Farro Gratin With Brussels Sprouts

October 13, 2017
6 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Makes 1 casserole dish
Author Notes

I like to think of this gratin as farro salad in autumn sweater form. It’s cozy, comforting, and not too heavy. It doesn’t require much effort, either--a dish that’s as fitting for a harried weeknight as a relaxed weekend dinner with friends.

Its basic formula is simple: cooked grains + dressing + vegetable (quick-cooking or cooked) + melty cheese + crumb topping. Using this formula, you can easily tailor the ingredients based on what you like and have on hand.

Tip: For ease, use the slicing blade of your food processor to shave the Brussels sprouts, and the shredding blade for the cheese. No need to clean the bowl of the food processor in between! —EmilyC

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided (plus more for greasing)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, or a few small pinches of red pepper flakes
  • 5 ounces aged cheddar, shredded (yielding 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup pecorino, finely grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Meanwhile, cook farro in a large pot of boiling salted water, skimming the surface a few times, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes—or according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Toss grains while still warm in a large bowl (or back in the pan if it’s large enough for mixing) with 3 tablespoons olive oil, balsamic, and a pinch or two of salt. (The balsamic will taste a bit strong at this point, but it’ll mellow in the oven and help cut through the gratin’s richness.). Toss in Brussels sprouts, and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste) and Aleppo pepper. Add shredded cheese, and toss again until evenly mixed. Transfer to a lightly greased 14-inch round pan, a 9x13-inch casserole, or an equivalently sized dish.
  3. In a small bowl, combine panko, pecorino, and several grinds of black pepper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil evenly over panko mixture (otherwise it’ll clump) and using hands, toss together until evenly mixed. Spread evenly over the farro and Brussels sprouts.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and crispy. Serve warm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lauren Miller
    Lauren Miller
  • Keri Ott Gorsage
    Keri Ott Gorsage
  • Bronson Job
    Bronson Job
  • Shannon
  • Kaite

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

34 Reviews

Lauren S. March 9, 2021
SO GOOD! Even better than I expected. This might have to be my new go-to comfort food dinner.
Lauren M. November 30, 2020
Followed the recipe exactly and it was fantastic! Punching above its weight in flavor without the feeling "heavy" during and afterward. I used Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar shreds and it was the perfect cheese! Was a huge hit with family, too.
EmilyC December 2, 2020
So happy you liked this, Lauren! I probably make this more often than any of my other recipes. : ) Thanks so much for trying it and circling back!
Station11 September 16, 2019
Really good! I added a couple tablespoons of cream, but it wasn’t necessary. Also had to use white balsamic bc somehow that’s all I had on hand? Anyway- husband approved. We ate as a main, but would be a great side dish as well...
Keri O. November 21, 2018
Wanting to make this for Christmas dinner, but my oven will be tied up. Any chance I can do this in my slow cooker?
Happygoin November 21, 2018
Keri, any chance you could have it ready to pop in the oven while the turkey rests? It would be done well in time to sit down to dinner. I can’t imagine this being successful in a slow cooker, sorry. I’d be happy to be proven wrong tho!
Bronson J. October 29, 2018
Has anyone tried to make this red bulgur?
Shannon September 9, 2018
Made first with small pieces of broccoli and cauliflower (pre-roasted), then switched it up with sweet potato, rainbow chard, cauliflower and some fontina with the cheddar. Both were huge hits with my guests. As-is with brussels sprouts is next. Easy, cozy, delicious, and endlessly versatile. I see this going into regular rotation.
Kaite February 11, 2018
I made this tonight for the second time this week! I made the recipe as is the first time and it was delicious. Tonight I browned hot sausage and sauteed onions to throw in the mix. Awesome stuff. This recipe could get anyone to love Brussels sprouts!
EmilyC February 11, 2018
Love the sausage and onion addition! Be sure to try this in the spring and summer too with all different sorts of vegetables (like cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil)--I've made so many variations and they're all good!
jenny December 14, 2017
EmilyC, this recipe sounds amazing! However I have a family member with an aversion to brussels sprouts, could you recommend another vegetable to sub for that? I would love to try an amended version this Christmas.
EmilyC December 15, 2017
Hi jenny,
Yes! One of my favorite variations this time of year is a combo of shredded (raw) kale and roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes. The key is to choose a quick-cooking vegetable (like kale, chard, or shredded Brussels sprouts) or one that's already cooked (roasted squash, broccoli, cauliflower). I give other ideas for substitutions in this article:

