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Barley Risotto with Mushrooms

Barley risotto with mushrooms takes your typical rice-based risotto and adds more protein, iron, fibre, calcium, and potassium and pairs it with the classic flavours of mushrooms, carrot, and celery and a splash of dry white wine. It’s a hearty and filling meal that’s full of flavour and is great for lunch or dinner!


Barley Risotto with Mushrooms

15 minPrep Time

40 minCook Time

55 minTotal Time

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  • 5 1/2 cups (1.4 L) reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
  • 1 lb (500 g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cup (300 mL) pearl barley
  • 1/3 cup (85 mL) dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup (85 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Parmesan and parsley, for garnish


  1. Pour the broth into a saucepan set over medium heat. Add bay leaves, reduce heat to a simmer and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, half the salt and half the pepper. Sauté for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to plate.
  3. Reduce heat to low. In same pan, heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter until melted. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add barley, remaining salt and remaining pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until well coated. Stir in wine. Cook until almost all the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Ladle in 1 cup (250 mL) broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add all but 1/2 cup (125 mL) broth, 1 cup (250 mL) at a time and stirring often, for 35 to 40 minutes or until barley is tender but still slightly toothsome in the centre. Stir in mushrooms and remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) broth. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through. Stir in remaining butter, parsley and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. Garnish with Parmesan and parsley, if desired.

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