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A pan of farro risotto with roasted butternut squash and kale.

Farro Risotto with Squash and Kale

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5 from 13 reviews

  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Farro recipe inspired by this recipe on Serious Eats.

November 3, 2020 Update: I have simplified this recipe. View the Serious Eats recipe if you’re looking for something more like the original.


  • 1 butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, finely diced to yield about a cup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pearled farro
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • ½ cup dry white wine or Sherry
  • 1 quart water, plus more as needed
  • kale, a small bunch (4 ounces or so), thinly sliced
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano to taste (1 to 2 ounces or so)


  1. Heat the oven to 425ºF. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds (and save or compost). Rub flesh of squash lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on parchment-lined baking sheet, and roast until tender, 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the squash. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large, wide sauté pan, warm 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it’s translucent, about five minutes. Season with a pinch of salt. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute. Add the farro and cook stirring constantly for another minute.
  3. Add the wine, bay leaf, and thyme, and cook until the wine is nearly gone.
  4. Add the 1 quart of water along with a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium or low — you want the liquid to be gently simmering. Simmer for 45 minutes or until the farro grains have expanded and are al dente. 
  5. Meanwhile, pull the skin off the squash — it should remove easily. Purée the flesh in a food processor or blender until it’s silky smooth.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the kale: remove the stems and ribs from the leaves. Make stacks of the leaves, roll them into cylinders, and cut them into very thin ribbons. Wash and dry the kale if necessary.
  7. Extract the thyme sprigs and bay leaf from the risotto and discard (or compost). Stir one cup of the squash purée into the risotto. Season with pepper to taste. Add a handful of the thinly sliced kale strips and a handful of parmesan. Stir until the kale is slightly wilted and incorporated.  Add more kale to taste. Stir, taste, adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, or parmesan. Serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian