17 Delicious Millet Recipes That Make the Best of This Ancient Grain (2024)


17 Delicious Millet Recipes That Make the Best of This Ancient Grain (1)

By Sarah Ashley

Published Jun 4, 2020

Additional reporting by

Taryn Pire

Millet isn't a bad haircut. It's an ancient grain that you might never have heard of, but will soon be obsessed with. It's naturally gluten-free, it has a texture more akin to couscous than rice or quinoa and it’s way more flavorful—its natural aroma and nutty flavor work well with tons of ingredients. Plus, pretty much anyone can prepare it. Here are 17 of our favorite millet recipes to add to your lineup.

The Benefits of Eating Millet

This healthy grain has a mild taste, so it’s easy to dress up with veggies, herbs and proteins. Like most grains, it can pair with just about anything, but has a nuttier, more flavorful taste. Millet is not only gluten-free, but also rich in fiber (we’re talking 9 grams per serving), magnesium and phosphorous, which helps repair body tissue. Plus, it cooks in less than a half hour thanks to its small size. Once boiled though, it’ll nearly quadruple in size.

How to Cook Millet

Cooking millet is as simple as cooking quinoa or rice. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Sauté 1 cup dry millet and a drizzle of olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat until you smell a slightly nutty aroma. (You can skip this step and just add the millet to boiling water instead, but this helps make the finished product more robust in flavor.)
  • Add 2 cups water and raise the heat to medium.
  • Add salt to taste. Only use a pinch if you’re going to be topping the millet with a salty protein, stew or sauce.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for about 25 minutes.
  • Once the millet is done cooking, it will be tender and the individual grains will look enlarged. Remove the lid, fluff it with a fork and turn off the heat. Serve when it’s cool enough to eat.


30 Warm and Cozy Grain Bowls to Make This Winter

Photo: Michael Marquand/Styling: Jodi Moreno

1. Harissa Chickpea Stew With Eggplant And Millet

Jodi Moreno’s stew is a dinnertime win. Eggplant can be a finicky vegetable to cook with, but this dish makes it easy and delicious. The millet will soak up the harissa paste, infusing every bite with North African chili and notes of cumin, coriander and garlic.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

2. Summer Millet Salad

With Havarti cheese, cherry tomatoes, scallions, ample lemon juice and parsley, this is a refreshing starter for any dinner party. Serve it with a bottle of rosé.

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3. Millet And Black Lentil Stuffed Delicata Squash

Bookmark this one for Thanksgiving, or any event that calls for a unique take on a squash dish. It’s a vegan recipe that's jam-packed with nutritious earthy flavors like tamari and black lentil.

4. Vegetarian Stuffed Butternut Squash With Millet, Mushrooms And Kale Pesto

We love that Bojon Gourmet calls butternut squash a “vessel” for this millet, mushroom and kale pesto mash. Who would turn down a bowl of those ingredients cooked up with onion, thyme, goat cheese and Gruyère? And if you get to eat the bowl as you go? *Chef's kiss.*

5. Millet Veggie Burgers

Where there’s a delicious grain, there’s a way to turn it into a veggie burger. Since millet has a little more flavor than quinoa or rice, it makes an exciting substitute. This recipe also calls for plenty of actual vegetables (aromatics like celery, onion, carrot and peppery arugula), so you’re getting tons of good stuff in one patty.

6. Morning Grain Bowls With Millet

So, you pretty much have free rein when it comes to morning grain bowls. Whatever berries, nuts or toppings you want are fair game. What we love about these options are the creative combinations of pumpkin and maple syrup, coconut and goji berries and banana with tahini.

7. Roasted Cauliflower And Artichoke Millet Grain Bowl

Grain bowls in the mornin’, grain bowls in the evenin’, grain bowls at suppertime. You can have grain bowls anytime, but don’t let your taste buds get bored. Try this roasted veggie version that mingles lots of bold ingredients, like artichokes and lemon zest.

