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Basic Buckwheat Pilaf Recipe

Buckwheat is the easiest superfood you are not eating, yet. Learn how to make buckwheat with onions and mushrooms.  It is high in essential amino acids and flavonoids. This grain-like seed cooks up in 20 minutes and re-heats well. Make a big batch for the week and breeze through weeknight dinners.

A bowl of cooked pilaf.

“Try the porridge” Elly encouraged.

Food often comes up in conversation at work, especially around lunch time.  One weekend we were talking about super foods.   My Russian co-worker insisted that buckwheat is the key to good health.  She actually eats it almost everyday.  She even raised her son on ‘porridge’, as she calls it, to the point where he asks for it.

At the mention of ‘porridge’ images of gloppy, tasteless hot cereal came to mind.  She declared that she was going to make some for me and bring it to work the next day.  I hoped she would forget and not bring any in waited very patiently to sample some Russian ‘porridge’.

What she brought in looked nothing like the gloppy mess I envisioned.  Instead, this wonderfully toasted grain-like pilaf emerged from her lunch bag.  As she warmed it, the savory and nutty aroma emerged from the microwave and I was greeted with a colorful bowl of superfood goodness.

The texture was light, fluffy and had a good bite feel.  The flavor was wholesome and nutty.  I was sold.  I love Russian porridge.

What is buckwheat?

Well, it’s not related to wheat.

It’s actually a grain-like seed from a plant that is related to sorrel and rhubarb.  It is gluten free, rich in complex carbohydrates and trace minerals.  It was first cultivated in southeast Asia before it spread around the world.  Russians are now the highest consumers of buckwheat.  They eat 33 lbs per person per year.  That’s impressive.

The buckwheat seed looks like a miniature beech nut.  It tastes wholesome and earthy with a little nuttiness to it.  Buckwheat can be prepared vegetarian or vegan too.

Toasted buckwheat boiled in water or milk is also known as ‘Kasha’ by Russians.  This Russian recipe can be served savory like I made it below or sweet with the addition of salt and sugar, cooked in milk rather than broth.

The Russians like their buckwheat toasted to a golden brown before boiling it in water, milk or broth.  If you can only find the pale, un-roasted buckwheat simply dry roast them in a pan over medium heat until golden, dark-ish brown.

Mushrooms and onions in a pan.
Mushrooms and onions cooked in a pan.

What to do with buckwheat.

  • Boil it in broth and make a pilaf out of it for a great, wholesome side dish.
  • Use instead of rice for a healthier, lower carb version of your favorite Asian dish.
  • Boil with milk and sugar and make a hot cereal out of it.
  • Use buckwheat noodles instead of wheat noodles for a low-carb pasta dish.
  • Make buckwheat sprouts to add to your sandwiches and salads by soaking and rinsing raw buckwheat.
  • Make a big batch and freeze in 2 cup portions for quick, weeknight meal prep.  Just thaw and reheat in microwave or add to soups and stir frys while still frozen.
A bowl of cooked pilaf.

If you are still not convinced to add this little Russian gem to your core recipe collections, check out this article from Huffington Post on the health benefits of buckwheat.

Did you make this recipe?  Don’t forget to rate the recipe and comment below!  Take a picture and tag us @FusionCraftiness #FusionCraftiness on Instagram for a chance to be featured in our Insta Stories:)

A bowl of cooked pilaf.

Basic Buckwheat Pilaf Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

The easiest superfood you are not eating, yet. Buckwheat is high in essential amino acids and flavonoids. This grain-like seed cooks up in 20 minutes and re-heats well. Make a big batch for the week and breeze through weeknight dinners.


  • 1 tbs cooking oil
  • 1 cup of sliced or chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 onion (I like red onions), diced
  • 1 cup of toasted buckwheat (Kasha)
  • 1 cup broth (beef, chicken or veggie)


  1. In a small or medium sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat, add onions and mushrooms.  Cook, stirring frequently until onions are soft.
  2. Add buckwheat and broth and bring to a simmer.  Cover and reduce heat to its lowest setting.  Cook for 20 minutes.  Turn off heat.  Let rest with cover on for 5 more minutes.


  • For a vegan or vegetarian buckwheat pilaf, use vegan or vegetarian broth.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 105Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 88mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g

Did you make this recipe?

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Saturday 29th of April 2023

One cup of buckwheat and one cup of broth? I’m afraid to try it with so little liquid—I will try with 2 cups of broth. I do like the idea of the onions and mushrooms.


Monday 8th of May 2023

How did yours turn out Kelli?


Wednesday 1st of August 2018

I love cooking with buckwheat, it has such a great flavor and is so filling. Loving the mushrooms and onions in this dish!

Amy Treasure

Tuesday 31st of July 2018

I don't cook buckwheat often enough and this recipe has reminded me I need to. I'll be bookmarking this, thank you!


Monday 30th of July 2018

Hooray for buckwheat! And hooray for underappreciated grains in general! I love the flavour of buckwheat, though to be honest I tend to eat it in noodle form (soba) more than in it's whole grain form. You've got me rethinking that now though. And as someone else who things of slimy unappetizing mush when the word 'porridge' is mentioned, I'm happy to see just how different the Russian take is too. Cheers!


Monday 30th of July 2018

I love the idea of using buckwheat instead of rice. It sounds super easy too!

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