Mushroom risotto gets a nutritious twist in this delicious roasted mushroom pearl barley risotto recipe! This barley risotto is filled with mushrooms, kale, parsley, parmesan and white wine, and is then topped with even more mushrooms that have been roasted with a little soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. It is a mouth-watering vegetarian dinner that even the most dedicated meat-eaters will love!
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- Why you should make this Mushroom Barley Risotto…
- Ingredients and Substitutions
- Roasted Mushroom Pearl Barley Risotto FAQ
- How to store mushroom pearl barley risotto:
- How to freeze mushroom pearl barley risotto:
- How to reheat mushroom pearl barley risotto:
- Can this pearl barley risotto be made vegan?
- Is mushroom pearl barley risotto gluten-free?
- What to serve with mushroom pearl barley risotto?
- What is the difference between pearl barley and pot barley?
- Does pearl barley need to be soaked?
- Watch the Video
- Recipe You May Also Like…
- How to Make Roasted Mushroom Pearl Barley Risotto
Ok, so I am aware that not only is this another risotto recipe (pea & asparagus risotto with bacon anyone?) but it’s one of several pearl barley recipes now on the blog alongside my Winter Vegetable Soup with Barley and my Pearl Barley Risotto with Spring Vegetables recipe. I think it’s safe to say that this versatile little grain is a firm favourite in my home!
Now, this is just any old risotto recipe. Not only have we jazzed it up with the addition of pearl barley, we’ve also made it as mushroomy as possible! To start, porcini mushrooms and their soaking liquid are added to the risotto. The porcini add an intense mushroom flavour to the base of the risotto as well as richness and depth to the final dish. We’ve also added fresh mushrooms into the risotto for texture and a more delicate flavour.
As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve roasted some more mushrooms with soy sauce, balsamic and garlic! The result? Slightly crisp, caramelised mushrooms that are packed with umami flavour. They’re the perfect topping to your barley risotto, alongside some grated parmesan and fresh parsley. You could also make these to go with steak or in a sandwich because why just stop at risotto?!
Alongside all of that mushroomy goodness, we’ve got all the risotto classics like onion, garlic, white wine, parmesan, lemon and butter, as well as some kale because ✨health✨ Flavour is layered in at each point of the cooking so you’ll find yourself spooning it straight from the pot into your mouth before you’ve even thought about dishing it up.
The beauty of using pearl barley in risotto is that it doesn’t need stirring like a regular risotto. You can add your stock and leave it to simmer away until it’s all been absorbed by the barley. It does take a little longer to cook, but you’re not tied to the stove like you would be with a traditional risotto. In the end, you’re still rewarded with a delicious, creamy risotto that will impress anyone you cook it for!
Why you should make this Mushroom Barley Risotto…
- If you’re a mushroom lover this is the mushroom recipe for you! A super mushroomy risotto AND roasted mushrooms? What more could you want?!
- It’s a great vegetarian recipe to impress friends with and goes PERFECTLY with a chilled glass of white wine.
- It’s straightforward! Half the work is waiting around for things to cook, the rest is just a bit of stirring and chopping!
- It’s easy to make this mushroom risotto vegan – just swap out your parmesan and butter for a vegan alternative and you’re good to go! Don’t forget to use vegan wine too!
- It makes for easy leftovers! Just add a little water when reheating for the same great, creamy texture.
This is a healthy risotto recipe that helps you get those nutrients in without loading up on calories. Pearl barley is our star! Not only is it a great source of fibre and protein, but pearl barley also provides us with iron and potassium.
Fibre is essential for good gut health as it feeds our gut bacteria and helps maintain healthy digestion. Meanwhile, protein makes up many different parts of our body (we’re talking organs, muscle, skin etc) therefore we need adequate amounts in our diet to support these systems and keep us strong.
Iron is involved in the making of red blood cells as well as several other important processes in the body while potassium is needed for healthy nerve and muscle function. It also helps maintain the balance of fluids within the body.
