Chicken Freekeh

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This Lebanese Chicken Freekeh is the perfect recipe for a healthy lunch or dinner. Pan seared tender chicken thighs on a bed of fluffy Freekeh topped with golden toasted almonds. This hearty Freekeh recipe is ready in just 30 minutes. So GOOD!

Freekeh with chicken recipe

Chicken Freekeh

Freekeh is so delicious. Just a bowl of it with a dab of yogurt would suffice, but for the full effect, I topped my freekeh with a savory pan seared, golden crust, skinless and boneless chicken. SO EASY AND QUICK!

Wait… What is Freekeh

Freekeh, pronounced free-kuh, also known as frikeh, farik or fireek  is a type of cracked wheat, similar to bulgur, but typically picked while still green and then roasted to achieve a slightly smoky and nutty flavor. Freekeh is very nutritious; It is rich in protein, iron and fiber. It contains almost 3 times as much fiber as brown rice and twice as much as quinoa.

freekeh with chicken topped with roasted almonds.

How to Make Chicken Freekeh Recipe:

  • Pick over freekeh to remove any debris, rinse and soak for at least 30 minutes.
  • Cook the onions with olive oil until wilted, but not browned.
cooked onions in a large skillet
  • Add the rinsed freekeh and water and cook for 25 minutes.
freeke and onions mixed in a large skillet
  • While the freekeh is cooking, pan sear the boneless, skinless chicken thighs with olive oil.
pan seared chicken thighs
  • Toast the raw almonds until golden brown.
  • Assemble the freekeh, by starting with a bed of cooked freekeh on serving plate, top with pan seared chicken, sprinkle some roasted almonds on top and garnish with chopped parsley if you like.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!
If you are looking for freekeh recipes, the you will love this Lebanese Chicken freekeh.

How to Store Chicken Freekeh:

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. You can freeze cooked freekeh, without the chicken in a freezer friendly container for up to 6 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before heating and serving.

Frequently asked questions:

Is Freekeh gluten free?

Since freekeh is a strain of wheat, it’s not gluten free. To make this recipe gluten free, substitute quinoa for the freekeh, adjusting the amount of water and cooking time accordingly.

Where can I buy Freekeh?

You should be able to find freekeh at your local grocery store, usually in the grain isle with quinoa or at any Middle Eastern store. I’ve been finding it at Walmart and whole foods. You can also order it from amazon. If you can’t find freekeh, substitute your whole grain of choice for the freekeh, adjust water and cooking time as necessary. Bulgur, farro, barley, whole wheat couscous or quinoa would make great substitutes for the freekeh.

What is the difference between whole grain Freekeh and cracked freekeh?

Cracked freekeh takes less time to cook than whole-grain freekeh, about 20-25 minutes versus 45 minutes, without compromising nutritional content.

More Lebanese Inspired Recipes with Chicken?

Lebanese Chicken Shawarma

Lebanese Chicken and Rice


Lebanese Lemon Garlic Chickpeas- Msabaha

Chicken Tawook

if you are looking for cracked freekeh recipes, then you will love this freekeh with chicken. The perfect Lebanese recipe.

If you like this Lebanese Freekeh recipe or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! You can also follow and tag me on my Instagram page! 

Lebanese Freekeh Recipe with Chicken

Freekeh with chicken recipe

Chicken Freekeh

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
This Lebanese Chicken Freekeh is the perfect recipe for a healthy lunch or dinner. 


For the Freekeh Pilaf

  • 2 cups cracked freekeh
  • 1 tablesoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter-optional
  • 3.5 cups water or chicken stock

For the Pan Seared Chicken

  • 1.5-2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 6-8 thighs)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 teasooon salt
  • Chopped parsley for serving- optional

For the Almond

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds- whole or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Pick over freekeh to remove any debris, and rinse well in water until water runs clear. Soak the freekeh in warm water for at least 30 mins and up to 3 hours before cooking, then drain and set aside.

To Cook the Freekeh Pilaf:

In a large non stick skillet over medium hear, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally until wilted but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the soaked and drained freekeh and sauté for 2 minutes, then add salt, 3.5 cups of water and 1 tablespoon butter. Turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until freekeh is tender, about 25-30 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then fluff a little with a fork.

Pan Sear the Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs:

While the freekeh is cooking:

  1. Season the chicken thighs with salt, black pepper and all spice.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add seasoned chicken thighs to the skillet, smooth side down; cook for 8-10 minutes or until you can easily flip over the chicken. Flip and continue to cook for 6 to 7 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside.

Toast the Almonds on Stove Top:

In small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add almonds and cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown, turning frequently so they cook evenly.

To Serve the Freekeh:

On a serving plate, start with a bed of cooked freekeh and top with pan seared chicken, drizzle some roasted almonds on top and garnish with chopped parsley if you like. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. I can’t believe it took me 49 years to try freekeh! This Lebanese freekeh with chicken turned out delicious!

  2. I’m always up for trying new grains! Found freekeh at my local super market, and immediately searched for a recipe and found your Lebanese freekeh recipe. Turned out so so good, and very easy to make.

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