Zucchini Bake with Farro and Ricotta

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Zucchini Bake with Farro | Naturally Ella

The first couple of weeks after having a baby were interesting. I wanted to cook but at the same time I was exhausted and figuring out everything new that came with motherhood. Luckily my mom was here, shopping and cooking for us. My first request she made: her homemade mac and cheese. I craved comfort food and she delivered. After that, I set out to have a small arsenal of recipes to make for new parents. Enchiladas, pasta bakes, and fresh salads are my go-to but recently I've been playing more with whole-grain bakes, like this zucchini bake. Grains hold up well over time, and hearty, and work well with a myriad of vegetables and sauces.

To make this zucchini bake ahead of time to share, prep through the assembly stage, leaving the cheese off to the side. Pack in a freezer-safe dish and deliver with cooking instructions! I also usually like to take a fresh salad if I know they might eat this for dinner that night. Anything that's easy to cook and/or assemble!

Zucchini Farro Bake | Naturally Ella
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Zucchini Farro Bake

4 servings
A hearty make-ahead meal for yourself or to deliver to a new family. Made with whole-grain farro, ricotta, and seasonal produce. 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini and yellow squash
  • 1/2 diced red pepper
  • 1/4 medium diced white onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil (plus extra for topping)
  • 2 cups homemade roasted tomato sauce
  • 2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 ounces shredded fontina cheese
  • Parmesan (vegetarian-friendly, for topping)
  1. Place a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the dry farro and toast for a couple minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. The farro should have a toasted, nutty smell. Cover with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 35 to 45 minutes, until tender (time will depend on whether you’re using pearled versus whole).
  2. When the farro is almost done cooking, heat the oven to 375˚F. Whip the ricotta with the egg, oregano, and salt. Place the cooked farro in a 8x8 pan along with the vegetables, basil, and ricotta. Stir until everything is well combined. Cover with the pasta sauce and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese, and return to the oven for 15 minutes; until cheese has melted and lightly browned.
  3. Serve with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese and extra basil.
Tips & Tricks: Make ahead of time: assemble through the sauce, leaving the cheese off. Refrigerate up to 24 hours or freeze for a couple of months. To cook from a frozen state, bake for an extra 20 to 30 minutes before adding the cheese.
Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: farro, zucchini, peppers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time :1 hour 15 minutes

Zucchini Bake


This bake is versatile- really the only constant is the ricotta base that holds everything together. Swap out the produce, grains, and even the sauce.

Vegetables: You can make this dish year-round. During the fall/winter, try pre-roasted sweet potatoes and winter squash. Fresh greens also work well in this dish. Try adding shredded kale or chard in with the cooked grains.

Sauce: I love using the homemade roasted tomato sauce on pretty much everything during the summer. During tomato's off season, make your own tomato sauce from canned tomatoes or pick up your favorite store-brand pasta sauce.

Grains: You can really use any grain that holds texture. If you need to make this gluten-free, try using sorghum or oat berries. Einkorn, wheat berries, or spelt berries also work well in place of the farro.

Farro Zucchini Bake with Summer Zucchini, Peppers, and Ricotta | Naturally Ella

4.67 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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10 comments on “Zucchini Bake with Farro and Ricotta”

  1. This looks beautiful! I love that it's such a versatile idea. I've done similar things with lentils but never thought to use farro or another grain. I avoid baked pasta dishes since I cook for one and they often get too mushy or glue-like when reheated, but this looks like the perfect thing when lasagne sounds good! I'm looking forward to making seasonal/what-looks-good-in-the-produce-section? variations on this. 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for the fabulous recipe! I used whole oat groats instead of farro, substituted taleggio for fontina and served it with purple cabbage slaw. Incredibly umami-rich!

  3. This was delicious. The only thing I did different was increase the zucchini to 2 cups as 1 just didn't seem like enough. I could have even used 3 cups. I will next time.

  4. Wait, I don't cook the bell pepper and the zucchini before layering in casserole?
    Looks deli cious and adaptable!

  5. Made this tonight. I sauteed the veggies first - I used zucchini, leeks and spinach. It was really, really good. Whole family enjoyed it. Thank you, Erin.


Welcome to my little internet nook. On this site you'll find over a thousand vegetarian recipes, pantry knowledge, and more. I'm ever obsessed with food from gardening, cooking, and preserving. I hope you'll find endless inspiration on these pages and visit often. 

Virtual hugs, Erin (aka: e.l.l.a.)

a few good grain recipes

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