Barley Mushroom Risotto


76 people made this

About this recipe: This barley risotto is delicious, healthy and filling. It makes a nice side dish for steak or roasted meats, and also works as a starter or light vegetarian main - especially when you want to serve something a little different.


Serves: 6 

  • 1.2L (2 pints) vegetable stock (or chicken stock for non-vegetarian dish)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 200g (7 oz) pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 450g (16 oz) mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Prep:15min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:1hr5min 

  1. Bring chicken stock to the boil in a large saucepan. Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the barley, thyme, bay leaf and 450ml of the hot stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until most of the stock is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Pour in remaining stock 125ml at a time, stirring and allowing it to be absorbed before adding more. This process takes about 50 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Sauté mushrooms in the hot oil until tender. Add garlic, and cook for about 3 more minutes. Stir in the barley mixture and parsley. Remove bay leaf, and serve.


You could easily make this recipe vegan by substituting olive oil for the butter, and vegetable stock for the chicken stock.

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Reviews (4)


Used different ingredients. Didn't have thyme, and used cilantro instead of parsley. Also, I added 1-2 tsp of white wine to the mushrooms while they were finishing cooking in the frying pan right before I mixed in the barley, which brought out the flavour quite nicely. - 03 Apr 2009


I cooked this for over an hour and a half and the barley still felt hard to me... Having had very little experience of using barley, I'm not sure if this is normal or if I made a mistake and cooked it incorrectly I don't think I would make this again, although the mushrooms were tasty! - 27 Feb 2012


Loved it - took a while to prepare, but was very savoury and tasty. The barley was a bit more al dente than I was expecting even though I left it on the hob for 10 minutes longer than I intended to... not sure if that's my fault or the cooking time needs to be longer. - 03 Apr 2009

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