4 Flavorful Salads with Grains

Quick Grain Salad Recipes You Can Try at Home Running out of ways to cook your grains? Tick that off your to-do list. If you’re looking for a fresh and new approach to prepare your …


Quick Grain Salad Recipes You Can Try at Home

Running out of ways to cook your grains? Tick that off your to-do list. If you’re looking for a fresh and new approach to prepare your grains, here are more grain salad recipes you can try at home.

salads with grains

1. Bulgur Salad and Grilled Zucchini with Feta and Preserved Lemon (By epicurious.com)

Summertime is never complete without grilling something in your backyard or your tiny kitchen. If you’re strictly on a healthy diet, replace your meat for grilling, with Zucchini, best paired with cooked bulgur—and voila, you have a healthy vegan, meat-free but protein-packed kind of meal! Here’s how to do it: 

Key Details of the Recipe:

Yield:4 main-course servings or 6–8 side servings
Prep & Cooking Time:45 minutes
Flavor & Texture:Tangy and subtly sweet
What you Need:Bulgur, Herbs, Preserved Lemon Paste, Dressing, Salt & Pepper

Ingredients and Instructions:

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup coarse-grind bulgur
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 lb. zucchini and/or yellow summer squash
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 Tbsp. preserved lemon paste
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 oz. Greek feta, crumbled
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • ½ cup torn mint leaves
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)
  1. Toast the walnut in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until medium brown. Leave to cool and roughly chop after.
  2. Toast bulgur for about 3 minutes or until a shade darker and starting to smell like popcorn. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, while adding ¼ tsp. salt. Let it simmer until the liquid is almost completely evaporated, 8–10 minutes.
  3. Slice your zucchini lengthwise and grill side by side, drizzle some oil and season with salt.
  4. Combine the remaining ingredients: lemon paste, honey, garlic, and remaining ¼ cup oil in a large bowl. Add bulgur and feta and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve the salad with the grilled zucchini and lemon wedges beside and sprinkle some herbs and the toasted walnuts.

2. Yotam Ottolenghi’s Roast Chicken & 3-Rice Salad (By thekitchn.com)

This recipe’s popularity transcends across different countries because of its familiar traditional rice recipe with a fresh twist and its ability to transform leftovers into something new. Per serving of this recipe provides 26.0 g of protein and 2.4 g of fiber. As we are adding meat to this recipe, don’t forget to preheat your oven to 425°F.

Key Details of the Recipe:

Yield:Serves 8
Prep & Cooking Time:70 minutes
Flavor & Texture:Savory and chewy
Ease:Intermediate to Advanced
What you Need:Chicken, 3 types of rice, herbs, dressing

Ingredients and Instructions:

Main Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 pounds of skinless chicken meat or 4 ½ cups cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/3 cup wild rice
  • 1/3 cup brown rice


  • 4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 mild red chile, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 3 cups cilantro, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped
  • 20 shiso leaves, shredded (or arugula)
  • Dressing:
  • 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cooking the chicken. Prepare the chicken by seasoning it with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and salt & pepper. Place it in the oven at 375°F and let it roast for 50 to 60 minutes. After cooling, shred the chicken into small pieces.
  2. Cooking the rice. Boil the basmati, wild rice and brown rice separately with roughly a cup of water for each rice.
  3. Making the dressing. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients together with the cooking juices from the chicken.
  4. Sauté the onion in 1 ½ olive oil until golden. Leave it to cool.
  5. Add the 3 kinds of rice, fried onion and green onions, chile, and chopped herbs to the chicken. Mix well, then taste and adjust the seasoning.

3. Wheat Berry Salad with Blood Oranges, Feta & Red Onion Vinaigrette (By Elizabeth Passarella)

This recipe was in a work-in-progress state as the author says but tastes so well that it’s said to be an ideal kind of late-winter salad. This dish is light but satisfying, perfect as a side salad for dinner. Your body can digest 17.1 g of protein and 15.2 g of fiber in every serving of this recipe.

Key Details of the Recipe:

Yield:Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side salad
Prep & Cooking Time:40 minutes
Flavor & Texture:Citrusy, chewy and crumbly
Ease:Intermediate to Advanced
What you Need:Wheat berries, Vinaigrette, Citrus Fruits, Herbs

Ingredients and Instructions:

Making the vinaigrette (makes 1 cup):

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (from about 3 sprigs)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper
  1. Sauté the onions in 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and cook until golden brown. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  2. After cooling down, transfer the sautéed herbs and spices to a mixing bowl along with the vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Blend them all together in a blender or food processor. This dressing will keep refrigerated for several weeks.

Making the salad:

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 2 medium blood oranges or other citrus fruit
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, cut into chunks
  • A handful of flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • Optional: 1 cup diced fennel, diced radishes, sliced green onions, or diced celery
  1. Boil 4 cups of water and pour in 1 cup of wheat berries. Simmer until cooked or the grains are tender (takes about 25 minutes.). Then drain.
  2. Combine the cooked wheat berries with 6 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and stir to combine. Dice the blood oranges into small pieces and add to the grain salad together with the feta, parsley and any additional vegetable you like.
  3. Toss and serve.

4. Mediterranean Freekeh Salad with Collard Greens and Chickpeas (By Megan Gordon)

This recipe is one of the quickest and easiest to make if you are in a rush to put a grain salad on your table today. 

Freekeh is wheat that is harvested while it’s young and still green, and then it’s roasted. This recipe can be a great choice of meal for your lunch paired with a flank steak or your leftover salmon. It only has 283 calories and contains 7.9 g of fiber and 9.8 g of protein or about 31.5% and 19.6% (respectively) of the daily required nutrients by our body.

Key Details of the Recipe:

Yield:Serves 8
Prep & Cooking Time:35 minutes
Flavor & Texture:Crunchy with a toasted nutty smell
Ease:Intermediate to Advanced
What you Need:Wheat berries, Vinaigrette, Citrus Fruits, Herbs

Ingredients and Instructions:

Making the dressing

  • 2 small garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons za’atar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch sea salt and ground pepper
  1. Using a small mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and spices. Add salt and pepper and adjust accordingly.

Making the salad

  • 1/3 cup (45 grams) sesame seeds
  • 1 cup (185 grams) freekeh
  • 1 bunch collard greens, de-stemmed, leaves thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup (170 grams) rinsed and drained chickpeas
  • 1 small fennel bulb, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
  1. Toast the sesame seeds in a medium-heated skillet for about 6-7 minutes with consistent mixing to avoid burnt seeds. Once toasted, set aside to cool.
  2. Cook the freekeh in a boiled 2 cups of water. Reduce heat to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the grains are al dente.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked freekeh, collard greens, chickpeas, and fennel. Pour in the vinaigrette all over, enough to wet everything.
  4. Mix and sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds all over.
  5. Toss and transfer to your salad bowl, then serve.


Basically, making grain salads is just as easy as preparing all the ingredients and mixing them all together. The hallmark that makes a grain salad distinct is the flavor itself which will depend on the seasoning and herbs and other personal touches you’ll incorporate.

The best thing about these salads with grains is that they give a different kind of flavor, which will suit your mood or even the season you are in— they can be a summer or winter salad or whatever you want them to be. This calls your creativity too when it comes to preparing food and can naturally upskill your talent in basic cooking.