How to Cook Millet

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Millet isn’t just for the birds! Find out how to cook millet, a light, fluffy, quick and convenient seed, below. I collaborated with Bob’s Red Mill to bring you this post.

Millet isn’t just for the birds! Find out how to cook millet, a light, fluffy, quick and convenient seed, below. I collaborated with Bob's Red Mill to bring you this post.
Millet is a seed that is often found in birdseed. But when it’s cooked up, it’s delicate and soft.

When I make it into a porridge, it reminds me of smooth and creamy corn grits. Served as a mounded side dish, it’s like fluffy mashed potatoes.

Once you get your hands on some millet, what do you do with it?

What To Make With Millet:

Millet can be cooked into a pilaf-style side dish or into a porridge. I also love it in a salad, and I’ve even managed to make a breakfast skillet and pancakes out of it. Neat, huh?

If making a side dish, be mindful that millet can be a bit dry-tasting. I always seem to need to add some butter, olive oil, a bit of cream cheese or shredded cheese or something to get moisture into the dish.

For example, the Millet Breakfast Skillet combines cooked millet with eggs, ham, and cheese and then bakes it in a skillet that is cut into wedges to serve. No moisture issues there. Instead, what you notice is a crazy-crunchy bottom crust.

That’s one thing I’ve discovered about millet, is if you cook it and then put it up against some heat and a bit of oil, it gets CRUNCHY. Which is why I also made some little pancakes out of it. Not breakfast pancakes though. These millet pancakes take the place of potato pancakes underneath some smoked salmon. Nice, right?

As a porridge, millet really is pretty fantastic. I find it similar in taste and texture to corn grits. I’m not saying they’re identical. If you’re a die-hard corn grits fan, you might find them vastly different. I’m just saying that they remind me of each other. The porridge is smooth with a tiny grainy texture, like corn grits. Millet also doesn’t have a lot of its own flavor in this preparation and so takes on the flavors of any milk, butter or other ingredients you add. Just like corn grits. I also find that farro takes on flavors well, you can check out how I make farro, too.

The big difference between millet porridge and corn grits is that millet porridge is way healthier with more fiber and protein than most brands. So if you like corn grits but want a healthier version, this is definitely something to try.

How To Cook Millet

The cooking instructions are basically the same for both the pilaf-style millet and the porridge. The difference is mostly how much water you add.

I usually toast millet in a dry saucepan over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes. This extracts a nice little nutty flavor from the seeds.

Then you add water and salt. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

When making the pilaf, remove from heat, keep it covered and let it steam in there for another 10 minutes. Fluff gently and add some butter or oil.

When making the porridge, give it a stir and a taste and see if it has the texture you’d like. If not, cook it a little longer. You may want to add more hot water or some warm milk if it gets too thick.

I hope you enjoy these millet recipes!

 

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How to Cook Millet


  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Prep Time: 4 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 29 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

Millet isn’t just for the birds! Find out how to cook millet, a light, fluffy, quick and convenient seed, below. I collaborated with Bob’s Red Mill to bring you this post.


Ingredients

For pilaf

  • 1 cup hulled millet
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbsp butter or oil (optional)

For porridge

  • 1 cup hulled millet
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbsp butter or oil (optional)
  • hot milk or water (optional)

Instructions

To make pilaf

  1. Put the millet in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the water and salt. Stir. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat but keep the lid. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove lid and very gently fluff with a fork and then gently stir in the butter or oil.

To make porridge

  1. Put the millet in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the water and salt. Stir. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stir a couple times to make sure it’s not sticking on the bottom of the pot.
  3. Remove lid and add butter or oil if using. Stir and taste. If you would like a smoother, thinner texture, add hot milk or water a tablespoon at a time.
This post originally appeared in February 2014. It was revised and republished in September 2018.
Millet is a nutritious seed that can be used in a delicious pilaf or as a breakfast porridge. Find out how to cook it for both uses here and get recipe ideas.

3 Responses to “How to Cook Millet”

  1. Marjory @ Dinner-Mom — February 20, 2014 @ 4:25 pm (#)

    If I ever have a question about cooking grains…I know to head over to your website. You are absolutely the expert!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Millet Salad with Tomatoes and Feta — January 19, 2015
  2. Homemade Crispy Millet Pancake Recipe — February 27, 2014

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