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Farro Chicken Bake

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Farro Chicken Bake is a great weeknight dinner that will satisfy the most ravenous appetite.   This one-pot casserole will get rave reviews for it’s deliciousness and the distinctive nutty, earthy flavor of the farro grain.

Farro Chicken Bake

Farro Chicken Bake

Have you noticed lately that farro has been appearing on the menus in even the fanciest restaurants?  This ancient grain is making a come-back to our modern times.

What is farro?

Farro is a term that describes three different species of wheat: einkorn, emmer and spelt. They are the most primitive types of wheat that have a tough hull or husk covering them. Their outer layer requires extra milling and pounding to remove the grain, making them more tedious and time-consuming to process.

Einkorn is the most primitive of the group and dates back to biblical times.  All of these grains are more healthy than our modern-day wheat.

Farro is a heart-healthy grain that is very high in nutritional value.  It has a high protein content, low-fat and fiber-rich.  If you have been including more healthy grains to your diet and have not tried farro yet, this recipe for Farro Chicken Bake will not disappoint. 

Cooked farro berries are firmer than rice and have a slightly chewy texture and nutty, earthy flavor.  This farro chicken bake recipe is a hearty one-dish meal that is brimming with flavor from the farro berries, veggies and chicken thighs.Farro Chicken Bake

Where to buy farro:

Because ancient grains are gaining popularity and more grocery stores are supplying them for the consumer.  First, check the bulk section of your local grocery store.  You will probably find bins of farro, emmer, einkorn and spelt.  Other suppliers would be:

  • Trader Joe’s
  • Bob’s Red Mill packages
  • Online

 

How to make this farro chicken bake:

Farro Chicken Bake

Farro chicken bake is made by first toasting the farro grain in a little olive oil.  Interestingly, as the grains toast they begin to pop and crackle a bit.  The toasting brings out the nutty flavor of the grain.  

The toasted grain is added to the bottom of a casserole dish, then layered with thick slices of mushrooms.  The mild-flavored sliced leeks and garlic were lightly sautéed, then added to the casserole dish.  The sun-dried tomatoes add color as well as flavor to the casserole. 

Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes are softer than dry-packed tomatoes.  They also add a nice pop of color to the dish, however, that oil is fat-loaded.   First, we drained them in a fine-mesh strainer.  Next, we rinsed them with warm water and blotted them dry with paper towels before adding to the casserole.  Chicken broth and sour cream was whisked together and poured over the casserole.  This provides a good flavor base for the farro to absorb. 

Cheese choices to use in Farro Chicken Bake:

For the cheesy layer we used shredded Monterey jack.  Here are a few cheese choices that could be substituted: 

  • Fontina
  • Gruyère
  • Gouda
  • Ricotta
  • Crumbled Feta

Finally, place the chicken thighs on top and season with salt and pepper.   After dusting the chicken with paprika the casserole bakes for about forty-five minutes.  The chicken thighs are tender and juicy.  As the chicken cooks on top the juices drip through the casserole adding a yummy goodness to this awesome tasting casserole. 

Farro Chicken Bake

This is a healthy, all-in-one dinner, just make a light salad while the dish is cooking. 

More ancient grain recipes:

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Farro Chicken Bake

Farro Chicken Bake

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Farro Chicken Bake is a one-pot casserole that will get rave reviews for it's deliciousness and the distinctive nutty, earthy flavor of the farro grain.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup farro wheat berries
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 6 chicken thighs (bone-in)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Paprika dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a 9x13 oven-proof casserole dish with oil spray
  2. Add the oil to a large pot set over medium heat and when it is hot add the farro berries, stirring to coat with the oil. Cook the farro, stirring frequently until they become toasty. You will hear them pop and crackle as they toast. Pour 6 cups of water over the farro and bring to a boil. Cook the farro until it al-dente or still has a little bite. It should take 15 to 30 minutes depending on the type of farro you have.
  3. Drain the farro and transfer it to the prepared casserole dish, spreading evenly across the bottom of the dish.
  4. Add the sliced mushrooms on top of the toasted farro in an even layer.
  5. To the same skillet, add the sliced leeks and the garlic and cook until the leeks become wilted and the garlic is fragrant. Transfer to the casserole and spread evenly on top of the mushrooms. Distribute the drained sun-dried tomatoes over the leeks. In a dish or pitcher, whisk the chicken broth and sour cream together and pour over the casserole. 
  6. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top and add the chicken thigh, skin side up. Season with salt and pepper and dust lightly with paprika.
  7. Transfer the baking dish to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until the chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Notes

  • If using boneless chicken breasts, reduce the bake time to 30-40 minutes.
  • The safe temperature for either bone-in or boneless chicken thighs is 165°F when checked with a meat thermometer.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 235mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 42g

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Farro Chicken Bake! A one-dish meal that is brimming with flavor from toasted farro berries, mushrooms, leeks, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese and chicken thighs

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Deanna Duskin

Sunday 14th of February 2021

Delicious! Served on a cold snowy valentine's day and it didn't fail to impress! I chose to use a combination of some leftover Gruyere cheese and a generous bit of Feta and the flavor was amazing. I also per-marinated boneless/skinless chicken thighs in a mixture of Olive Oil, Garlic, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt and Pepper.

Pat Nyswonger

Sunday 14th of February 2021

Hi, Deanna....I'm so pleased you had a wonderful Valentine's Day dinner with this recipe. That cheese combo sounds awesome! Thanks for your comments/feedback!

Jan B.

Saturday 6th of February 2021

Did you use bone-in or boneless chicken thighs? The bake time will be different so it's important to know.

Pat Nyswonger

Saturday 6th of February 2021

Hi, Jan....we used bone-in chicken thighs. Thank you for this feedback/question, I have made that correction in the recipe card.

Pamela Howard

Monday 18th of January 2021

In step 2. You mention to bring the farro to a boil and cook until al dente. But unsure how to manage the cooking process once it comes to a boil? Does it rolling boil til done? Does it lightly boil/ simmer til done? Does it get covered?

Dahn Boquist

Monday 18th of January 2021

No need to cover it, just let it stay at a gentle boil until it is done cooking. Thanks for the question.

Erik Mortensen

Tuesday 5th of January 2021

Amazing Pat! I searched Farro/Chicken Thigh/Cast Iron and found your recipe. I salted/peppered/red pepper flaked over the layers as the layers ae built, and then freshly grated parmesan over the top once plated. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

Pat Nyswonger

Tuesday 5th of January 2021

Wow! Erik, that sounds awesome! I'm so pleased that this recipe was well received by you...thank you for your feedback! We love hearing from our readers on how these recipes work for them. 😊

Ruth Anania

Saturday 5th of January 2019

I used uncooked farro and toasted that and baked the casserole at 375 for 45 min. The farro didnot absorb the chicken broth sauce as I thought it would. the farro was hard but nutty flavored. The instructions did not say to cook the farro before toasting it. Did I do something wrong?

Pat Nyswonger

Sunday 6th of January 2019

Hi, Ruth...Thank you for your feedback. No, you did not do anything wrong when you made this recipe. Some packages of farro needs a little more baking time to soften. Cooking another 5 minutes should work. I will put a note in the recipe to check the farro for doneness. Thanks again for your comments.

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