Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad

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Bowls of Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad with pita chips and hummus

John and I eat Mediterranean food at least once a week, often in the form of a hummus snack plate for lunch. It’s so simple, healthy and satisfying, and it’s something we always agree on.

Beyond whipping up hummus and falafel, my Mediterranean/Greek food skills were lacking. It was time for that to change.

Measuring cup filled with wheat berries for a vegan Wheat Berry Salad

A few years ago when we were still living in Portland, I accompanied a friend to a farmers market where I experienced a Greek wheat berry salad that kind of changed my life.

Well, that’s dramatic.

But I remember it was one of the first meals that proved to me you really don’t need meat or gobs of peanut butter to fill you up. The idea to recreate that salad at home stuck with me, and I’m so glad it finally surfaced.

Aluminum-lined baking sheet with freshly roasted leeks and onions

You’re going to love this simple salad. It’s hearty, customizable year-round, and requires just 10 ingredients including the simple Greek dressing.

It all starts with wheat berries – a whole grain that’s nutty with a slight chew and loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Wheat berries in a colander for making Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad

Next come roasted onions and leeks, baby tomatoes, kalamata olives, and a 5-ingredient savory Greek dressing.

Glass jar of salad dressing to go on bowls of Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad
Bowl of Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad for a satisfying vegan lunch

It all melds together to create a seriously hearty, flavorful Greek salad perfect for lunch, dinner or a snack. The wheat berries provide chew and heartiness, the roasted veggies warm things up and add a comforting touch, and olives and tomatoes keep it light and fresh.

Bowls of Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad alongside pita chips and hummus

Serve this salad as is or with your favorite add-ins. I enjoyed mine with garlic hummus and pita chips. You could also throw in some fresh greens for more nutrition.

Took me right back to the farmers market where I inhaled my first Mediterranean wheat berry salad out of a paper cup in the summer sun. Good memories. I hope you make this salad and enjoy it much as I did. Cheers!

Top down shot of a Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad Bowl made with roasted veggies

Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad

10-ingredient Mediterranean salad with wheat berry, tomato, and roasted leeks and onion. Dressed in a simple homemade Greek dressing. Healthy, light, and incredibly filling. Keep gluten-free by subbing quinoa or another gluten-free grain of choice.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Two bowls of Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad and a bowl of hummus
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Course Entree, Side, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup wheat berries*
  • 1 cup baby tomatoes (halved)
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives (halved)
  • 1 medium red onion (sliced)
  • 2 large leeks (green stems removed, thoroughly washed and diced)

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil

Optional garnishes:

  • Hummus, pine nuts, fresh parsley, pita chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C).
  • Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Then add salt and wheat berries and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and continue cook for 25-30 minutes or until tender. They should be chewy but not tough.
  • Drain and add to a large serving bowl. Add 2 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt for added flavor (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Prep leeks and onions, then place on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch each salt and pepper (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Bake for 23-28 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Toss halfway through for even cooking. Set aside.
  • In the meantime, prepare dressing by combining all ingredients except olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Stream in olive oil as you whisk to emulsify. Otherwise, add all ingredients to a jar and shake vigorously to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Add tomatoes, olives, roasted leeks and onions to the wheat berries and toss with enough dressing to coat. You’ll likely have leftover dressing.
  • Serves 4 generously (as original recipe is written). Cover and refrigerate to keep for up to several days. The longer it sits and marinates, the more intense the flavor becomes.
  • Additional garnishes might include hummus, pine nuts, parsley and pita chips.

Notes

*Keep gluten-free by subbing quinoa or another gluten-free grain of choice.
*Wheat berry instructions from the Kitchn
*You can sub 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped per 1 tsp dried.
*Dressing adapted from Ina Garten
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 g Calories: 251 Carbohydrates: 22 g Protein: 3.4 g Fat: 17 g Saturated Fat: 2.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 173 mg Fiber: 2.2 g Sugar: 4 g

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  1. Ruth says

    Thank you for this marvelous recipe. I made it as written with the addition of some cubed, roasted, winter squash. My family loved it, as did I.

