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.