One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes and Kale Recipe - Skillful Cook
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One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes and Kale

36 reviews / 4.9 average

This One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes and Kale is a straight-up DREAM! Rustic farro cozied up to cherry tomatoes, onions, garlic, and kale. So good and so wholesome!

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If the goal is maximum flavor, incredible texture, satisfying and wholesome ingredients, and LOW KEY cooking, this is the one-pot unicorn that checks every single box.

This recipe is amazing. It seems humble and slightly too healthy at first glance, I know. But it's something of a miracle.

It's nutty, chewy, rustic, and just the slightest bit brothy, which is compelling and unexpected and delicious. It's spoonable like a stew, but textured and chewy more like a pasta. The flavors are mellow from gently cooked thinly sliced onion and garlic, sweet and tomatoey, and earthy and hearty from the kale. Torn basil and a sprinkle of Parmesan take it to a new level, and the extra olive oil that I recommend (require) creates a silky, satisfying, and luscious texture situation. And finally, the red pepper flakes - should you choose to go that route - give it just enough of a spark to keep you hooked bite after bite after chewy, savory bite.

To make it, here's what you have to do:

Put things in a pan, and simmer them. The end.

Maximum flavor, minimal work. The essence of what we all want in life.

Prefer To Watch Instead Of Read?

Click here to watch Lindsay make this on stories!

Ingredients for one-pan farro with tomatoes and kale. Ingredients have text over them in purple bubbles.

The Wonderfully Short Ingredient List

  • tomatoes
  • kale
  • farro
  • onion
  • garlic
  • basil
  • Parmesan

A little extra olive oil, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and you're running with the big dogs now.

How such lowly, regular ingredients can combine in such a simple way to make something so incredible is just one of the great gifts of the food universe.

Overhead image of the farro, tomatoes, and kale in a pot with a gold spoon.

What I Love About This Recipe

  • It's super nutritious in a happy, delicious, want-to-eat-more kind of way.
  • It makes amazing leftovers, although you'll need to double or triple the batch if you want to have any left because it goes FAST.
  • It can be super cozy for fall, but also somehow appropriate for the end of summer? Here for it.
  • You can just put it on the stove and walk away and do something else.
  • It's a customizer's dream. Add or subtract any veggies that you do or don't like, and throw some extra protein in there to give it some oomph if you feel like you need it (although you may be as surprised as I was at how much it can really stand on its own). A fried egg, a couple chicken meatballs, a can of white beans or some spicy ground Italian sausage for those who want... it's a choose your own adventure.
Farro, tomatoes, and kale in blue bowls with a gold spoon. There are fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes and Kale: FAQs

This looks soooo good! I don't have farro at my local grocery store though. Is there another grain that could work?

Spelt berries or wheat berries would be good substitutes if you can find those. You can try using quinoa instead if that's easier to find - it'll likely just cook a bit faster.

My meat-loving family wants some type of meat in this dish. What do you suggest?

These chicken meatballs are always a fan-favorite or if you want to slide a totally meatless meatball in there to be sneaky, check out the ones from our Sticky Ginger Rice Bowls.

What other veggies would be good in this?

This recipe is suuuuuper versatile and almost any veggie can work. Zucchini, corn, and/or carrots are a few delicious ideas to get started!

Source notes: What a gift to us from Deb of Smitten Kitchen. I found this recipe while browsing her YouTube channel which is a great way to spend a little time if you're needing something to do as you procrastinate real-life responsibilities. As I understand it, this recipe was originally a Martha Stewart recipe that was redone by Deb a few years ago. A few friends shared this recipe with me and when I saw it (again) on her YouTube, I knew it was a sign. One batch of this recipe and I was hooked. It is an essential.

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One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes and Kale

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x


This One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes and Kale is a straight-up DREAM! Rustic farro cozied up to cherry tomatoes, onions, garlic, and kale. So good and so wholesome!


Units Scale

For the Farro

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup farro
  • half an onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a few stalks of kale, stems removed, chopped into small pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (optional, but makes it a bit more luscious)

Extras for Serving

  • red pepper flakes
  • fresh basil
  • Parmesan
  • chicken, meatballs, or a fried egg


  1. Start the simmer: Add water, farro, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and salt to a medium sized saucepan. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. 
  2. Add the kale: Add the kale. Simmer, uncovered, for another 15 minutes. 
  3. Finish and serve: Stir in the olive oil, and... you're done! The farro should be chewy but soft, and there will be just the slightest amount of really delicious brothiness left in the pan. Top with your favorite things - I highly recommend the Parmesan and the red pepper flakes. It's almost too simple and too good to be true.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: farro recipe, one pan dinner, kale recipe

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collage of POY readers who made the recipe

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Can you used the par boiled quick cooking farro from Trader Joe’s for this recipe?

