Winter Grain Bowl with Balsamic Dressing Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Winter Grain Bowl with Balsamic Dressing

41 reviews / 5 average

The BEST Winter Grain Bowl! Roasted root vegetables, earthy grains, dried fruit, dark leafy greens, buttery goat cheese, and lusciously creamy balsamic dressing.

What's colorful and nutritious and playful and makes your tastebuds feel very alive? This bowl.

Roasted root vegetables, earthy grains, and dried fruit. Dark leafy greens, buttery goat cheese, and lusciously creamy balsamic dressing.

A) Yes, it's a slice of healthy eating heaven, and B) this is the salad / bowl situation you want gracing the shelves of your fridge this winter.

Like, for days. Because you can meal-prep it! THANK YOU GRAIN BOWLS for knowing what we need.

Grain bowl in meal prep containers.

One of the best things about these wintery grain bowls is that they can stand up to some fridge time. Yes, keep the kale, goat cheese, and pistachios separate to maintain their freshness. But that roasted vegetable, wild rice, and dried cherry medley can sit tight in a little bit of balsamic dressing while it's in the fridge and kinda just keeps getting better and better.

This winter grain bowl is:

  • really delicious
  • colorful
  • packed with nutrition
  • calorie-dense (in a good way)
  • super satisfying
  • adaptable (pick and choose your favorite roasted winter vegetables)
  • really good with or without protein
  • playful
  • possibly the best “salad” format for winter.
Side view of grain bowl with fork.

Make It Your Own

This grain bowl is as versatile as it gets.

Eat it warm or cold. Eat it on its own for lunch, or add a fried egg for a breakfast hash situation (gah!), or top it with some grilled chicken or pan-fried halloumi (omg yum) for dinner. Use a different dressing, or make the balsamic dressing and put it all over every wintery thing.

Don't have wild rice? Swap in quinoa, farro, or your favorite grain. Don't have the patience to roast beets? Get pre-cooked ones at the store. Hate pistachios and/or goat cheese? Any nut/seed or crumbly cheese will work.

However you do it, this rainbowy winter grain salad has totally got your back.

Check Out Our Video For How To Make Winter Grain Bowl:

Print
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A variety of colorful grains and veggies.

Winter Grain Bowl with Balsamic Dressing


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x

Description

The BEST Winter Grain Bowl! Roasted root vegetables, earthy grains, dried fruit, dark leafy greens, buttery goat cheese, and lusciously creamy balsamic dressing.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 large golden or red beets, cubed
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • olive oil and salt for roasting
  • 1 cup wild rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 8-10 cups of shredded kale
  • 3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 3/4 cup pistachios

Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional but deliciously creamy)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Roasted Vegetables and Wild Rice: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss beets and sweet potatoes in with a little bit of olive oil and salt. Spread on parchment-lined baking sheets. Roast for 30 minutes. Cook wild rice according the package directions.
  2. Dressing: In a blender or food processor, blend dressing ingredients together until smooth. 
    In a blender or food processor, blend dressing ingredients together until smooth. 
  3. Mix: In a large bowl, combine beets, sweet potatoes, wild rice, and dried cherries. Toss with a little bit of dressing. (This can be done ahead of time and kept in the fridge for several days.)
  4. Assemble: To serve, scoop the pre-made wild rice salad onto a pile of kale. Top with goat cheese, pistachios, and extra dressing. It's like a delicious spa for your winter body.

Notes

For meal prepping: store sweet potatoes, beets, and wild rice together. Combine with kale, goat cheese, and pistachios, and dressing before eating. 

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: grain bowl, grain salad, wild rice salad, sweet potato salad, roasted beets, goat cheese


One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our best healthy meal prep recipes page. Check it out!

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94 Comments

  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    this is beautiful! I cant wait to try. What is your favorite wild rice brand> Thanks so much@

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    This grain bowl not only looks delicious and healthy but it is gorgeous as well. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful January meal.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Aside from the addition of adding carrots to my roasting pan with the beets and sweet potatoes, I made this recipe as is and it is killer. Absolutely delicious, filling and satisfying, and aesthetically pleasing, too! It holds up well in the fridge for leftovers. Will be making over and over again

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, as a former Minnesota girl, I loved finding your “Pinch Of Yum” Winter Grain Bowl featuring Wild Rice! Minnesota cooks know how fabulous Wild Rice is to cook with and it could not have come at a better time for Denver Colorado’s Great Western Stock Show starting this Friday Jan 10-26th, 2020!