This recipe is filled to the brim with mushrooms which are a great source of niacin, phosphorus and zinc. Niacin is involved in releasing energy from the food we eat, as is phosphorus. Phosphorus also helps build healthy teeth and bones while zinc is required for a number of bodily functions including wound healing, immune function and the creation of new cells.
Mushrooms are also fantastic sources of copper and selenium. Copper is involved in making blood cells and ensuring the immune system works effectively. Selenium is also required for a healthy immune system and helps protect our cells from damage.
Both the kale and parsley in this recipe are fantastic sources of vitamin K. We need vitamin K in our diets for normal blood clotting and to keep our bones healthy.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Pearl Barley – pearl barley is the star ingredient in this recipe! It provides a delicate nutty flavour and a slightly chewy texture. As barley contains gluten it’s not suitable for those with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity. Instead, substitute pearl barley for a grain such as buckwheat or you could use traditional risotto rice.
Mushrooms – For the mushrooms in the risotto I’ve opted for types that are quite hardy such as button, chestnut and portobello. These mushrooms generally stand up to being cooked for longer periods of time. Whereas for the roasted mushrooms I’ve used more delicate mushrooms such as shiitake and oyster as these are able to get a bit crispy when roasted. To be honest, any mushroom will do. Don’t feel you need to buy ten tonnes of different mushrooms just to make this recipe. See what your supermarket has and go from there.
Onion & Garlic – The best base flavours! I’ve used a white onion as it lends its colour to the creamy colour of the risotto itself. You could substitute the onion for a leek or a few shallots if you needed to. And if you can’t get fresh garlic, powdered garlic could be used instead.
Kale – Kale is a great leaf for adding to stews and risottos as it holds its structure pretty well. Another great leaf you could use is cavelo nero, aka ‘black cabbage’, which is a leaf very similar to kale. Cabbage and spring greens would also be good substitutes and you can use spinach, although it will only need stirring in at the end.
Parmesan – if you’re vegetarian make sure you use vegetarian parmesan as the regular kind is made with rennet, an animal product. Grana Padano is another hard cheese that could be used as a substitute for parmesan. You could also leave the parmesan out or substitute for nutritional yeast if you want that cheesy flavour.
White Wine – adding wine to risottos adds depth of flavour to the final dish. You could use red if you don’t have white, although it will definitely change the colour of the risotto and will give a slightly different flavour! Alternatively, you could substitute the wine with a little splash of apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar to add flavour.
Dried Porcini – dried porcini mushrooms add a very distinctive, almost marmite-y flavour to the base of your risotto. If you can’t get ahold of them you could opt for dried shitake mushrooms or leave them out if needs be!
Vegetable Stock – if you haven’t got veg stock to hand you could use chicken stock or stick to plain water.
Balsamic Vinegar – balsamic vinegar adds both acidity and sweetness to the mushrooms that develop even further as they are roasted. If you haven’t got balsamic try apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar mixed with a little sugar.
Soy Sauce – soy sauce adds umami flavour to the mushrooms that contrasts nicely with the vinegar. I prefer to use light but you could use dark if that’s what you have. Substitute for tamari or coconut aminos if you can’t get ahold of soy sauce.
Roasted Mushroom Pearl Barley Risotto FAQ
How to store mushroom pearl barley risotto:
Allow the risotto to cool to room temperature for no longer than 2 hours, then store in Tupperware containers, in the fridge for 2-3 days.
How to freeze mushroom pearl barley risotto:
Once the pearl barley risotto has cooled, transfer the risotto to freezer-safe containers and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To defrost, allow transfer the risotto to the fridge and allow to thaw over 24 hours. Alternatively, you can use the defrost setting on your microwave.
How to reheat mushroom pearl barley risotto:
Transfer the mushroom risotto into a saucepan with a splash of water. Heat on a medium heat for approximately 7 minutes until the risotto is piping hot all the way through.
You could also reheat the mushroom risotto in the microwave. Transfer to a microwave-safe container and heat on full power for 3 minutes until the risotto is piping hot all the way through. Cooking times may vary depending on your microwave.
Can this pearl barley risotto be made vegan?
