6 Delicious Whole-Grain Salads

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Incorporating more whole grains into your diet is a fantastic way to get a healthy boost of dietary fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. And grain salads are an easy, tasty way to enjoy whole grains, and a whole meal, in one bowl!

Here are six delicious grain salads we think you’ll love.

1. Chickpea Couscous Salad (vegan)

Make a filling Mediterranean masterpiece in just 30 minutes with this Chickpea Couscous Salad.  It features whole-wheat couscous, a grain derived from crushed durum wheat semolina. The combination of chickpeas and couscous provides all nine essential amino acids, so this salad offers a complete protein. It’s also a source of heart-healthy fats from extra virgin olive oil and antioxidants from the medley of fresh vegetables, including zucchini, bell pepper, and parsley. This dish is great served warm or chilled, perfect as a side or a main!

  • Healthy Highlights: 14 grams of protein, 14 grams of fiber, 30 percent of your daily vitamin A, 86 percent of your daily vitamin C.
  • See the recipe.

2. Rice & Lentil Salad (vegan)

Brown rice is an easy whole grain to cook with, and it makes a healthy, hearty base for this 15-minute meal. (You can prep a batch of brown rice in advance and keep it in your fridge until you’re ready for it.) This super-easy anytime salad features lentils blended with carrot, parsley, and sherry vinaigrette. It’s a complete plant-based protein source with plenty of protein, fiber, and vitamin A.

  • Healthy Highlights: 8 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, 60 percent of your daily vitamin A.
  • See the recipe.

3. Mediterranean Barley Salad (vegan)

If you’ve never tried whole-grain barley, this is an amazing way to start. In fact, this sweet and savory grain salad recipe accentuates barley’s naturally nutty flavor. When you pair barley, which is high in fiber and protein, with protein-rich garbanzos and heart-healthy walnuts, you get a real nutrition powerhouse. Dates and a dash of cinnamon give the dish a pleasant, surprising hint of sweetness. We recommend chilling the salad for 30 to 60 minutes to give the flavors time to soak into the grains.

  • Healthy Highlights: 14 grams of protein, 16 grams of fiber, 20 percent of your daily vitamin A, 39 percent of your daily vitamin C.
  • See the recipe.

4. Warm Quinoa Salad with Edamame and Tarragon (vegan)

Quinoa is the queen of grains. It’s quick and easy to cook, blends beautifully with other ingredients, and is a powerful source of plant-based protein and essential micronutrients. Try this warm grain salad recipe featuring toasted quinoa for a nuttier flavor profile. This recipe also features protein-packed edamame, lemon zest, and roasted red peppers for a blend of refreshing, energizing flavors.

  • Healthy Highlights: 17 grams of protein, 16 grams of fiber, 20 percent of your daily vitamin A, 20 percent of your daily vitamin C.
  • See the recipe.

5. Cherry, Wild Rice and Quinoa Salad (vegetarian)

Did you know you can mix your grains? Blending grains together is a great way to introduce picky eaters to new grain flavors and textures. This sweet, tangy recipe is great for kids because it mixes whole-grain quinoa and wild rice with sweet cherries and pomegranate vinegar for a fruity kick. You can even dress it up with goat cheese and toasted pecans. And you can prep the grains in advance to save on time.

  • Healthy Highlights: 8 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber.
  • See the recipe.

6. Roasted Fennel and Farro Salad (vegan)

Farro is an ancient grain with a nutty flavor and chewy texture that makes it perfect for grain salads. (If you purchase whole-grain farro, you may need to soak it overnight prior to cooking, so make sure you read the cooking instructions in advance.) This easy, savory grain salad can be served cold, warm or at room temperature. In addition to being a good source of fiber and protein, it’s high in vitamin C thanks to the roasted fennel and bell peppers.

  • Healthy Highlights: 5 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 138 percent of your daily vitamin C.
  • See the recipe.


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