Simple Whole-Grain Side Dish Recipes for Rice, Quinoa and More

Ideas for how to flavor rice, how to flavor quinoa and flavoring ideas for how to make a whole grain pilaf.

Whole-grain side dishes are a delicious addition to a healthy meal. Whole grains are easy to cook and many—such as bulgur, couscous,grits, polenta and quinoa—are ready in less than 20 minutes. Add flavor to your cooked whole grain side dishes with these 10 ideas for flavoring whole grains. Combine the flavoring combinations on the pages that follow with 2-4 cups of cooked grains for a delicious whole grain side dish.

EatingWell Editors

Watch: See more healthy whole grain recipes


Apricot Nut

Apricot Nut

1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, pecans or pistachios)
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


Lime-Cilantro

Lime-Cilantro

2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons lime juice
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


Mediterranean

Mediterranean

1 chopped medium tomato
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


Mint & Feta

Mint & Feta

3/4 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup sliced fresh mint
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan & Balsamic

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon butter
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


Parmesan-Dill

Parmesan-Dill

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


Peas & Lemon

Peas & Lemon

1 cup frozen peas; cover and let stand for 5 minutes
Stir in
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


Spicy & Sweet Sesame-Soy

Spicy & Sweet Sesame-Soy

3 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup chopped toasted cashews


Spinach

Spinach

3 cups sliced baby spinach (or arugula); cover and let stand for 5 minutes
Season with salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


Tarragon

Tomato-Tarragon

3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon (or parsley or thyme)
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste