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Pesto sausage and pearl barley one-pot recipe

Pesto sausage and pearl barley one-pot recipe

54 ratings

This hearty one-pot recipe is brimming with sunny Mediterranean flavours, ideal for a summer supper or winter warmer. Use the leftover pearl barley to make these cheesy pearl barley cakes. See method

  • Serves 4
  • 1 hr 10 mins
  • 599 calories / serving
  • Freezable


  • 3 tbsp olive oil​
  • 8-pack 50% reduced-fat pork sausages
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed​
  • 400g pearl barley
  • 200ml white wine (optional)
  • 1 reduced-salt chicken stock cube, made up to 1ltr
  • 4 tbsp fresh basil pesto
  • 15g fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 35g Grana Padano or Parmesan, 25g finely grated, 10g shaved with a peeler
  • 220g cherry tomatoes
If you don't have any pears, try using apples

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    29g 41%
  • Saturates

    7g 37%
  • Sugars

    6g 7%
  • Salt

    1.6g 26%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 52.8g Protein 27g Fibre 11g


  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a deep, lidded frying pan or shallow flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat and fry the sausages for 8-10 mins, turning regularly, until golden brown all over (no need to cook through). Transfer to a plate.
  2. Heat another 1 tbsp oil in the pan and fry the onion for 5-7 mins until softened but not coloured. Stir in the garlic and fry for 1 min more until fragrant. Tip in the barley and stir for 1-2 mins to coat in the oil and toast the grains. Pour in the wine, if using, and bubble until evaporated. Stir in the chicken stock, cover and simmer over a medium heat for 35-40 mins, stirring occasionally, until the barley is just tender. Remove the lid for the last 10 mins of cooking if there's lots of stock left: you want a spoonable risotto texture.
  3. Transfer half the barley (about 750g) to a bowl or container to cool, then cover and put in the fridge for the pearl barley cakes (see recipe, right). Stir half the pesto into the remaining barley in the pan over a low heat, along with the basil stalks, spinach, grated Parmesan and 100ml water. Nestle in the sausages, cover and cook for a further 7-10 mins until the sausages are cooked through and the barley is tender and creamy.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the grill to high. Put the tomatoes on a tray and season. Drizzle with ½ tbsp oil and grill for 4-5 mins until just starting to soften and burst.
  5. Put the tomatoes on top of the barley and stir through, then spoon over the remaining pesto. Scatter with Parmesan shavings, basil leaves and a drizzle of the remaining olive oil to serve.

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 One-pot recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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