Our Best Whole Grain Recipes

Chunky Minestrone
Trying to get more whole grains in your diet? You've come to the right place for healthy whole grain recipes. Here, you'll find our best main, side, soup, salad, and even dessert and breakfast recipes featuring healthy whole grains such as barley, quinoa, farro, brown rice, and more.

Chickpea and Freekah Salad

Power Grain: Freekah

Here's a whole grain you probably haven't tried: Freekah! Try it in this salad that's also loaded with chickpeas, avocado, and feta cheese. We know you'll love freekah just as much as quinoa (maybe even more).

Whole Grain Panzanella

Power Grain: Whole Wheat

Panzanella is an Italian tomato salad typically made with white bread. This fresh twist swaps in whole wheat bread, which contains more whole grains to keep you fuller longer. Serve it alongside your favorite protein for a well-rounded meal.

Winter Bulgur Salad with Olive Dressing

Power Grain: Bulgur

Thanks to the addition of bulgur, this whole grain salad is hearty enough to become a meal on its own. Just like any salad, it has a healthy serving of veggies—but we used cauliflower, Kalamata olives, and escarole to make this dish stand out.

Oatmeal-Raisin Donut Holes

Power Grains: Oats, Whole Wheat

Don't worry, we made this breakfast favorite a little healthier by using rolled oats, whole wheat flour, and fat-free yogurt. Go ahead, treat yourself to donut holes alongside your morning coffee.

Quick Pork-and-Vegetable Fried Brown Rice

Power Grain: Brown Rice

Sure, you could order takeout, but we guarantee this homemade fried rice is better. Not only is it tastier than anything you can order, but it also uses brown rice, making it much healthier than anything you can get delivered.

Italian Barley and Sausage Casserole

Power Grain: Barley

Step up your usual casserole by using whole grains! This barley dish puts a whole new spin on pasta casserole while still using classic ingredients like tomato sauce, fresh mushrooms, and lots of melty mozzarella cheese.

Quinoa and Butternut Bowl

Power Grain: Quinoa

Who doesn't love a quinoa bowl? Butternut squash and kale are the perfect partners for this quinoa bowl—and to add even more protein to this whole grain dish, try topping with a poached egg.

Whole Wheat Chocolate-Blueberry Cake

Power Grain: Whole Wheat

This chocolate cake isn't exactly healthy, but it's definitely a better way to satisfy your chocolate cravings than most other dessert recipes. Using whole wheat flour instead of white flour adds fiber and vitamins, plus you get a helping of fruit thanks to fresh blueberries.

Sweet and Spicy Barley

Power Grains: Barley, Brown Rice

This simple risottolike side dish benefits from the nutrition of both barley and brown rice. Tender onion and spinach contribute to the sweet flavor, which gets a slight kick from chopped chipotle pepper.

Barley-Butternut Casserole

Power Grain: Barley

Eat colorfully! This vibrant side-dish casserole is brimming with healthy veggies like celery, onion, and butternut squash. The dish gets a bit of its protein (and a good dose of B vitamins) from barley, a whole grain that's high in fiber.

 

 

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

Power Grain: Whole Wheat

No need to feel guilty about digging into this cinnamon-laced pumpkin bread. Every slice is baked with whole wheat flour, which contains more fiber and vitamins than white flour. Use a carton of low-fat yogurt to keep the fall treat perfectly moist.

 

Lebanese Beef and Tabbouleh Salad

Power Grain: Bulgur

Bulgur brings a slew of fiber and good-for-you nutrients to this traditional Middle Eastern salad. Top the tomato-studded grain salad with perfectly seasoned strips of lean steak for a mouthwatering fix of protein.

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Power Grains: Oats, Barley, Wheat Bran

A healthy cookie? Oh, yes! These hearty chocolate chippers pack a slew of nutrient-rich grains, including oats, barley, and whole wheat. Stud the 94-calorie treats with chopped walnuts and tropical shreds of coconut for a crunchy, fruity finish.

Cherry Quinoa Salad

Power Grain: Quinoa

Light and low-cal, this vegetarian salad features a mix of wine-simmered quinoa, sweet cherries, and vitamin-filled veggies. Serve the iron- and protein-rich salad atop cool cucumber ribbons or crisp snap peas.

Toasty Whole Grain Orange Muffins

Power Grains: Oats, Quinoa, Whole Wheat

Feel strong all morning long with a sweet and satisfying citrus muffin. Oats and quinoa help make up an unbeatable batter filled with iron, antioxidants, and magnesium. A smear of orange marmalade gives these hearty muffins a sun-kissed finish.

 

Grain Pancakes with Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce

Power Grains: Oats, Whole Wheat

Curb your morning grumbles with a pretty plate of strawberry-rhubarb pancakes. Rolled oats and wheat pastry flour make a heart-healthy alternative to the boxed stuff. Best of all, you can enjoy two fluffy pancakes for only 200 calories!

 

Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas, Feta, and Mint

Power Grain: Bulgur

Bulgur is a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine that tastes great in just about anything, from cereal to casseroles. Here, we use the lean, chewy grain as a base for this lime-splashed chicken salad. Chopped oranges and red peppers add a healthy pop of color.

 

Farro, Bean, and Sweet Potato Braise

Power Grain: Farro

This slow-cooked braise simmers sweet potatoes, pinto beans, and nutrient-rich greens in a garlicky, lemon-splashed chicken broth. Farro—the star of the dish—offers minerals like magnesium and fiber.

 

Crunchy Grain Cakes with Strawberry Salad

Power Grain: Whole Grain Rice Medley

Use a handful of your favorite whole grain rice to help make up these crunchy cakes. Whether it's long grain or brown rice, there's a delicious fix of protein in every bite. Serve the cakes atop a leafy strawberry salad.

 

Zen Edamame Pilaf

Power Grains: Wheat Berries, Barley

Wheat berries bring a sweet, nutty flavor to this bowl of garlic-and-grain goodness. In addition to barley and wild rice, this 150-calorie bowl also gets its nutrients from fresh peppers and onions, which are full of good-for-you vitamins.

 

Gingered Chicken Meatball Soup with Brown Rice and Basil

Power Grain: Brown Rice

Ginger, red sweet pepper, and green onion add hints of zesty sweetness to these homemade chicken meatballs. Brown rice, like many whole grains, is full of magnesium, which benefits your heart, bones, and muscles.

Editor's Tip: Hate the hassle of taking an hour to cook rice? Make a large batch at one time, then freeze for up to six months.

Stuffed Poblano Chiles with Sausage and Corn

Power Grain: Farro

Sub this ancient grain for rice in stuffed-pepper dishes to add health benefits, slightly nutty flavor, and pleasant chewy texture. In this low-fat party appetizer, roasted poblanos are the perfect vessel for the sausage, corn, bean, and veggie medley.

Quinoa-Nectarine Gazpacho with Crispy Spiced Tortilla Strips

Power Grain: Quinoa

Protein-rich quinoa has nearly twice as much fiber as other grains, earning its rightful superfood status. It adds heartiness to this chilled Spanish-style soup with a bountiful mix of fruits and veggies, such as nectarines, jalapenos, and red onion.

Apple-Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Power Grain: Flaxseed

Don't worry about digging into this gooey pull-apart bread—each serving has fewer than 200 calories and gets a nutritional boost from flaxseed, which is high in fiber, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Editor's Tip: Flaxseed can be stored ground or whole in the freezer for up to one year.

Collard Greens with Lemon, Farro, and Feta

Power Grain: Farro

Boost a typical side salad with lemon- and garlic-infused greens and farro—a high-fiber grain. Creamy feta is the perfect topping for this quick and easy dish.

Apple-Cranberry Crisp

Power Grain: Oats

Crisps aren't just for dessert anymore. Serve this tangy fruit dish with an egg casserole to round out a brunch menu. Keep oats fresh by storing them in a cool, dry pantry for up to six months.

Lentil-Toasted Barley Soup with Sausage

Power Grain: Barley

Toasting the barley before adding it to the soup brings out the sweet, nutty flavor of the high-fiber grain. This hearty soup is loaded with good-for-you veggies and lentils—perfect for a chilly evening.

Tip: Barley can be stored for up to one year if kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place.

Banana-Oat Breakfast Cookie

Power Grain: Oats

Who says oatmeal has to be served in a bowl? These yummy treats freeze easily and thaw quickly for on-the-go mornings. They're also high in soluble fiber to help decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Editor's Tip: Steel-cut oats are toasted oat groats; the kernel is removed from the husk. They usually produce a chewier cooked product.

Zucchini Cupcakes with Greek Yogurt Frosting

Power Grain: Quinoa

Opt for a healthier version of a bakery favorite with these quinoa— yes, quinoa—cupcakes. The cooked seeds add a hearty texture to this healthy sweet. Bonus: Each cupcake is low in fat and has fewer than 200 calories.

Quinoa with Sausage and Peppers

Power Grain: Quinoa

Dish up a jambalaya-inspired recipe with a healthy twist. Quinoa packs the meal with nutrition, and prep is simple with the slow cooker.

Zucchini-Banana Squares

Power Grain: Wheat Germ

When you're in the mood for chocolate brownies, make a pan of these bars instead. They're guilt-free treats to satisfy your sweet, chocolaty desires. Wheat germ is packed with nutrients including vitamins B1 and E, niacin, and folate.

Editor's Tip: Once opened, wheat germ stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to three months.

Barley-Stuffed Peppers

Power Grain: Barley

Red sweet peppers are filled with barley, mushrooms, and other veggies in this low-cal dish that's ready in less than an hour. Pretty enough to serve for company and easy enough for a weeknight dinner, this healthy favorite offers the best of both worlds.

Chunky Minestrone

Power Grain: Brown Rice

Get your veggies and grains together in one bowl with our easy minestrone soup. The brown rice base makes the soup rich in fiber, and navy beans add protein for a complete meal.

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