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Do you think that you should saute the onions and garlic first for a bit since the cooking time is reduced?

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          The onions and garlic do cook down and soften a lot, so it’s not necessary. But there wouldn’t be any harm in sauteing them first!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      We haven’t tested this recipe with buckwheat, so it’s hard to say! If you give it a try, we’d love to hear back!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is a favorite of mine. — so easy, adaptable and definitely more than the sum of its parts.

    Glad to see that you gave Deb credit. The recipe has been on her site for a number of years (with hundreds of comments). (Also in her ‘Smitten Kitchen Every Day” cookbook.)

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m so very happy to find this recipe in my inbox today, Lindsay, as farro is my absolute favorite grain, and there really are not many recipes utilizing it. I can’t wait to make it, as well as share it with my sister! She’d never heard of farro until I introduced her, so she’ll be very glad to have it as well. Thanks so much, from both of us!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      My question as well! With Instant Pot the farro to water ratio would be 1 cup farro to 1 1/2 cup water and pressure cook for 7 min with natural release for 7. My thought is you would put everything in but the kale upfront and pressure cook. I plan to kneed the chopped kale to soften it and then add it after the natural release if you don’t want it cooked to mush

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      We haven’t tested this recipe in the Instant Pot. Will report back if we do!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    So so excited for this. We are big fans of Martha’s one-pot-pasta recipe and my sister recently told me about Deb’s farro version, so here it’s like all my culinary dreams colliding! Also, tomatoes right now *heart swells*.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is an outstanding recipe. Followed the directions exactly, adding fresh basil, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan right before serving. This is a keeper – thanks so much!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is my go to Smitten Kitchen recipe! Your addition of kale (or other veggies) is a great idea!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is a really decent base. I did end up adding some balsamic vinegar, and used some vegetable broth instead of water to up the flavor. Next time I might add some tomato paste and sauté the onion and garlic first. Either way, you can’t beat the simplicity of this recipe.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Agreed, Claudia! Would love to hear back if you try the variations you mentioned!

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      I tried it this way! I sautéed the onion and garlic with red pepper flakes in the beginning (I also added red pepper at the end :)) and cooked down the tomatoes with the onion and garlic to make them all jammy and sweet before adding water. It was delicious! I also added vegetable broth after adding the kale to keep the sauce from getting too thick.

      Great recipe!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    This was absolutely delicious! I had some chicken broth laying around so I used that instead of the water. The olive oil and cheese make it so luscious. Definitely will be making this a ton. I made the chicken meatballs to go with and it was all so easy and stress free.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thanks, this was delicious! I used my homemade veggie stock in place of the water, added a diced small to medium zucchini in the first step (since I’m currently drowning in squash), and then finished it with about 6 oz of small shrimp that had been sautéed with butter and garlic, in addition to about 2/3 cup of crumbled feta – it was the perfect meal!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Love your additions to the recipe, Corynne! Thanks for leaving a comment!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Amazing! My whole family gobbled it up. Seemed so simple- but was amazing!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    So good and so easy!! I subbed spinach for kale and chicken broth for water—worked out super well. My husband loves the taste and texture of this dish too

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I had never tried farro before but it sounded interesting so we bough a bag to try. Oh my, is it yummy!! My whole family loved it. I followed the tips to use stock instead of water and to saute the garlic and onion first. The olive oil and cheese at the end is epic. We added chili flakes and basil too since there is ton in the garden right now. Thank you for another easy and delish recipe and for introducing farro to our family.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      We love hearing this, Mona! So glad your family enjoyed the farro!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I only have field tomatoes on hand – would this work just as well? How many should I use?

      Thanks, Billy

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Yes, they should work just fine! I’d say 1 1/2 to 2 cups, chopped.

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Easy meal with just a few ingredients—great for warm lunches during the week. In my freezing cold office. I used veggie broth because I had it, and added cannelloni beans.

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    I was thinking of trying this with Teff to make it Gluten-Free. I’m not familiar with Farro – did you add more liquid than if you were just cooking on its own? Any changes to the cooking time? Teff is 1.5 cups of water to 1 cup teff. And 10 minutes simmering on heat followed by 10 minutes covered, off heat. Any suggestions on adjustments needed for this?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      A lot of recipes for cooked farro use a 1:3 cups farro to water ratio. We used less due to the water that’s released from the veggies while it cooks. Great question about using Teff. We’ve actually never cooked with it before, so it’s hard to say how we’d tweak the recipe. I’d cook the veggies and teff according to the cooking instructions you listed, or perhaps a bit less, and then add more time if needed!

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    This was delicious with your chicken meatballs! They go perfectly together. I will definitely be adding this to the regular rotation!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      We haven’t tried freezing it, but we think it’d do well in the freezer.

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    I made this and it was so yummy – way more delicious than I would have expected from this simple list of ingredients!