Creamed Greens with Farro
November 2, 2019
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

Creamed Greens with Farro

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be all heavy starches and fatty dishes. This recipe is packed with good-for-you greens and fiber-rich farro, tied together with just enough dairy to make it feel like a celebration. Greens like kale, chard and spinach are rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and antioxidants that lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and even help to slow your absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream after meals, preventing that energy crash and burn, or “food coma” feeling. They also boost your immune system and help fight off those pesky colds. Make this dish as a vegetarian side for your Thanksgiving feast and as a cozy hearty recipe all winter long.

Serves 6-8

Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for topping
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (more or less to your preference)
  • 1 large bunch rainbow chard, stalks and greens roughly chopped
  • 1 large bunch lacinato or dinosaur kale, stalks and greens roughly chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups cooked farro
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat your broiler to medium, or about 400 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet or pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until starting to soften and turn golden, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the chard and kale, along with a pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté until mostly wilted, about 6 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add the broth and cream cheese, and stir well to combine. Allow this mixture to cook for another 6-8 minutes, until the stalks of the greens have softened.
  5. Turn off the heat, and stir in the parmesan cheese, mozzarella, lemon juice, farro, and fresh spinach. Allow the spinach to wilt from the residual heat. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Spread the mix in an oven-safe baking dish.
  7. To make the topping, mix the panko with roughly 1-2 teaspoons olive oil, until you have a sandy texture. Mix in a pinch of salt and pepper.
  8. Spread the topping evenly over the greens, and broil in the oven for 1-3 minutes, until just golden brown. Watch it carefully- it burns easily!
  9. Serve hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!

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About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: