29 Whole-Grain Salads

Make whole-grain salads in advance, chill, and enjoy for easy, quick-to-serve lunches and dinners.

Bulgur Salad with Edamame and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Healthy, Hearty Whole-Grain Salads

With their nutty taste, mild flavor, and irresistible chewy texture, whole grains are a fitting canvas for salads because they harmonize with the bright, fresh flavors we enjoy most.

Start with recipes with lots of herbs and vegetables, like this bulgur salad, as a basis for customizing your own grain salad. Stir in leftover chicken or shrimp to vary the flavor if you prefer.

View Recipe: Bulgur Salad with Edamame and Cherry Tomatoes

Colorful Quick Quinoa Grecian Salad

Photo: Howard Puckett

Colorful Quick Quinoa Grecian Salad

Featuring peak summer produce and protein-rich quinoa, this colorful recipe was a finalist from our Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest. Save leftovers to serve for lunch throughout the week.

View Recipe: Colorful Quick Quinoa Grecian Salad

Healthy Cracked Wheat Salad with Nectarines, Parsley, and Pistachios Recipes

Photo: Gentl & Hyers

Cracked Wheat Salad with Nectarines, Parsley, and Pistachios

Great with grilled chicken, lamb, or salmon, this side-dish salad also packs well for a picnic. Almost any fruit would work well in place of nectarines–try apricots, peaches, or figs.

View Recipe: Cracked Wheat Salad with Nectarines, Parsley, and Pistachios

Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts

Dark sesame oil and chopped fresh cilantro lends Asian flair to this delicious rice salad. Cook the brown rice in plenty of water so it won't be sticky.

View Recipe: Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts

Beet, Blood Orange, Kumquat, and Quinoa Salad Recipe

Photo: Anna Williams

Beet, Blood Orange, Kumquat, and Quinoa Salad

Blood orange and kumquats work in perfect harmony with quinoa. Beets, avocado, and fresh cilantro add an extra dosage of flavors and textures to this citrusy salad.

View Recipe: Beet, Blood Orange, Kumquat, and Quinoa Salad

Tart & Tangy Bulgur Salad Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Tart & Tangy Bulgur Salad

Reader Mary Beth Howard created this top-rated recipe in the midst of updating her cooking style to include healthier ingredients. Sliced olives and fresh lime juice provide this grain salad its namesake flavors.

View Recipe: Tart & Tangy Bulgur Salad

Mediterranean Couscous Recipe

Photo: Jan Smith

Mediterranean Couscous

Quick-cooking couscous is now even better since it's available in a whole wheat version. Fresh sage gives this side dish an earthy taste and aroma. You can use other fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, or mint instead. To make this an entrée, add a little feta cheese, water-packed tuna, or shredded cooked chicken.

View Recipe: Mediterranean Couscous

Wheat Berry Salad with Raisins and Pistachios Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Wheat Berry Salad with Raisins and Pistachios

Whole-grain wheat berries are chewy, mild, and packed with healthy fiber. Dressing the hot wheat berries in a homemade spicy-sweet vinaigrette and letting stand for 20 minutes infuses them with intense flavor.

View Recipe: Wheat Berry Salad with Raisins and Pistachios

Millet Salad with Sweet Corn and Avocado Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Millet Salad with Sweet Corn and Avocado

Millet is a popular grain in Asia and Africa in which pan roasting brings out its nutty character. This is a great make-ahead recipe since the millet will continue to absorb flavor as it sits. However if you make this salad a day ahead, stir in the avocado just before serving.

View Recipe: Millet Salad with Sweet Corn and Avocado

Toasted Barley, Green Bean, and Shiitake Salad with Tofu Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Toasted Barley, Green Bean, and Shiitake Salad with Tofu

Toasting the barley before it boils brings out nutty flavor. Be sure to also press and drain the tofu in order to help it take on flavors more readily and improve its cooked texture.

View Recipe: Toasted Barley, Green Bean, and Shiitake Salad with Tofu

Southwestern Confetti Salad Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Southwestern Confetti Salad

A plethora of summer vegetables gives this healthy brown rice salad fresh flavor.

View Recipe: Southwestern Confetti Salad

Spelt Salad with Fava Beans Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Spelt Salad with Fava Beans

Fresh favas are an early-summer treat that disappear pretty quickly. Take advantage with this hearty salad that packs in all sorts of nutritious elements―from the whole-grain power of spelt to vitamin-rich dried currants and tomatoes.

View Recipe: Spelt Salad with Fava Beans

Rye Berry Salad with Orange Vinaigrette Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Rye Berry Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Make this salad with any whole grain, including wheat berries or barley. Vary the chopped vegetables too, if you like. But don't change one iota of the simply luscious vinaigrette made with orange juice and champagne vinegar; it makes this salad burst with flavor.

View Recipe: Rye Berry Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Summer Barley Salad Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Summer Barley Salad

Serve this colorful, budget-friendly summer salad with buttery lemon green beans. A sprinkle of feta cheese at the end adds salty, tangy flavor.

