A super-food kinda day over here! This roasted vegetable barley recipe is prepared Mediterranean-style...chockful of flavor, texture and goodness. Bonus, you can make this ahead as part of your meal-prep! Omit the feta for a vegan option. Learn more about this ancient grain called barley and check out all the options to serve this barley recipe below.

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Barley Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Easy, satisfying vegetarian barley recipe, prepared Mediterranean style. Tons of flavor from fresh herbs, spices and a simple zesty dressing. Perfect for meal prep. Recipe from TheMediterraneandish.com #barley #barleysalad #roastedvegetables #mediterraneandiet #mediterraneanfood

I love a versatile dish that you can serve as light dinner, lunch, side, or a satisfying salad to feed a crowd. Even better, if it works for meal-prep and can be divided and stored in the fridge for later. This Mediterranean roasted vegetables and barley recipe is all this and more!

More about this Vegetarian Barley Recipe

Barley is a great ancient grain that's been used in Mediterranean cooking for many years--in savory recipes like today's vegetable barley, and in sweet ones like this delicious burbara pudding.

It's not as popular as say quinoa, but it has a lot of great health benefits. Barley provides a good range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And because it's so fiber-rich, barley is a great ingredient to use if you're looking to looking to add volume to augment a meal.

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Barley Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Easy, satisfying vegetarian barley recipe, prepared Mediterranean style. Tons of flavor from fresh herbs, spices and a simple zesty dressing. Perfect for meal prep. Recipe from TheMediterraneandish.com #barley #barleysalad #roastedvegetables #mediterraneandiet #mediterraneanfood

In this recipe, cooked pearl barley amps up my roasted veggies, turning them into a gloriously rich and satisfying dish by adding lots of volume and texture.

My spices of choice for this recipe are all-natural harissa spice and smoked paprika. Both adding depth and playing up the sweetness of the roasted veggies and earthiness of the barley. If you're not familiar, Harissa is a fragrant spice blend of three different kinds of chili along with sumac, caraway, fennel, cumin, coriander, garlic and peppermint.  It's very unique, really. And it does not make this recipe spicy, but it adds a welcomed kick and a sweet North African aroma.

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Barley Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Easy, satisfying vegetarian barley recipe, prepared Mediterranean style. Tons of flavor from fresh herbs, spices and a simple zesty dressing. Perfect for meal prep. Recipe from TheMediterraneandish.com #barley #barleysalad #roastedvegetables #mediterraneandiet #mediterraneanfood

What kind of barley to use in this vegetarian barley recipe?

So, this is a pearled barley recipe. If you prefer to use hulled barley, it is certainly a healthier choice, but will increase the cooking time quite a bit (I would budget another 30 ore more.)

Pearl barley is more readily available in stores. It has been polished, or “pearled” to remove some or all of the outer bran layer along with the hull; this is why it cooks faster. Technically, pearl barley is bit of a refined grain, but still healthy and very good for you.

What to serve along?

If like, add your favorite protein such as this lemon chicken or a simple pan-seared salmon or this baked salmon. I often serve this barley as the star dish next to other vegetarian items like roasted garlic hummus and falafel patties.

More recipes to try:

Mushroom Barley Soup

Sicilian-Style Fish Stew Recipe

Mediterranean Bean Soup

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Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Barley Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Easy, satisfying vegetarian barley recipe, prepared Mediterranean style. Tons of flavor from fresh herbs, spices and a simple zesty dressing. Perfect for meal prep. Recipe from TheMediterraneandish.com #barley #barleysalad #roastedvegetables #mediterraneandiet #mediterraneanfood

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables Barley Recipe


Description

Easy roasted vegetable barley recipe, prepared Mediterranean style with fresh herbs, spices, citrus and extra virgin olive oil.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup/163 g dry pearl barley, washed
  • water
  • 2 whole zucchini squash, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp/ 3.9 g harissa spice, divided
  • ¾ tsp/ 1.95 g smoked paprika, divided
  • Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 scallions (green onions), trimmed and chopped (both whites and greens)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 oz / 56 g chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp/30 ml fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Feta cheese, to taste (optional)
  • Toasted pine nuts, to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place pearl barley and 2 ½ cups water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low. Cover and cook anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes or until the barley is cooked through (should be tender but maintains some chew.)
  3. While barley is cooking, place diced vegetables (zucchini, bell peppers, and red onion) on a large baking sheet. Season with salt, pepper, 1 ½ teaspoon harissa spice, and ½ teaspoon smoked paprika. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat. Spread evenly in one layer on the baking sheet. Roast in heated oven for 25 minutes or so.
  4. When barley is ready, drain any excess water. Season with salt, pepper, ½ teaspoon harissa spice and ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika. Toss to combine.
  5. Transfer cooked barley to a large mixing bowl.  Add roasted veggies. Add chopped scallions, garlic, and fresh parsley. Dress with lemon juice and a good drizzle of Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil. Toss. If you like, top with crumbled feta and toasted pine nuts.
  6. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold! Enjoy.

