Overhead image of a serving of mushroom barley risotto on a white plate.

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!

A serving of mushroom barley risotto on a white plate.

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

A serving of mushroom barley risotto on a white plate.

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
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  • 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

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