Home Recipe Roundup 24 Best Barley Recipes to Try

24 Best Barley Recipes to Try

Try these barley recipes for hearty meals that are full of flavor!

Barley is a seriously underrated ancient grain that will elevate your food game.

If you find that hard to believe, then you need to try these amazing barley recipes.

Barley Salad with Chicken and Vegetables
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

Barley is one of the oldest cultivated grains in the world. People have been eating barley since about 8000 BCE! And for good reason, too.  

Barley is filling and nutritious. It has been shown to support heart health and regulate blood pressure, among many other things.

Simply stated, it’s a great source of necessary nutrients.

Furthermore, barley is delicious, with a nutty, earthy flavor. But its flavor is neutral enough to work well in a variety of dishes. 

Nowadays, barely is most commonly used to malt beer. But it’s time to go back to our roots. These 24 delicious recipes are a great way to start. 

1. Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables Barley

If you typically feel pretty “meh” towards veggies, then I dare you to try this! It just might change your feelings about vegetables. 

This Mediterranean roasted vegetables and barley dish is absolutely delicious.

Mediterranean cuisine is known for fresh dishes and bold flavors. This dish is a perfect example. 

Spiced and hearty barley provides the base for this healthy dish.

The barley is topped with veggies that have been roasted to perfection. Then, it’s mixed with fresh herbs and alliums. 

It’s dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. Finally, a little feta and some toasted pine nuts bring everything together. It’s delicious! 

2. Vegetable Barley Soup

This is one of those great clean-out-the-fridge/freezer/pantry meals.

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

It doesn’t require a ton of effort and it’s very customizable. It’s also extremely cost-effective. 

You can make a lot of this soup for less than $10. And if you have a bunch of veggies in the fridge/freezer already, all the better! 

Use a good vegetable broth, pearl barley, seasonings, and your favorite veggies. This recipe uses a mix of fresh, canned, and frozen vegetables. 

It’s thick, hearty, very healthy, and extremely delicious. 

3. Barley Risotto

Although risotto is fairly easy to make, people don’t often enjoy it outside of restaurants. And that’s just sad because it’s rich, silky, and seriously delectable. 

This barley risotto is even better because of the added health benefits. Plus, you get a ton of flavor from the barley. 

This barley risotto also features mushrooms, fennel, spinach, and white wine. It’s earthy, creamy, and luxurious. You’ll love it!

4. Beef Barley Soup

If you love beef stew, then I suspect you’ll love this soup, too! It’s hearty, thick, and full of melt-in-your-mouth beef. 

Now, it’s a little lighter than beef stew but it’s just as tasty. This soup is loaded with veggies, and the barley adds great depth of flavor. 

I think beef stew is best in fall and winter. But this delicious beef barley soup is great all year long!

5. Barley Salad

If you think a healthy salad has to have lots of lettuce, think again! This salad is scrumptious and very healthy, but there’s no lettuce here. 

Did I mention that super fresh, super tasty, and full of Mediterranean flavors? No…? Well, it is, and I think you’ll love it. 

6. Barley Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuff your face with these barley stuffed bell peppers! This recipe is vegan, but non-vegans will love it, too.

Like traditional stuffed peppers, these feature Italian-inspired flavors and ingredients.

Chickpeas add protein, so they’ll fill you up while their deliciousness blows your mind. 

And they’re cheesy, too (vegan cheese, obviously)! If you’re non-vegan, you can just use regular cheese as well. 

7. Barley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Feta

This yummy salad is full of good grains and tons of protein. It’s super healthy and each bite is a rollercoaster of flavors and textures. 

A sweet, sour, and tangy lemon vinaigrette is the finishing touch that brings everything together. It’s DEE-licious.  

8. Chicken Barley Soup

There is nothing quite so comforting as a warm bowl of chicken soup.

It’s light but filling. It’s full of flavor and it hits the spot every time, especially if you’re sick. 

This chicken and barley soup is divine. The barley is the perfect addition you didn’t know you needed.

It’s chewy and nutty, and it works so well with the classic chicken soup flavors.

Obviously, chicken noodle is a classic for a reason. But this is a great way to switch it up!

9. Fall Spinach Barley Risotto (Orzotto con Spinaci)

It’s healthy, filling, and full of delicious flavor? In my book, there’s nothing better than that culinary trifecta.

I mean, really, what more could you ask for?

The fact that this dish is luxuriously creamy is just the icing on the cake. 

10. Baked Barley with Mushrooms

This baked barley and mushroom dish is simple and delicious.

It makes the perfect side for a meat dish. And it’s a fantastic vegetarian meal on its own. 

The best part is that it’s customizable. Feel free to add any veggies you like for a more robust dish.

If you don’t like mushrooms, simply substitute them for your favorite vegetable.

11. Barley Porridge with Blueberries

Start your morning right with this delicious, Middle Eastern-inspired porridge.

This porridge is packed with healthy goodness, and it will keep you full all morning. The kids will love it, too!

The barley is ground down and then cooked with a little water and milk. The result is a super creamy perfect porridge.

It’s slightly nutty in flavor and absolutely delicious. 

But wait, there’s more. You top the porridge with oven-roasted blueberries, chopped dates, and chopped walnuts.

It adds fantastic texture and so much flavor! 

12. Breakfast Barley Porridge

If you love oatmeal but want to switch it up, this porridge is for you! It’s hearty and filling and deliciously nutty.

This recipe is flavored with cinnamon, honey, raisins, and nuts.

13. Egyptian Barley Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Treat yourself to some Pharoah-fare with this delectable Egyptian salad. It’s bright and flavorful and I know you will love it!  

Middle Eastern food is well known for its juxtaposition of sweet and savory elements. And this dish exemplifies that balance beautifully. 

Every bite has a bit of barley, cilantro, pomegranate, feta, pistachios, raisins, and scallions.

It’s dressed in a sweet-savory pomegranate vinaigrette. It’s amazing!  

14. Goose Stew with Barley and Mushrooms

Do you ever have themed movie nights, where you cook dinner to match the movie? If you’ve never done it, you should try it.

This stew is perfect for one of those nights. 

It’s warm, comforting, and gamey. It’s whole, simple food that uses real, wild ingredients. It’s also very delicious. 

So, Lord of the Rings marathon anyone?

15. Turkey Barley Soup

This is the perfect dinner for the day after Thanksgiving (or anytime you have leftover turkey).

It’s a great way to use up the leftovers and the bones. You get to make your own stock! 

Essentially, this soup has all the flavors of chicken and barley soup, but with turkey!

Turkey is generally a little leaner than chicken. So, this soup is filling, but very low in calories.

16. Barley Rice

I’ve had grain bowls with rice. I’ve had grain bowls with barley. But this recipe combines both grains for the best grain bowl base you’ll ever have! 

This combo gives you more flavor, more nutrients, and more texture. And it’s very versatile.

You can top it and serve it with any combination of veggies and protein. 

17. Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash

If you haven’t tried stuffed squash, you definitely need to! This recipe is a delicious way to break up any menu monotony.

Whether it’s your main course or a side dish, it’s great! 

Onion, celery, carrots, barley, and thyme are cooked in vegetable broth. It sort of creates a delicious risotto-like filling. 

When everything is stuffed in the savory-sweet roasted squash, it’s utterly delicious! 

18. Homemade Lemon Barley Water

Some say that food is medicine. When it comes to this refreshing drink, I’m inclined to agree. And it tastes like lemonade, so that’s pretty great! 

This drink has some great health benefits! Barley water has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

It helps with weight loss, boosts fiber, and keeps your gut healthy.

It’s a simple drink made with barley, lemon juice, and sugar. It’s crisp and refreshing and delicious. You can also use honey instead of sugar. 

19. Kale Barley Salad with Feta and a Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

If you need a nutrition boost that tastes amazing, look no further. This sublime salad has everything you could ever want in a salad!

Do you want tasty greens, healthy fats, delicious protein, whole grains, and some crunch?

Do you want a tangy and flavorful dressing? This salad checks all of the boxes! 

20. Korean Barley Tea (Boricha)

Clearly, barley is good for so much more than side dishes.

And like the lemon barley water from earlier, this tea is great for your health. It’s pretty tasty, too! 

Boricha can help with weight loss and digestion issues. Regardless of the potential benefits, it’s a tasty drink.

It’s light, refreshing, and very thirst-quenching. 

21. Barley Salad with Roasted Carrots

I love warm salads. There’s just something about serving warm veggies salad-style that feels fancy.

The best part is that it’s not fancy at all and totally easy to do. 

This dish features many bold ingredients like pomegranate, feta, barley, cumin, coriander, and lemon. It’s elegant and delicious. 

22. Barley Salad with Summer Squash

This barley salad is the perfect accompaniment to any meal. If you’re vegan, it’s a great meal by itself. 

It’s loaded with roasted veggies, herbs, and seeds. Plus, it’s well-seasoned, so it has great flavors and textures.

23. Barley Risotto with Mushrooms

It’s cheesy, creamy, and loaded with veggies? Sign me up! 

This barley risotto features mushrooms, asparagus, two kinds of bold cheese, and fresh herbs.

It is luxuriously delicious. I know you’re going to love it!

24. Barley Pilaf

This simple barley pilaf is a fantastic way to sneak veggies into your diet.

The mixture of veggies and grains reminds me of fried rice. Only it doesn’t have eggs or anything fried.

This pilaf is light, nutty, and has an amazing texture. Serve it with roasted chicken to complete your meal! 

24 Best Ways to Cook with Barley (+ Recipe Collection)

These amazing barley recipes are so full of flavor! From soup to risotto to salad, barley is hearty, satisfying, and delicious!


  • Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables Barley

  • Vegetable Barley Soup

  • Barley Risotto

  • Beef Barley Soup

  • Barley Salad

  • Barley Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • Barley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Feta

  • Chicken Barley Soup

  • Fall Spinach Barley Risotto (Orzotto con Spinaci)

  • Baked Barley with Mushrooms

  • Barley Porridge with Blueberries

  • Breakfast Barley Porridge

  • Egyptian Barley Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

  • Goose Stew with Barley and Mushrooms

  • Turkey Barley Soup

  • Barley Rice

  • Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash

  • Homemade Lemon Barley Water

  • Kale Barley Salad with Feta and a Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Korean Barley Tea (Boricha)

  • Barley Salad with Roasted Carrots

  • Barley Salad with Summer Squash

  • Barley Risotto with Mushrooms

  • Barley Pilaf


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a barley recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Barley Recipes

Did you like the recipe?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.7 / 5. Vote count: 9

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Share on social media:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

author avatar
Haley van der Ploeg
Haley van der Ploeg is a food writer and content creator for Insanely Good Recipes, where she authors blog posts, creates recipes, and crafts tantalizing photos.

Haley is passionate about food and its ability to gather people across cultures, languages, and generations. She believes everyone can learn to cook.

Most days, you can find Haley reading, baking elaborate cakes, and hosting get-togethers for friends and family. If Haley isn't home, she’s probably on a plane jetting off to exciting adventures and new cuisines.

She lives with her husband in the Netherlands and has taught him that vegetables *can* taste good.

2 thoughts on “24 Best Barley Recipes to Try”

Leave a Comment