Instant Pot Farro Risotto with Mushrooms and Toasted Pecans

Instant Pot Farro Risotto with parmesan and kale in a shallow grey bowl

Thank you to the American Pecan Council for sponsoring this post.

When it comes to family dinner, especially during a weeknight, there are a few boxes I like to check:

  • Easy 
  • Tasty 
  • Nutritious 

I also work economical into my equation as well. I’m a firm believer that this is not an impossible feat and today’s recipe for Instant Pot Farro Risotto proves the point. 

Your first clue that this meal checks the “Easy” box is that it’s done in the Instant Pot. Not to worry if you don’t have one, since the recipe includes instructions for a stove-top version, too.

Instant Pot Farro Risotto in a black bowl with olive oil and chile flakes on the side

A Different Kind of Risotto

Ease isn’t usually top of mind when it comes to risotto, which typically involves standing at attention and stirring continuously until the dish is done. This is an entirely different kind of risotto. It’s made with farro instead of Arborio rice, and doesn’t require any stirring at all once you get your Instant Pot lid secured and press “Start.” The fact that it’s a one-pot meal also means ease. No salads or sides to assemble, since you’re covered with a single dish.

How to Toast the Pecans 

The first step to making the risotto is to toast the pecans. If this is one move too many for you, feel free to skip it (the pecans will still be plenty tasty). If you do want to toast them, the most obvious method is to hit the “Saute” setting on your Instant Pot, add the pecans, and toast until fragrant and nicely browned. Alternatively, do them in the oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Pecans:  The “Meat” in a Meatless Meal

In terms of nutrition, this risotto pretty much nails it across the board. It’s entirely meatless, relying on pecans instead of meat or chicken for substance, protein, and minerals. Swapping pecans for meat also means added fiber, which you don’t get in animal protein, not to mention more ”good” monounsaturated fats and less not-so-desirable saturated ones*.

Using whole-grain farro instead of traditional white rice is another factor that makes this meal so nourishing. The grain isn’t stripped of its bran and germ, which means it retains more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Add to that the fact that close to six cups of vegetables go into the mix and it’s basically a superfood in served up in an Instant Pot.

Delicious Instant Pot Risotto 

Ease and nutrition aside, it’s really taste that matters most. If I want my family fired up about coming to the table, the food’s gotta be tasty. And it is. The sweetness of the pecans balances the earthy flavors of farro and mushrooms. When I served it the first time, it earned universal thumbs up from my entire crew, omnivores and vegetarians alike. When I made it a second time, I ferried it over to a neighbor, who reported it was a hit in her house, too. 

So, if you’re like me, looking for an easy, nutritious, tasty (and economical) supper, look no further. Instant Pot Farro Risotto with Toasted Pecans has you covered. 

Be sure to check out these other healthy and delicious farro recipes

Spring Vegetable Farro Risotto

Farro Cakes with Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce

Farro, Fennel, and Tuna Salad

Farro and Pecan Tabbouleh from the American Pecan Council

*According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving (28g) of pecans contains 18g unsaturated fat and only 2g of saturated fat.

Instant Pot Farro Risotto with Mushrooms and Toasted Pecans

The Instant Pot makes quick work of farro risotto, but the dish can be easily accomplished on the stove as well. Use a large dutch oven or heavy pot with a lid. Follow the same instructions as the Instant Pot version, sautéing everything over medium-high heat. Once you add the broth, bring it to a simmer, cover with a lid, and simmer until the farro is tender. Stir occasionally and add more broth (or water) if the liquid evaporates. The time can vary, but figure roughly 25 minutes of simmering. Remove from heat, add the kale, stir, and cover until the greens are tender.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional time for heating the IP and natural release 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 to 5 servings
Calories 458 kcal
Author katiemorford

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3/4 pound cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup dry white wine (substitute low-sodium vegetable broth, if preferred)
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 ½ cups farro
  • 3 to 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups stemmed, chopped hearty greens, such as kale, collards, or chard
  • 1 small chunk Pecorino or Parmesan cheese to grate over the top

Instructions

  1. If you want to toast the pecans, set the Instant Pot to the “Saute” setting. Once it’s hot, add the pecans and toast, stirring occasionally until fragrant and nicely browned (5 minutes). Transfer to a cutting board, let cool, and chop. Alternatively, roast them in a 350 F oven or toaster oven for about 10 minutes.
  2. Return the Instant Pot to the “Sauté” setting. When the pot is warm, heat the olive oil and add the onion. Sauté until tender and translucent, 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until slightly soft, 2 minutes. Add the wine, farro, and thyme, stir, and leave to simmer until most of the liquid has absorbed, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. Press “Cancel”.
  3. Add 3 cups of broth, salt, and pepper and secure the lid on the Instant Pot. Set to “Manual” on High for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, allow a natural release for 10 minutes. Open the vent to release any remaining steam. Remove the lid, stir in the greens, return the lid, and leave it for 4 minutes so the greens wilt.
  4. Lift the lid and stir the risotto. The risotto should be tender and just a bit brothy. Add more broth, if needed and know that the farro will continue to absorb liquid as it sits. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Spoon into serving bowls and divide the pecans over the top. Grate a generous shower of Pecorino over the top and serve.

Image credit: Alanna Taylor-Tobin/The Bojon Gourmet

Comments

08.26.2019 at 5:23 PM #

JenS

Hi, where and how do the pecans get added back in after toasting?

08.26.2019 at 5:23 PM #

katiemorford

The pecans get added at the very end, after you spoon the risotto into bowls.

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