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12 top pearl barley recipes

Pearl barley's distinctive texture and unique, nutty taste makes it a grain that can add an element of interest to an otherwise dull dish. From pearl barley risotto to chicken and barley hot pot, here are 12 of our top pearl barley recipes.

Pearl barley and tomato risotto
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Pearl barley and tomato risotto

Try a new twist on a classic risotto recipe by using budget-friendly pearl barley. With tangy sundried tomatoes, garlic and parsley, this easy veggie dinner is full of Italian flavour and, what's more, it's healthy too. Finish with crumbly cheese, or freeze for another day.

  1. Heat the 1 tbsp oil from the tomato jar in a large, lidded saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and parsley stems and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 mins until soft and translucent. Stir in the pearl barley, sundried tomatoes, chopped tomatoes and stock.
  2. Bring to the boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30-40 mins, stirring occasionally, until the barley is just cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Give the barley a good stir until it’s released its starch and the risotto is creamy; season with pepper. Stir in the cheese and parsley leaves to serve.

Tip: To make it vegan, use a stock pot instead of a cube and swap the feta for 2 tbsp nutritional yeast.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

See more Family dinner ideas

View full recipe details
  • Ingredients
  • 100g sundried tomatoes (drained weight), finely chopped, plus 1 tbsp oil from the jar
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 15g fresh parsley, stems finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
  • 350g pearl barley
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 reduced-salt vegetable stock cube, made up to 600ml
  • 100g Greek-style salad cheese, crumbled