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Recipe | Lemony Wheat Berries with Roasted Brussels Sprouts (+ Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Wheat Berries!)

Lemony Wheat Berries with Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Lemony Wheat Berries with Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Did you make any food-related resolutions for 2013?

I don’t have resolutions, I have goals. (I like to pretend there’s a difference and that somehow, goals are much more achievable.) I want to eat less sugar. I’m trying to eat more fruit–I’ve always liked veggies more than fruit and sometimes it’s a struggle to get myself to eat it. (Unless it’s in pie form. But I’m cutting down on sugar, remember?) And I want to eat more grains.

Yes, grains! Delicious, nutritious whole grains. So you might see some more grains around here this year. And if you don’t see more grains around here, it means that I’m a big failure. I guess grains aren’t the most exciting thing to see on a food blog, are they? I mean, if I told you that you’d be seeing more Rolos on Oh My Veggies this year, you’d probably be pretty jazzed. But instead, I’m telling you to be on the lookout for… bulgur! Barley! Wheat Berries! Ooooh.

Wheat Berries

Okay, so what are wheat berries?

I discovered wheat berries by accident last year. I needed farro for a recipe and it was crazy expensive. Sitting next to the farro were bags of wheat berries–much cheaper. So I figured, “These look almost the same. Let’s go with wheat berries!” And guess what? They are pretty similar and I’ve used wheat berries in place of farro in a few recipes.

Wheat berries are the little kernels that grow on wheat plants. When they’re milled, they make flour. But they can also be eaten whole, similar to rice, quinoa, and other grains. They’re high in fiber and also protein and iron, which makes them very vegetarian-friendly!

What do wheat berries taste like?

They have a whole wheat-y taste–a little bit nutty and earthy. If you like other whole grains, you will probably enjoy wheat berries. But more than the taste, my favorite thing about wheat berries is the texture. They’re chewy! (Unless you overcook them. Don’t do that!)

How do you cook wheat berries?

My package of wheat berries says to soak them overnight, but I found out by accident (and then confirmed online) that that’s not necessary. To make 4 servings, combine a cup of wheat berries with 3 cups of water, stock, or broth (I really like cooking wheat berries in broth!) in a large pot, bring it to a boil, reduce heat to low and then simmer covered for about 50 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Shallots & Walnuts

What can you do with wheat berries?

You can add them to salads or soups! Use them instead of rice or other grains! They’re great when tossed with a simple vinaigrette, salt and pepper, and roasted vegetables. Just about any vegetable will work, so this is a great way to use what’s in season.

In this recipe, I’ve roasted Brussels sprouts with shallots and walnuts and added them to a batch of wheat berries. I used a light lemon vinaigrette, but one made with vinegar and oil would work just as well. You can serve this as a side dish, but it’s also filling enough that it can be served as a healthy meal.

So are we excited about whole grains in 2013?! (I’ll pretend you said yes!)

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Lemony Wheat Berries with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Lemony Wheat Berries with Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

A delicious way to eat whole grains! Wheat berries tossed with roasted brussels sprouts, shallots, walnuts and a lemon vinaigrette.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 as main dish, 6 as side dish

Ingredients

  • 1 c. red wheat berries
  • 3 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 c. walnut pieces
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • salt + pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine wheat berries and vegetable broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until tender, about 50 minutes. Drain off excess liquid. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. While wheat berries are cooking, start Brussels sprouts. Toss Brussels sprouts, shallots, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned, stirring halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and stir in walnut pieces (they will toast on the hot baking sheet!).
  4. Whisk together lemon juice, zest, remaining oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add wheat berries and roasted vegetables; toss to combine, then serve.

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106 Comments

  • Reply
    Lynn
    January 6, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Tried this twice including for thanksgiving this year. I decided to contribute only veggie dishes this year to the family thanksgiving meal. I absolutely love this recipe and prefer the nutty earthy flavor over farro or even quinoa. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    Shana
    February 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    To be honest, I was skeptical about this one…but I love roasted brussels sprouts. So glad I tried it! This was sooooooo delicious!! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      February 5, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      Ha! Well, I’m glad it was a good surprise and not a bad one. πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Traci
    February 18, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    This is so amazingly delicious! Keep in mind, folks, there are no herbs or spices in this recipe (well, s&p, of course), but you will be blown away by the brilliant blend of flavors in every bite. My husband gives this a 12 out of 10. Not sure how I can beat that. Thanks for a wonderful addition to my recipe repertoire!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      February 19, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      Woo hoo! Thanks so much for your comment–I’m happy to hear you and your husband enjoyed the recipe!

  • Reply
    Sun
    March 8, 2014 at 9:36 am

    As I sit here eating the leftovers for breakfast, I had to comment. This recipe was so delicious. My entire family, a 9 year old and 6 year old included, loved this salad. I did add some feta to mine because I can never say no to cheese ;-P

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 9, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that! It’s always a little victory when you get kids to eat Brussels sprouts. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Aly
    March 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Loved this recipe! Made it for my husband and we devoured it. Simple yet such good flavors. Will definitely be adding this to our meal rotation.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 17, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Thank you for your comment–I’m happy to hear the recipe was a hit!

  • Reply
    Robin
    December 11, 2014 at 6:19 am

    I found your recipe for wheat berries and loved the recipes. I was searching for wheat berry recipes after reading the book “Healing with Whole Foods” by Pitchford. The book teaches that before milling, the berries are a great source of selenium and magnesium and in whole food form gluten is not a problem. (pg 8-9). The book also explains why we need to use Brown Rice as a source of vitamins and minerals. It has made me really start to change my diet, and thank you for the recipes.

  • Reply
    Cecilia
    July 6, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    This recipe was absolutely delicious and simple to make. I did not have wheat berry, so I improvised with barley. It turned out great! Thank you.

  • Reply
    Jillian
    July 31, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Are you able to tell me where I may purchase wheatberries please?

    • Reply
      Dana Raidt
      August 2, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      Hi Jillian, Wheatberries are often available in the natural foods or grain aisles of the supermarket – sometimes you can find them in bulk at natural foods stores. Or you can get them via online retailers like Amazon. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Jen Salt
    January 4, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Just made this for dinner and it was awesome! I added some pomegranate seeds for a little more color (and because I had a half of one I needed to use up!). I had wheat berries that were pre-steamed so they only took 15 minutes to cook, making this a very quick meal. Not sure how that changes the nutrition of them, but tasted great!

  • Reply
    Trish
    May 10, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    I bought some wheat berries a couple of months back because I’d never had them before and I’m always on the lookout for something new. They stayed in my cupboard until today when I decided to do something with them. I found this recipe and WOW! This was so amazing and flavorful! When I’d told my husband earlier in the day what I was going to cook for dinner he seemed disinterested and was asking if there was going to be anything else with it. I did add some roasted asparagus as well as they looked super nice at the store today. My husband and I loved this dish immensely. He asked to have it again in the near future. Thank you for such a simple, flavorful, and healthy meal! Phenomenal …

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      May 10, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment! Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best, aren’t they? πŸ™‚ And the best thing about this is that you can switch out the Brussels sprouts with whatever is in season!

  • Reply
    Nandi Claasen
    May 13, 2017 at 11:55 am

    I did say yes!!! I love wheat berries but never know what to do with them. This is such a tasty idea – and so versatile! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    January 11, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Love wheat berries and brussels sprouts. Great combo!! What would you serve with this??

    • Reply
      Katie Trant
      January 17, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Hi Jessica, this would be great with some protein on the side, like some baked tofu for example.

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