Even when I don't have a plan (which is most of the time, these days) there are certain things I always make during my meal prep sessions. At the top of that list? A pot or rice of grains. It's a blank canvas that can be easily turned into a wide variety of meals during the week. Most recipes specifically call for things like brown rice, quinoa, farro, or bulgur to name a few, but the truth is that grains can almost always be used interchangeably. It will sometimes result in a different texture, but I think that's one way to keep tried-and-true recipes interesting.
No matter what kind of grains you cooked up, here are 20 delicious ways to turn them into breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Cooking rice and grains with water rather than broth gives you the flexibility to use them as a base for a breakfast bowl that can be sweet or savory. Take inspiration from your favorite oatmeal combinations and toppings to create a breakfast bowl with any kind of grains.
- Breakfast Grain Salad with Blueberries, Hazelnuts & Lemon
- How To Make a Hearty Breakfast Fruit Salad
- Breakfast Fried Rice
- Southwest Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- Breakfast Barley Bowl with Mango, Coconut, and Banana
Starting with a rice or whole-grain base, Buddha bowls are typically topped with a meaty (or meat-free) protein and a mess of cooked or raw veggies, and finished with a sauce.
- Spicy Thai Chicken and Brown Rice Bowls
- Moroccan-Spiced Chickpea Bowls
- Greek Chicken Grain Bowls
- Brown Rice Bowl with Lentils, Caramelized Onions & Fried Egg
- Vegan Sushi Rice Bowls
- Roasted Eggplant and Brown Rice Bowl with Turmeric Tahini
Anything goes with grain salads. They're a terrific way to use up all those veggies you picked up at the farmers market and those wilting stragglers in the crisper. Best of all, they require more inspiration than set recipes. This lineup is a good place to get started.
- Grain Salad with Tomatoes, Corn and Basil
- Farro Salad with Arugula, Radishes & Goat Cheese
- Warm Beet and Farro Salad
- Mediterranean Freekeh Salad with Collard Greens and Chickpeas
Casseroles and Soup
Heartier grains, like wild and brown rice, farro, and quinoa, are a top pick for casseroles since they're less prone to becoming mushy. Rice and grains are also an easy way to bulk up a pot of soup. Since they're already cooked, just stir them into the soup right before serving.