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Millet isn't a bad haircut. It's an ancient grain that you might never have heard of, but will soon be obsessed with. It's naturally gluten-free, it has a texture more akin to couscous than rice or quinoa and it’s way more flavorful—its natural aroma and nutty flavor work well with tons of ingredients. Plus, pretty much anyone can prepare it. Here are 17 of our favorite millet recipes to add to your lineup.

The Benefits of Eating Millet

This healthy grain has a mild taste, so it’s easy to dress up with veggies, herbs and proteins. Like most grains, it can pair with just about anything, but has a nuttier, more flavorful taste. Millet is not only gluten-free, but also rich in fiber (we’re talking 9 grams per serving), magnesium and phosphorous, which helps repair body tissue. Plus, it cooks in less than a half hour thanks to its small size. Once boiled though, it’ll nearly quadruple in size.

How to Cook Millet

Cooking millet is as simple as cooking quinoa or rice. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Sauté 1 cup dry millet and a drizzle of olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat until you smell a slightly nutty aroma. (You can skip this step and just add the millet to boiling water instead, but this helps make the finished product more robust in flavor.)
  • Add 2 cups water and raise the heat to medium.
  • Add salt to taste. Only use a pinch if you’re going to be topping the millet with a salty protein, stew or sauce.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for about 25 minutes.
  • Once the millet is done cooking, it will be tender and the individual grains will look enlarged. Remove the lid, fluff it with a fork and turn off the heat. Serve when it’s cool enough to eat.

RELATED: 30 Warm and Cozy Grain Bowls to Make This Winter

1. Harissa Chickpea Stew with Eggplant and Millet

Jodi Moreno’s stew is a dinnertime win. Eggplant can be a finicky vegetable to cook with, but this dish makes it easy and delicious. The millet will soak up the harissa paste, infusing every bite with North African chili and notes of cumin, coriander and garlic.

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2. Summer Millet Salad

With Havarti cheese, cherry tomatoes, scallions, ample lemon juice and parsley, this is a refreshing starter for any dinner party. Serve it with a bottle of rosé.

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3. Millet and Black Lentil Stuffed Delicata Squash

Bookmark this one for Thanksgiving, or any event that calls for a unique take on a squash dish. It’s a vegan recipe that's jam-packed with nutritious earthy flavors like tamari and black lentil.

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4. Vegetarian Stuffed Butternut Squash with Millet, Mushrooms and Kale Pesto

We love that Bojon Gourmet calls butternut squash a “vessel” for this millet, mushroom and kale pesto mash. Who would turn down a bowl of those ingredients cooked up with onion, thyme, goat cheese and Gruyère? And if you get to eat the bowl as you go? *Chef's kiss.*

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5. Millet Veggie Burgers

Where there’s a delicious grain, there’s a way to turn it into a veggie burger. Since millet has a little more flavor than quinoa or rice, it makes an exciting substitute. This recipe also calls for plenty of actual vegetables (aromatics like celery, onion, carrot and peppery arugula), so you’re getting tons of good stuff in one patty.

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6. Morning Grain Bowls with Millet

So, you pretty much have free rein when it comes to morning grain bowls. Whatever berries, nuts or toppings you want are fair game. What we love about these options are the creative combinations of pumpkin and maple syrup, coconut and goji berries and banana with tahini.

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7. Roasted Cauliflower and Artichoke Millet Grain Bowl

Grain bowls in the mornin’, grain bowls in the evenin’, grain bowls at suppertime. You can have grain bowls anytime, but don’t let your taste buds get bored. Try this roasted veggie version that mingles lots of bold ingredients, like artichokes and lemon zest.

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8. Bright and Bold Millet Tabbouleh

This new take on tabbouleh adds a little more oomph, meaning there’s more fiber, more protein and more manganese (an anti-inflammatory that regulates metabolism). It's a great lunch or side dish. Plus, as the millet cooks, you have time to prep the rest of the ingredients before tossing it all together. So. Easy.

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9. Kung Pao Chickpea Stir-Fry Over Sesame-Fried Millet

Remember that millet soaks up the flavors of whatever it's cooked or mixed with while you’re preparing this brightly colored, well-spiced meal. We’re talking tamari, roasted sesame, garlic, almond butter and maple syrup, not to mention red chilis. Downing tons of veggies has never felt this easy.

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10. Garlic Lemon Millet and Beet Salad

Salads garnished with millet are just brilliant in our humble opinion. The ancient grain amps up the meal with extra nutrients that are filling yet energizing. Throw in earthy beets, peppery arugula and crisp lemon and you've got just the kind of salad we can get behind.

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11. Millet and Greens Salad

Another take on the millet salad, this time with asparagus, Dijon, cherries and basil. Honestly, what can’t you do with this grain? Asparagus adds earthy or grassy flavor to the mix (depending on how you cook it) and is rich in vitamins A, C, E and K.

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12. Vegan Skillet “Cornbread”

It turns out that millet is a solid substitute for cornmeal with more nutrients to boot. The recipe also sneaks zucchini and white chia seeds in, so feel free to have a second slice

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13. Springtime Stir-Fried Millet

This veggie stir-fry yields strong flavors of ginger and tamari, not to mention toasted sesame and peanut oils. Millet as a base is so versatile that it can work with countless flavor profiles and sauces. Again, you can use your own favorite veggies, but the recipe calls for carrots, asparagus and eggs.

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14. Sweet Potato and Millet Falafel

Wait, is making homemade falafel really that easy? Can you really make it with millet? In under an hour? Yes, yes and yes. Break out the tahini and tzatziki sauce.

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15. Lamb Chorba

This stew is common to North Africa, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Middle East and usually calls for vegetables, chickpeas, diced lamb and some kind of pasta or grain. Millet gets the job done here, alongside crushed tomatoes, saffron, harissa and lots of warm spices.

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16. Kale Caesar with Millet Croutons

Hear us out: If you make a ton of these millet croutons, you’ll have enough to add to your kale Caesar *and* the stuffing recipe above (just an idea). If nothing else, homemade croutons are a great way to show your guests (or prove to yourself) that you really are a genius in the kitchen.

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17. Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Millet

Millet soaks up all the savory goodness of sautéed shallots, garlic, button mushrooms and white wine. Want to make it vegan? Swap Parmesan for nutritional yeast flakes.

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