Mushroom Barley Recipe | Mushroom Barley Side Dish or Vegetarian Meal

mushroom barley recipeBarley is an earthy nutty grain, which pairs well with mushrooms.  While most Americans are accustomed to eating barley in soups, it is rarely served as a dish in itself.  I admit I don’t cook it all that often, but it does make for a nice change from the typical grains served at dinner.  This mushroom barley recipe  works as a good side for salmon or beef.  It can also be served as a vegetarian dinner, or some, chicken, sausage,  or beef for an easy one-pot meal.

Barley is high in soluble fiber, so this is great for those trying to watch their cholesterol.  It is also high in selenium & manganese.  Here it is paired with the mushrooms, which are also high in selenium (shown to avert prostate cancer), in addition to being an excellent source of copper, niacin, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. So as you can see this mushroom and barley recipe really could do you some good.

Recipe: Mushroom Barley

Summary: Simple mushroom barley side dish or vegetarian entree

Total Time: 60 min


  • 2 tsp olive oil, butter or spread
  • 8 oz of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced sweet onions
  • 1 chopped sweet red pepper (roasted, skinned & de-seeded)
  • 1 tsp crushed minced garlic
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • generous pinch of thyme
  • 3 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock, for vegetarian version)
  • bay leaf (1 large or 2 small)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (contains anchovies, so substitute Bragg aminos or soy sauce for strict vegetarians)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add oil or butter to large skillet or sauce pan, on med-high heat.
  2. Saute the onions until translucent. Add mushrooms, continue to saute.
  3. When the mushrooms are nearly done add the red pepper, garlic & thyme. Cook and stir for about a minute.
  4. Add the barley, continue to stir for another minute.
  5. Add remaining ingredients to the mushroom barley mixture, bring to a boil, then cut down to simmer. Cook covered for 40 minutes.
  6. Serve as you would risotto.

Diet type: Vegetarian

Yield: 6-8 servings


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  1. says

    I made a risotto similar to this (with pearl barley). . . MAN, it was good. This one looks fabulous as well — stumbled and bookmarked this recipe!

  2. says

    “6.Serve as you would risotto”

    That’s exactly what I was thinking when i saw the image. The barley and mushroom mix seems like it would be a bit earthier then typical risotto.

  3. says

    This looks so good. I would love to make this but I know my family would not go for it. They are stuck in a food rut and it’s hard to find something they would all agree on.

    Thanks for the yummy recipe. SOME DAY I hope to try it.

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