Notes

  • Prepare ahead notes: If you don't plan to have this barley dish the same day you cook it, it's best if you don't dress it with the lemon juice and olive oil until a few minutes before you are ready to serve it. Also hold off on adding the feta and pine nuts until ready. It will keep well in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in a tight lid container.
  • Recommended for this recipe: harissa spice blend and smoked paprika from our all-natural spice collections. SAVE! Create your own 6-pack or 3-pack of spices!
  • Recommended for this recipe: for best taste, highly recommend Early Harvest or Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: barley recipe, barley salad, pearl barley, how to cook pearl barley

 

 

 

 

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Barley Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Easy, satisfying vegetarian barley recipe, prepared Mediterranean style. Tons of flavor from fresh herbs, spices and a simple zesty dressing. Perfect for meal prep. Recipe from TheMediterraneandish.com #barley #barleysalad #roastedvegetables #mediterraneandiet #mediterraneanfood

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. WOW!! Never cooked with pearl barley before so was a bit concerned and also didn't have harrissa spice. Made up the spice mix plus added a few more fennel seeds after. Made a huge bowl thinking of lunch for the next day but it all went!! Daughter went back for more 3 times, a real winner that I'll be making again.

  2. Made this Roasted Vegetables and Barley recipe along with the pan seared Salmon and loved both. This was a hit with my husband who generally isn't a salmon eater. I didn't have the harissa spice so I made my own version with coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic. I loved the colorful look and texture of the roasted vegetables and barley. I am excited to explore your other recipes! Thank You for sharing such delicious foods with us Suzy!

  3. We love this dish! I've made it twice now to serve with grilled fish and it's wonderful. I didn't have harissa the first time I prepared it so improvised with spices I had on hand. Ordered harissa after that (which we are now hooked on using in all sorts of dishes). The second time preparing it I added broccoli florets to the vegie mix which was also good. It is nice to have something different for a vegetable/side dish. Plus barley is so nutritious!

  4. Can you recommend any substitutes for the barley? I don't react well to heavy grains/cereals - I was wondering if maybe couscous or quinoa may work?

  5. This is so good! I've never used barley as a base this before. Great flavors. I'm glad I doubled it!

    1. This is absolutely delicious and easy to make.

      I’ve prepared it a few times now, both as a stand-alone dish or as a side dish to accompany roast chicken, grilled fish, koftes, skewers etc. I don’t always add the feta or pine nuts as that bumps up the cost of the overall dish.

      The recipe also works well with giant cous cous and bulgar wheat.

      If you’re wanting to speed up the veggie aspect of the recipe, you can use frozen diced peppers, red onion, courgette, garlic and flat leaf parsley to reduce chopping and oven time. I think some stores now also stock prepared barley in those little microwave pockets if you’re feeling extra lazy or have a lot of mouths to feed!

      All the best!

  6. Delicious! My 15-year-old daughter remarked, "It looks disgusting, but tastes really good!" High praise indeed. Thank you!

  7. This is so good! I couldn't find any harissa so I used a Mediterranean-type herb blend instead. I'm sensitive to dairy so I left out the feta, and didn't use any pine nuts since they're pricey. I'm a big fan of barley and always looking for new ways to eat it - this will definitely be in rotation! I served mine with seared salmon. Leftovers were just as tasty. 🙂

    1. Awesome Cathy! There is not another spice that's quite like harissa, but you can use the idea of this recipe with another combination of spices that you may have on hand.

  8. Made this for dinner last night and brought to my mom who has been in cooped up at home during shelter in place. She called to tell me how much she loved it and that she wanted the recipe. Was easy, healthy and delicious!

  9. So simple to make. I did not have Harissa so I used Za'Atar. Husband and daughter really loved this. I didn't have a zucchini either (don't like them) and dumped a bag of mixed veggies in with the other veggies. So, maybe I didn't make the exact recipe, but the bones were there! Definitely will keep this and next time try and follow to a tee (without the zuchhini of course!)!

      1. So this was DELICIOUS. I’m on WW purple and this was 4 points per serving using 1.5 cups Athenos reduced fat feta and 6 tsp of oil m (total for roasting and dressing). I used beets, zucchini and eggplant. And it made 6 huge servings! Barley instructions were so helpful as I never made (or ate) it before. I substituted cilantro for parsley and it was still delicious. I never comment on recipes but this was a winner!! I served it with baked salmon. Perfection.

  10. Super tasty and so healthy! Loved the dish I made. I added Kale, Peppers, Red Onions and Tomatoe, basically what I had at home. And the various textures were sublime with the softness of the pearled barley!
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  11. Another great hit from Suzie! Didn't have harissa so I used garlic chili sauce. It was great, but will definitely be picking up harissa. I added 1 t salt and it was too salty, so I'll change that next time. Eggplant would be great in it too.

  12. Absolutely delicious. I left 3/4 of a mixing bowl full of this dish in the refrigerator to serve with dinner and my son ate the whole bowl in one sitting!! I will be making this frequently.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  13. Thank you for posting this! This recipe is delicious. Followed recipe exactly. So good! What a nice change from rice or pasta.

  14. Wow! I just made this and tasted it, absolutely delicious! Always looking for something different to have for lunch. This one is a keeper, for sure.
    Also made the lentil, grape and Kalamata olive salad, also very delicious!

    Thanks so much for all your wonderful recipes!

  15. Oh my goodness...I made this tonight and could not stop eating...it was amazing! I had to improvise on the seasonings, as I did not have any harissa...and no feta, because yuck! I will definitely make again!!
    Thanks! ?

  16. I followed this recipe very closely with the exception of the barley. I used purple hulled barley which is a little chewier but worked perfectly in this recipe. And I swapped the red pepper with what I had--a beautiful long eggplant. This is so good that I ate a lot while preparing it--haha! I am going to serve it with the lemon chicken which is cooking now and looks lovely as well.

    This is my first visit to your site and my first two recipes are both a 5-star recipe. Thank you.