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If you’re looking to expand your culinary horizons and add a healthy twist to your meals, look no further than buckwheat. Buckwheat is a nutritious grain-like seed with an earthy flavor that can be used as a wheat or other grain substitute. Here’s everything you need to know about cooking buckwheat at home!

the best buckwheat in a bowl

What is Buckwheat?

This versatile grain, despite its misleading name, is not a form of wheat at all!

  • Buckwheat belongs to the family of pseudo-cereals and offers a host of health benefits.
  • Buckwheat has a distinct earthy flavor and a triangular shape.
  • It can be cooked and enjoyed in various forms, such as groats (whole grains), flour, noodles, or used as an ingredient and recipes like buckwheat porridge, Buckwheat Pancakes, and more.
  • Buckwheat can make a great addition to stir-fries and salads, or be served as a side dish. See more ways to use buckwheat below.
buckwheat grains

Health Benefits of Buckwheat

Buckwheat offers a range of health benefits due to its nutrient composition and unique properties*.

  • Gluten-free. Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for people with gluten sensitivities or those following a gluten-free diet.
  • Nutrient-rich. Buckwheat is packed with essential nutrients, including fiber, protein, vitamins (B-complex vitamins, vitamin E), and minerals (magnesium, copper, manganese, phosphorus). Buckwheat is also a great source of potassium.
  • Heart Health. Buckwheat contains rutin, a flavonoid known for its potential to support cardiovascular health. Rutin helps to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy blood vessel function.*
  • Blood Sugar Management. The fiber and protein content in buckwheat contributes to a slower release of glucose into the bloodstream, promoting balanced blood sugar levels.
  • Digestive Health. The high fiber content of buckwheat supports healthy digestion and acts as a prebiotic.
  • Antioxidant Properties. Buckwheat contains antioxidants, such as phenolic compounds and flavonoids, which help protect cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals.
  • Lower Cholesterol Levels. Studies suggest that buckwheat may help lower cholesterol levels. The fiber and compounds like plant sterols in buckwheat can inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the body.
a bowl of fluffly buckwheat cooked on a stove

Should I Toast My Buckwheat?

Toasting buckwheat can add a delightful nutty flavor and enhance its overall taste. However, toasting buckwheat is a matter of personal preference and depends on the specific recipe or dish you are preparing.

  • Flavor Enhancement. Toasting buckwheat in a dry skillet or pan before cooking can bring out its natural nutty flavor. This toasting process adds depth and richness to the grain, enhancing the overall taste of your dish.
  • Texture. Toasting buckwheat can also impact its texture. It can make the grains slightly firmer and give them a pleasant, chewy texture.
  • Recipe Considerations. Toasting is particularly beneficial for dishes where the nutty flavor can complement and enhance other ingredients. For example, toasted buckwheat can work well in salads, stir-fries, or as a base for pilafs.
  • Cooking Time. Toasting buckwheat may slightly increase its cooking time as the grains become firmer.

If you prefer a milder flavor or are short on time, you can skip the toasting step.

How to Cook Buckwheat on the Stove

The Ingredients

  • Buckwheat. The most common type you’ll find in most grocery stores is raw untoasted or toasted buckwheat groats. (I like Bob’s Red Mill.)
  • Water. The rice-to-buckwheat ratio is critical. It’s 2:1 (2 parts water to 1 part buckwheat).

The Directions

toasting buckwheat grains
  1. Toast the Buckwheat (Optional). Toast the buckwheat groats in a dry skillet.
rinsing buckwheat
  1. Rinse the Buckwheat. Use a fine mesh strainer and rinse until the water runs clear.
cooking buckwheat on the stove
  1. Boil the Water Then Add the Buckwheat. Make sure your saucepan can hold the buckwheat and water without boiling over.
  2. Cover and Simmer. Allow to simmer for about 13-15 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. 
buckwheat cooked in a pot on the stove
  1. Remove from Heat and Fluff with a Fork. Remove from heat and after 10 minutes, fluff and top with fresh herbs as desired. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Let the buckwheat cool before storing in an airtight container. Refrigerate cooked buckwheat for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Add the buckwheat and a small amount of water or broth (or an ice cube!) to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until reheated.
  • To Freeze. Freeze cooked, cooled buckwheat in a freezer-safe storage container for up to 3-6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Ways to Use Buckwheat

Meal Prep Tip

I’ve got you covered for all other grains! You can cook Brown Rice on the stove or Brown Rice in the Instant Pot. For fluffy white rice and quinoa, check out How to Cook White Rice and How to Cook Quinoa. For another grain with a nutty flavor, see How to Cook Farro.

a bowl of easy stovetop buckwheat

Buckwheat Tips and Tricks

  • Rinse. Buckwheat needs to be rinsed. This removes any debris, helps the buckwheat cook up with a better final texture, and removes any bitterness.
  • Ratios and Cooking Times. Remember the proper water-to-buckwheat ratio and cooking times for various buckwheat preparations. The ratio is 2:1 water to buckwheat. (So 2 cups water for every 1 cup of buckwheat).
  • Yield. 1 cup of uncooked buckwheat yields roughly 4 cups cooked.
  • Enhance the Flavor. Experiment with adding herbs, spices, and seasonings to elevate the taste of your buckwheat dishes.
  • Storage and Shelf Life. Store uncooked buckwheat in a cool, dry place for 2 to 3 months, or freeze for 6 months or longer.
  • Consider Toasting. Toasting buckwheat is an optional step but it does build extra flavor if you’re looking to maximize your buckwheat experience.

How to Cook Buckwheat

5 from 2 votes
Guide to how to cook buckwheat on the stove. A nutritious, gluten free grain-like seed with an earthy flavor, use it for salads, soups, sides and more!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes

Servings: 4 cups cooked

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup buckwheat toast if raw*, or use toasted buckwheat
  • Chopped fresh cilantro parsley or herbs of choice (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt optional
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter optional

Instructions
 

  • In a medium-large sauce pan, bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  • Rinse the buckwheat: Place buckwheat in a mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear.
  • Once the water is boiling, add buckwheat, salt, and butter (if using) and stir to combine.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Allow to simmer for about 13-15 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed.
  • Once the buckwheat is fully cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes with the lid still on. This will allow the buckwheat to absorb any remaining moisture and become fluffy.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the lid and fluff with fork. Avoid too much stirring to prevent buckwheat from becoming mushy. Top with herbs as desired.

Optional Step:

  • *Toast buckwheat (recommended for raw buckwheat groats) before cooking: Heat a dry skillet over medium heat, add the rinsed buckwheat and toast for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently until the grain turns golden brown.

Notes

*OPTIONAL STEP: Toast buckwheat (recommended for raw buckwheat groats) before cooking: Heat a dry skillet over medium heat, add the rinsed buckwheat and toast for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently until the grain turns golden brown.
 
  • TO STORE: Let the buckwheat cool before storing in an airtight container. Refrigerate cooked buckwheat for up to 5 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Add the buckwheat and a small amount of water or broth (or an ice cube!) to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until reheated.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze cooked, cooled buckwheat in a freezer-safe storage container for up to 3-6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cup cookedCalories: 171kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 8mgPotassium: 196mgFiber: 4gSugar: 0.003gVitamin A: 87IUCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg

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*Health benefits of buckwheat found on healthline.com.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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