30+ Must-Try Vegan Barley Recipes

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There are lots of ways to use barley in recipes from breakfast, to main dishes, to sides, and desserts. Try out these delicious vegan barley recipes that are hearty, satisfying, and flavorful.


What is barley?

Barley is a type of cereal grain similar to wheat, rye, and oats. It has a slightly nutty and chewy texture. It’s used in many different types of recipes like soup, stew, porridge, breads/muffins, and more!
Barley comes in two forms: pearl barley and pot barley. Pearl barley is the most common and is quicker to cook.

Is barley gluten-free?

No, barley is not gluten-free. It is a cereal grain that is similar to wheat. If you need a gluten-free option, check out these substitutes for barley.

How do you cook barley?

Pearl barley is generally simmered over the stove with water or vegetable broth for 25-30 minutes. Make sure to check package instructions as cook time can vary.

Breakfast Recipes

Barley is great for breakfast as a porridge. It’s chewier than oatmeal and tastes amazing with fresh fruit or nuts on top!

Barley Breakfast Porridge

This hearty and delicious barley breakfast porridge is a delicious healthy breakfast. Add some almond milk, nuts, seeds, and honey (optional) for a wholesome breakfast. Make it ahead of time to enjoy throughout the week.

Total Time: 50 minutes

Barley Flakes Apple Porridge

Switch up your morning oats with this cozy barley flakes and apple porridge. It’s a healthy and wholesome meal high in fiber that will keep you full all morning!

Total Time: 10 minutes

Soup Recipes

One of the best grains in soup is barley. It absorbs the broth well and adds a great chewy texture to many soups.

Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom barley soup is a flavorful, healthy soup that is made with only 6 ingredients! Cook it stovetop or with your Instant Pot.

Total Time: 50 minutes

Nourishing Lentil Barley Soup

Cozy up with a bowl of this lentil barley soup that will fill you up this fall and winter! It has hearty, chewy barley with plant-powered protein from the lentils. Pair with your favorite bread like sourdough or focaccia.

Total Time: 50 minutes

Barley Minestrone Soup

Warm up with this Barley Minestrone Soup that is perfect for a chilly day! It combines lots of veggies like carrots, tomatoes, greens, beans along with nourishing barley.

Total Time: 35 minutes

Vegan Split Pea Soup with Barley

Vegan split pea soup with barley is a hearty meal you can make in one pot! This is an easy recipe that won’t require much attention (most of the cook time is it simmering in the pot!).

Total Time: 1 hour

Barley White Beans & Kale Soup

This creamy barley white beans and kale soup is a complete, nourishing meal. It’s filled with kale, carrots, white beans, and barley along with fresh thyme for a cozy bowl of soup you will want to make all fall and winter!

Total Time: ~45 minutes

Double Lentil Mushroom Barley Soup

Double lentil mushroom barley soup is filled with savory flavors of mushrooms and is high in protein from the lentils. I love to serve this with warm bread, crackers, or a sandwich!

Total Time: 50 minutes

Sweet Potato Vegetable Barley Soup

This flavorful sweet potato vegetable barley soup will surely be your new favorite. It combines hearty veggies, beans, and barley in one pot to create a nourishing soup you will love!

Total Time: 20 minutes

Vegan Barley Stew

Vegetable barley stew is a great weeknight meal you can make in one pot! This recipe is great for leftovers and you can also freeze the leftovers (which will last for a month!)

Total Time: 1 hour

Salad & Side Recipes

Add some barley to a salad for more protein, fiber, and amazing texture! This grain is so versatile- you can incorporate as a stand alone salad, as a topping, or a great side dish!

Easy Vegan Barley Kachumber

Barley Kachumber is a delicious Indian side dish with a mix of vegetables and pearl barley. This is also an oil free recipe!

Total Time: 35 minutes

Curried Chickpea Salad with Barley

This curried chickpea salad with barley is easy to make and is great for leftovers as a lunch! You will love the curry flavor with the chewy barley and the wholesome chickpeas.

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Vegetable Confetti Barley Salad

Pearled barley is at the heart of this delicious summer salad. You will love this delicious summer salad! Vegetable confetti barley salad comes together in less than 20 minutes and is drizzled with a quick, fresh vinaigrette.  

Total Time: 20 minutes

Barley Butternut Squash Salad

This barley butternut squash salad is a delicious fall salad with pomegranate, dried cranberries and rosemary. You will love the tangy cranberry vinaigrette on top!

Total Time: 40 minutes

Spiced Barley Salad with Pine Nuts

This spiced barley salad with pine nuts and raisins is a simple, nutritious salad that can be enjoyed by itself, as a side dish, or on top of a salad!

Total Time: 30 minutes


Barley Cucumber Salad

Enjoy this refreshing barley cucumber salad in the summertime with fresh parsley and mint. Toss with a fresh dijon vinaigrette for a wholesome, delicious salad!

