Barley Thyme Risotto

    1 hour 5 minutes

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

    75 people made this

    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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    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