Hope this helps!
erin November 3, 2017
Even as a brussels sprouts superfan I admit I approached this as a main course with trepidation. But it was really delicious - chewy, crispy, savory and filling. I added a couple tbs of creme fraiche because it looked dry (probably it would have been fine), and some lemon zest to the breadcrumbs because I only had parmesan rather than pecorino. Next time I'll add some hazelnuts as someone below suggested. I threw in some chopped pistachios but they just got lost; I expect hazelnuts will hold up better.
EmilyC November 3, 2017
Great, I'm glad the dish pleasantly surprised! : ) The filling does look a little dry before going into the oven, but the dressing and melty cheese work together to keep it moist. I like your style in adding creme fraiche--I'm sure it made this really good! I've never done this, but I'll bet some finely chopped hazelnuts in the panko topping would be really nice. Thanks for your note, Erin!
Ko November 1, 2017
No Farro here on Okinawa! I've searched everywhere. What other grain would you sub? Clearly rice is easy to find here but any others I might not be considering?
EmilyC November 1, 2017
Hi Ko, a few ideas for substitutes are wheat berries, spelt, quinoa, pearled barley, or a combination! Hope this helps!!
Ko November 2, 2017
Great ideas! Thank you! I ended up using lentils, of course not considered a grain but it turned out great! Yay for added protein points too!
EmilyC November 2, 2017
Oh great to know that lentils work well too! Thanks so much for trying this and commenting!
Emily |. November 3, 2017
I made this with pearled barley as EmilyC suggested above with great results. It is easy to adapt because the grain is cooked independently before going in the oven, just check the package instructions.
Happygoin October 31, 2017
The bad news is, I didn't have any panko, so I used dry bread crumbs instead. Big mistake. I ended up scraping off this unappetizing layer.

The good news is that, after I scraped off the top, it was just delicious! I used a good gruyere rather than cheddar, because that's what I had. I'll use the gruyere again, and maybe add some chopped hazelnuts to the mix.

I'll definitely make this one again. Thanks. This one's a keeper.
EmilyC October 31, 2017
Hi Happygoin -- I'm so so glad that this worked out okay, even after the dry bread crumb layer was a bust! Good to know! I'll bet the gruyere was delicious here. Thanks for trying this and letting me know!
Lazyretirementgirl October 26, 2019
Happygoin, I use dry bread crumbs on this type of gratin all the time - just drizzle them with olive oil before I pop it into the oven. They come out crunchy and brown and , well, delicious.
Happygoin October 26, 2019
LRG, it’s so funny I saw your reply in such a timely manner. I just bought Brussels Sprouts today to make this and looked up the recipe again. Thanks!
lloreen October 17, 2017
I ran out of balsamic, so I added the juice of one small lemon and about a tsp of grated lemon peel instead. It was delicious! The leftovers were also great tossed with baby kale for lunch.
EmilyC October 17, 2017
Oh good, so happy to hear this! Thanks for the note!
Poniesss403 October 17, 2017
Will this freeze well? I'm going to make it tonight but it's only me and so I was hoping to freeze some for later.
EmilyC October 17, 2017
I've never tried, but I think it should freeze well! Please report back if you do!
Molly October 31, 2017
Also curious about freezing this - might make it ahead of time and serve at Thanksgiving. How did it turn out?
Poniesss403 October 31, 2017
Agh I didn't end up having time to make it that night. Still on my to do list. Sorry!
Jonathan October 16, 2017
Absolutely delicious! Will definitely give it a try
EmilyC October 16, 2017
Thank you -- hope you enjoy it!
txchick57 October 15, 2017
Tonight's dinner. I'll let you know how it goes.
txchick57 October 15, 2017
Delicious. My husband killed the whole pan of it with the exception of one piece which I got.
EmilyC October 15, 2017
Oh no for just getting one piece!! But I'm glad that you and your husband liked it! Thanks so much for trying it and letting me know.