Total Time: 50 minutes

Barley Pilaf

Vegan Barley Pilaf Recipe is an easy one-pot recipe with pearl barley and fresh veggies. This can enjoyed as a healthy side dish or even a light lunch!

Total Time: ~ 40 minutes

Vegan Mushroom Sage Orzotto

This vegan mushroom sage orzotto combines mushrooms, onion, garlic, sage, and barley for a simple, comforting dish you will love! This is a great side dish for the holidays.

Total Time: 55 minutes

Healthy Pearl Barley and Kale Chopped Salad

This wholesome healthy pearl barley and kale chopped salad combines barley with kale and fresh, crunchy veggies. Toss with a homemade lemon dijon dressing! This is a great summertime dish for picnics, cookouts, or lunches.

Total Time: 45 minutes

Main Dishes

Barley is a hearty grain that is packed with fiber to make you feel full longer. Incorporate it into your main meals with these dishes.

Vegan Mushroom Barley Burgers

These Vegan Mushroom-Barley Burgers are so satisfying and easy to make. You can either bake them (oil-free) or grill/pan sear them!

Total Time: 45 minutes

Barley Pilaf with Rose Harissa,Tomatoes & Olives

Harissa barley pilaf is the perfect weeknight meal that doesn’t take long to prepare. You will love the flavorful rose harissa with tomatoes and olives!

Total Time: 45 minutes

The Best Veggie Pot Pie

This veggie pot pie recipe is a comforting meal made with barley, mushrooms, leeks, and more. You will love the buttery puff pastry topping!

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Stuffed Peppers with Barley

These barley stuffed peppers with basil & feta are an easy weeknight dinner with hearty barley, fresh basil, and creamy feta crumbles inside a vibrant, crisp bell pepper. It’s a mouthwatering dinner that’s also perfect for meal prep and freezer friendly!

Total Time: 30 minutes

Barley stuffed pepper close up shot.

Barley Arancini with Shiitake Mushrooms & Seaweed

These Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Barley Arancini are a crispy delicious appetizer. It has hints of nutritional yeast and seaweed to give it a umami flavor!

Total Time: 6 hours (includes refrigeration time).

Curried Barley Porridge

This creamy curried barley porridge is a nourishing and flavorful meal made with red lentils, peas, and barley.

Total Time: 50 minutes

Other Recipes with Barley

Thought you’d heard of all the ways to use barley? Not yet! Try this amazing grain in crackers, as a cool, refreshing drink that is popular in Asia, or delicious crepes

Barley Crepes

Barley crepes are a great alternative to rice and is a great addition for Indian recipes. Pair it with chutney or sambhar! 

Total Time: 6 hours (includes soaking time)

Korean Barley Tea

Roasted Korean barley tea (boricha/ mugicha/ damaicha) has a delicious nutty flavor and only needs only 2 ingredients. Enjoy hot or cold!

Total Time: 30 minutes

Barley Baked Crackers

Baked Barley Crackers are quick to make and also store great for leftovers. They are nutty, crisp, and pair great with tea or coffee.

Total Time: 25 minutes

Barley Water

Barley Water is a healthy, refreshing drink that is actually filled with lots of nutrients! There’s three ways to make this drink at home. Enjoy during the summer for a cooling beverage.

Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes (includes soaking time)

▶︎Which barley recipe are you excited to try? Comment below!


  1. That is such a wonderful list of recipes! I love barley and it is one of my favorite whole grain. I can’t wait to try a few of these soon!

  2. We’re a huge lover of Barley. I put Barley in all my soups and stews. Pearl Barley is a must in stew for us.

  3. I tried a couple of these barley recipes, and they’re a pleasant surprise! Barley is a little outside my culinary comfort zone but its hearty texture and nutty flavor had me sold. Plus, the recipes are so versatile – a fantastic addition to my plant-based menu.

  4. Before reading this post, I’d only had barley in soup. I tried the breakfast porridge this morning, and it was so yummy! I’m going to be excited to add it into rotation with oatmeal as the weather gets colder here.

  5. OMG – this is JUST what I needed. I’ve been trying to incorporate more whole grains and this was perfect! I’ve already tried the Stuffed Peppers and the Spiced Barley Salad and they were great. Thank you!

  6. I will never run out of recipes to try thanks to this post! I recently tried the barley flakes and apple porridge, and it was so delicious! I’m excited to try the others!

  7. I made the barley soup and it came out so well! I can’t wait to try your other recipes. They all look wonderful! Thanks a bunch.

  8. I’m a big fan of Boricha, I always get that from the Asian mart near me! I’ve only tried using barley for soups so I’m excited to try these recipes!

  9. I had no clue I could use barley in so many ways. Super excited to step out of my comfort zone and give these recipes a try.

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