Yummy Barley Recipes For Filling Meals

You already learned many good reasons to add barley to your grain repertoire. Here are some great tips for making barley into a complete meal, including the basics and of course, recipes.

How to Cook Hulled Barley

For quicker cooking, it is best to soak the barley in advance.


1 cup Hulled Barley
3 cups clean water


  1. First clean the barley by rinsing it thoroughly.
  2. Add 3 cups of water to 1 cup of barley in the pot you are going to cook it in.
  3. Then let it soak on a counter top for several hours or even better, overnight. It’s an extra step but it’s worth it for the quicker cooking time and more nutritious barley. Soaking it helps breakdown complex sugars, tannins and gluten, thus making it easier to digest.

If you are unable to cook it after it’s been soaked, then drain, rinse and put it in the fridge, covered, until the next day.

Basic Cooked Barley Recipe

  1. Bring the soaked barley and water to a boil on high heat. Make sure you watch it so that it doesn’t boil over.
  2. Now reduce the heat to low.
  3. Simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Add salt and cook for 20 more minutes.
  5. Even when cooked it will have some chewiness. It is done when 20 percent of them have burst open.

You can use the recipe above for non-pre-soaked barley. Follow directions above and cook for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Braised Cabbage and Yellow Peppers with Barley

Braised Cabbage and Yellow Peppers with Barley

Braised Cabbage and Yellow Peppers with Barley

This is a delicious way to enjoy a whole barley meal in a bowl. It can be eaten hot right out of the pot or you can let it cool down and eat it as a salad.
Serves 3-4


1 cup barley, cooked
¼ tsp Himalayan salt
1 small head green cabbage (approx. /1 lb.)
2 medium onions
2 yellow peppers
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp coconut oil or almond oil
½ tsp. sea salt
½ Tbsp mustard seeds
1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
Black pepper
Olive oil to garnish
Fresh dill for garnish if desired


  1. First cook 1 cup of barley. See recipe.
  2. Now prepare the vegetables. Slice the cabbage and yellow peppers into thin pieces, slice onions and mince the garlic.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a large pot. Add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add fennel seeds and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook for a minute.
  4. Add onions, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add garlic, salt, and cabbage and cook for 5 to 10 minutes till the cabbage has softened.
  6. Then add yellow peppers and cooked barley, let simmer on low heat for a few more minutes.
  7. After serving on the plate, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle fresh dill weed.
  8. You can eat this warm, or let it get cool as a salad in the summer.
Tsampa Porridge

Tsampa Porridge

Tibetan Tsampa Porridge

My fondest memory of barley is when I was in the small town of McLeod Ganj, near Dharmasala, the center of the Tibetan exile. I hear that this Tsampa Porridge is part of the Dalai Lama’s daily meal. I remember being served Tsampa porridge which is made from barley. I thought it was delicious and made it when I got back home. The photo above was taken and sent to me last week by Namgyal Dolkar, a friend who lives in Tibet.

The main staple food in Tibet is `tsamba’ which is made of roasted barley (with husk) ground with a hand mill into very fine flour. It is usually mixed with Tibetan tea, a salty, yak-milk tea which I have made differently using a nut milk.

To make this you either have to buy roasted barley flour or you can make it.


1 cup roasted barley flour
Butter tea (which I have changed to coconut oil tea)


  1. Mix barley flour and tea to make a paste in a sauce pan
  2. Cook on a low heat, adding tea to desired thickness.

One of the main ways of preparing and eating the tsampa is to make the porridge with beef or mutton and vegetables. I add vegetables or sometimes fruit.

Coconut Oil Tea (my version instead of Butter Tea)

1 tablespoon loose green tea leaves
1/4 cup almond or coconut milk
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Himalayan salt

Steep tea in 4 cups of water for about 10 minutes.  Strain tea leaves from the liquid.
Add the milk and coconunt oil to the strained tea.
Add salt to taste. (Tibetans like it very salty!)
This will cool the tea, so warm it briefly over a low flame, making sure the tea doesn’t boil.

It is a novelty the first time you eat it, but really only Tibetans can eat it every day and look forward to the next tsampa meal.

Tasty Homemade Barley Salad

Tasty Homemade Barley Salad

Tasty Homemade Barley Salad


1 cup cooked Barley, cooled
8 Radishes, sliced
1 Red pepper, chopped
1 cup Spinach, chopped
4 Green onions, chopped
1/2 cup Parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. First mix all vegetables together with the barley.
  2. Then combine, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper making a simple salad dressing.
  3. Next sprinkle the salad dressing on the vegetables and barley.
  4. Now enjoy a filling delicious salad.

Related at Care2


Marie W
Marie W1 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Emma L
Past Member 7 months ago

Thank you

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara7 months ago


Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara7 months ago

Barley is a less fussy crop than wheat. Animals will eat barley straw but the awns get in their eyes.

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara7 months ago

I mainly add barley in soup mix to a soup or casserole

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara7 months ago

look good

Karen Martinez
Karen Martinez7 months ago

Oh my goodness! These look so good. I just gave some friends the barley I had in my freezer (after the refrigerator went out). Will have to get some more and try these recipes! Thanks.

Angela K
Angela K7 months ago

Thanks for sharing ....yummy :-)

Janis K
Janis K7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

michela c
michela c7 months ago