Photo of Barley with mushrooms and onions by WW

Barley with mushrooms and onions

Total Time
1 hr 40 min
10 min
1 hr 30 min
Our inspiration for this recipe comes from mushroom-barley soup. It’s a wonderful side dish alternative to the usual potatoes or rice. Pearl barley is barley that has been polished to remove its outer hull and layers of bran. It cooks quickly, making it an ideal recipe for busy weeknights. A large shallot is a worthy substitute for the red onion while a mix of sliced creminis and shiitake caps is another way to up the flavor ante of the dish. If time permits, simmer the broth with a dried porcini before adding it to the sauteed vegetables to infuse the dish with even more earthy mushroom flavor. Spoon any leftover barley mixture into the bottom of a mug or bowl and pour simmering broth over it to enjoy as a quick version of the soup that inspired it all.


Cooking spray

2 spray(s)

Unsalted butter

2 tsp

Spanish onion

1 small, finely chopped

Cremini mushroom

½ pound(s), shredded* (also known as baby Bella)

Vegetable broth

3 cup(s), or mushroom broth

Uncooked pearl barley

1 cup(s)

Table salt

1 tsp, or to taste


  1. Coat a heavy saucepan with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat; melt butter in pan.
  2. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring a few times, until mushrooms release their moisture, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add broth, barley and salt; bring to a boil. Partially cover pan and reduce heat to low; simmer until barley is tender, stirring occasionally, about 60 to 75 minutes. Yields about 1 cup per serving.


*Shred mushrooms using a box grater or food processor. Garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley.