This buckwheat recipe includes deliciously sauteéd mushrooms, aromatic onions, and fresh herbs. It’s the best side for any dinner plate — filling and healthy for everyone!
Growing up in Ukraine, buckwheat was commonly served as a porridge referred to as kasha. In fact, any grain cooked in water and served with butter is often called kasha in Eastern Europe and Russia. This wholesome, oatmeal-like dish was often served savory or sweet and was typically paired with a vegetable and a protein in our childhood meals.
What Is Buckwheat?
Buckwheat is a gluten-free seed that comes from a flowering plant. These seeds are similar to grains; however, buckwheat is neither a grain nor a wheat (despite the name). Buckwheat boasts a toasty, nutty flavor and a soft, chewy texture. Possibly the biggest perk of buckwheat is that it has a ton of essential nutrients like potassium, fiber, protein, iron, vitamin B6, and so much more. It’s actually one of the healthiest alternatives to carb-y sides like pasta, potatoes, quinoa, or rice!
In this interpretation of a savory buckwheat kasha, we dress it up by adding in mushrooms and fresh herbs for a well-rounded, nutritious meal. Consider it a healthier, but just as delicious, alternative to mushroom risotto!
Where Can I Buy Buckwheat?
For the most authentic buckwheat, venture out to an Eastern European market. Ukrainians and Russians have been harvesting the grain for hundreds of years and high-quality buckwheat groats are found quite cheap at any of these specialty stores.
We recommend to avoid buying buckwheat at an organic or health food store. The texture of buckwheat in these stores tends to be very different than the buckwheat we’re used to. Instead, the texture of the buckwheat from the European markets is more dense, which prevents it from overcooking and becoming mushy. Also, Eastern European brands typically come toasted and golden brown.
Best Buckwheat: This is the brand of buckwheat we love around here.
How to Cook Buckwheat With Mushrooms
Besides being a childhood comfort food, I love buckwheat for its convenience. Despite the seed being dense, there’s no need to soak it in water before cooking. The main thing to remember — buckwheat uses a 2:1 ratio of water to buckwheat. Easy, peasy!
- Cook the buckwheat: Add buckwheat and salt (to taste) to a pot of boiling water. Cover the pot with a lid and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes.
- Sauté the veggies: In a separate pan, add butter, onions, and mushrooms. Stir and cook until the mixture becomes golden brown.
- Mix together: Drain any excess water from the buckwheat, then combine it with the mushroom mixture. Let it sit for five minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Add in fresh onions: Top the dish with fresh green onions and stir to combine together.
Hot tip: Looking for a way to add meat to the buckwheat dish? For more protein, cut up rings of cooked sausage and add it to the skillet. It’ll be a one-pan dinner!
Tips From The Kitchen
Not only is buckwheat with mushrooms extremely nutritious, it is also super flavorful! For top-notch quality and taste, follow these tips.
- Make the buckwheat with broth: For even more flavor, cook your buckwheat with equal amounts of beef or chicken stock instead of water. The buckwheat will soak in the delicious broth flavors!
- Change up the mushrooms: Any mushroom works for this recipe — anything from button mushrooms to cremini mushrooms! Use your favorite type or mix and match varieties!
- Add in more veggies: If you’re looking to increase your veggie intake, add in chunks of sauteéd or roasted butternut squash, red pepper, asparagus, green peas, and/or carrots.
- Avoid skipping the aromatics: The key to a flavorful dish is to use ample aromatics. In addition to the green and yellow onion, salt, and black pepper, add in a few minced garlic cloves! Also, top the buckwheat with a sprinkling of fresh dill or parsley.
- Toast the buckwheat: If you bought non-toasted buckwheat, quickly toast it in a dry pan for about 4-5 minutes before cooking for better flavor.
Troubleshooting Your Buckwheat
If your buckwheat doesn’t come out perfect, here are the top two reasons why that may be. Don’t fret — next time it’s guaranteed to be spectacular!
- Mushy: Buckwheat may be mushy if you use a non-European buckwheat brand. To avoid mushy buckwheat, purchase it from an Eastern European market or buy this one from Amazon. Also, buckwheat becomes mushy if overcooked. It cooks fast, so as soon as it’s ready, remove it from the heat and drain any extra liquid from the pot.
- Soggy: If your buckwheat is soggy and wet, move it to a clean skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil and fry over medium heat for a few minutes. Toss frequently to avoid burning.
Serving Buckwheat With Mushrooms
Buckwheat with mushrooms is the perfect side dish to replace any carby dish like potatoes, rice, or pasta. Serve this buckwheat dish alongside any chicken or beef entreé — or even a main like pan seared halibut or lamb shoulder chop. One of our favorite pairings for buckwheat is braised beef short ribs. Pour any extra sauce from the ribs over the buckwheat for a simply divine taste.
Complete the meal with a tasty cabbage salad such as our amazing purple cabbage salad or green cabbage cucumbers salad. If you’re not a huge fan of cabbage, our ultimate garden salad and creamy cucumber salad are equally as delicious.
Storing & Reheating
Buckwheat with mushrooms has often been a favorite of ours for meal prepping and enjoying for lunch throughout the week. Pair it with any leftover meat in the fridge and you’ll have a different meal each time! Preserve the best taste by following these tips for storage and reheating.
- Refrigerator: Store cooked buckwheat with mushrooms for 3-5 days in the fridge.
- Freezer: Store the buckwheat alone for up to three months in the freezer in an airtight container — however, avoid freezing the mushrooms as they become mushy when defrosting.
- Reheating: Reheat the buckwheat on the stove or microwave. If it seems too dry, add in a few teaspoons of liquid — broth or water both work well.
What is the difference between kasha and buckwheat?
Kasha is buckwheat groats that have been roasted. Raw buckwheat groats (just buckwheat) have not been roasted/toasted. Kasha has a darker, brownish color and strong roasted flavor whereas regular groats can be green or very lightly brown in color.
How many calories does buckwheat have?
When prepared in water, one serving of cooked buckwheat (one cup) clocks in at about 160 calories. It is a great ingredient to add to the pantry if trying to lose some weight. For barely any calories, buckwheat keeps you full and satisfied.
Does buckwheat need to be pre-soaked or rinsed like rice and quinoa?
No, there is no need to wash or soak buckwheat before cooking. However, soaking is known to decrease the cooking time.
More Buckwheat Recipes
- Stewed Buckwheat and Beef — The epitome of comfort food meets healthy
- Healthy Buckwheat Soup — Tender bone-in beef or pork combined with hearty buckwheat and veggies
- Buckwheat Meat Patties Recipe — A heartier, tastier version of a meatloaf patty
- Stuffed Bell Peppers — Peppers filled with a savory mixture of buckwheat and beef
- Prepare the ingredients; chop onions and slice mushrooms. Bring water to boil in a pot, add the buckwheat and salt, to taste. Cover and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes.
- Preheat a pan, add butter and onions to the pan. Then add mushrooms to the pan and cook until golden brown.
- Combine mushroom mixture with the cooked buckwheat, let it sit for about 5 min to allow flavors to meld.
- Finally, add in the chopped green onion and stir to combine. Serve and enjoy!