Delight in a satisfying bowl of textures and flavours with our Barley Risotto, featuring succulent barley paired with crispy mushrooms and spinach. This hearty dish promises a fulfilling dining experience.

Barley risotto with mushroom and spinach is an excellent alternative to the traditional arborio rice risotto. This hearty dish combines nutty barley, crunchy mushrooms, and vibrant spinach for a comforting and flavorful experience. It could be served as a side dish and a full vegetarian main!

Barley instead of Arborio?

Barley risotto with mushrooms and spinach

Those two grains are similar in texture, although the barley is higher in fibre and lower in calories. In other words, eating your risotto with barley instead of rice is a bit healthier. The cooking process is precisely the same as with regular risotto. The excellent news is that barley is used in many diets and has many health benefits (Check here if you want to learn more).

Crisp Mushrooms

Mushrooms oven

As a kid, I suppose I wasn’t a fan of mushrooms… mainly its texture. I wasn’t eating them simply because I wouldn’t say I liked their chewy and rubbery texture. Later in college, I went to a restaurant where they would fry half-dehydrated giant portobello mushrooms with salt and garlic, and my mushroom skepticism magically disappeared! It tasted way better, and the chewy texture was gone.

So, until today, I have consistently reproduced this texture when I use mushrooms. As a result, I often make mushrooms in the oven or Air fryer with just a little oil, salt, and thyme. This way, its water evaporates uniformly, giving it a bolder flavour and much firmer texture. Plus, it needs way less oil to cook them this way.

For this Barley Risotto recipe, I highly suggest cooking the mushrooms apart in an oven tray; you have to add the mushrooms when the risotto is ready in step 8. They both take about 20 minutes to cook, so it’s easy to synchronize. They taste sharper and feel better than those chewy and filled broth versions.

Barley risotto with mushrooms and spinach

Variations

You could use any mushrooms you prefer for this recipe. Make sure to clean them with a damp towel if they are sandy or cut the stem if they’re shiitakes. Also, you could switch the vegetarian broth to a chicken broth.

Other Similar Recipes

Barley Risotto with Mushrooms and Spinach

5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 980
A hearty yet crunchy mushroom and spinach risotto made without rice but barley! A yummy side dish or vegetarian main so satisfying and filled with succulent textures.

Ingredients

  • 800 ml vegetable broth
  • 300 g spinach
  • 250 g pearled barley
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 30 g parmesan (grated)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Mushrooms (Air Fryer or Baked)

  • 20 button mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 branch thyme
  • salt and pepper

Instructions 

  • Start by making the mushrooms. Mix all the mushroom ingredients in a bowl, add to a baking sheet, and cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°C (350F°) or 10 minutes in the Air fryer.
  • In a skillet or big pan, soften the onion on medium-high heat in olive oil for 10 minutes (add a little salt, which helps to release the juice from the onion).
  • When translucent, add the garlic and the barley, and let it fry in oil for a few minutes while mixing.
  • When the barley is lightly toasted, add the wine and cook for a minute or two  (while still moving with a spatula).
  • Then add some of the warm broth to cover the barley, mix until no more broth and repeat.
  • Cook for about 15 minutes; add the spinach in the last 2 minutes.
  • Cook until al dente, adding little broth, when it gets too dry, and mixing well
  • Stop the fire, add the crunchy mushrooms, parmesan, salt and pepper, mix and serve.
Author: Marie Breton
Calories: 980kcal
Course: Acompañamiento, main
Cuisine: vegetarian, vegetariana
Keyword: barley, mushrooms, risotto, spinach

Nutrition

Calories: 980kcal | Carbohydrates: 122g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 1975mg | Potassium: 1969mg | Fiber: 26g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 15082IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 393mg | Iron: 9mg
Nutrition Facts
Barley Risotto with Mushrooms and Spinach
Amount per Serving
Calories
980
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
42
g
65
%
Saturated Fat
 
8
g
50
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
27
g
Cholesterol
 
10
mg
3
%
Sodium
 
1975
mg
86
%
Potassium
 
1969
mg
56
%
Carbohydrates
 
122
g
41
%
Fiber
 
26
g
108
%
Sugar
 
12
g
13
%
Protein
 
29
g
58
%
Vitamin A
 
15082
IU
302
%
Vitamin C
 
52
mg
63
%
Calcium
 
393
mg
39
%
Iron
 
9
mg
50
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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9 Comments

  1. Pingback: Barley risotto with mushroom and spinach | My Meals are on Wheels

  2. Yes, roasting mushrooms is a million times better! I’ve been trying to convince my mom to stop steaming them 😒 it makes them so rubbery! Barley is one of my favourite grains and this looks like it has a really similar texture to risotto – everything is perfect about this dish, and I love the accessible ingredient list.

  3. thefoodblognet Reply

    Barley makes a perfect risotto. I did one with farro, because I wanted to save my barley post for soup, but barley is a great choice. And somehow, mushrooms just love barley! Looks delicious.

  4. This looks so fantastic, Marie. I love me some risotto, especially with mushrooms. I’m going to have to make this, and SOON.

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