11 Protein-Packed Grain Bowl Recipes

Want to eat clean the easy way? This is the secret to making power meals in a a flash.

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Grain bowl recipes

The recent meal-in-a-bowl foodie trend is here to stay. If you love the ease of assembling salads but are craving something a little heartier, grain bowls are for you. By combining a grain, protein, fresh produce, and nuts or seeds for crunch, these recipes are packed with nutritious ingredients that will keep you feeling full for hours. The best part? They’re super-easy to prep ahead of time: You can get a head start on dinner by cooking the grains (quinoa, rice, bulgur wheat, and more) up to three days in advance. Let cool, then place in a container, cover, and refrigerate.

RELATED: 16 Creative Quinoa Recipes

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Crispy Farro and Shrimp Stir-Fry

Try this recipeCrispy Farro and Shrimp Stir-Fry

Farro is an ancient form of wheat that fed Roman soldiers. It’s packed with fiber, protein, and iron.

Ingredients: Farro, low-sodium soy sauce, honey, unseasoned rice vinegar, cornstarch, minced garlic, grapeseed oil, broccoli florets, orange bell pepper, red onion, shrimp, scallions

Calories: 399


3 of 12 Jennifer Causey, Food Styling: Chelesa Zimmer, Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro

Warm Quinoa With Wilted Kale and Avocado

Try this recipeWarm Quinoa With Wilted Kale and Avocado

Fuel up! Quinoa—technically a seed, not a grain—is one of very few plants that are complete proteins.

Ingredients: Balsamic vinegar, low-sodium vegetable broth, kosher salt, black pepper, quinoa, grapeseed oil, cherry tomatoes, lacinto kale, almonds, goat cheese, avocado

Calories: 414


4 of 12 Jennifer Causey, Food Styling: Chelesa Zimmer, Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro

Wild and Brown Rice With Pork and Apple

Try this recipeWild and Brown Rice With Pork and Apple

It’s time to rethink rice. Wild rice, a semi-aquatic grass, is rich in antioxidants and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.

Ingredients: Whole-grain brown and wild rice mix, kosher salt, black pepper, pork tenderloin, grapeseed oil, cremini mushrooms, green apple, fresh sage, baby spinach, walnuts, cider vinegar

Calories: 236

5 of 12 Jennifer Causey, Food Styling: Chelesa Zimmer, Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro

Lemony Tabbouleh With Rotisserie Chicken

Try this recipeLemony Tabbouleh With Rotisserie Chicken

Feel free to swap in smoked wild salmon or trout for the chicken if you prefer.

Ingredients: Bulgur wheat, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, black pepper, kosher salt, tomato, English cucumber, fresh flat-leaf parsley, scallions, fresh mint, chicken breasts, pine nuts

Calories: 329

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Creamy Polenta with Ratatouille

Try this recipeCreamy Polenta with Ratatouille

Nutrition-rich polenta is a dish made from coarsely ground cornmeal, aka grits.

Ingredients: Whole milk, low-sodium chicken broth, kosher salt, black pepper, stone-ground grits, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, shallots, zucchini, eggplant, chickpeas, tomatoes

Calories: 373

7 of 12 Jennifer Causey, Food Styling: Chelesa Zimmer, Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro

Tropical Breakfast Bowl

Try this recipeTropical Breakfast Bowl

Grain bowls don’t have to be savory! This version, made with millet, gets its sweetness from coconut milk, maple syrup, and fresh fruits like banana and mango.

Ingredients: Water, kosher salt, black pepper, ground ginger, uncooked millet, coconut milk, banana, mango, maple syrup, unsweetened coconut flakes, pistachios

Calories: 485

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Salmon Grain Bowl

Try this recipe: Salmon Grain Bowl

Don’t get us wrong, we love a simple PB&J, but sometimes you need to step up your desk lunch. Case in point: This salmon and veggie grain bowl that’s loaded with omega-3s, manganese, and fiber. A grain bowl that’s brimming with superfoods for under 400 calories? Sold.

Ingredients: Brown rice, flaked canned wild salmon, kosher salt, asparagus, oyster mushrooms, garlic, ginger, grapeseed oil, sesame oil, shredded carrot, unseasoned rice vinegar, honey, cucumbers, avocado oil, seaweed sheet

Calories: 444

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Steak and Toasted Farro Bowl

Try this recipe: Steak and Toasted Farro Bowl

This veggie grain bowl includes a smart 3-ounce portion of lean flank steak for a protein-packed meal that will leave you feeling just the right amount of full. Digestion-friendly farro and veggies like lettuce, zucchini, and roasted peppers ensure you get your greens (and reds!) in too.

Ingredients: Romaine, toasted farro, grilled flank steak, grilled zucchini, jarred roasted red bell peppers, grilled onion, feta cheese, red wine vinaigrette (red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper)

Calories: 457

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Forbidden Rice Bowl

Try this recipe: Forbidden Rice Bowl

This healthier alternative to fried rice is as Instagram-worthy as it is delicious. Pair forbidden rice with Asian-inspired ingredients like probiotic-rich kimchi and low-calorie bean sprouts. A hard-boiled egg and extra veggies (think: kale, carrots, scallions) deliver protein and vitamins as well.

Ingredients: Soy sauce, rice vinegar, peanut oil, toasted sesame oil, black rice, kale, kimchi, bean sprouts, carrots, egg, scallion, peanuts

Calories: 463

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Superfood Grain Bowl

Try this recipe: Superfood Grain Bowl

This grain bowl is proof that a vegetarian meal can keep you full for hours. The quinoa base and hard boiled egg provide a healthy dose of protein, while a creamy buttermilk herb dressing proves the perfect drizzle for vitamin-rich produce like tomatoes, corn, green beans, and avocado.

Ingredients: Quinoa, green beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, avocado, egg, salt, pepper, buttermilk, olive oil mayonnaise, chives, lemon juice, parsley, honey

Calories: 359

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Tuscan Barley Salad

Try this recipe: Tuscan Barley Salad

Swap white rice for this flavorful grain salad made with fiber-rich barley and bright fruits and veggies. Refreshing citrus packs a vitamin C punch, while crunchy fennel and savory sun-dried tomatoes complete the gut-friendly side dish.

Ingredients: Walnuts, fennel, orange, olive oil, salt, barley, sun-dried tomatoes

Calories: 380

Source: 11 Protein-Packed Grain Bowl Recipes

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