How to Build a Better Grain Bowl

Start with whole grains, add veggies and beans, sprinkle with protein, and drizzle with sauce. Top with crunch, and toss.


Click to enlarge and print this image. Save it on your fridge for everyday dinner inspiration.

Step 1: Ace the Base
Start with whole grains. They’ll add volume and fiber (and fill up your stomach), while soaking up all the saucy goodness that trickles down through the top layers.

Step 2: Pile on the Produce
Mix and match veggies. Try raw spinach with pickled onion, or grilled pineapple with shredded cabbage. Aim for at least 1 cup veggies and 1/3 cup beans.

Step 3: A Little Meat Travels Far
There’s no center stage in a bowl. A few ounces of meat or seafood serve as an excellent flavor booster; season well, and shred or finely chop to get a little in each bite. Big-flavor foods like smoked meats, bacon, or a fried egg work wonders on top of a bowl.

Step 4: Sauce It Up
This is your key component. The sauce is what brings all the bits and pieces together.

Step 5: Top It Off
Add something crunchy like nuts or seeds, and finish with something bright like fresh herbs to make the top pop.

Go Bowling:


  1. Back to [Korean] BBQ | Eat. Drink. Savor. Repeat.

    […] this summer has been the summer of salads and bowls. Cooking Light had a great article on “How to Build a Better Grain Bowl” in one of their summer issues like the idea for the Vegetarian Korean BBQ Bowl. While not a […]

    July 12, 2016 at 9:31 pm
  2. 6 Whole-Grain Bowls Under 400 Calories | Cooking Light

    […] Ready to build one? Start with our Bowl-Building Blueprint. […]

    May 9, 2016 at 7:00 am

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