This buckwheat dish comes together in a flash and is totally customizable to any taste



In my “5 EASY Meals from Around the World” series, I was excited to try this Lithuanian buckwheat dish called grikiai. In America, buckwheat is very expensive, so I don’t eat it too often, but it is an affordable staple in Lithuania. Although buckwheat isn’t known for its impressive flavor profile, the ingredients in this dish truly make this nutritious grain pop!

This grikiai recipe comes from Kotryna in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Made from potatoes, bacon, onions, butter, garlic, and parsley, this earthy dish has a distinct aroma. It is immensely satisfying and filling, so students often make grikiai for an easy, affordable meal. Kotryna tells us that if you were to cook it in a dorm, everyone in the vicinity would know you are cooking grikiai just from the smell! In Lithuania, most adults and children also eat grikiai at least once a week due to its nutritious properties. Since it fills you up quickly and used to be among the cheapest grains, it has also been widely used in institutions like schools and the army. Overall, grikiai is a beloved dish throughout Lithuania, no matter who you are.

Grikiai is such a fun word to say, and I really enjoyed it as an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink dish. Kotryna tells us she prefers to top her grikiai with garlic, broccoli, and forest mushrooms; I also added dill and feta cheese, and this flexible dish turned out great. Although my buckwheat didn’t have much flavor other than its strong earthy taste, it has an excellent structure. Each buckwheat pearl has a bite to it, and the extraneous ingredients really add to this dish.

For generations long before Kotryna, her ancestors used what they had despite a lack of produce and grains. I think it’s really beautiful that human beings create such hearty, special meals from very little for themselves and their loved ones. In this way, food has always been such an important aspect of one’s culture. I am so glad to have tried grikiai, and I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

Watch the Video


  • 1 cup uncooked buckwheat
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • ½ onion chopped
  • ½ cup cabbage grated
  • ¼ cup carrot grated
  • butter


  • Cook buckwheat according to package instructions.
  • Melt butter in a separate pan. Add onion and cook till soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the rest of your vegetables and cook until soft. Add cooked buckwheat and toss to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve warm with perhaps a garnish of cheese and/or fresh herbs.


Any of the vegetables can be substituted or added on to depending on your preference!
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Region: Europe
Keyword: Weeknight-dinner


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