Baked Farro with Lentils, Tomato and Mozzarella is the ultimate affordable, easy to whip up vegetarian meal that kids and adults love equally.
My husband is has eaten vegetarian and often vegan much of the past 20 years. Although he craves meat, fish and chicken, he always says how great he feels when eating a mostly plant based, vegetarian diet. He doesn’t cook often, but when he does it’s almost always delicious. A few months ago he whipped up a version of this Baked Farro with Lentils, Tomato and Mozzarella one night for dinner after a suggestion from our friend Paul, I couldn’t believe how easy and delicious it was! Not only was I blown away by it, but our kids said it was one of the best things they had ever had for dinner. I had to find out more about how it came to be. It turns out the original recipe was from the New York Times by Ali Slagle. Her version is made with feta, less vegetables and slightly dryer, and also totally delicious.
Baked Farro with Lentils, Tomato and Mozzarella is quickly becoming our new go-to meal especially on meatless Monday. I love using farro in recipes. It’s a high-protein, high-fiber ancient whole-grain wheat that looks similar to barley, but is a slight more oblong and larger grain. It retains a notable amount of chew when it gets cooked and toasting them like in this recipe adds to its nutty flavor. It’s the perfect base for this recipe.
This Baked Farro recipe is super filling too, thanks to the added lentils. Lentils are a great source of vegetarian protein, so we love using them when we’re making vegetarian recipes. They’re super good for you and not to mention add a great flavor, texture and you can keep them in your pantry for months. I also love this recipe because it makes enough for lots of leftovers, and when you’re cooking multiple times a day like a lot of us are, leftovers are the BEST.
Since my oldest decided to be vegetarian when he was younger, I’m always trying to come up with vegetarian recipes that are healthy and filling for him (and the whole family). I’m happy to have this Baked Farro recipe in our rotation of Vegetarian Chimichangas, Vegetarian Spring Rolls, Vegetarian Pho and Smoky Red Lentil Stew. This recipe could very easily be made vegan as well! Just use your favorite vegan cheese instead of mozzarella and you’re good to go.
Hopefully this recipe brings a little warmth and comfort to your family at the dinner table. It has for us and I’m so happy to share it with you. Let me know if you make it and what you think by tagging me on social media @weelicious.
Baked Farro with Lentils, Tomato and Mozzarella
- 1 cup farro
- 1/2 cup dried green or brown lentils
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes crushed with your hand (or diced tomatoes)
- 2 sprigs oregano, thyme, rosemary or basil, or ½ teaspoon dried (all optional)
- 1 zucchini, grated
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the farro in an 9×9 inch or 11×7 inch glass/ceramic baking dish (depending on how deep the dish is) and transfer to the oven to toast, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and scatter the lentils over the farro.
- While the farro toasts, make the tomato sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and juice, herb sprigs (if using), grated zucchini and 2 ½ cups water.
- Gently pour the tomato sauce over the lentils and farro and stir to combine. Bake, stirring halfway through, until the lentils and farro are tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. Add 3/4 cup water, stir, then top with grated mozzarella and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to turn golden.
- Remove the herb sprigs as you serve.