Roasted squash and shallots fill this wheat berry salad with sweet and savory autumn flavor. Serve it as a side dish, or make it ahead for lunch.
I can’t think of a better way to start the week than by sharing this wheat berry salad recipe with all of you! I try not to play favorites when it comes to recipes, but this one is something special. It’s that rare sort of dish that really can do it all. Make it on a Sunday for lunches all week, or serve it as a side dish at your Thanksgiving dinner. No matter when you eat it, I think you’ll savor every bite.
Wheat berries may not be the trendiest grain these days, but if you try them here, you might start to wonder why you don’t cook them more often. They have a sweet, nutty flavor and a delightful chewy texture. In this wheat berry salad, they play perfectly off creamy roasted squash and fresh fall herbs. Roasted shallots add rich, sweet, and savory flavor, and an apple cider vinaigrette ties it all together. Hearty, nourishing, and delicious, this wheat berry salad is fall in a bowl. I hope you love it as much as I do.
Wheat Berry Salad Recipe Ingredients
This wheat berry salad recipe is brimming with flavorful fall ingredients:
- Wheat berries, of course! Their sweet, nutty flavor and chewy texture is fantastic here, but if you can’t find them, don’t worry. Farro is an excellent substitute, and wild rice will also work if you’re gluten-free.
- Winter squash – I call for butternut squash here, but I used honeynut squash on the day I took these photos, and it worked beautifully. Use whichever you prefer!
- Shallots – I roast them along with the squash. Tender and caramelized, they fill the salad with rich flavor.
- Fresh sage, parsley, and thyme – I soften the sage in the oven and add the parsley and thyme fresh. They make the salad earthy, aromatic, and complex.
- Lacinato kale – The hearty greens pair perfectly with the roasted squash and nutty wheat berries.
- Walnuts – For crunch!
- Dried cranberries – They add chewy texture and sweet/tart flavor.
- Pecorino cheese – I love its nutty, salty taste with the sweet cranberries and squash.
- And an apple cider vinaigrette – This simple 7-ingredient dressing ties the whole salad together.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Roast the shallots and squash while you simmer the wheat berries. Then, whisk together the dressing ingredients, massage the kale, and toss it all together!
Wheat Berry Salad Serving Suggestions
Thanks to the hearty wheat berries and roasted squash, this wheat berry salad makes a delicious lunch or light dinner on its own. I often pair it with a slice of focaccia or a hunk of crusty bread, or I toss in a few roasted chickpeas for extra protein and crunch. For a larger meal, serve it alongside a bowl of soup. Any of these soup recipes would be great choices:
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Pumpkin Soup
- Cream of Mushroom Soup
- French Onion Soup
- Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- Wild Rice Soup
- Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Alternatively, serve this wheat berry salad as a side dish. It would be a wonderful addition to any fall dinner, Thanksgiving included. You can prepare the entire salad up to 2 days in advance. Just wait to add the cheese until the last minute!
More Favorite Autumn Salads
If you love this wheat berry salad, try one of these autumn salad recipes next:
- Pear Salad with Balsamic and Walnuts
- Butternut Squash Salad
- Pomegranate Salad with Cider Dressing
- Farmhouse Farro Salad
- Kale Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
Wheat Berry Salad
- 3 cups cooked wheat berries
- Roasted butternut squash cubes, from 1 small squash
- 3 medium shallots, chopped into ½-inch pieces (1 cup)
- ⅓ cup fresh sage leaves*
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed
- ⅓ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoons fresh thyme
- ⅓ cup shaved pecorino cheese
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the wheat berries according to the directions in this recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roast the butternut squash for 30 to 35 minutes. Add the shallots onto the baking sheet with the squash and roast for 20 to 25 minutes. Wrap the sage leaves in foil with a drizzle of olive oil and place on the baking sheet for the last 2 minutes. Unwrap and chop.
- Prepare the Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing according to this recipe.
- In a large bowl, massage the kale with a bit of the dressing. Add the wheat berries, squash, shallots, sage, walnuts, cranberries, parsley, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, lots of pepper, and toss. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with more dressing and more freshly ground black pepper. Top with the pecorino cheese and serve.
How many servings (as a side) would you say this makes?
It should be 6-8 side servings. Hope this helps!
I posted my review in the dressing recipe area by mistake but this salad was great!
Would you recommend dressing the greens in advance? Kale is hearty. I’m debating tossing the dressing with he greens prior to leaving for our family Thanksgiving, layering on the butternut squash and farro right before serving. Excited to try this recipe!
Yes, you could absolutely dress the kale ahead of time. I hope you enjoy!
Had this for dinner tonight. What a wonderful salad! I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the sage, having not used it this way before, but it really made the salad something special. All the flavors and textured worked so well together. A bit of a labor of love by the time I peeled and roasted the squash and cooked the wheatberries, but so worth it!
This could possibly be the best salad I ever made. The flavors all work together incredibly well and it just screams “fall”. I used the amount of sage given in the recipe and I would probably use slightly less next time.
If you’re medium about sage do not add 1/3 cup of sage, it’s very overpowering and if you save some for leftovers the flavor seeps into everything… I still liked the salad but had to pick out the sage pieces because it was too much
Made this tonight! Was a little nervous about so much sage but the combination of flavors in this dish is perfect! Absolutely delicious! Healthy and hearty!
Thank you for this recipe. I made it tonight & it is delicious! All the herbs & roasted shallots really make it. Next time, I’ll try making it with either black or wild rice as the grain. It is perfect for Thanksgiving!
This looks so delicious and easy! I am totally going to make this for dinner one night this week. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.
~ XOXO, Amanda // Blonde out of Water
Can you suggest a gluten free alternative for the wheatberries? Farro is not gluten free. Toasted buckwheat, maybe?
Hi Suz, buckwheat would be great. Here’s my favorite way to make it. Don’t skip the rinsing step at the end, it keeps the grains from being gummy in the salad: https://www.loveandlemons.com/buckwheat-apple-cranberry-avocado-salad/