Mushroom Barley Risotto Vegan Recipe

pearl barley

Barley is a very healthy grain, it’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and it’s high in dietary fibre.

Pearl barley has a low glycemic index (25), lower than many other sources of carbohydrates.

Also, it is rich in fibre. In particular, a soluble fibre that transforms into a gel-like mass during digestion.

Barley movement through the digestive system is slow, meaning that the rate at which it is broken down into glucose and released into the bloodstream is slow as well.

Try this lovely, healthy version for risotto. 

Risotto pearl barley 

 Servings 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 225g pearl barley 1 cup
  • 550ml cold water 2¼ cups
  • 1 onion- finely diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic- finely chopped 
  • 3-4 bay leaves, other options: sage/ basil/ oregano
  • 4-5 shitake mushrooms
  • 4-5 mushrooms  
  • ¼ tsp salt & pepper 


  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic, bay leaves and mushrooms and cook for 5-10 minutes until softened.  
  2. Add the pearl barley and stir to coat with the oil.  
  3. Cook according to the cooking time on the package (40 minutes- 1 hour).
  4. Serve the risotto with salad leaves and pumpkin seeds sprinkled over the top plus a good drizzle of balsamic vinegar. 

Recipe Notes

To make a creamier risotto sprinkle nutritional yeast on top.

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