Butternut Squash and Barley Risotto

Butternut Squash and Barley Risotto


22 people made this

About this recipe: Well given food prices are rocketing I tried using barley instead of Arborio rice. It was a success, filling, healthy and still really yummy! NOTE: This is very filling and quite rich in flavour. So I sometimes serve half portions with some nice green beans or other summer Veg/green salad. It keeps in the refrigerator great in an air tight container or ziplock bag. It tastes great the next day cold or re-heated and so we take the leftovers for filling lunch at work.

moonpig Lancashire, England, UK

Serves: 2 

  • 350g butternut squash, peeled and cubed into bite size chunks
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 200g barley, rinsed and picked over
  • 450ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • splash dry white wine (optional)
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage chopped ( 2 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • To serve
  • 50g freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 bag of spinach leaves

Prep:10min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:55min 

  1. Heat olive oil in heavy bottomed pan. Add the onion and cook on a medium heat for 5-8 minutes until translucent, not browned. Add the garlic, cubed squash and the splash of wine. Cover and cook on medium for a couple of minutes until you can no longer smell the alcohol.
  2. Add the barley and stir well, cook for a couple of minutes. If the barley sticks add splash of stock. Then add the herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Add the remaining stock (yes all in one go!), bring to the boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer.
  3. Cook for approx 30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the barley is tender; Stir occasionally to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Cook's tip:

Instead of the sage, you can user 3 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary (2 tsp dried).

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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Reviews (9)


I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised by this. It wouldn't have occured to me to use Barley in place of Arboreo rice. Its much more substantial than rice - highly recommended for cold winter nights - and its far less labour intensive - no need to stand and keep stiring and adding the stock gradually. - 07 Jan 2010


Very good! My only complaint: I think you meant "Serves: 2 armies." We have SO MUCH left over! I thought it seemed like a lot of squash when I was cutting it, and then quite a lot of barley... I ended up using probably 1.5x the water and 2 stock cubes (Knorr veggie stock). I also didn't have wine like I thought, so I just omitted it and thew a little stock in early to soften things up. It was crazy kinds of good, and a tiny sprinkling of parmesan when serving it really seals the deal. I'll make it again someday, but we'll be eating this first batch for the next week Also, thank you for teaching me that I can use barley instead of Arborio rice for a delicious, flavorful, and less laborious dish. - 08 Sep 2011


Was tasty, all I would say is that this is very filling, I reckon it feeds 3 rather than 2 people. - 06 Apr 2011

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