Chewy, nutty wheat berries mix with creamy pineapple fluff to make a this delicious Pineapple Wheat Berry Salad. Keep it simple, or add one (or more) of the optional mix-ins. Easy to make and freezer-friendly, it's perfect for potlucks, too!
Toast the wheat berries. (optional)Toasting enhances the nutty flavor of the wheat berries. Preheat the oven to 375°F | 190°C. Spread the wheat berries evenly on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and aromatic.
Soak wheat berries overnight. (optional)Soaking shortens the cooking time, but is not critical to cooking. Place 1 ½ cups of wheat berries in a medium bowl. Cover with enough boiling water so that there is about an inch of water above the wheat berries. Soak overnight.
Three Ways to Cook Wheat BerriesWheat berries are done when they are tender and chewy. Test for doneness as you cook them. NOTE: The cooking times for wheat berries in this recipe are based on cooking hard red winter wheat berries. The specific kind of wheat berry you buy, as well as product age, will influence the cooking time.  Slow Cooker Method (Recommended)Put presoaked wheat berries in slow cooker and add enough water so that it comes to at least one inch above the wheat berries. Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours, or until chewy and tender. When done, drain excess liquid. Set aside.  Instant Pot Method: Combine 1 ½ cups wheat berries, 4½ cups water, and a pinch of salt in the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and seal the valve. Set the manual timer for 35 minutes.When done, do quick release by moving the valve to vent the steam. Let all the steam release.Drain excess liquid. Set aside.  Stovetop Method: In a medium saucepan, combine presoaked wheat berries, a pinch of salt, and enough water so that there is at least 1 inch of water on top of the wheat berries. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium; cook until tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let steam, covered, 15 minutes. Test for doneness. Wheat berries should be tender yet chewy. (If they aren't done, just return them to the heat for a little while.) When done, drain excess liquid.
Pineapple Wheat Berry Salad
In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to thoroughly combine pineapple and cream cheese. It does not need to be perfectly creamy; however, any remaining chunks of cream cheese in the mixture should be about the consistency of cottage cheese.
Sprinkle dry vanilla pudding mix over pineapple-cream cheese mixture and stir until smooth. (It will be the consistency of thick school paste.)
Fold in whipped topping. Stir in cooked wheat berries, mixing until until evenly coated. Fold in any optional mix-ins.
Cooking Wheat Berries: The cooking time for wheat berries in this recipe is based on cooking hard red winter wheat berries. The specific kind of wheat berry you buy, as well as how old it is, will influence the cooking time. Nutrition estimates do not include mix-ins. Pineapple Wheat Berry Salad will stay good in the refrigerator for over a week. It can also be frozen.