Healthy Grain Side Dish Recipes

Find healthy, delicious side dish recipes with grains. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Easy Brown Rice

Rating: 4 stars
4
Here's the only recipe you need to make perfect brown rice every time! This healthy whole grain is great on its own as a side dish, or use it in your favorite recipes calling for cooked brown rice.

Basic Quinoa

This foolproof recipe for perfectly cooked quinoa is fast and easy! Use cooked quinoa as a simple healthy side dish, in a salad or as a base for a delicious main dish.

Wild Rice Stuffing with Apple & Sausage

Rating: 5 stars
2
This amazing wild-rice stuffing recipe is bursting with rustic fall flavors, including rye bread, sausage, apples, dried cherries, pecans and fresh herbs.

Zucchini Rice Casserole

Rating: 4.59 stars
56
We pack extra vegetables into this cheesy baked rice casserole. Plus we substitute brown rice for white, reduce the cheese by half and swap turkey sausage for pork sausage. If you're bringing it to a potluck, plan to reheat it before serving.

Cooked Wheat Berries

Rating: 4.14 stars
7
Contrary to popular belief, wheat berries do not require an overnight soak before cooking. Simply boil them for 1 hour to soften the kernels, which will produce their characteristically chewy texture.

Black Sticky Rice

Black sticky rice, a delicious whole-grain alternative to white rice, is purplish black in color and has a chewy texture. This recipe gives you a simple method for how to make black sticky rice. Look for it in natural-foods stores in the bulk department or with other whole-grain rice.

Baked Rice with Roasted Corn, Peppers & Onions

This filling rice casserole, loosely based on paella, features seared corn, roasted peppers, garlic and red onions. If you like, include diced zucchini or chopped green beans as well. A flavorful roasted garlic mayonnaise makes a luxurious topping.

Easy Fried Rice

Mixed frozen vegetables make this healthy fried rice recipe quick, easy and economical. If you don't have leftover cooked rice on hand, be sure to thoroughly cool your rice before adding it to the wok--if it's too warm, it creates too much steam and sticks to the wok. To quickly cool warm rice, spread out on a large baking sheet and refrigerate while you prep the rest of your ingredients, about 15 minutes.

Chicken, Mushroom & Wild Rice Casserole

Rating: 3.44 stars
32
In Minnesota, chicken, mushrooms and wild rice are often bound together in a casserole with cream of mushroom soup. We forgo the sodium-rich canned soup and make a light, creamy sauce that gets depth of flavor from dry sherry and Parmesan cheese. If you already have cooked chicken, use 4 cups and skip Step 2.

Basic Risotto

Rating: 4.63 stars
8
Slowly adding hot broth to arborio rice helps release the starch from the rice, giving risotto its characteristic silky, creamy texture. We add a splash of wine along with each addition of broth to give the dish a more pronounced wine flavor. If you'd prefer the wine to be more subtle, add the entire cup at the end of Step 2 and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed, then begin adding the broth. If you prefer to omit wine, use more broth in its place.

Sweet Corn Polenta with Bell Pepper & Tomato Salad

Serve this simple vegetarian side dish warm or room temperature alongside grilled meats and a stacked summer salad. A flash under the broiler leaves these slices of corn-studded polenta golden on the outside and soft on the inside; an herby, smoky tomato-pepper salad acts like a salsa to be spooned over the top.

Coconut Brown Rice

The secret to the maxed-out flavor of this coconut brown rice dish? Coconut in three forms—milk, oil and shredded.
By Adam Dolge
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Inspiration and Ideas

Side Dish Recipes for Whole Grains
Our whole grain side dishes feature hearty whole grains like barley, quinoa and bulgur. Whole grains are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients and are also rich in carbohydrates, the body's main fuel supply. Research shows that filling up on high-fiber foods may help you prevent weight gain—or even encourage weight loss. You'll feel full longer with these delicious and healthy side dish recipes featuring whole grains.
Nina's Mexican Rice
Rating: Unrated
14
The key to nutty and flavorful Mexican rice is cooking the rice first in oil until it is nicely golden.

Fresh Herb & Lemon Bulgur Pilaf

Rating: 4.8 stars
5

This pilaf, made with nutty bulgur, gets plenty of bright flavor from fresh dill, mint, parsley, ginger and lemon.