    Our Rocky Mountain Rice Company will be there with 200 pounds of Minnesota Wild Rice for your cooking pleasure. We love to see our Minnesota family there and our WY, MT, and NE Ranchers too. Thank you Lindsay for posting this beautiful recipe for us to try!
    Yup, Yummy! Minnesota cooks know that Wild Rice is high protein and gluten free too

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love grain bowls and this one is perfect for winter. Roasting the root veggies makes them so much sweeter. It’s my favorite way to prep them.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious! I added sautéed beet greens (since I didn’t want to waste them), used fresh pomegranate seeds instead of the dried cherries since I had a pomegranate on hand, and added a little lemon juice. This recipe is a keeper!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Quick update: my fiancé took leftovers for lunch today and he said “that salad was $$$ for lunch!”

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    We had this last night and it was so good!
    We also made your instant pot chicken cacciatore last Sunday and it was delicious.
    Thank you Lindsay

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Nice recipe. Good article. “Winter Grain Bowl with Balsamic Dressing” is really mouth watering. Being a Wedding Caterer I always love to read food blogs.Keep posting more mouth watering recipes .
    Thanks for sharing this post.

    Regards
    Deepak Sharaf

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Made this last night and OMG so delicious! I’m addicted to dried cherries now. My husband just kept saying he loved whats happening in his mouth. I ran out of olive oil after 1/4 C so I used 1/2 C peanut oil – worked out well!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Made this. Delicious. Also great the next day. I could eat this for many days and be completely happy!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    This salad is fabulous, and I will make it again! Yesterday, the weather in Texas was in the high70s, so we grilled our veggies. 😊 and we also added grilled tofu to our bowls. We love making your recipes. They are simple and fulfilling. Thanks for sharing.
    .

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is FANTASTIC! Just had it for lunch (day 2) and can’t wait to have it again tomorrow. I used quinoa and arugula but will try again with wild rice. Thanks!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    This was EPIC! I subbed butternut squash for beets and it was perfection. With the nutty wild rice, tangy balsamic dressing, sweet dried cherries, creamy goat cheese and crunch from the pop of pistachios, it’s the bowl of my dreams. I added some shredded rotisserie chicken for extra protein. Love making this on the weekend and eating from it all week. Thank you!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    I made this for dinner recently and wow wow wow my taste buds were doing a happy dance! The combination of dried cherries, crunchy pistachios and goat cheese is amazing! Thanks for another great recipe.

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is recipe unreal. My carnivore husband did not even mention the fact there was no meat involved. Definitely a repeat (like all your recipes)!

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    Great for lunch throughout the week. I kept each item separate and created my bowl each day for lunch. Instead of kale I did roasted brussel sprouts. Yum! Yum!

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love these bowls. I’ve been keeping the layers available in the fridge for lunches and breakfast. My fave is brown rice, quinoa combo, black beans, roasted sweet potatoes, garlicky kale, half an avocado and an over easy egg over the top. Yum. I love the balsamic dressing. Because I live in New England and am surrounded by maple trees, I substitute maple syrup for the mustard. Deeelicious!!!!! Thanks for the idea. It’s totally saving my winter.

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    Meal prepped this for lunch all week. It is great cold or with the grain part warmed up, plain or with an egg or leftover meat.

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    Amazing blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little
    lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress
    or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused ..
    Any tips? Cheers!

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ll be making this tonight! I’m sitting in the parking lot at the grocers and thought I’d look at my saved pins before shopping and this looks and sounds perfect I have almost everything so my shopping list will be short.

    I’m not sure if this is something you want to do but you can cut down on spam comments if you close off comments after a certain amount of time. It’s up to you how long but 90 days is a good place to be imo.

  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    My kids who will eat anything, hated the one time I made a beet salad. They said never again to beets. Well I ended up with a few golden beets in my produce box. I snuck them in, in this recipe. Couldn’t even tell. This was so delicious and so dang quick and easy. Just a minor tweak because I hate mayo so I swapped it out with Greek yogurt and added a little garlic to the dressing. Meals in a bowl are my life. This was a winner.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I can so relate to the story about your kids and the beet salad, Jillian. Glad to see I’m not the only one who tricks their children to eat some healthy beets in this way! I made this winter grain bowl for my 12-year old son and my 10-year old daughter today and they both really enjoyed it. I myself loved the goat cheese and the pistachios in this one!