Mushroom-barley pilaf is a hearty, naturally vegan skillet main dish or side, perfect for warming up on chilly evenings. The classic duo of mushrooms and barley is as comforting in this easy skillet dish as it is in the famous soup.
The most time-consuming part of most barley recipes is cooking it, which takes a bit longer to cook than rice, or even brown rice. So if you can do that step ahead of time, this comes together quickly.
Inexpensive and widely available, barley deserves to be kept on our culinary radar. It can be just as versatile as rice and combines well with bold seasonings. Learn lots more in our Guide to Barley.
Pearl or pot barley: Though this recipe calls for pearl barley, feel free to use pot barley, which leaves a bit more of the hull intact. That said, you’ll need even longer cooking time, unless using an Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
Any kind of mushroom: Use any kind of mushrooms you prefer or that are on hand. A combination is good as well. Choose from white, cremini (baby bella), portobello, shiitake, oyster … really, anything goes when it comes to mushrooms for this dish.
- 1 cup raw pearl barley
- 3 cups water
- 1 large or 2 small vegetable bouillon cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup grated carrot (or quartered baby carrot)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cleaned, stemmed, and coarsely chopped mushrooms (any variety)
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, optional
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine the barley with the water and bouillon cubes in a medium saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat and simmer with a cover ajar for 40 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. If the barley isn’t done to your liking, add 1/2 cup more water and cook until absorbed; repeat if needed.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the carrot, garlic, and mushrooms, and continue to sauté until the vegetables are just tender.
- Add the cooked barley and peas, and cook over low heat, for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the parsley and dill, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Variation: To make this an even heartier main dish, add 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked or one 15-ounce can beans, drained and rinsed. Red or pink beans go particularly well with this, but use what you've got on hand.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 116Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 164mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g
Nutrition data is always an estimate depending on program used to calculate and exact products used. This is given for informational purposes only and accuracy cannot be guaranteed.
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