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Popped Sorghum

Photo: Hélène Dujardin, Styling: Nathan Carrabba
Hands-on time 6 mins
Total time 6 mins

Makes about 1 cup popped sorghum

Sorghum is mild and slightly sweet, like a chewier version of Israeli couscous when cooked. Unless you can find specifically labeled “popping sorghum” you need to go into this exercise with the right expectations. In our testing—using regular whole-grain sorghum—the best results we could get were about 50% of the grains popping. But it is worth it, if you just need a small amount as a crunchy garnish on a soup or salad. Why is it worth it? Because it’s the cutest baby “popcorn” you’ll ever see! And the crunch is heartier than popcorn, the flavor slightly toastier.


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup uncooked sorghum, divided

How to Make It

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat 2 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon oil; swirl to coat. Add half of sorghum; cook about 1 minute or until sorghum popping slows, stirring constantly.

  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking 1 minute or until as much sorghum pops as possible, stirring constantly. (If grains pop out of pan, cover pan and shake it frequently.)

  3. Remove mixture from pan; repeat procedure with remaining oil and sorghum. Discard unpopped kernels, or reserve for another use (they’re crunchy and delicious and, unlike unpopped popcorn, edible).

Cook's Notes

Executive Editor at Cooking Light, Ann Pittman, explores whole grain's all-around awesomeness in her new book, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice. This complete guide to healthy, hearty, and incredibly versatile whole grains includes something for everyone and offers innovative new techniques to ensure the most flavorful results. From simple, delicious sides to satisfying mains and sublime desserts, this James Beard Award-winning author educates, inspires and does not disappoint. Discover a whole new way of looking at whole grains, how they are prepared, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet at every meal.

Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, March, 2016, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice;