Photo of Spring Vegetable and Barley Risotto by WW

Spring Vegetable and Barley Risotto

Smartpoints value per serving
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
20 min
45 min
This is an easy way to make "risotto" since barley doesn't require constant stirring like arborio rice does. Use freshly-grated Parm to ensure a creamy consistency.


olive oil

1 tsp, extra-virgin

uncooked leek(s)

1 cup(s), sliced, white and light green parts only

reduced-sodium chicken broth

4 cup(s)

uncooked pearl barley

¾ cup(s)

uncooked asparagus

½ pound(s), medium-thickness, trimmed, cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces

uncooked sugar snap peas

¼ pound(s), trimmed and cut in half diagonally

shredded parmesan cheese

¼ cup(s), Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

lemon zest

1 tsp, grated

unsalted butter

1 tsp

table salt

¼ tsp

black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground


1 Tbsp, fresh, chopped

fresh lemon juice

tsp, or to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large, nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are light golden, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in broth and barley; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until barley is almost tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in asparagus and sugar snap peas; cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in cheese, zest, butter, salt and pepper. Stir in dill and season to taste with fresh lemon juice; serve immediately. Yields about 1 cup per serving.


Instead of dill, try this recipe with chopped parsley or basil.If your asparagus are thick, cut them in half lengthwise before cutting into pieces.

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