Freekeh with Grilled Vegetables (Frikeh bel Khodra)


Soaking the freekeh and cooking it with caramelized onions results in an almost risotto-like texture. Grill up your favorite vegetables in place of the zucchini, carrots and scallions, if you like--or skip the vegetables altogether and serve it as a simple whole-grain side. It's really that good on its own.

Prep Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
8 servings


  • 3 tablespoons corn oil

  • 2 pounds onions, finely chopped

  • 1 ¼ cups cracked freekeh (see Tip)

  • 3 cups water, plus more for soaking

  • 1 ⅛ teaspoons salt, divided

  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally (1/2 inch thick)

  • 2 large carrots, sliced diagonally (1/2 inch thick)

  • 8 scallions, trimmed

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper


  1. Heat corn oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, and reducing the heat if necessary, until very golden brown and almost like a paste, 40 to 45 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, place freekeh in a large bowl and cover with water by 2 inches. Soak, skimming any that floats to the top, for 40 minutes. Drain well.

  3. Add the drained freekeh to the caramelized onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is just starting to stick to the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 3 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Cook until the water has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium-high.

  5. Toss zucchini, carrots and scallions with olive oil, pepper and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Grill the vegetables, turning once, until tender, about 3 minutes for the scallions, 6 to 8 minutes for the zucchini and 15 minutes for the carrots.

  6. Transfer the freekeh to a serving dish. Serve topped with the vegetables.


Tip: Cracked Freekeh: Made from young green wheat that's been roasted and cracked, this whole grain has a toasty, nutty flavor. Use it up: Use it like you would rice for fried freekeh instead.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

249 Calories
10g Fat
35g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 249
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 7g 14%
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Vitamin A 3301IU 66%
Vitamin C 24mg 27%
Folate 49mcg 12%
Sodium 354mg 15%
Calcium 68mg 5%
Iron 2mg 11%
Magnesium 54mg 13%
Potassium 435mg 9%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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