View Recipe: Summer Barley Salad

Nomad Salad Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Nomad Salad

Dried fruit and chickpeas turn a traditional summer tabbouleh into a salad meal. Additionally, a generous serving has about 15 grams of fiber—more than half of your daily requirement.

View Recipe: Nomad Salad

Black Bean-Quinoa Salad with Basil-Lemon Dressing

Black Bean-Quinoa Salad with Basil-Lemon Dressing

Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain. Edamame makes a tasty substitute for lima beans in this recipe. For an attractive presentation, serve the salad on a bed of baby greens or spinach.

View Recipe:  Black Bean-Quinoa Salad with Basil-Lemon Dressing  

Bulgur, Mint, and Parsley Salad

Bulgur, Mint, and Parsley Salad

Light, herby, and vibrantly flavored, this salad makes a fine addition to a meze spread. Make up to two hours ahead so tastes can meld.

View Recipe: Bulgur, Mint, and Parsley Salad  

Curried Quinoa Salad with Cucumber-Mint Raita

Curried Quinoa Salad with Cucumber-Mint Raita

This Indian-inspired dish features quinoa, a high-protein grain that cooks relatively quickly. We like the heat that Madras curry powder brings, but use regular curry powder if you prefer.

View Recipe: Curried Quinoa Salad with Cucumber-Mint Raita

Farro Salad with Roasted Beets, Watercress, and Poppy Seed Dressing

Farro Salad with Roasted Beets, Watercress, and Poppy Seed Dressing  

Farro is an ancient grain from Tuscany available at Mediterranean and specialty foods stores. Substitute wheat berries or spelt, but cook them a little longer than the farro.

View Recipe: Farro Salad with Roasted Beets, Watercress, and Poppy Seed Dressing  

 

Mediterranean Barley Salad

Mediterranean Barley Salad

This is a nice side dish with roast chicken or pork. Save leftovers for lunch; with pearl barley and beans, it’s hearty and filling, perfect for a take-along meal.

View Recipe: Mediterranean Barley Salad  

 

Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley

Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley

This whole-grain dish is filling and loaded with fresh herbs and savory artichoke.

View Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley

 

Spicy Southwestern Tabbouleh

Spicy Southwestern Tabbouleh

Inspired by friends who adore Mexican flavors, Christine Datian decided to reinvent traditional Middle Eastern tabbouleh with Southwestern spices. After substituting cilantro for parsley and adding peppers, cumin, and chili powder, she knew she had a unique dish that was quick and easy to throw together. "If you're working, you can do a lot of prep before, when you do have time," she says. Datian recommends buying prechopped vegetables from the grocery store for a fast weeknight meal. If necessary, you can even soak the bulgur overnight.

View Recipe: Spicy Southwestern Tabbouleh

Summer Pea, Watermelon, and Farro Salad

Summer Pea, Watermelon, and Farro Salad

This unusual yet delicious combination of flavors makes a good substitute for traditional pasta salad at your next cookout.

View Recipe: Summer Pea, Watermelon, and Farro Salad  

Wheat Berry Salad with Goat Cheese

Wheat Berry Salad with Goat Cheese

Taking a cue from traditional tabbouleh, this dish uses lots of peak-season vegetables, tart lemon juice, and pungent fresh herbs. Serve with toasted pita wedges.

View Recipe: Wheat Berry Salad with Goat Cheese

Greek Chicken and Barley Salad

Greek Chicken and Barley Salad  

Dress up a Greek salad by adding barley to the cucumber, tomato, feta, and kalamata olives. The addition of chicken makes this a one-dish meal that’s high in fiber and also a source of vitamins A and C.

View Recipe: Greek Chicken and Barley Salad  

 

Quinoa and Pistachio Salad with Moroccan Pesto

Quinoa and Pistachio Salad with Moroccan Pesto

Quinoa [KEEN-wah] is a quick-cooking whole grain, supplying protein, iron, and vitamin E. Pair this side dish with simple grilled chicken or fish. For a vegetarian entrée option, use organic vegetable broth and add one (15 1/2-ounce) can of rinsed, drained chickpeas to ramp up the protein.

View Recipe: Quinoa and Pistachio Salad with Moroccan Pesto  

 

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Dates and Orange

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Dates, and Orange

This side-dish salad combines several influences: The dates and orange are an Israeli touch; the pecans pay homage to the American South; and the quinoa is a high-protein grain from South America.

View Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Dates, and Orange  

Farro Salad with Creamy Feta

Photo: Johnny Autry

Farro Salad with Creamy Feta

Good news, whole-grain shoppers! Precooked farro is popping up in both the grain aisle and the frozen-foods section of many supermarkets. Alternatively, you can cook up a batch of unpearled farro in about 45 minutes— it keeps, refrigerated, for up to 1 week and freezes beautifully.

View Recipe: Farro Salad with Creamy Feta

Smoked Salmon and Wheat Berry Salad

Photo: Rob Culpepper

Smoked Salmon and Wheat Berry Salad

This salad is all about crunch, with toasted walnuts, crisp apple, and celery. Look for wheat berries in the grain or bulk section of your supermarket. Save your celery leaves for a beautiful and delicious garnish.

View Recipe: Smoked Salmon and Wheat Berry Salad

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