Easy to make and bursting with flavor, this risotto uses barley instead of rice for an extra nutritional punch. This is a hearty and filling meat-free alternative to the usual skillet meals.

Jen
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
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Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir carrots 2 to 3 minutes. Add zucchini and yellow squash; cook until tender, 5 to 10 minutes.

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  • Heat chicken broth in a large saucepan over medium heat; reduce heat to low and keep warm.

  • Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a separate large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion until lightly browned and tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Cook and stir barley into onion mixture until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Pour about 2 cups warm broth into barley mixture; reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until broth is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to absorb before each addition, until barley is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in carrot mixture, butter, and Parmesan cheese until cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Cook's Note:

Substitute vegetable broth to make this dish vegetarian.

Nutrition Facts

296.5 calories; 8.2 g protein; 48.7 g carbohydrates; 19.8 mg cholesterol; 873.3 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (23)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/30/2012
Great way to use some of your garden veges. I too started it out on low (after adding the initial 2 c of broth), but bumped the heat up to medium low after ~30min. It does take longer than 20 min for the barley to absorb all the broth. You don't want to rush the barley too much. The consistency, taste, and golden color are great. Read More
(6)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
06/16/2014
Made the recipe as written. It basically met expectations: tastes like barley with some veggies. It's a good healthful side dish which is what I was looking for but I probably won't make it again. As long as you aren't expecting anything special you'll be satisfied. Read More
(3)
29 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 21
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
07/30/2012
Great way to use some of your garden veges. I too started it out on low (after adding the initial 2 c of broth), but bumped the heat up to medium low after ~30min. It does take longer than 20 min for the barley to absorb all the broth. You don't want to rush the barley too much. The consistency, taste, and golden color are great. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
07/28/2012
Great recipe. I am always looking for more healthy but equally tasty versions of my family's favorite recipes. My husband's risotto is hands-down the best I've ever had, but we all came back for seconds on this one, too (even my 16-month-old). I made it with minor revisions: (1) I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil for sauteing the onion (grabbed it on accident). (2) I used ~4.5c chicken broth, and probably ~2-3c vegetable broth. (3) I added ~1 Tbsp of mascarpone cheese along with the knob of butter and parmesan at the end. (4) I skipped the dried thyme and black pepper, and didn't add salt at all (it didn't need it). My hubby and 5-year-old skipped the veggies (I kept them on the side), but the littlest one and I gobbled them up. It took me longer than 20 min to make (more like 1-1.5h). I started it out on low (after adding the initial 2 c of broth), but bumped the heat up to medium low after ~30min on my husband's suggestion. It helped. The barley was perfectly done at the end - slightly chewy, and a lovely caramel color. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
08/18/2012
Very good! All of my young kids and husband ate it up. I did just mince all the veggies onion and garlic and sauteed them together in olive oil. Read More
(5)
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Rating: 4 stars
07/15/2013
i used romano instead of parmesan and it turned out very good. but the cooking time was def a lot longer than an hour Read More
(3)
Rating: 3 stars
06/16/2014
Made the recipe as written. It basically met expectations: tastes like barley with some veggies. It's a good healthful side dish which is what I was looking for but I probably won't make it again. As long as you aren't expecting anything special you'll be satisfied. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
09/02/2014
So good. I have never rated a recipe before, but this was so good I had to. I was afraid I would be the only one at the table to like it. But low and behold my husband, 4 and 1 year old loved it. So much so I made it again later in the week, added extra veggies and made it our main course. I also on accident didn't follow directions to a T the first time I made it and while broth was heating threw all the veggies in together to cook. The next time I was more organized but still threw the veggies together, starting first with the carrots, sweated with a lid on for a few minutes. Oh I also just put all the liquid in at once. I guess I love this recipe because I messed up both times and I was still great. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/30/2012
Such a delicious recipe. I substituted olive oil for vegetable oil and vegetable broth for chicken broth and it turned out extremely flavorful. Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
01/01/2014
Not as "easy" as I had hoped bc of prep time and constant attention but still simple. You definitely dont need to be precise with measurements and the broth is excessive Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
10/05/2013
Surprisingly good. Read More