When I’m loading up a big bowl of something this time of year, it’s most likely going to be a soup or stew. But there are so many other bowl-friendly foods that, let’s face it, are even better for those times when I’m hunched over my laptop with lunch.

One of those is the grain bowl, or salad. It’s the kind of meal that lots of us, in what we now refer to as “the before times,” might have run out to grab at a neighborhood fast-casual. Not nearly as many of those trips are happening these days, but there are plenty of reasons you should consider replicating the experience at home. Whole grains offer nutrition and a hearty canvas for your choice of vegetables and meats, plus a flavor-packed dressing you can use as much or as little of as you want.

If this sounds like the kind of meal you’re after, take a look at these options from our archives. Feel free to mix and match elements from multiple recipes to build your ideal bowl.

Grain Bowls With Sweet Potatoes and Edamame, above. This plant-based Buddha bowl is colorful, vibrant and simple to put together. A sweet and savory tahini dressing pulls everything together.


Kasha Grain Bowl With Mushrooms, Onion and Egg. You’ll love how Nourish columnist Ellie Krieger has transformed a comforting classic into something more contemporary.


Smashed Vegetables With Grains and Citrus-Soy Sauce. Let this recipe show you why taking your frustrations out on your vegetables can be a good thing.


Grain Bowls With Cucumber-Dill Sauce. Chewy farro serves as the base for this warm grain bowl featuring chickpeas and a tzatziki-esque sauce. The recipe comes from our Plant-Powered newsletter, which you can sign up for at any time, free.


Grain Bowls and Soft-Boiled Eggs With Avocado + Kimchi. Use an already cooked grain of your choice to put together this any-time-of-day meal. Hang on to the juice from the kimchi jar to make the dressing.


Breakfast Grain Bowls With Caramelized Bananas. Here’s another option if you’re the type of person who appreciates a grain bowl in the morning. The bananas are briefly cooked in a skillet with brown sugar and cinnamon.


Grain Salad With Carrot, Herbs and Sesame Seeds. You’ll find plenty of ways to customize this versatile recipe, which can be made with freekeh, farro, barley or quinoa. Serve meat on the side or on top.

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