U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


  1. Home
  2. Explore Resources
  3. Breakfast Barley

Breakfast Barley

Switch up a morning routine with whole grain barley! This warm breakfast barley bowl is nutritious and delicious! Milk and fruit add a creamy sweetness while the cinnamon and nuts compliment chewy, tender barley.


1 c barley
3 c water
1⁄2 c low-fat or non-fat milk
1⁄2 t cinnamon
1 c chopped fruit (apples, bananas, berries, peaches, or a mixture)
2 T nuts (chopped)

Yield amount

4 Servings

Preparation time

5 minutes

Cooking time

1 hour

Total time

1 hour, 5 minutes


  1. Wash hands and then rinse fruit before getting started. 
  2. Add 1 cup barley to 3 cups of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 45-60 minutes, until barley is tender and most of the water is absorbed. Drain barley if needed.
  3. Combine cooked barley, milk, and cinnamon back into the large pot.
  4. Divide barley mixture between 4 bowls. Top with fruit and nuts. Serve warm.


You can prepare the barley in advance and refrigerate it until ready to use to reduce total cooking time. When ready to serve, microwave the precooked barley, milk, and cinnamon, then top it off with fruit and nuts.

Use any combination of fruit in this recipe. It can be fresh, frozen (thawed first), canned (drained), and/or dried!

Substitute fortified soy beverage for nonfat or low-fat milk for a dairy free option.

Swap nuts with seeds (e.g., pepitas or sunflower seeds) for a nut free option.

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Colander
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large pot with lid
  • Mixing spoon  
Back to Search