was so wholesome and very quick to come together too! Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!5 stars

  7. This recipe was great!… when it was warm. I made it for a school lunch to take throughout the week. When I tired it hot just after it was made, it was absolutely amazing. But at school when it was room temp, it was not very appealing, which was disappointing. This is not a fault with the recipe, just a fault with my choice to eat it like that. I would definitely make again for a dinner, just not a lunch. ?5 stars

  8. I was excited to find this recipe after we had had farro “risotto” on a trip last fall to Italy, but had not seen this dish on the menu anywhere else, in Italy or  here.  I will make it again!  Farro is a wonderful, nutty alternative to arborio rice.   The directions were excellent, as was the video.   And the dish came out as described, creamy, but nutty, richly flavored..5 stars

  9. I seriously cannot get enough of this. Someday I reflect upon my time during q, it will be a super cut of me eating this dish. 5 stars

    1. I’m so pleased that you’ve enjoyed the recipe, Hayley! Thank you for sharing this kind review!

  10. This was outstanding! I made it almost exactly as the recipe described with a few changes. I used two large shallots and about 8 cloves of garlic. I didn’t have baby tomatoes so I diced what I had and because my partner’s garden is bursting with Swiss chard (I too detest yard work!), I diced a large bunch of it very fine and added it with the tomatoes. The ONLY change I would make is to use a little less thyme, but otherwise, this was absolutely divine and I will be making it again with veggie variations in the future! Tastes so rich! Company worthy if I ever get to have company again:(5 stars

    1. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed it, Martha! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  11. Very good!!! I prepared with edamame and chicken instead of cherry tomatoes. It took half of the time using a Le Creuset pan. Next time I’ll have a little less of  diced tomatoes.  Thanks for this delicious recipe!5 stars

  12. The first time I had this at my daughters house I couldn’t believe how healthy it was because it was so good! I am a WW and make this without the butter or the sugar and it is still delicious! This time I can only find the instant Farro and was wondering if you had any suggestions on how to adapt the recipe for that. This time I’m making it for my daughter and her family and I can’t wait to have lots of leftovers so I’m making a double batch :-)5 stars

    1. I’m SO happy that you enjoyed the recipe, Jean! I haven’t tried it with instant farro before, but I suspect it’ll take less time to cook. I’d love to hear how it goes if you try it!

  13. Very tasty entre. We left out the basil and thyme and added a box of baby spinach at the end. This is being added to our regular meal rotation.5 stars

  14. This sounds delicious and from the reviews it definitely is. I make freezer meals for a family member and am wondering if anyone has tried to freeze this. Thanks for any input. If I can’t freeze it I’m still making it for myself – LOL.

    1. Hi Linda! I haven’t tried freezing this myself, but I think it would work fine. If you decide to try the recipe, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  15. This dish is amazing! Made it for dinner and followed the recipe. Better than many restaurant risottos! Can’t wait to make it with garden tomatoes. A new favorite for sure!5 stars