I love risotto. Like, love risotto. The sausage and mushroom risotto that I have been making for years is one of my very favorite splurges. I love how tender and creamy the arborio rice gets, how hearty the dish is, and how all of the complementing flavors meld together so well. I tend not to make it very often because I usually don’t eat white rice, nor do I eat Italian sausage regularly (both are definitely a treat!). So while I was surfing through some blogs and ran across this risotto recipe that uses barley in place of arborio rice, I knew immediately that it would jive perfectly with my new plan to eat more grains and vegetables. Woo!

This takes just as long to make as regular risotto, but it is just as delicious and totally worth the waiting and the stirring. The barley has a bit chewier of a texture than the arb

One year ago: Honey-Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
Two years ago: Mushroom, Spinach & Gruyere Quiche
Three years ago: Traditional Madeleines
Four years ago: Chicken Salad[/donotprint]

A serving of mushroom barley risotto on a white plate.

Mushroom Barley Risotto

A delicious risotto recipe, perfect for a weeknight meal
No ratings yet


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup (160 g) chopped yellow onion
  • 12 ounces (340.2 g) cleaned and sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (200 g) pearl barley
  • 6 cups (1410 ml) vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (50 g) parmesan cheese, shredded


  • 1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • 2. Add the mushrooms and saute until they have released all of their liquid and are golden brown, about 10 minutes. You can add 1 to 3 tablespoons of water if they start to stick.
  • 3. Stir in the herbs and garlic, then add the barley and stir to coat for 1 minute. Add 4 cups of the broth and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • 4. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Reduce the heat to medium and add more broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring until each addition is absorbed, until the barley is tender but still slightly firm. You may not use all of the broth, but you will use most of it.
  • 5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter and cheese, stirring until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Calories: 369kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 824mg, Potassium: 618mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1270IU, Vitamin C: 10.2mg, Calcium: 201mg, Iron: 2.3mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!