Yes! You can use vegan alternatives to substitute both the parmesan and butter. And also make sure you are using vegan wine when cooking this recipe!
Is mushroom pearl barley risotto gluten-free?
Pearl barley contains gluten therefore it is not appropriate for a gluten-free diet. You could substitute the pearl barley for buckwheat. You could also use regular risotto rice to keep this recipe gluten-free!
What to serve with mushroom pearl barley risotto?
This mushroom risotto is delicious exactly as it is, but you could serve it with a green side salad if you fancied it. If you wanted to add additional protein, it works wonderfully with roasted chicken too.
What is the difference between pearl barley and pot barley?
Pot barley has had the inedible outer husk removed. It still has the bran layer intact, making it more nutritious. However, it requires soaking (overnight ideally in cold water) before cooking.
Pearl barley has been polished further so the bran layer is removed. It is less nutritious than pot barley due to the removal of the bran layer, however, it doesn’t require soaking and takes less time to cook.
Does pearl barley need to be soaked?
Pearl barley does not need to be soaked as it has been hulled and polished, removing the bran layer.
Watch the Video
Recipe You May Also Like…
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- Pea & Asparagus Risotto with Bacon
- Winter Vegetable Soup with Barley and Parmesan
- Barley Porridge from Hint of Healthy
How to Make Roasted Mushroom Pearl Barley Risotto
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Roasted Mushroom Pearl Barley Risotto
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 3–4 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: British
- Diet: Vegetarian
In this mushroom pearl barley risotto recipe mushrooms, kale, parsley, parmesan and white wine are combined to make a creamy risotto, which is then topped with roasted mushrooms for even more flavour and texture!
For The Risotto:
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 250 grams dried pearl barley
- 125 millilitres white wine
- 2 tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms, soaked (keep the soaking liquid!) and finely chopped
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 100 grams mushrooms such as button, chestnut or portobello, diced
- 50 grams kale, shredded
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 20 grams parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 10 grams parsley, finely chopped plus more for garnish
For the Roasted Mushrooms:
- 150 grams mixed mushrooms (I use a mixture of shiitake, oyster and mini portobello)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 clove garlic, skin on and lightly crushed
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
- Heat the oil in a cast-iron pot. Saute the onion for 5-7 minutes until it is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the pearl barley to the pot and stir to combine with the onion and garlic. Pour in the white wine and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the alcohol has cooked off and the amount of liquid has halved.
- Pour in the porcini mushrooms, their soaking liquid and the vegetable stock. Leave this to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the chopped mushrooms to the pot and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes until the pearl barley is cooked through and tender.
- To make the roasted mushrooms toss the mushrooms with the oil, balsamic, soy sauce, garlic clove and black pepper. Pop them into the oven for 20 minutes.
- Once the pearl barley is cooked add in the kale and cook for a further 5 minutes. Then add in the butter, parmesan, lemon juice and parsley. Stir to combine.
- The roasted mushrooms are done when most of the liquid they released has evaporated and they begin to go slightly crispy and caramelised.
- Serve the pearl barley risotto in bowls topped with the roasted mushrooms. Then garnish with more parmesan and chopped parsley. Enjoy!
- Use a firm mushroom (such as portobello, button or chestnut) in the risotto. These will hold their shape and won’t go mushy as they cook in the risotto.
- For the roasted mushrooms, you can use whichever mushrooms you have to hand. Leave the more delicate mushrooms (such as shitake and oyster) whole or in big pieces so they don’t burn. They will shrink in size as they cook.
Keywords: mushroom risotto, pearl barley risotto, barley risotto, pearl barley recipes
Tasty, easy and warming – the perfect wintry meal!
Thank you so much Chloe 😘
This risotto with pearl barley is a very nice healthy alternative to rice.No need for stirring constantly as in a regular risotto, it cooks by itself . The roasted mushrooms add a lot to this dish. I didn’t have parsley so I put fresh dill instead and I used Tamari instead of Soy sauce.
All in all, a very tasty and quite fast and easy recipe.
Thanks so much for your comment, Helen! I’m so glad you loved the recipe 🙂