This Mediterranean Grain Bowls Recipe with lentils and chickpeas packs great flavors and some powerful nutrition. The perfect weeknight meal! And, I'm sharing my "blueprint" for how to build grain bowls your way!

This post is brought to you in partnership with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada.

Mediterranean Grain Bowls with lentils, zucchini, avocados, tomatoes and topped with feta cheese.

Grain bowls are the perfect way to transform a few humble pantry ingredients into one colorful meal. And because of the variety of ingredients you can pile on, they're a great way to add much-needed nutrition!

There really aren’t any big rules around how to build grain bowls. Today’s Mediterranean grain bowls recipe is just one example for you.

Mediterranean Grain Bowls with lentils, zucchini, avocados, tomatoes and topped with feta cheese.

To pack in texture, flavor, and maximum health benefits, I follow a lose “blueprint,” which (no surprise here) takes guidance from the Mediterranean diet pyramid.

How to Build Nutrition-Packed Grain Bowls

Start with Your Grain of Choice. I chose farro, a hearty ancient Mediterranean grain with great texture and a slight nutty flavor. Farro here provides volume, and it’s also a great source of fiber and iron.

Add Lean Protein. Taking from the very base of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, I chose pulses--in this case, lentils and chickpeas (or these crunchy roasted chickpeas)—to supply plant-based protein. Pulses are also rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber and B vitamins.

In this Mediterranean grain bowls recipe, we pack in 1 cup of pulses per bowl! Did you know that the USDA recommends adding 1 ½ cups of pulses per week to your diet? That’s only ½ cup of pulses 3 times per week (this is what USA Pulses and Pulse Canada call the Half-Cup Habit. Learn more here.)

Mediterranean Grain Bowls with lentils, zucchini, avocados, tomatoes and topped with feta cheese.

Add Vegetables, Fruits and Greens. Vegetables and  greens, especially fresh herbs, bring brightness and life to our nutty grain bowls. You can play around by adding your favorites. Here, I sauteed zucchini and added them along with tomatoes, avocado, shallots, and a healthy dose of fresh parsley.

Add Flavor Makers. In this Mediterranean grain bowls recipe, a lot of the flavor comes from the simple olive oil dressing with lots of citrus, garlic, za’atar, and sumac. Take things up one more notch by adding Kalamata olives (or marinated artichokes) and a sprinkle of feta cheese!

Mediterranean Grain Bowls with lentils, zucchini, avocados, tomatoes and topped with feta cheese.

This Mediterranean grain bowls recipe is one delicious way to “reset” and return back to your healthy-eating routine.

Watch How to Make these Mediterranean Grain Bowls

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Mediterranean Grain Bowls with lentils, zucchini, avocados, tomatoes and topped with feta cheese.

Mediterranean Style Grain Bowls Recipe with lentils and chickpeas


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5 from 19 reviews

Description

Power Grain Bowls, prepared Mediterranean-style! Nutrition and protein-packed thanks to a good dose of lentils and chickpeas. The dressing is an absolute must!


Ingredients

Scale
  • Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 zucchini squash, sliced into rounds
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked farro (from 1 cup uncooked farro, prepared according to package)
  • 2 cups cooked brown lentils or from canned lentils, drained and rinsed (see notes for lentil cooking instructions, if needed)
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas or from canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 avocados, skin removed, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • Handful pitted kalamata olives
  • Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese, optional

For the Dressing


Instructions

  1. Cook Zucchini. In a non-stick pan or skillet, heat 2tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the sliced zucchini and saute on both sides until tender. Remove zucchini with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain any excess oil. Season lightly with salt.
  2. Prepare dressing. Add the dressing ingredients to a mason jar. Close the lid tightly, and give it a good shake. Set aside for now (but shake again before using).
  3. Assemble grain bowls. Divide the cooked farro, lentils, and chickpeas equally among four dinner bowls (it'll come to ½ cup of each per bowl). Add cooked zucchini, tomatoes, shallots, avocado slices, parsley, and kalamata olives. Season lightly with salt, pepper and more za'atar, if you like. Drizzle a bit of the dressing on top (about 2 tablespoon per bowl). Finish with crumbled feta, if you like.
  4. Serve at room temperature or warm, if farro and pulses were just cooked. It's best to mix the ingredients in each bowl to allow the dressing flavors to infuse. If you have a bit of dressing left, serve it alongside.

