Farro Chickpea Skillet with Tomatoes, Kale, Cardamom & Lime

Created by Laura Wright
4.92 from 12 votes

This vegan farro chickpea skillet with tomatoes, kale, cardamom and lime is so flavourful, hearty, pantry-friendly, and it cooks up in 30 minutes. We top this one pot meal with a tangy vegan yogurt sauce that’s fragrant with lime zest and juice. This flavour combination is inspired by a recipe in one of my favourite Ottolenghi cookbooks, Flavour.

An overhead shot of a farro chickpea skillet with crushed tomatoes, chopped kale, and dollops of a vegan yogurt sauce on top. There is a black, wooden spoon sticking out of the skillet.
An overhead shot of a farro, chickpea and tomato stew in a grey-ish white bowl. The stew is served with a dollop of bright white yogurt sauce on top, chopped dill, and roasted kalettes to the side.
An overhead shot of ingredients used for a farro chickpea skillet dinner with kale and spices.
An up close, overhead shot of a hand pouring a bowl of spices into a pan with sautéed shallots.

We love a firm pivot away from those holiday-ish food feels! This simple vegan one pot meal has so much flavour going on. It’s tangy, a bit smoky from fire-roasted tomatoes, spicy, nutty from the farro, creamy and fragrant from the lime yogurt sauce. The cardamom brings a citrusy, pine-y, and slightly minty note that is unexpected and so delicious.

I first tried combining cardamom with tomatoes, garlic, and lime in an Ottolenghi recipe from the cookbook Flavour, and I haven’t looked back since! It remains one of my favourite combinations when I’m cooking for others because it’s familiar, but with a little twist.

Some tips for making this farro chickpea skillet:

  • I use pearled farro here (this one) because it helps this recipe come together quickly. If you have semi-pearled farro, increase your cooking time to 30 minutes. You may also want to add a few extra splashes of water towards the end of the cooking process. If you only have whole farro on hand, I would try soaking it in water overnight and draining before making this recipe.
  • For a gluten-free version of this recipe, I would recommend trying quinoa or millet. If using millet, your cook time will likely have to increase to 25 minutes. Neither of these grains have the same chew factor as farro, but they will still be tasty and hearty in this dish.
  • For vegan yogurt, I recommend a coconut milk-based option that is thick and tangy. My favourite right now is by Canadian brand Yoggu

I recommend serving this skillet with a simple side of roasted veg of your choice. In these photos, you’ll see that I served some crispy roasted kalettes (a new fave for us!). Other options that would be great: roasted broccoli, wedges of butternut/honeynut squash, or cauliflower florets.

Fans of this recipe might also like my Creamy Vegan Orzo Risotto with Butternut Squash and Miso Mustard Brussels Sprouts, this Smoky Chickpea, Cabbage & Kale Soup with Lentils, or my Braised Harissa Eggplant with Chickpeas.

An overhead shot of a hand using a wooden spoon to stir up grains of farro in spices within a pan.
An overhead shot of vegan lime yogurt sauce ingredients in a brown bowl, before mixing together.
An overhead shot of a hand adding chopped kale to a farro chickpea skillet with tomatoes. The mixture is steaming.
An up close, overhead shot of a farro chickpea skillet with tomatoes and kale.
An up close, overhead shot of a farro chickpea skillet with crushed tomatoes, chopped kale, and dollops of a vegan yogurt sauce on top. There is a black, wooden spoon sticking out of the skillet.

Farro Chickpea Skillet with Tomatoes, Kale, Cardamom & Lime

This vegan farro chickpea skillet with tomatoes, kale, cardamom and lime is so flavourful, hearty, pantry-friendly, and it cooks up in 30 minutes. We top this one pot meal with a tangy vegan yogurt sauce that's fragrant with lime zest and juice. This flavour combination is inspired by a recipe in one of my favourite Ottolenghi cookbooks, Flavour.
4.92 from 12 votes
An overhead shot of a farro chickpea skillet with crushed tomatoes, chopped kale, and dollops of a vegan yogurt sauce on top. There is a black, wooden spoon sticking out of the skillet.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Lime Yogurt Sauce

  • ¾ cup plain vegan yogurt (see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Farro Chickpea Skillet

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup pearled farro
  • 1 ¾ cups cooked chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted here)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups chopped kale (lightly packed)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus extra (or cilantro/parsley)

Notes

  • I use pearled farro here (this one) because it helps this recipe come together quickly. If you have semi-pearled farro, increase your cooking time to 30 minutes. You may also want to add a few extra splashes of water towards the end of the cooking process. If you only have whole farro on hand, I recommend soaking it overnight and draining before making this recipe.
  • For a gluten-free version of this, I would recommend trying quinoa or millet. If using millet, your cook time will likely have to increase to 25 minutes. Neither of these grains have the same chew factor as farro, but they will still be tasty and hearty in this dish.
  • You could use any chopped greens that you like here.
  • For vegan yogurt, I recommend a coconut milk-based option that is thick and tangy. My favourite right now is by Canadian brand Yoggu
  • I used a 12-inch braiser-style pot in these photos and it worked nicely!
  • I like to serve this with a simple side of roasted veg. In the photos here, I did crispy roasted kalettes, but broccoli, slices of butternut squash, or cauliflower would all be great.

