Zucchini and Farro Hero
Side Dish 

Easy Zucchini and Farro

In this impossibly easy dish, zucchini and farro are bound together with plenty of lemon juice and basil for a light and bright summer side.

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This easy zucchini and farro recipe is the perfect vegan side dish. It’s bright, light, and perfect for summer. It can be transformed into an easy-peasy main dish with a simple addition of canned chickpeas or your favorite white bean.

Vegan Zucchini and farro recipe

This zucchini and farro recipe is easy to throw together on a weeknight. It’s perfect to keep in your back pocket for the end-of-summer days when we are swimming in zucchini—which will be here before we know it!

How to make this vegan zucchini and farro recipe

As the title implies, this recipe is EASY. You have to prep a few vegetables, but you can do that as the farro boils.

What you need

  • Farro: This grain takes about 30 minutes to boil and tastes delicious with the zucchini and basil. You can use your favorite grain here, like pearled barley, freekeh, or quinoa. Just cook the grains first according to package instructions and continue with the rest of the recipe as-is. You can also use pearled couscous or a small pasta like orzo or ditalini.
  • Aromatics: I use fennel and onion as the aromatic base for this dish. You can also use leeks and shallots or add red bell peppers if you like. I season them lightly with garlic powder, onion powder, and a bit of crushed red pepper.
  • Zucchini: I use green zucchini, but golden zucchini or yellow squash will work here. You could also use sliced delicata squash, diced acorn squash, or diced butternut squash, but you’ll need to increase the cooking time.
  • Spinach: I add a handful of spinach at the end for some greens. Try it with arugula or baby kale.
  • Lemon and basil: These are the finishing touches on the dish. You could replace the basil with minced parsley or add a pinch of roughly chopped tarragon. Freshly chopped oregano would also be delicious.
Zucchini and Farro Recipe

How to make it

  • Step 1: Boil the farro. While the farro cooks, prep all the ingredients you need for the dish and set them aside. After the farro cooks, drain and rinse it.
  • Step 2: Cook the aromatics. Start by sautéing the aromatics. You’ll cook them over medium heat, stirring them regularly for a solid 15–20 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning. You want them to turn a nice golden brown. Continue cooking for an additional 10–15 minutes to develop a nice caramelization. You can expect to sauté the onion and fennel for 20–30 minutes total. Season them with garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper.
  • Step 3: Cook the zucchini. Add the zucchini to the pot of aromatics and cook for 8–10 minutes.
  • Step 4: Finish the farro. Fold in the cooked farro, spinach, basil, and lemon juice. Cook everything together until the spinach wilts.

You’re done! All you have to do from there is spoon it into a large serving platter and finish with fennel fronds and more basil leaves. A little sprinkle of plant-based Parmesan cheese on top is never a bad idea either!

I hope you love this recipe as much as I did. If you make it, please rate the recipe and add a comment below to tell me what you think. I’d love to hear from you.

Zucchini and Farro Hero

Easy Zucchini and Farro

In this impossibly easy dish, zucchini and farro are bound together with plenty of lemon juice and basil for a light and bright summer side.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 286kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro uncooked
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise, cored, thinly sliced; fronds reserved for garnish
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled, halved, and sliced into half-moons
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch crushed red pepper to taste
  • 2 small zucchini, about ¾ pound total; trimmed and cut into quarter-moons
  • 3 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped; plus a few leaves for garnish
  • 20 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 small lemon, juiced; about 2 tablespoons juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Boil the farro:

  • In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 teaspoon salt and the farro. Cook for 30 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse, then set aside.

Prepare ingredients:

  • As the farro cooks, prepare the remaining ingredients and set them aside.

Sauté the aromatics:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Add the sliced fennel and onion and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 10–15 minutes, stirring regularly, until the fennel and onion begin to deepen in color.
  • Turn the heat to medium-low and continue sautéing for an additional 5–6 minutes until they reach a golden brown, adjusting the heat as needed to avoid burning them. Add more salt if needed, and then add garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper to taste.

Cook the zucchini:

  • Add another teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil if the pot is dry. Add the zucchini and cook for 8–10 minutes over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Finish the farro:

  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Add the farro and stir to combine with the vegetables. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the spinach, basil, and lemon juice. Toss to combine and cook for an additional 3–4 minutes until the spinach wilts. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or crushed red pepper to taste. Turn off the heat.

To serve:

  • Spoon the farro onto a large serving platter. Garnish with fennel fronds and more basil leaves. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 44mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 6g
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Comments

  • 5 stars
    Made this recipe for dinner last night. Second recipe of yours we tried this week. Another win! Super satisfying and hearty. Will be on our regular rotation.

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