Notes

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

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More Recipes to Try

Loaded Balela Salad 

Mediterranean Homemade Vegetable Soup

Lentil Pumpkin Soup 

Lebanese Chicken Fatteh Bowls

Easy Baked Salmon with Garlic Balsamic Glaze

Mediterranean Grain Bowls Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Healthy, protein-packed grain bowls with lentils and chickpeas. Packed with Mediterranean flavors. A quick and easy weeknight dinner! From TheMediterraneanDish.com #grainbowls #dinnerbowls #mediterraneandiet #mediterraneanrecipes #chickpearecipes #chickpeas #lentilrecipes #lentil #halfcuphabit #justaddpulses #eatpulses

How to Build Power Grain Bowls | The Mediterranean Dish. EASY guide to building power, nutrition-packed grain bowls with tons of Mediterranean flavor! Plus a recipe for Mediterranean grain bowls with lentils and chickpeas. TheMediterraneanDish.com #grainbowls #dinnerbowls #mediterraneandiet #mediterraneanrecipes #lentils #chickpeas #chickpeasrecipe

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Jill says:

    What a great combination of flavors and textures. I wouldn't change a thing and can't wait to have again very soon! The dressing is fantastic too!






  2. Cadence says:

    Will this keep? If I'm cooking this up just as a person who lives alone is quartering the recipe the better option, or could I maybe keep some in the fridge to take to work for lunches or something?

  3. Eileen says:

    Love the recipe Could I use barley or Bulgar instead of farro?
    Thank you

    1. TMD Team says:

      I think you could totally do that, Eileen! This is an easy recipe to play with a bit.

  4. Leslie McDonald says:

    I have made it twice now!






  5. Belinda says:

    My husband and I love this dish! I have been making this for the last 4 months about every two week or three weeks. This recipe was the first time I tried farro and it is now my favorite grain! Thanks for sharing all your delicious recipes.






    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Belinda!

  6. Lynn says:

    Absolutely loved this recipe! My family liked more dressing so I ended up doubling that part of the recipe. Thanks Suzy for making cooking Mediterranean so delicious!






    1. Suzy says:

      Awesome, Lynn! Thanks so much for sharing.

    2. Suzy says:

      You are very welcome, Lynn! Happy cooking!!!

  7. Russ Adams says:

    I've been making these since I first found your site in 2018. They are great and very versatile. We sort of shape our dinners for the week around creating a grain bowl with leftovers on the weekend. The dressing is great, but in a pinch I like olive oil and fig or Modena balsamic too.






    1. Suzy says:

      Sounds great! Thanks, Russ!!!

    2. Linda E says:

      I have recently switched to the Mediterranean diet and found your recipe. I made it last night and ooooh so good!!!






      1. Suzy says:

        I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Linda!!

    3. Maddie says:

      This is so yummy! Great texture and flavor.






      1. Suzy says:

        Thanks, Maddie!

  8. Kris says:

    How many does this serve as a main dish?

    1. Linda says:

      Four

  9. Andrew says:

    Absolutely delicious. The Za'atar spice is wonderful. Very filling and delicious!






    1. Suzy says:

      Yes! Za'atar gets a lot of use around here :). Thanks, Andrew!

  10. Kim Jones says:

    What would be a good gluten free grain to replace farro with? I have celiac disease and that is the only issue I have with these dishes. Thank you!






    1. Suzy says:

      Hi Kim, you can try brown rice, for example. Enjoy!

  11. Lance Gortat says:

    Thank you for this Recipe. Very filling and quite nutritious.

    I'd make this again! 5/5






    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Awesome, Lance! So glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Crowley says:

    We loved this recipe!






    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      So excited to hear it!

      1. Linda says:

        Made this tonight. It's so good! This will be in my regular dinner rotation. Love all your recipes!

      2. Suzy says:

        Great! Thanks, Linda!

  13. sussi says:

    Sounds awesome , what gluten free product can I use to replace farro ? Thanks.

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      You can use quinoa, Sussi. Enjoy!

  14. Holly Barkalow says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I made this for my family when they came up from FL to see us the end of July. I talked to my sister not too long ago and she was very excited about this particular dish and made it for her family not too long after they arrived back home. There are so many different variations absolutely love this. I am making it now and came on here to print this out for my recipe book. We are trying roasted brussel sprouts and green beans this time. THank you






    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Oh Holly, that's wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing! And I love that you can make this your own using whatever veggies you like!

  15. Suzanne says:

    Loved this recipe! As another stated, great to put out buffet style for guests to create their individual bowls. Love that it can all be served at room temp as well. Only change I made was that I threw the zucchini on the grill, so added a smoky flavor. Dressing is delicious! Hubby said he would eat it a couple times a week. Great summer dish. Thanks for all your GREAT recipes! Keep em coming!






  16. Leighvi says:

    This looks amazing! Do you have the fiber count too? That would be very interesting to see. Trying to eat more wholesome food with lots of fiber!!

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Hi! Sure, the fiber comes to 21.3 grams (85%). We've updated the nutrition label 🙂