Freekeh with Basil-Cilantro Pesto and Grilled Pineapple Skewers by Cookie and Kate

Warm freekeh tossed with bold basil-cilantro pesto, served with grilled pineapple and bell pepper skewers. This simple dish is full of flavor and so good for you! If you can't find freekeh, cook another whole grain (like farro or quinoa) to package directions, then toss with the pesto. Recipe yields 4 servings.

Original recipe

View on Cookie and Kate


Prep: 20mins Cook: 25mins Total: 45mins


523 calories
Carbohydrate content
59.1 g
Cholesterol content
16.7 mg
Fat content
28.1 g
Fiber content
12 g
Protein content
13.5 g
Saturated fat content
6 g
Serving size
Sodium content
456.9 mg
Sugar content
11.1 g
Trans fat content
0 g



  1. If you’ll be using wooden skewers, soak 8 skewers in water for 20 minutes prior to grilling. I used these stainless steel skewers instead.
  2. In a small, heavy-bottomed pot, bring 2 3/4 cups water to boil. Add the freekeh, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the water is mostly absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let the freekeh rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat your grill to medium heat. Combine the prepared pineapple, bell pepper and onion in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until the pieces are lightly coated in oil, then thread them onto your skewers, alternating as you go. You should have enough for 8 skewers.
  4. Place each skewer on the grill. Cook, turning 90 degrees once the underside has developed good grill lines, until marked and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully transfer the skewers to a cooked platter once they’re done.
  5. To prepare the pesto, first toast the pepitas in a small skillet over medium low-heat until they are fragrant and making little popping noises, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer them to the bowl of a small food processor or blender. Add the basil and cilantro, garlic, lime juice and salt. Put on the lid and process until the herbs are finely chopped, then scrape down the sides. Process again as you drizzle in the olive oil and continue processing until the mixture is well blended.
  6. Stir the pesto into the cooked freekeh and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the freekeh into 4 bowls and top with crumbled feta, if you’d like. Serve with 2 skewers each.