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What to eat with barley?

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Similar to farro and brown rice, barley has nutty flavor with a chewy texture. Known for being a fiber rich whole grain that is easy to cook, delicious and nutritious. 

This type of grain can be integrated into various dishes. Mainly used to add texture to pilafs, stews, soups, stuffing and porridge or flavor tea.  

What to eat with barley? Barley goes well with beef and mushrooms as a classic dish due to its subtle earthy taste that blends together.

When served with soups, chicken or vegetable stocks are used to enhance the flavor. Additionally, barley blends well with herbs including oregano, flat-leaf parsley, sage, and thyme. 

From breakfast to salads and risotto, there are many ways to enjoy barley when properly cooked. 

However, be careful not to alter barley’s natural taste and texture when cooking. Undercooking or overcooking gives it a gummy, unpleasant texture, and nobody wants that. 

That being said, if you are considering to add barley to your diet routine, here are some fruits, flavors and dishes that pair perfectly with barley. Let’s learn more about this wholesome grain.

What goes well with barley?

Barley goes well with vegetables, meat, fruits, nuts, and cheese. These ingredients add texture and taste to the grain.

Depending on the recipe and how you serve barley in salad, soup, stew or pilaf, here are ingredients that go well with barley:

In addition, cultivated or wild mushrooms, especially the exotic and wild brands such as shiitakes, chanterelle, morels and porcini are a classic addition to barley. 

Assertive vegetables such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower also do the trick.

Sweet vegetables such as beets, winter squash and carrots also tone down the pronounced nutty flavor of barley. These vegetables are best roasted, not boiled and serve on the side.

What fruit taste good with barley?

Other than oats for oatmeal during breakfast time, barley is a perfect grain to make into breakfast-friendly porridge that also taste good with fruits. 

In fact, there’s no better way to start a day than with fruits and whole grains. The best fruits to pair with barley are:

  • Stone fruits: apples, grapes, peach, apricots, pomegranate
  • Citrus: lemon, oranges
  • Berries: strawberries, blueberries
  • Tropical fruits: banana, kiwi, mango
  • Dried fruits: cherries, raisins, cranberries, blueberries, figs, dates

What to serve with barley?

The mild and welcoming flavor of barley does blend well with a variety of sweet and savory ingredients. 

As a result, this whole grain can be served with pretty much everything. From breakfast to dinner recipes, as well as grounded barley mixed with wheat flour to create baked goods.

Instead of quinoa or white rice, try serving barley with some vegetables or steak on the side. If you need more ideas to serve barley with, here are chef’s favorite ways to serve this ancient grain:

  • Breakfast: porridge, breakfast bowl
  • Baked goods: cookies, cake, bread
  • Desserts: pudding
  • Lunch & Dinner: salad, soup, stew, risotto, pilaf

What flavor goes well with barley?

Barley isn’t a blank canvas. It actually has a rich nutty flavor that doesn’t really complement all flavors. 

Pair barley with bold flavors such as crushed peppers, sriracha or spices. Aromatics such as leeks, garlic and onion can also be paired with barley since they won’t overwhelm its natural taste.

Here are some classic flavor combinations that go well with barley for you to try the next meal:

  • barley + pine nuts + chicken broth + butter + garlic
  • barley + brown sugar + cinnamon + apples
  • barley + white wine + mushroom + olive oil + thyme
  • barley + ricotta + olive oil + parsley + walnuts + lemon 
  • barley + beef + carrots + carrots + onion + stocks
Eat with barley

Eat with Barley: Conclusion

Barley dishes deserve a place at the table during all meals from breakfast to dinner. Whether the grain is used as a filling or the main dish, barley has limitless pairings. 

Its chewy bite and toasty flavor allows this classy wholegrain to be included in grain bowls, stews, risottos, soups and salads. Most preferred whole grain due to its versatility, nutty flavor, and unmatched creaminess and crunchiness. 

It can be eaten on its own, but it is much better with side dishes including beef or mushroom as the number one choice when it comes to pairing.

Serving in a chicken or vegetables stock for a soup helps to improve the flavor in-depth. Adding chopped herbs such as oregano, parsley, sage, and thyme helps to accentuate the nutty flavor to the next level.

From breakfast to baked goods, there are plenty of ways to use barley to enjoy in sweet or savory taste. Use these flavor combinations and suggested ingredients to prepare your next meal with barley as a star. 

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