Herb Barley Salad

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If you’re looking for a warm salad recipe that’s healthy and filling, our Herb Barley Salad fits the bill! Barley has a good amount of protein and a high fiber content, so this salad will fill you right up. Mushrooms, onions, garlic, herbs, and lemon juice add delicate seasoning, while a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese adds a rich flavor. Barley can verge on bland, so don’t skimp on those seasoning elements!

This barley salad definitely stands alone as a meatless meal. However, it’s also delicious with a grilled chicken breast or lean steak. Feel free to substitute any chewy whole grain you may have on hand, such as brown rice or farro in place of the barley!

Herb Barley Salad

Herb Barley Salad

Yields: 8 servings | Serving Size: 1/2 cup | Calories: 218 | Total Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 227mg | Carbohydrates: 37g | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 1g | Protein: 9g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 7


  • 2 cups barley, cooked and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups mushroom, chopped into large pieces (chanterelle, oyster, or shiitake mushrooms work best - or a combination of all three!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup low fat shredded Parmesan (more if desired)


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium high in a large skillet. When oil is very hot, add mushrooms. Arrange the mushrooms in the skillet so they are in a single layer. Cook, without stirring, until mushrooms are golden brown. Reduce heat to medium low and add salt, pepper, and red onion and continue to cook. Stir often, until mushrooms are golden brown on all sides.
  2. Add thyme, and garlic, ontinue to cook, making sure mushrooms are coated in thyme and garlic. Remove from heat, drain and reserve any excess oil and set mushrooms aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, toss barley, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, 1/3 cup of Parmesan, and any oil drained off the mushrooms, mix well. Add the reserved mushrooms and toss again, just to combine. Spoon into serving dishes and top with remaining Parmesan. Enjoy!
  4. OPTION: 2 cups of cooked and cooled brown rice can be substituted for barley. Follow directions as indicated.

What did you think of this recipe? We appreciate your feedback in the comments!

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