      • ElizabethDee says

        Thank you for a delicious recipe, which gave me a chance to make wheat berries for the first time. It took me quite a bit longer to cook the wheat berries, around 45 minutes, but they came out just right. I’m already looking forward to making this again.

  2. Spike says

    I love this dish! I would like to go on the record as saying that this dish is delicious all year long! I do have a confession to make though. I ate all four servings, at one time, and by myself! :D Well, I am quite a bit larger than the average person, so that does help.

    I think I will be making this a couple of times a month, at least! Thank you very much for posting this recipe!

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  4. Jen says

    Not only is this salad DELICIOUS (I’ve made it 3 times in 3 weeks!) It’s also a super economical grain salad (at my local health food store quinoa is 6.99/lb, wheat kernels AKA wheat berries: 1.99/lb)
    Thanks for this delicious recipe, even my 7 year old loves it!

  5. Sarah @ Seriously Lovely says

    This looks like it would make a fantastic lunch! Definitely want to try making this!

  6. hippymomelizabeth says

    Dana and John, Your recipe looks delicious and I love olives and garlic… I cant wait for all your summer recipes to share with my family… One love you two and– Oregon Im jealous those are my kind of peeps!!! Have a communal, celestial day and night!!! PEACE

  7. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health says

    i want to visit portland soon..and wheat berry happens to be one of my favorite grains and using them with Mediterranean flavors, delicious!

  8. Isadora @ she likes food says

    I could eat Mediterranean food for pretty much every meal, although I might have to mix it up with a few Mexican dishes! I love the idea of piling a bowl full of wheat berries and then topping it with all kinds of delicious ingredients, like tomatoes and kalamata olives! This is the perfect summer salad :)

  9. Samina | The Cupcake Confession says

    OMG! I am LOVING this salad! So refreshing and filling and so sooooo Summery! LOVE!

  10. Shikha @ Shikha la mode says

    That’s amazing that you lived in Portland – I’m visiting next month for the first time and can’t wait!

  11. Beth @ Eat Within Your Means says

    I spy the dearly departed vintage pyrex….sniff, sniff. May you be comforted in your loss.

    I LOVE the idea to roast the onions and leeks. I sometimes shy away from greek salads because of the raw red onion component. I guess I’m like Scott Conant on Chopped in that way. That joke isn’t going to reach everybody.

    Looks gorgeous, lady! And I have everything but the wheat berries, so off the bulk section I go!

  12. Becky @ Fun Fresh Feast says

    This looks so good! We eat Mediterranean food once or twice a week at our house, too, and this gives me something new to try. Plus it will use up those wheat berries I’ve had hanging around the pantry for awhile.

  13. Christina @ but i'm hungry says

    Thank you for such a fantastic-looking wheatberry recipe! Everyone’s all about the quinoa (which I DO love), but I really enjoy wheat berries and I don’t think they get enough press. ;) The texture and flavor is the best! I’m going to try this one soon. Thanks for sharing!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Agreed! So pleased to find meals that are meat- and dairy-free that are AMAZINGLY filling and healthy.

  14. Kathy says

    YES! Love the addition of roasted leeks.

    Dana, do you have Ottolenghi’s books Jerusalem or Plenty (which is all vegetarian). I have a feeling you would love them. I’m totally obsessed right now. All about simple fresh ingredients with bold flavour.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh I love that you said that! I’ve gawked at Jerusalem in Anthropology (literally for 30 minutes) and nearly bought it but restrained myself! But perhaps I’ll have to consider giving it a go. Thanks Kathy!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I wouldn’t think it would freeze well but I’m not sure! If you give it a try, let me know!

  15. Anne @aveganadventure says

    This looks terrific! I used to make wheat berry salads all the time, but haven’t had one in ages. Thanks for the reminder about these little gems!

  16. Dominique Bela says

    Looks delish! I hadn’t heard of wheat berry’s, will definitely keep an eye out for them now!

  17. Caroline says

    This looks amazing! I love Mediterranean food, but can do without the heavy falafel sometimes. I can’t wait to try!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yeah, falafels are amazing BUT can feel very heavy. Be sure to give my baked version a try! (linked in the post)