Barley Thyme Risotto

Barley Thyme Risotto


75 people made this

Barley is a great substitute for Arborio rice when making risotto. This is a simple recipe that uses chicken stock, mushrooms and thyme.


Serves: 6 

  • 5 cups (1 1/4 litres) chicken stock
  • 20g butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup (220g) pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 500g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:1hour5min 

  1. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, and fry for 5 minutes. Add the barley, thyme, bay leaf and 2 cups of the hot stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until most of the stock is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour in remaining stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and allowing it to be absorbed before adding more. This process takes about 50 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry mushrooms over high heat, cook and stir until softened. Add garlic, and cook for about 3 more minutes. Stir into the barley mixture with parsley. Remove bay leaf, and serve.

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Reviews (7)


Something else. I liked the flavour but the second time, I changed a few things. I melted 3tsp of butter and added the barley stirring until it turned a nut brown colour, then added onions and the mushrooms for 5 min and then used beef stock instead. Nice flavour. - 29 Sep 2008


I tried this recipe as I absolutely detest risotto using arborio rice, something about the texture and heaviness about it. So I decided to try it with barley and it was so much better. I used beef stock, and cut out the oil and butter completely and it still worked out. - 31 May 2009


We really liked this. I added a small chilli and some grated ginger to lift the flavour and always use a variety of mushrooms. I also substitute rapeseed oil for the butter and olive oil to keep this even more heart healthy. A family favourite - 09 May 2012

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