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Barley Risotto

Are you ready to add more whole grains to your cooking routine? This barley risotto is packed with flavor and fiber to keep your taste buds happy! Swapping out traditional white rice for barley makes it a whole grain dish that can be served as a side or a meal itself. Sautéing the dry barley with the onion and spices give this risotto a toasted flavor that is sure to satisfy.


1⁄2 T oil
1 onion (chopped finely)
1 clv garlic (chopped finely or 1/2 t garlic powder)
1⁄4 t black pepper
3 1⁄2 c chicken broth (reduced sodium, or reduced sodium vegetable broth)
1⁄2 c water
1 c barley
3⁄4 c peas (frozen)
1 T lemon juice
1 T butter
2 T parmesan cheese (grated)

Yield amount

4 Servings

Preparation time

5 minutes

Cooking time

1 hour

Total time

1 hour, 5 minutes


  1. Wash hands before getting started.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, dry barley, and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add broth and water, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for about 50 minutes or until barley is tender but slightly chewy.
  4. Stir in frozen peas, cover, and cook for 5 more minutes.
  5. Stir in lemon juice, butter, and parmesan cheese. Cook uncovered for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.


You can substitute any vegetable for frozen peas such as cooked asparagus, butternut squash, or mushrooms.

Want to make it a heartier meal? Add in fully cooked chicken, fish, or shrimp at step 5 for a one-pot meal!

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large pot with lid
  • Mixing spoon
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