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Microwave pearl barley risotto recipe

Microwave pearl barley risotto recipe

34 ratings

This nifty risotto is cooked in the microwave which saves on both time and energy. If you don't have a microwave, see our tip at the bottom of the method on how to cook it on the hob. See method

  • Serves 4
  • 35 mins
  • 393 calories / serving
  • Freezable
  • Healthy
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Dairy-free


  • 350g pearl barley
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 vegetable stock pot, made up to 500ml
  • 3 garlic cloves, 2 crushed, 1 chopped
  • ½ Savoy cabbage, core discarded, shredded
  • 15g fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested 
If you don't have any pears, try using apples

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    2g 3%
  • Saturates

    1g 3%
  • Sugars

    7g 8%
  • Salt

    1g 17%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 75.1g Protein 10.1g Fibre 16.4g


  1. Put the barley, tomatoes4, stock and crushed garlic in a large microwaveable bowl. Mix well. Cover with clingfilm or a microwave-safe lid, then microwave on high* for 10 mins, stirring halfway through (being careful of the steam escaping). Leave to rest for 2 mins. 
  2. Once rested, stir in the cabbage and 50-100ml more water if all the liquid has been absorbed. Cover again and microwave for 5 mins until the barley is tender, the greens have softened and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Leave to rest for 5 mins, uncovered if there’s some water still in the bowl, or covered if it’s all been absorbed. 
  3. Meanwhile, mix the parsley, lemon zest and chopped garlic in a bowl. Season with black pepper, then scatter over the risotto.

Tip: Don’t have a microwave? Cook on the hob for 30-40 mins, covered, adding more water as needed until the barley is tender. Stir in the cabbage and cook for another 5-8 mins.

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 Vegan recipes

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