Instructions

  • Make the lime yogurt sauce. In a small bowl, combine the vegan yogurt, lime zest, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Set the sauce aside in the fridge.
  • Heat a large skillet with straight sides over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and swirl it around. Add the shallots and sauté for 6-7 minutes, or until translucent and quite soft. If they begin to brown, lower the heat.
  • Add the garlic, ground cumin, cardamom, and chili flakes to the skillet and stir. Cook until spices are very fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste to the skillet and stir. Cook out the raw tomato paste flavour for about a minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add the farro to the skillet and stir to coat in the spices and oil. Then, add the chickpeas, crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, and some salt and pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and place a lid on top of the skillet–slightly askew so that some steam can escape. Cook the farro chickpea skillet for 15 minutes, or until farro is tender and excess liquid has been absorbed. While it simmers away, check in periodically and give everything a stir.
  • Once the farro is cooked, add the kale to the skillet and stir. Place the lid back on and cook until kale is wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chopped fresh dill.
  • Give the farro and chickpeas a taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the farro chickpea skillet with the lime yogurt sauce and extra chopped fresh dill.
An overhead shot of a farro, chickpea and tomato stew in a grey-ish white bowl. The stew is served with a dollop of bright white yogurt sauce on top, chopped dill, and roasted kalettes to the side.
01/12/2021 (Last Updated 25/10/2022)
Posted in: autumn, chickpeas, creamy, kale, main course, nut free, refined sugar-free, side dish, sour, spicy, spring, summer, tomatoes, vegan, winter

15 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Amira

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe at least 5 times and it is a knockout from start to finish. There are never any leftovers!

  • sue

    5 stars
    Since I’ve already admitted to be a lazy cook lately…. It will come as no surprise that I skipped the yogurt. Had to sub onion for shallot which I sauteed in the instant lot before adding the farro to toast. Then cooked under high pressure for six minutes. After pressure came down we had a wonderfully quick, easy and flavorful meal. Thanks Laura.

    • Laura Wright

      Sue,
      Thanks so much for providing some insights on how to make in the Instant Pot! I know that lots of folks will find this information helpful :)
      -L

  • Sheila

    5 stars
    Another winner Laura, this is absolutely delicious!!! Fantastic flavours, so satisfying and comes together quickly, will definitely be making again, thank you!!! 

  • Kristen

    5 stars
    Such a wonderful recipe! I had whole farro on hand, soaked it all day and used it (worked wonderfully). Now I’m looking forward to leftovers!

  • Olivia

    Sorghum might make a better GF alternative here as it does have a nice chew like farro does! It’s only slightly longer to cook than farro! 

    • Laura

      I love and appreciate this tip, Olivia! Thank you so much.
      -L

  • Oriana

    This is so simple and delicious!!! You always come up with new flavors to enchant me thank you. 

  • Chandler

    5 stars
    I made this for work lunches this week and it is so good! Super flavorful and so easy to make. I made the yogurt with it too, but I think I prefer it without it! It has so much flavor on its own I didn’t need the yogurt. I used cilantro instead of the dill and diced tomatoes instead of crushed because that is all I had and it turned out great!

  • Allison

    5 stars
    This was such a beautiful meal and we will certainly be making again! We roasted cauliflower which was perfect. We didn’t have cardamom on hand — no problem. Thank you! 

  • Lilyw

    4 stars
    Yummy. Farro is one of my very favorite things. Cardamom got a little buried in the intense tomato, so I added just a dash to the lime yogurt. I think I’ll have leftovers for breakfast tomorrow with a fried egg and a little sliced avocado—kind of a makeshift huevos rancheros. 

  • Kim H

    5 stars
    This is GREAT!  Such a cozy bowl of goodness.  The cardamom is very subtle; a delicious addition.  Tonight I am eating the leftovers topped with the yogurt, extra dill and some chopped avocado.  I almost wish I had hidden the rest so I didn’t have to share. 

  • Nicole Becker

    I am definitely making this tonight or tomorrow!! I have chickpeas in the fridge that need eating, and was wondering what I should do with them. I haven’t tried the cardomom/tomato combo yet, but I already know I will love it. I have Jerusalem, but have been wanting to get Flavour for a while now, so maybe it’ll be the next cookbook I get! The new Test Kitchen, Shelf Love one looks fun too. Thanks for all your awesome recipes Laura!

    • Nicole Becker

      Also, where did you buy kalettes?? I must be living under a rock because I haven’t heard of them or seen them but I just read they were trendy in 2015, lol. I’m on the east coast in Canada and haven’t seen them, but maybe it’s just because I wasn’t looking ;)

      • Laura

        Hi Nicole! I’ve only seen kalettes at my local Costco. Nobody else seems to have them. I hope that changes soon because they really are like eating just the crispy outer leaves of roasted brussels sprouts–so good! -L