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The 5 Best Substitutes For Freekeh

Have you ever tried Freekeh?

It’s a Middle Eastern grain with a unique smoky flavor and chewy texture.

It’s become increasingly popular as more people are looking for alternative grains to add to their diets.

However, it can be difficult to find in some areas or may not fit into your budget.

Fortunately, there are several substitutes for freekeh that can give you the same flavors and textures without breaking the bank.

In this article, I will share five of the best substitutes for freekeh so that you can enjoy all the benefits of this nutritious grain without spending too much money.

What is Freekeh?


Freekeh (pronounced free-kah) is a type of whole grain that has been around for centuries.

It is made from green durum wheat that is harvested while still young and then roasted over an open flame.

This process gives it a smoky flavor and chewy texture, as well as its signature nutty aroma.

Freekeh can be used in place of rice or other grains in many dishes, such as pilafs, salads, soups, stews, casseroles, and more.

It can also be ground into flour to make breads and pastries.

The most common form of freekeh is cracked wheat; however, there are also varieties available that have been rolled into flakes or pearled (which means the outer husk has been removed).

The cooking time for freekeh varies depending on the form you choose—cracked wheat takes about 25 minutes to cook while pearled takes only 10 minutes.

When cooked properly it should have a slightly al dente texture with a nutty flavor similar to barley or bulgur wheat.

The 5 Best Substitutes For Freekeh

If you can’t find freekeh, don’t worry – there are several other options.

Here we look at five alternatives that will offer a similar taste and texture:

1 – Farro

Source: The Spruce Eats / Lindsay Kreighbaum

Farro is an ancient grain that has been eaten for centuries.

It’s a type of wheat, and it has a nutty flavor and chewy texture.

Farro is high in fiber, protein, and minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.

It also contains B vitamins which are important for energy production.

Farro can be used as a substitute for freekeh in many dishes such as salads or soups.

It can also be cooked like rice or quinoa to make pilafs or side dishes.

Farro is especially delicious when combined with vegetables like mushrooms or roasted tomatoes.

2 – Bulgur

Bulgur Wheat

Bulgur is a whole grain made from wheat that has been parboiled, dried and cracked.

It is an ancient grain with origins in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions.

Bulgur is high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals making it a nutritious alternative to other grains like rice or quinoa.

Bulgur has a nutty flavor and chewy texture that makes it great for salads, pilafs, soups or stuffing.

It can also be used as a substitute for freekeh in recipes such as tabouli or tabbouleh salad.

Bulgur cooks quickly so you don’t have to wait long before enjoying its deliciousness!

3 – Barley


Barley is a cereal grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years.

It is high in fiber, protein, and B vitamins, making it a nutritious addition to any diet.

Barley can be used as an alternative to freekeh in many dishes such as soups, salads, stews, casseroles, and pilafs.

Barley has a nutty flavor with hints of sweetness and earthiness.

It also has a chewy texture that makes it great for adding body to dishes like soups or stews.

Barley can also be cooked into porridge or added to baked goods like breads and muffins for extra nutrition and flavor.

4 – Whole Wheat Couscous

Whole Wheat Couscous

Whole wheat couscous is a type of pasta made from durum wheat semolina.

It has a light, fluffy texture and nutty flavor that makes it an excellent side dish or main course.

Whole wheat couscous is high in fiber and protein, making it a healthy alternative to white rice or other refined grains.

Whole wheat couscous can be used as the base for salads, soups, stews, casseroles, and more.

It’s also great for bulking up vegetarian dishes like veggie burgers or falafel.

The nutty flavor pairs well with vegetables and herbs like parsley, mint, garlic, onion, tomatoes and olives.

Pro Tip: To make whole wheat couscous even healthier try cooking it in vegetable broth instead of water! This will add extra flavor to your dish without adding any fat or calories.

5 – Quinoa


Quinoa is a grain-like seed that has been around for thousands of years.

It is high in protein and fiber, and it’s gluten-free.

Quinoa can be used as a substitute for freekeh in many recipes, such as salads, soups, stews, casseroles, stir-fries, and more.

Quinoa has a mild nutty flavor and chewy texture that makes it an excellent alternative to freekeh.

It cooks quickly (in about 15 minutes) and can be served hot or cold.

Quinoa also provides essential vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.

Pro Tip: Toasting quinoa before cooking helps bring out its nutty flavor even more! Simply heat a dry skillet over medium heat until hot then add the quinoa to the pan stirring constantly until lightly browned (about 5 minutes).


Can I use rice instead of freekeh?

Yes, you can use rice instead of freekeh in most recipes. Rice is a great substitute for any whole grain and can easily be swapped out for freekeh in any dish.

When using rice instead of freekeh, it is important to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as rice typically cooks much faster than freekeh.

Additionally, you may need to adjust the amount of liquid used in the recipe, depending on the type of rice you choose. Overall, incorporating rice instead of freekeh is an easy and tasty way to switch up any dish.

Is freekeh the same as bulgur wheat?

No, freekeh is not the same as bulgur wheat.

Freekeh is made from young, green durum wheat that is harvested before it ripens, parched, roasted, and rubbed. It is similar to bulgur wheat in that it is made from wheat, but freekeh has a smokier flavor and texture compared to bulgur.

Additionally, freekeh is high in protein, fiber, and iron compared to bulgur, making it a healthier option.

Is freekeh similar to quinoa?

Yes, freekeh is quite similar to quinoa. Both are high in fiber and protein, but freekeh stands out by containing double the fiber and a modestly higher protein count than quinoa.

A single serving of freekeh also provides more than twice the daily recommended amount of zinc, and almost twice the daily amount of iron and copper.

All of these nutrients make freekeh a nutritious and satisfying alternative to quinoa.

What is freekeh called in English?

Freekeh is a process used to prepare grains, usually durum wheat. In English, it is also known as roasted green wheat, or just green wheat.

Freekeh is made by sun-drying freshly harvested wheat, which is then roasted and rubbed to remove the husks. The resulting grain is high in protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients, making it a popular choice for health-conscious consumers.


In conclusion, freekeh is a nutritious and versatile grain that is a great addition to any dish.

However, if you don’t have freekeh on hand, there are several other grains that can be used as a good substitute.

The best substitutes for freekeh are farro, bulgur, barley, whole wheat couscous, and quinoa. Each of these grains has a unique flavor and texture, so you can experiment with different combinations to find the perfect flavor for your dish.

Using a combination of these grains is a great way to add variety and nutrition to your meals, and will ensure that you never have to go without freekeh again.


The 5 Best Substitutes For Freekeh

When it comes to flavor and nutrition, freekeh is a fantastic ingredient to include in your meals. But what if you're out of freekeh and need something to substitute? Well, I'm here to help! In this article, I'm sharing the five best substitutes for freekeh that you can use to get the same flavor and texture. Whether you're looking for a gluten-free alternative or just something different, you'll find something here that'll work for your particular dish. So read on to find out more!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 367 kcal


  • Farro
  • Bulgur
  • Barley
  • Whole Wheat Couscous
  • Quinoa


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.