Start this gluten-free slow cooker sorghum before you go to bed and wake up to ready-to-eat hot cereal.

Back in my gluten-eating days, my favorite slow cooker cereal was breakfast barley. I also liked it as a no-fuss dish to serve to guests.

Alas, barley is one of the three gluten-containing grains, along with wheat and rye. No more barley for me.

But now I’ve found a gluten-free grain that works as well as barley at maintaining texture after being cooked all night.

Introducing Sorghum

Sorghum, also known as milo, is best known for sorghum syrup–a sweetener more common in the southern United States. It is growing in popularity since it is a naturally gluten-free grain that is high in fiber, magnesium, iron, and protein.

sorghum field

Sorghum has been a staple food for centuries. In West Africa, it’s known as Guinea corn. In China, it’s known as kaoliang, and in India, it’s known as jowar.

raw sorghum grains

These round light brown sorghum grains look similar to Israeli couscous and have a mild, nutty flavor.

Sorghum can also be ground into a flour that resembles wheat flour in color and used in gluten-free baking.

Confession: I planned to order a 25-pound bag of sorghum flour from Azure Standard. I accidentally ordered whole-grain sorghum instead! And that is what led me to experiment with whole-grain sorghum.

Learn more about sorghum at Simply Sorghum.

Where to Buy Sorghum

Bob's Red Mill Sorghum

Look for whole-grain sorghum in well-stocked grocery stores and natural food stores. Bob’s Red Mill is a commonly available brand. Some natural food stores also carry it in bulk. It is also available online and through Azure Standard.

How to Cook Sorghum for Breakfast

Start off your day with a hearty whole-grain hot cereal. A slow cooker makes this incredibly easy. Stir the sorghum, water, salt, and cinnamon together in a slow cooker. Cook on low all night and wake up to a ready-to-eat hot cereal.

slow cooker sorghum cereal

Top with your favorite fruit, nuts or seeds, and plant milk. It’s also delicious topped with Pear Cream, Vegan Yogurt, Chia Jam, or Homemade Almond Milk.

Other Ways to Cook Sorghum

For the best shape retention, cook the sorghum on high in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours, on top of the stove for about an hour, or for 25 minutes in the Instant Pot.

How to Serve Sorghum

cooked sorghum

When cooked, the grains remain intact and chewy. Use sorghum in grain salads as a substitute for gluten-containing bulgur wheat, barley, farro, or couscous.

Serve sorghum instead of rice in grain bowls and for pilaf.

Variations

Savory Sorghum: Substitute 2-3 teaspoons Chicken-Style Seasoning for the salt.

Stove Top Sorghum: Heat sorghum, 3 cups water, and salt to boiling in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until soft and the liquid is absorbed, about 50-60 minutes.

Instant Pot Sorghum: Decrease water to 2 cups. Pressure cook for 22-25 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.

Slow Cooker Oat Groats: Substitute oat groats for the sorghum. Decrease water to 3¾ cups.

Slow Cooker Barley: Substitute ½ cup pearl barley for the sorghum. Decrease water to 3 cups. (not gluten-free.)

slow cooker sorghum cereal
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Slow Cooker Sorghum

Start this slow cooker sorghum before you go to bed and wake up to ready-to-eat gluten-free hot cereal.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy-free, gluten-free, oil-free, plant-based, soy-free, sugar-free, vegan, vegetarian, WFPB
Servings: 8
Calories: 82kcal
Author: Heather Reseck

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole-grain sorghum rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon or ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

Instructions

  • Stir sorghum, water, cinnamon, and salt together in a 1½ or-2-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until sorghum is soft, about 8 hours. Or cook on high about 4½ -5 hours. Drain any excess liquid.
  • Serve with your favorite fruit, nuts, and seeds. Top non-dairy milk. Refrigerate up to 1 week, or freeze up to 6 months. Makes 8 (½ -cup) serving.

Notes

Variations:
  • Serving ideas: Serve with Pear Cream, Vegan Yogurt, Chia Jam, or Homemade Almond Milk
  • Savory Sorghum: Substitute 2-3 teaspoons chicken-style seasoning for the salt.
  • Stove Top Sorghum: Heat sorghum, 3 cups water, and salt to boiling in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until soft, about 50-60 minutes. Drain excess liquid. Makes 3 cups.
  • Instant Pot Sorghum: Decrease water to 2 cups. Pressure cook for 20 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Drain excess liquid. Makes 3 cups.
  • Slow Cooker Oat Groats: Substitute oat groats for the sorghum. Decrease water to 3¾ cups.
  • Slow Cooker Barley: Substitute ½ cup pearl barley for the sorghum. Decrease water to 3 cups. (not gluten-free.)
Tip:
  • If you want the sorghum to retain its shape, cook it on high in the slow cooker, on the stove, or in the Instant Pot.  The grains start to break down with longer, slower cooking. 

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg