Learn how to cook barley to eat as is or to use further in other recipes such as soups or stews.
What is barley? It’s a cereal grain that can be used in many dishes, like salads or soups, but it also tastes good on its own. It has a mild nutty flavor that works well when paired with other ingredients. There are different types of barley available such as hulled or pearled. We will be using pearled barley in this recipe (to learn more about barley in general, click here). Somehow, the package instructions on the barley that I buy are not really precise. So I had to figure out how to cook barley exactly so that there is no extra water left in the end. Here is the simple recipe.
Recipe for Cooking Barley
To get barley done perfectly each time, you need to have the exact ratio of grain to water. For barley it’s 1 to 3. Meaning, for every measure of grain (e.g. cup) you need 3 measures of water. So, for one cup of uncooked barley, you need 3 cups water to cook it well.
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Add 1 1/2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring all to a boil stirring occasionally.
Once the water is boiling, cover and reduce heat to lowest setting. Cook for 30 minutes.
Let barley rest for 5-10 minutes, then fluff it up a bit and serve. Or let cool to use in other recipes. The barley is good on its own, but the grain is most likely to be used in other dishes such as soups or salads.
The basic principle to cook barley is the ratio of grain to water is 1:3. So, you can change the recipe very easily if you need more or less barley.
How to Serve Barley
Once barley is ready, you can serve it as a side dish or you can also use it in other dishes. Here is a great stew which uses barley in it’s recipe: Hearty Stew with Broccoli and Cabanossi. This is one dish we make quite a lot once fall starts.
Here is the handy recipe card. Let me know if you’ve ever used barley before in your cooking and what kind of a dish it was. Enjoy!
How to cook Barley
- 1/2 cup pearled barley
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Pour 1/2 cup pearled barley into a small saucepan.
- Add water and salt and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Cover and reduce heat to lowest setting. Let cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let rest 5-10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and server or let cool for use in other recipes.
Lastly, if you follow these How to Cook Barley instructions, make sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating here! I’d love to hear back from you and will do my best to answer and respond to every comment. And of course, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you make this recipe. I’d love to see the photos of the recipes you have made!
How to Cook Barley
Learn how to cook barley to eat as is or to use further in other recipes such as soups or stews
Type: Side dish
Cuisine: American, German
Keywords: Barley, grains, how to
Recipe Yield: 4
Preparation Time: PT0H5M
Cooking Time: PT0H30M
Total Time: PT0H35M
- Pearled barley
Recipe Instructions: Pour 1/2 cup pearled barley into a small saucepan. Add water and salt and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and reduce heat to lowest setting. Let cook for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest 5-10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and server or let cool for use in other recipes.