It’s no secret that non-boring green salad recipes are one of my favorite things to make for a quick lunch or dinner. Even as a full-time recipe developer, I’m still always looking for ways to make nutritious, filling meals for myself in less time. 

Hand holding fork and bowl of wheat berry salad.

Hearty salads are the best way to get your veggies in, and when done right, are anything but flavorless and boring. And when I’m not meal-prepping this Roasted Chickpea Greek Salad or this Fennel and Citrus Salad (two of my all-time favorites), you’ll likely catch me whipping up this Wheat Berry Salad. 

This wholesome salad is inspired by a deli salad I used to get at a natural foods store back in high school – a blend of wheat berries, broccoli, dried fruit, and a mix of sweet and savory in the dressing. It was simply the definition of the perfect vegetarian lunch!

What are Wheat Berries?

Wheat berries are the whole, unprocessed kernels of wheat. They’re simply the purest form of wheat before being broken down into products like whole wheat flour, pasta, couscous, wheat bran, etc. 

Whole wheat berries have a nutty flavor and a chewy texture once cooked, but most importantly are an excellent source of a wide array of nutrients, lots of fiber, and vegetarian protein. If you enjoy whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, or barley, I think you’ll likely be bummed you didn’t incorporate wheat berry recipes into your diet sooner! 

Ingredient Spotlight

  • Hard red wheat berries: When shopping for wheat berries, you’ll notice there are a few varieties. For this recipe, I recommend hard red wheat berries. They have a higher protein content, are slightly nutty in flavor, and have a great chewy texture. Find them at local health food stores, Whole Foods, or online.
  • Broccoli: Just like my Easy Broccoli Salad, this winter salad recipe is made with raw broccoli chopped into bite-sized pieces. 
  • Dried cherries: Adds a burst of tart, sweetness that balances the heartiness in the wheat berries and enhances the acidic flavors in the balsamic dressing. If you prefer, you can also swap in dried cranberries, red currants, or blueberries, if preferred! 
  • Walnuts: The source of a buttery, nutty crunch that ties together the nutty wheat berries, crunchy broccoli, and creamy dressing. 
  • Dressing: I typically make this salad with a riff on my popular Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette, but you can always dress this wheat berry salad with any dressing of choice! I think the flavors would pair well with my Homemade Blueberry Vinaigrette, Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing, White Balsamic Vinaigrette, or this Dairy-Free Honey Dijon Vinaigrette, too. 

Please be sure to see the full recipe card below for measurements.

Optional Add-ins

Salad recipes are always customizable – this wheat berry salad recipe included! Below are a few of my favorite additions, but don’t be afraid to customize based on your taste buds and fridge contents and make this salad your own.

  • Cheese: Feta cheese, goat cheese, and blue cheese would all be delicious. 
  • Fruit: In addition to dried cherries, try a diced apple, blueberries, or seasonal fruit of choice. 
  • Fresh herbs: Finish the salad with freshly chopped parsley or basil.
  • Crostini: ​Pair with my 15-minute Crostini Recipe for a simple, savory crunch!
  • Protein: Keep things vegetarian with added crunchy chickpeas or hard-boiled eggs, or add grilled chicken for meat-eaters.
Side view of grain salad in white bowl next to spring onions.

How to Make a Wheat Berry Salad

Cook the Wheat Berries

First things first, cook the wheat berries. Now warning, uncooked wheat berries do take almost an hour to cook. However, all you have to do is add them to a pot of water and salt and bring them to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes before beginning to check for doneness. 

When the wheat berries are ready, they will be chewy but not hard (similar to al dente pasta). My berries typically cook for 50-55 minutes. Prep them ahead of time as needed to toss together this salad quickly.

Make the Dressing

While the berries cook, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl or jar, combine the dressing ingredients (balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, shallot, garlic, mustard, salt, and black pepper). Then, slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified and creamy and set aside. 

Jar of balsamic vinegar dressing.

Toast the Walnuts

Next up – toasting the walnuts! In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the walnuts until fragrant. To keep them from burning, stir them often! 


Once all of the components of the salad are ready, it’s time for the fun part. Drain the berries, then add them to a large mixing bowl along with the broccoli, dried cherries, and walnuts. Drizzle on the salad dressing and toss everything to combine. 

Serve immediately as is, or store in an air-tight container in the fridge and serve chilled. Enjoy!  

Winter Wheat Berry Salad // Fork in the Kitchen

Serving Ideas

As is, this salad is a complete meal, filled with plant-based protein, healthy fats, a serving of fruits and veggies, and tons of necessary vitamins and minerals. I regularly serve it on its own as a healthy lunch or quick weeknight dinner. 

If you’d like to make it more filling, add in your favorite protein, or pair it with wraps or sandwiches like this Vegetarian Sandwich with Greens and Avocado or this Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus Wrap.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

Bowl of wheat berry salad with broccoli florets.
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Get the Recipe Wheat Berry Salad with Broccoli and Dried Cherries

This delicious Wheat Berry Salad combines chewy wheat berries, crunchy broccoli, dried cherries, and toasted walnuts, all tossed in a sweet and savory dressing. Enjoy as a main course, lunch, or a side dish.


Salad Ingredients




  • Cook wheat berries according to package directions; they will simmer for approximately 50 minutes until cooked through to a chewy, but not hard, texture.
    1 cup hard red winter wheat berries
  • Optional: toast walnuts in a small skillet over low-medium heat until fragrant and warm, being careful not to burn. Remove from heat and set aside.
    ¾ cup walnuts
  • Meanwhile, mix together the dressing by whisking together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, shallot, garlic, and dijon mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
    ¼ cup high-quality balsamic vinegar, 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup, 2 Tablespoons shallot, 2-3 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 3 – 3 ½ Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, Freshly ground black pepper
  • Once wheat berries are cooked, drain and mix with broccoli, dried cherries, walnuts, and green onions. Toss with dressing until coated. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
    2 cups broccoli florets, 1 cup dried cherries, 2-3 green onions
Calories: 284kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 124mg, Potassium: 222mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 950IU, Vitamin C: 29mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!