5 Easy-to-Grow Microgreens and Recipes to Use Them

Radish microgreens are easy to grow indoors and add extra crunch to your favorite dishes.
Image Credit: bhofack2/iStock/GettyImages

Growing your own microgreens is a real thing right now — just ask Pinterest — and this is a trend we can get behind. Microgreens are especially nutrient-dense, simple to grow indoors and even easier to incorporate into your meals.


Here's how to nurture your own tiny sprouts and reap the tasty benefits.

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What Are Microgreens, Exactly?

Microgreens aren't one specific plant; rather, the term refers to a very young plant, similar to sprouts or baby greens, although the three are distinctly different because they're harvested at different stages of the plant's growth, per the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.


Sprouts are harvested first, making them the youngest. Next up is microgreens and lastly, baby greens.

Lettuces don't actually make for good microgreens, but foods like arugula, basil, dill and broccoli work well. Also, the greens of edible foods like beets and carrots make great microgreens.

The best part is that, once they're planted, you can start to enjoy your microgreens in less than two weeks!


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How to Grow Microgreens — and the 5 Easiest Ones to Grow

These five were chosen by Home Microgreens because they're easy to plant and they don't have rigid growing requirements or the tendency to retain seed husks. Also, they reach harvest quickly.


First off, you'll need:

  • Microgreens seed packets
  • Potting soil or mix
  • A plastic container with drainage holes (you can use an old takeout container and poke the holes yourself)

Here's how to grow them:

  1. Pour two inches of moistened potting soil or mix into your container and level it, making sure not to over-compress the soil.
  2. Scatter the microgreens seeds evenly on top and then press gently into the soil.
  3. Sprinkle a thin layer of soil over the seeds and lightly spray the soil with a mister. Alternatively, you can cover the container with a clear lid or plastic wrap until the seeds sprout.
  4. Place them on a windowsill that gets a lot of light. (Microgreens need about 4 hours of direct sunlight every day, or more during winter months, to grow properly.)
  5. Mist your seeds once or twice daily, but make sure not to over-water so that the soil does not become wet.
  6. If you opted for using a clear lid to cover, remove it after the seeds have sprouted. Continue to mist once or twice a day.




Some microgreens note special instructions on the packets, so make sure to read for those before you begin.

1. Radish Microgreens

One of the reasons radishes are simple to grow is because they're so easy to keep track of. The seeds are light in color (providing a significant contrast to the dirt) and are larger in size.

They also grow very quickly — in about seven days — making them perfect for those of us who might be a bit impatient (insert 'person raising hand' emoji here).


How to Eat Them

The texture of radish greens is extra crunchy, making them perfect for throwing in your Smashed Chickpea Club or on top of your avocado toast.

Top a salad with broccoli microgreens for extra crunch.
Image Credit: Madeleine_Steinbach/iStock/GettyImages

2. Broccoli Microgreens

Next up is broccoli microgreens. They're similar to radish greens in that they're fairly simple and quick to seed, grow and harvest. Home Microgreens reports that radish greens and broccoli greens are the two easiest for novice growers.


Broccoli microgreens offer crunch like radish greens as well, but their flavor is more similar to a mild cabbage.

How to Eat Them

They're perfect on top of these Grilled Farmers Market Veggie Tacos With Guac or even sprinkled on your favorite pizza.

3. Kohlrabi Microgreens

These greens also have a mild cabbage taste but are a bit sweeter than their broccoli brothers. And they're beautiful in color, with their deep purple stems and bright green leaves.


Although the seeds are pretty small and are tougher to wrangle (they like to bounce out of the planting tray), they are still very easy to grow.

How to Eat Them

Try them on top of this Salmon and Broccolette Superfood Salad.

4. Arugula Microgreens

Just like its fully grown "adult" version, arugula microgreens have that signature peppery flavor. A little bit goes a long way when adding flavor to a dish, and a handful offers big nutritional benefits, too.


Growing arugula microgreens is easy, but you need a little more patience; they can take up to two weeks before they're ready to harvest.

How to Eat Them

Layer the arugula microgreens into this Strawberry, Cucumber and Chicken Mason Jar Salad or add them into a sandwich for extra flavor and bite.

Basil microgreens' purple hue add a pop of color to any dish.
Image Credit: miriam-doerr/iStock/GettyImages

5. Basil Microgreens

Again, these might not be the best choice for those with less patience. While basil microgreens are still relatively easy to grow, they can take up to three weeks to mature.

And like the proverb "a watched pot never boils," the same goes here. If you check on the seeds too early in their growing phase, they may decide not to peek over the top of the soil.

How to Eat Them

Once your basil microgreens are finally ready, try them on this Beet Avocado Salad With Crispy Goat Cheese.

Nutritional Benefits of Microgreens

Microgreens are small, but they are uber-concentrated with nutrients. For instance, a three-ounce serving of sunflower and basil microgreens has 25 calories but packs in the following:

  • 2 grams of fiber, or 8 percent of the Daily Value (DV)
  • 90 percent DV of vitamin K
  • 80 percent DV of iron
  • 35 percent DV of manganese
  • 20 percent DV of selenium
  • 15 percent DV of folate
  • 10 percent DV of vitamin A, thiamin and vitamin C

You'd be hard-pressed to find any other food that packs in so many vitamins and minerals in such a small serving and for so few calories. The term "superfood" is often overplayed, but if we were to use it, microgreens would receive the honor.




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