8. Bright And Bold Millet Tabbouleh

This new take on tabbouleh adds a little more oomph, meaning there’s more fiber, more protein and more manganese (an anti-inflammatory that regulates metabolism). It's a great lunch or side dish. Plus, as the millet cooks, you have time to prep the rest of the ingredients before tossing it all together. So. Easy.

9. Kung Pao Chickpea Stir-fry Over Sesame-fried Millet

Remember that millet soaks up the flavors of whatever it's cooked or mixed with while you’re preparing this brightly colored, well-spiced meal. We’re talking tamari, roasted sesame, garlic, almond butter and maple syrup, not to mention red chilis. Downing tons of veggies has never felt this easy.

10. Garlic Lemon Millet And Beet Salad

Salads garnished with millet are just brilliant in our humble opinion. The ancient grain amps up the meal with extra nutrients that are filling yet energizing. Throw in earthy beets, peppery arugula and crisp lemon and you've got just the kind of salad we can get behind.

11. Millet And Greens Salad

Another take on the millet salad, this time with asparagus, Dijon, cherries and basil. Honestly, what can’t you do with this grain? Asparagus adds earthy or grassy flavor to the mix (depending on how you cook it) and is rich in vitamins A, C, E and K.

12. Vegan Skillet "cornbread"

It turns out that millet is a solid substitute for cornmeal with more nutrients to boot. The recipe also sneaks zucchini and white chia seeds in, so feel free to have a second slice

13. Springtime Stir-fried Millet

This veggie stir-fry yields strong flavors of ginger and tamari, not to mention toasted sesame and peanut oils. Millet as a base is so versatile that it can work with countless flavor profiles and sauces. Again, you can use your own favorite veggies, but the recipe calls for carrots, asparagus and eggs.

14. Sweet Potato And Millet Falafel

Wait, is making homemade falafel really that easy? Can you really make it with millet? In under an hour? Yes, yes and yes. Break out the tahini and tzatziki sauce.

15. Lamb Chorba

This stew is common to North Africa, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Middle East and usually calls for vegetables, chickpeas, diced lamb and some kind of pasta or grain. Millet gets the job done here, alongside crushed tomatoes, saffron, harissa and lots of warm spices.

16. Kale Caesar With Millet Croutons

Hear us out: If you make a ton of these millet croutons, you’ll have enough to add to your kale Caesar *and* the stuffing recipe above (just an idea). If nothing else, homemade croutons are a great way to show your guests (or prove to yourself) that you really are a genius in the kitchen.

17. Creamy Mushroom Risotto With Millet

Millet soaks up all the savory goodness of sautéed shallots, garlic, button mushrooms and white wine. Want to make it vegan? Swap Parmesan for nutritional yeast flakes.


What the Heck Are Heirloom Grains?

17 Delicious Millet Recipes That Make the Best of This Ancient Grain (19)

Sarah Ashley

Freelance Writer

Sarah Ashley is a Chicago-based freelance journalist. She has covered pets for PureWow for six years and tackles everything from dog training tips to the best litter boxes. Her...

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17 Delicious Millet Recipes That Make the Best of This Ancient Grain (20)

Taryn Pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...

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17 Delicious Millet Recipes That Make the Best of This Ancient Grain (2024)


What are the best ways to eat millet? ›

This pseudograin also makes a great bed for roasted vegetables, curries, and stews. Lightly toast millet before cooking to enhance the earthy, nutty flavor. Leftover millet can be tossed in salads or added to your morning eggs ( I love adding about ½ cup of cooked millet to frittatas - it's a great way to add bulk).

Is millet the oldest grain? ›

Foxtail millet is one of the oldest domesticated grain crops in the world and has been grown by humans for roughly 11,000 years. It held a dominant position in Chinese agriculture before the introduction of high-input agricultural practices like irrigation and chemical fertilizers.

Which millet is best to cooked like rice? ›

Kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum) is another type of millet that has a taste and texture similar to rice. It can be used as a rice substitute in cooking.

Is it OK to eat millet everyday? ›

Whether it is for weight loss or detoxification, millets are being promoted as the superfood that you need to include in your diet. There are millet salad, millet soup and even millet veggie burgers! Since these are versatile and healthy, you can have them whenever you want.

Is millet an inflammatory food? ›

e) Anti-inflammatory properties: millet has anti-inflammatory properties that may help lower the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes. Insulin resistance, a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes, has been linked to chronic inflammation.

What happens if you don't soak millet? ›

Introduce these in your diet gradually and soak the millets before using them in recipes to avoid any digestive troubles. Soaking, sprouting or fermenting the millets before eating them is important, otherwise the phytic acid present in them could reduce the absorption of other nutrients.

Is millet better than oatmeal? ›

It ultimately depends on an individual's dietary needs and preferences. For those looking for sustained energy and a good dose of antioxidants, oats may be the better option. However, for those looking for a low-carb alternative with anti-inflammatory properties, millets may be the way to go.

Does millet go rancid? ›

Check for Signs of Spoilage: Periodically check the millet for any signs of spoilage, such as unusual odor, discoloration, or insect infestation. If you notice any of these signs, discard the millet to prevent consumption of spoiled food.

What is the healthiest ancient grain? ›

Khorasan wheat (kamut)

Khorasan wheat, also known as kamut, is a high-fiber, nutrient-dense grain that is linked to health benefits. Kamut may be especially beneficial for reducing blood sugar levels and heart disease risk factors like LDL (bad) cholesterol ( 12 ).

Why isn t millet more popular? ›

Because the crops aren't being studied and improved, they become less attractive for farmers, who, wanting not only food security but also income, look to other crops. And the less farmers grow them, the more “minor” millets become.

Is millet good for the kidneys? ›

Millet, or Ragi, is good for kidney disease due to its low sodium content. High sodium intake can elevate blood pressure and strain the kidneys. By incorporating millet into your diet, especially Ragi, which is low in sodium, you can reduce renal stress and maintain appropriate blood pressure.

Which millets should not be mixed? ›

If you are eating pearl millet do not have any other in the day or do not mix any other millet with it.

Which millet is tastiest? ›

Which millet is best in India?
  • Pearl Millet (Bajra): Pearl millet is one of the most popular millets in India, particularly in the arid and semi-arid regions of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Haryana. ...
  • Finger Millet (Ragi): Finger millet is a staple in South India, particularly in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Apr 12, 2023

Which is better millet or quinoa? ›

Comparatively, quinoa provides more protein, while millet has fewer calories and less fat. Both quinoa and millet have distinct flavours and nutritional profiles, making the choice between them a matter of personal preference and dietary requirements.

How is millet usually eaten? ›

Millet is commonly cooked as a porridge to enjoy in the morning (great when you tire of oatmeal!), but there are many other ways to use millet. You can toss raw millet into cookies, muffins or quick breads for extra crunch. I love using it in granola for that reason.

How is millet traditionally eaten? ›

Millet porridge is a traditional food in Russian, German, and Chinese сuisines. In Russia, it is eaten sweet (with milk and sugar added at the end of the cooking process) or savoury with meat or vegetable stews.

How do you eat millet in your diet? ›

Ways to include millet in your diet

Substitute millets in any rice-based dishes like kichidi, pulao, tamarind rice, bisibelebath, etc. Puffed ragi/bajra/jowar can be an alternative to rice puff. Use them as a snack in chivda, murmura, and puffed rice balls (sweet).

What type of millet is the healthiest? ›

Pearl millet or bajra contains magnesium that reduces the effects of migraine and improves the respiratory process in asthmatic patients. In addition, the insoluble fibre in pearl millet reduces the excess bile in our systems, which leads to gallstone formation. Finger millet, or ragi, is among the healthiest cereals.

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