Barley, Mushroom, and Herb Risotto

Barley, Mushroom, and Herb Risotto
Recipe photo may include foods and ingredients that are not a part of this recipe and not included in the nutrition analysis.
Source: The Diabetes Cookbook. Recipe Credit: . Photo Credit: Mittera.
Risotto is traditionally made with starchy rice, but this version made with barley is higher fiber, and has a delightfully chewy texture. Adding the liquid to the grains 1/2 cup at a time gives them a rich, creamy texture by the time they are done cooking. Serve this as whole-grain side to a protein entree, like this Mediterranean Chicken and Artichokes, or add cooked chicken or shrimp and a handful of green to make this a complete meal.
  • Prep time
    10 min
  • Cook time
    45 min
  • Servings
    6 Servings
  • Serving size
    1/2 cup
Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

6 Servings

  • Serving Size
    1/2 cup
  • Amount per serving Calories 190

  • Total Fat 3.5g
    • Saturated Fat 0.9g
    • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 4mg
  • Sodium 430mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 32g
    • Dietary Fiber 6g
    • Total Sugars 4g
    • Added Sugars 0g
  • Protein 9g
  • Potassium 510mg
  • Phosphorus 195mg

Choices/Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch, 1 Nonstarchy vegetable, 1 Fat



  • low sodium chicken broth
    4 cup
  • water
    2 cup
  • olive oil (divided use)
    3 tsp
  • small onion (diced)
  • pearled barley
    1 cup
  • sliced mushrooms
    1 lbs
  • garlic (minced)
    1 clove
  • fresh parsley
    2 tsp
  • fresh chives
    2 tsp
  • black pepper
    1/4 tsp
  • grated Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup


  1. In a saucepan, bring chicken broth and water to a simmer over medium heat. Set aside but keep warm on low heat.

  2. In a separate medium saucepan, add 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion until clear. Add barley and sauté 2 minutes.

  3. Ladle 1/2 cup hot broth into barley mixture and stir constantly until liquid is absorbed. Continue to add broth, one 1/2 cup at a time, until the barley is cooked and has a creamy texture.

  4. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until all the liquid from the mushrooms is expelled and mushrooms begin to brown. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.

  5. Add sautéed mushrooms and garlic to barley mixture; then stir in parsley, chives, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

  6. If the barley risotto gets too thick, add more hot broth, stirring until creamy.

  • Recommended

    The flavor was amazing and the barley was creamy just like a risotto. Since I am vegetarian, I substituted low sodium vegetable broth for the chicken broth. I also only had one portobello mushroom left in the pantry, so I added steamed broccoli to the recipe. I also added homemade Seitan (recipe available on Eating Well), because I wanted to increase the protein to make it a vegetarian main course. Highly recommend.

  • Recommended

    Another one where you say chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. Other than that, this sounds delicious.