Mushroom Farro Risotto (Farrotto)
Farrotto! It’s risotto, but made with farro. Creamy mushroom farroto, or farro risotto, with roasted butternut squash makes a beautiful vegetarian or vegan dinner. We tested this farrotto recipe on the stovetop and in the Instant Pot pressure cooker to make it easier than ever.
So many of you loved the Italian Vegetable Soup with Farro that I wanted to share another way to use this fantastic ancient Roman grain. In the summer I use it in farro salad, which is how I’ve most commonly seen farro used in Italy. Now that it’s getting to be fall and winter, I like to use farro in warm, cozy, hearty meals like the soup, and in farrotto.
Farrotto with wild mushrooms and roasted butternut squash would be perfect as a vegetarian or vegan holiday dish. Other options you might like are: Portobello Wellington, Lentil Loaf, and Mushroom Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash.
What is Farrotto?
Farrotto is simply risotto made with farro, rather than arborio rice. The result is an earthier, heartier, chewier risotto. You should know that farro is not gluten-free, so if you have an allergy, you should stick to classic risotto. I love arborio rice risotto too, and have a bunch of risotto recipes here already, like Instant Pot Risotto with Roasted Veggies, Instant Pot Risotto with Peas, Mushroom Risotto with Spinach, and Peas & Carrots Risotto.
I first had farrotto, or farro risotto, at one of my favorite restaurants, Oliver’s in Montecito. They make the most beautiful plant-based dishes. In the summer, their farrotto has summer veggies like corn, summer squash, and radishes.
Farro Risotto Ingredients
- Farro. To make your farrotto, you’ll need semipearlato (or pearled) farro. This means the germ has been removed for quicker cooking. I actually used the “quick cooking” or “10-minute” farro, which you can get in small bags at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in the rice section, and it worked well.
- White Wine. A splash of dry white wine, like Pinot Grigio (to keep things Italian), adds flavor while deglazing the pan, but extra vegetable broth works just as well if you don’t do wine.
- Vegetable Broth. Just like when making arborio rice, a ladleful of warm broth gets stirred into the rice/farro until absorbed, before adding more.
- Onion. For a more delicate flavor and texture, use 2 shallots.
- Herbs. I love to use lots of herbs in my cooking. Thyme and sage work well in this farrotto.
- Mushrooms. If you can find wild mushrooms, use them! My favorites are maitake, oyster, chanterelle. These can get expensive, and may be hard to find, however, and sliced Baby Bella’s or portobellos are great too.
How to Make Farrotto
Step 1: Cook the Mushrooms
Saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, until tender. You can use whatever mushrooms you like. I used a combination of baby Bella’s and chanterelle. Chanterelle mushrooms are really special as they are more difficult to find and much more expensive. These were around $20 pound at Whole Foods. So, I kept them separate and served them on top, rather than mixed in. I also really love maitake mushrooms, which are less expensive and easy to find on Asian grocery stores.
Step 2: Saute Onion & Garlic
Just like when making traditional rice risotto, we saute the onion, then garlic, then, stir in the farro to toast for just a minute.
Step 3: Splash of Wine
Simmer white wine until absorbed/evaporated. I don’t measure, just add about 1/4 cup splash. If you don’t use alcohol, you can simply use broth.
Step 4: Slowly Add Broth
Keep a saucepan of broth on the stove on low heat. I use a whole 32 oz. box. Ladle about 1/2-1 cup of broth into the farro pot and stir until absorbed before adding more. Continue until the farro is tender. Many people avoid making risotto because this part can seem like so much work, but you actually don’t have to stir constantly. I often put the lid on while I step away for a minute.
Step 5: Add Veggies & Herbs
I like to stir in some of the mushrooms, butternut squash, and herbs, while reserving some to serve right on top. This farrotto would also be beautiful garnished with pomegranate arils like I did with our Roasted Vegetable Risotto.
Instant Pot Farro Risotto
Just like our other Instant Pot risotto recipes, farro risotto is quick, easy, and comes out perfectly in the Instant Pot pressure cooker. You can essentially “set it and forget it.”
To make farro risotto in the Instant Pot, follow the same directions as the stovetop method, but add less broth since there is not much evaporation. You’ll need about 3 cups in the Instant Pot, rather than the whole 32 oz. box on the stovetop. Pressure cook (high) farrotto for 8 minutes, then naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes, before manually releasing any remaining pressure.
How to Serve Farrotto
- Serve farrotto warm with fresh herbs, a creamy soft cheese, Parmesan, or a pinch of truffle salt.
- Farro risotto would be great as a main dish served alongside a fresh kale Caesar salad with Vegan Caesar Dressing, Beet Salad, or Pear Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette.
- Refrigerate leftovers and reheat gently on the stove with a bit more broth.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small butternut squash
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms (Baby Bella, or wild mushrooms – maitake)
- 2 shallots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups pearled (quick) farro
- ½ cup white wine such as pinot grigio (or more broth)
- 32 oz. vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter, optional (I used Miyoko’s)
- 1 cup shredded or grated Parmesan (I used dairy free)
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler. Cut into 1/2-1" cubes. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in one layer. Roast until tender and beginning to caramelize, about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the same pan and add the shallots. Saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saute one minute longer. Add the farro and saute for about one minute to toast and coat in oil. Add the wine and simmer until evaporated.
- Pour the broth into a medium saucepan over low heat. Add about 1/2 cup of warm broth at a time to the farro pan, stirring almost continuously until each addition of broth has been absorbed. Continue adding broth and stirring until farro is tender, about 30-40 minutes.
- Stir in the herbs, butter, and Parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the mushrooms. Top with the roasted butternut squash or stir in and serve warm.
Instant Pot Farro Risotto
- To make this farro risotto in the Instant Pot (see video), follow the same recipe through step 3 above.
- Add only 3 cups of broth to the pot, and add all at once. Stir, scraping up any bits that may be stuck to the bottom.
- Lock the lid, with valve set to sealing. Set to pressure cook (high) for 8 minutes. Once the cook time is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove the lid.
- Stir in the herbs, butter, and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the mushrooms. Top with the roasted butternut squash or stir in and serve warm.
If you have truffle salt or oil, a little bit is a wonderful addition to this recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 16mg Sodium: 839mg Carbohydrates: 18g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 6g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g