How to Cook Amaranth + 7 Easy Amaranth Recipes

amaranth porridge with miso glazed collards
amaranth with miso glazed collards

Amaranth is one of the ‘ancient grains-‘ those grains and seeds that have been feeding humans for thousands of years. Many of these grains, like teff, spelt, or millet simply faded into the background when modern, hybrid versions of wheat became the staple across the world. But ancient grains are making a slow, steady comeback as a healthy, wheat-free option for those of us interested in natural foods. Here are all the tips you need for how to cook amaranth AND seven easy amaranth recipes to make it easy for you to enjoy this ancient grain.

Amaranth is botanically a seed, though it’s usually referred to as a pseudo-grain. It’s teeny tiny, and has the distinction of being one of the smallest grains in the world (teff holds the title). It’s a nutty, grassy flavored seed that can be used in porridge, soups, or served as the main starch component of meal. You can also get amaranth flour to make gluten-free goodies. Heidi of 101 Cookbooks has a few recipes for amaranth flour in her cookbooks, and also features it this five-grain pilaf on her site.

Amaranth is actually a wide variety of plant species, some with edible leaves and others that are grown as ornamentals. Amaranth can be a problematic weed on organic farms; an overgrowth of amaranth made for the worst weeding on our farm. Even when only a few inches tall, the amaranth weed is spiny and tenacious; if left to grow it became even spikier and grows up to three feet tall!

But we forgive amaranth of these spines, because it is a healthful bulk item staple, and it’s easy to cook. I prefer amaranth mixed with quinoa or millet, as the flavor is quite strong. But it’s also nice mixed with a bit of brown rice. The Miso-Glazed Greens are salty and sweet- the perfect component to this wholesome grain.

amaranth with miso glazed greens

How to Cook Amaranth + Amaranth with Miso-Glazed Greens Recipe

1 cup amaranth grains
2 cups water
1 teaspoon soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa
1 bunch collard greens or kale, stems removed
2 Tablespoons white miso
2 Tablespoons brewed black tea (or water)
1 Tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
slices of lemon, for garnish
handful toasted Macadamia nuts (or other)

  1. Add amaranth grains to a saucepan with water and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, or until soft and grains are slightly translucent. Stir in cooked brown rice.
  2. Slice collard greens very thinly. Fluff so that leaves are not stuck together. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together miso, tea, and mirin until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet or wok, heat sesame oil over medium-low heat. Add sliced collards and cook until just wilted, about five minutes, stirring continuously. Turn off heat, drizzle with miso glaze, and stir to coat. Toss with toasted Brazil nuts. Serve on top of amaranth with lemon slices and enjoy!

Here are 6 easy amaranth recipes for you to try:

  1. Tomato & Amaranth Soup
  2. Smokey Amaranth Black Bean Burgers
  3. Rice Cooker Lentils Vindaloo with Quinoa and Amaranth
  4. Simple Breakfast Cereal  – Use amaranth in place of quinoa.
  5. Roasted Chick Peas and Veggies with Amaranth-Millet Pilaf
  6. Popped Amaranth

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About Andrea Bertoli 521 Articles
A vegan chef, cookbook author, educator, writer, surfer, and yogi based in Honolulu, Andrea is also the Accounts Manager for Important Media. Follow her foodie adventures at AndreaBertoli.com, Vibrant Wellness Journal, and Eat Drink Better. Find more from Andrea on Facebook and Instagram

4 Comments

  1. Cool recipe but odd you do not use the amaranth eaves themselves in the recipe! I rinse the WHOLE plant, cut off the root, slice it up and steam and oil it with onions and garlic and salt….

    • Hi Jess- That’s a great idea, but none of my markets or stores sell fresh amaranth, only the dried grains/seeds in the bulk bins. I like your idea though! Thanks for reading!

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