Entrees/ Guides/ Recipes/ Sides/ Tips & Hints/ Vegan/ vegan recipes/ vegetarian recipes

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 this year?

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 four servings, combine a cup of wheat berries with three 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 brussel 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 this year?! (I’ll pretend you said yes!)

Print

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 cup red wheat berries
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 lb brussel sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • salt and 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°F.
  3. While wheat berries are cooking, start brussel sprouts. Toss brussel 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.

You Might Also Like

106 Comments

  • Reply
    Samantha
    January 3, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Resolutions just always make me feel bad about myself when I don’t do them so I like your idea about having goals instead. I don’t bother to make out lists of resolutions, it is just too much pressure!!!! I’ve never even heard of wheat berries! I’ll have to keep my eye out for them.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      I make a big list of goals at the beginning of the year now. It feels so cheesy, like something a motivational speaker in a track suit would tell you to do. But I swear, it works!

  • Reply
    Jackie @ The Beeroness
    January 3, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I’ve never had wheat berries, and this makes me want to run right out and find some. And I love the roasted brussels sprouts.

  • Reply
    Jenn
    January 3, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I have got to try roasted brussels sprouts. They must be tasty since recipes are popping up everywhere. Not a fan of the boiled or steamed variety though. Bleck.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Oh, they are horrid when you boil or steam them. I always thought I hated brussels sprouts because that was the only way I had them. They’re better sauteed, but best when roasted. Especially when you combine them with something a little sweet like maple syrup or apples.

  • Reply
    Ashley - baker by nature
    January 3, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I too have never had wheat berries, but I’ve been seeing them more and more and I’m so happy you explained them in such detail! I’ll definitely be swiping a bag up very soon and trying this out! Happy new year!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      I hope you like the recipe! And Happy New Year to you too!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Ninja
    January 3, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I knew nothing about wheatberries, so thanks for the primer — I’m going to try them!

  • Reply
    Lysa
    January 3, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I never had wheat berries before but I love when grains have a nutty/earthy taste, so I might just love this grain! Your recipe looks delicious:)

  • Reply
    Holly
    January 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    More grains is a good goal. I’m sure I’ll appreciate your posts with grains this year as I have a lot to learn– I’ve never thought to buy wheat berries but the next time I spot them at the store they will be in my grocery bag. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      Woo hoo! I hope you like them. Otherwise I’ll feel bad for recommending them. 😉

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board
    January 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I like the idea of goals instead of resolutions too .. It’s easier to strive to attain goals than absolutely resolve to do something that you probably can’t do. I also like your goal of eating more whole grains, I need to do that too – I’m always scared of the cooking time but making a bit batch would be worth it!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      Yeah, I think a lot of grains freeze really well once they’re cooked too!

  • Reply
    Jad @ New South
    January 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Never tried wheat berries but I’m sure they taste amazing with roasted brussel sprouts.

  • Reply
    Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today
    January 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    My NY resolution is to eat less meat and to learn how to substitute it well. Yummy proposition. I’m a fan of brussels, so it’s something for me.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Good luck with your resolution! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly Stilwell
    January 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    This looks so good. I keep reading about roasting brussel sprouts. Have to try!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      They are SO good when you roast them! Otherwise: blech. 😛

  • Reply
    Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up
    January 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Like many others, I have never tried wheat berries. I am a huge fan of grains since they are high in fiber. I am going to have to find some of these and try them.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      I hope you can find them! I was surprised to find them in our (relatively small town) supermarket.

  • Reply
    a farmer in the dell
    January 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I’m with you on the resolutions. I like the word “goal” better anyway. Resolutions are just a recipe for disaster in my book. I am glad you are going to be cooking more grains. I LOVE grains. This recipe sounds fantastic and I’m going to give it a whirl this weekend. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      Yeah, I feel like grains don’t get a lot of love lately–so many people are looking to cut them out of their diets. But they are one of my favorite food groups!

  • Reply
    Vicki Bensinger
    January 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    I love Wheat Berries and cook with them as often as I can. I too love the crunch and nutty taste that they add to dishes. I cook mine in my rice cooker – it cuts the cooking time by more than 1/2. Try it you’ll love it.

    Nice recipe and beautiful blog. Glad I stopped by.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      Gah, I don’t have a rice cooker! That is on my list of appliances to get this year–it’s one of the few things I don’t have in my kitchen. Reducing cooking time is always a good thing–thanks for the tip!

  • Reply
    Aleks
    January 3, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I love that! And I love that kind of groats!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    January 3, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I love wheat berries! Yours with roasted brussels sprouts looks wholesome!

  • Reply
    Cassie | Bake Your Day
    January 3, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I love grains and I’m so happy to read this – wheat berries are new to me but I already know I’ll love them. I love this recipe!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      You should try them! And if you don’t like them, hey, you can grind them up into flour for baking!

  • Reply
    Kare @ Kitchen Treaty
    January 3, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Well I AM excited about more grain posts, and that’s the honest truth! Especially if they’re anything like this one. Yum.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Woo hoo! Someone else is excited about grains!

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    January 4, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Well, first of all, I did not know there was such a thing as wheat berries. This is a very educational post and the recipe just sounds so good. Thanks for a new “hunting assignment” in the grocery store.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      I just discovered them too! There are so many grains I’ve never tried or only made a few times, so I want to tackle them all this year. We’ll see if I actually do it or if I forget about it in a few weeks. 🙂

  • Reply
    Robin (Masshole Mommy)
    January 4, 2013 at 6:40 am

    I tried wheat berries for the first time on Christmas eve. My SIL is a vegan, so she brought a wheat berry salad for dinner. They kind of grossed me out because they were MUCH chewier than I expected and I just couldn’t get past the weirdness of that.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Ha! Yeah, a lot of people have texture issues with food and I think this could be a trigger. 😉

  • Reply
    Sarah
    January 4, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    wheat berries look and sound delicious! I’ll have to try it this year. I know what you mean by goals vs. resolutions.

  • Reply
    Ruta
    January 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I’ve just discovered wheat berries recently and they are AWESOME. One of my favorite grains! I also happen to adore brussel sprouts, so this recipe is pretty perfect. It’s definitely something I hope to be making,

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Aren’t they!? I think they’re one of my favorite whole grains too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    January 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Yum! How have I forgotten about wheat berries for so long? They are so good! I love how chewy they are. I’ve never had farro so I don’t know how different in taste they are… But I really love wheat berries. I have to start using them more often. Roasted brussels sprouts are the best too so this dish looks great!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      I tried to research to figure out how farro is related to wheat berries and I could not find an answer! Some sites say that farro IS wheat berries, while others say it’s something different. They’re definitely interchangeable, but I think farro is a little bit smaller than wheat berries…

  • Reply
    titch wardall
    January 5, 2013 at 5:34 am

    This looks gorgeous-controversially LOVE brussels sprouts and this is such a good idea how to serve them. Always know I can find yum recipes on your blog-loving your work!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm

      I love brussels sprouts too! I’m convinced that people who hate them just haven’t had them prepared the right way. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    January 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    I didn’t know you could eat the wheat berries whole. I’ve only heard about them in relation to making flour. I love the idea of using them as a whole grain – I’ve been looking for something to change up our grains especially since my husband is anti-quinoa.

  • 1 2 3

    Leave a Reply

    Oh My Veggies