Whole grains aren’t just rich in nutrients — they’re packed with flavor, too. From Italian farro to protein-rich quinoa to old-fashioned rolled oats, each grain has a different taste and texture and lends itself to a range of delicious serving suggestions. Here’s how to enjoy them in salads, soups, main dishes and more.
|Black Quinoa Salad with Lemon, Avocado and Pistachios|
This recipe from cookbook author Deborah Madison stars black quinoa, which adds to the drama of the dish. Tossed with greens, fresh herbs, avocado and feta cheese, it makes a gorgeous side or light main course.
|Sautéed Scallops and Quinoa with Orange-Avocado Salsa|
Quinoa mixed with olive oil and a big handful of fresh herbs makes a refreshing bed for these scallops and lively salsa made from oranges and avocado.
|Warm Lamb and Farro Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate|
Tender lamb mixes with earthy farro, sweet pomegranate seeds, aromatic mint and crunchy fennel in this main-course salad.
|Farro with Winter Vegetables and Watercress|
Farro has a nutty crunch that complements soft-roasted root vegetables. Serve this salad warm or at room temperature — it keeps well for a couple of days in the fridge.
|Beef with Mushrooms and Barley|
Tender chunks of stewed beef, meaty mushrooms and pleasantly chewy, earthy barley create a bowl brimming with texture and flavor. This is a comforting dish for a cold winter night.
|Butternut Squash Barley Risotto|
This version of risotto replaces traditional Arborio rice with barley, which helps process cholesterol in the body. The cooking method remains the same so your final dish is still the creamy texture that defines a good risotto.
|Bulgur Salad with Roasted Peppers, Chickpeas and Pistachios|
Nutty bulgur stands up well to the stand up to the hearty beans, nuts and dried fruits in this dish, which is dressed with a vinaigrette of pomegranate molasses and fresh lemon juice.
|Wheat Berries with Roasted Parsnips, Butternut Squash and Dried Cranberries|
This colorful side dish pairs wheat berries — whole wheat kernels — and roasted root vegetables. Enjoy as a side dish for roasted meats or as a light meal on its own.
|Wild Rice & Mushroom Pilaf|
Wild rice is dense and earthy, so it’s a perfect complement to woodsy wild mushrooms. You’ll love that this dish requires only a handful of ingredients to pull together.
|Wild Rice Soup with Porcini and Escarole|
Wild rice takes an Italian-inspired turn in this hearty soup, made with meaty mushrooms, slightly bitter escarole and a touch of rich cream.
These whole wheat and millet muffins were created by cookbook author and blogger Heidi Swanson. They have a light, airy texture and bright, fresh flavor, thanks to the addition of lemon zest and juice.
Classic rolled oats form the base of this crunchy fruit-and-nut granola, lightly sweetened with honey and maple syrup. Make a big batch to keep on hand for an easy, wholesome start to the day.
|Steel-Cut Oats with Honeyed Pears and Glazed Pecans|
Steel-cut oats result in a textured oatmeal, with a deliciously chewy yet tender bite. Top with crunchy sugared pecans and cinnamon-coated pears, and you’ll be in oatmeal heaven.
|Barley-Leek Soup with Mini Chicken Meatballs|
This is a great soup to make with kids, who will have fun forming the meatballs and eating the end result. You can make the meatballs in advance and freeze them.
|Vegetarian Bibimbap with Crispy Brown Rice|
A traditional Korean rice dish, bibimbap means “mixed rice” and typically includes sautéed vegetables and often a fried egg or meat, plus gochujang, or chili pepper paste. Here, we omit the meat and use brown rice instead of white. Our ginger-garlic stir-fry sauce amps up the flavor of the mushrooms.
|Roasted Vegetable and Farro Soup|
This nourishing soup is a specialty from the mountains of northwestern Tuscany. Here, robust dark green, lacinato kale replaces the usual smoked pancetta for a hearty vegetarian version.
|Farro with Caramelized Root Vegetables|
In the cool-weather months, toss farro with roasted root vegetables such as turnips, parsnips and carrots, as it is here. This dish is sweet and savory and is delicious served at room temperature, making it a great option for both the lunch box and the salad plate.
|Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup|
Giada De Laurentiis, who created this hearty delicious soup, says that she lives on it in winter. She starts making it right after Thanksgiving using leftover turkey, and it is one of those dishes she craves when it is cool outside. Also, it’s really pretty, which soups aren’t always.
|Farro and Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette|
Here’s a double dose of healthy grains! This salad is packed with nutrient-dense foods, with additions of celery and fennel for a delicious crunch.
|Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa|
Moroccan spices, such as cumin, turmeric and cinnamon, help to make this a delicious and aromatic meal. Dried fruit and nuts are common in Moroccan-style dishes, and lend sweetness and texture.
|Warm Farro Salad with Butternut Squash and Hazelnuts|
Combining whole-grain farro with chunks of butternut squash, crunchy hazelnuts and dried cranberries, this salad is not only beautiful, it’s also packed with nutrients.