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Cheesy pearl barley cakes recipe

Cheesy pearl barley cakes recipe

5 ratings

These moreish cheesy cakes are made with leftover pearl barley from the pesto sausage and pearl barley one-pot recipe. A comforting midweek meal, the cakes can be made ahead and frozen to make prep even easier. Try swapping the Parmesan for a vegetarian-friendly cheese to make these suitable for veggies. See method

  • Serves 4
  • 20 mins to prepare and 10 mins to cook
  • 541 calories / serving
  • Freezable
  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian


  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 750g leftover pearl barley (see recipe, above)
  • 1 lemon, zested 
  • 25g Grana Padano or Parmesan, finely grated
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g dried breadcrumbs (panko or regular)
  • 100-150ml vegetable oil
  • green beans, to serve (optional)
  • salad leaves, to serve (optional)
Low in saturated fat and a source of fibre

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    20g 29%
  • Saturates

    3g 17%
  • Sugars

    3g 4%
  • Salt

    0.8g 14%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 69.2g Protein 15g Fibre 10.3g


  1. Put the spinach in a colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water to wilt. Rinse under cold water until cool, then squeeze out all the excess liquid through a clean tea towel and finely chop.
  2. Tip the cold leftover pearl barley into a bowl and add the chopped spinach, lemon zest, Parmesan and some seasoning. Mix well with clean hands until combined.
  3. Put the flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Divide the barley mix into 8 and shape into patties using damp hands to stop the barley sticking. Dust in the flour to coat, then dip in the egg. Transfer to the breadcrumbs and press gently so they're well coated. Chill for 15 mins.
  4. Pour enough oil into a deep frying pan to come about 1cm up the sides. Heat over a medium-high heat until a cube of bread sizzles immediately when added and browns within 30 secs. Cook the barley cakes in batches for 1-2 mins each side until golden brown and crunchy. Drain on kitchen paper and transfer to a plate while you fry the remaining barley cakes. Season with a little salt, then serve with green beans and salad leaves, if you like.

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 Recipes to help reduce food waste

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