Bountiful Barley Pilaf

Bountiful Barley Pilaf

By Brian Higginson, RD, CD
Clinical Nutrition Specialist

Rice is nice, but barley is better! Nutty and robust, it also packs in antioxidants, selenium soluble fiber and Vitamin E to protect against heart disease. You’ll love the sweet and savory notes of juicy raisins, earthy mushrooms and fresh herbs. Pair it with protein or keep it veggie by serving alongside a substantial vegetable entrée. Serves 4.


  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced and chopped
  • ½ cup almonds, chopped or slivered
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon each fresh rosemary and savory, minced or ½ teaspooon dried
  • 3 cups fat-free chicken or vegetable broth, low-sodium


  1. In large saucepan, sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add mushrooms, celery, and almonds and cook 3-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in barley, raisins, and seasonings until barley is coated with other ingredients.
  3. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, reduce to simmer for 55 minutes.

Per one cup serving: 236 calories, 8 gm protein, 31 gm carbohydrate, 9 gm fat, 1 gm sat , 7 gm mono, 0 mg cholesterol, 7 gm fiber, 420 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Try substituting dried fruit such as cranberries and apricots for raisins for added variety. For special occasions try using a variety of mushrooms. This dish makes excellent leftovers for lunch.

Nutrition Goldmine: Barley is a rich source of antioxidants, selenium, Vitamin E and soluble fiber, all of which protect against heart disease. For a whole grain version of this dish, choose hulled or hulless barley. Pearl barley is polished, which removes much of the bran along with the hull.

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