Easy Herby Barley Salad with Garlic-Roasted Mushrooms and peppers

The best Herby Barley salad Grain Bowl! Garlic roasted mushrooms, Caramelized onions, crunchy peppers, and loads of fresh thyme. This healthy salad bowl is incredibly easy to make and the luxe creamy Balsamic dressing takes it to another level of deliciousness.

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This might just be the best easy Herby Barley Salad you will ever make, thanks to the Garlic-Roasted Mushrooms, the crunchy peppers, and the creamy balsamic dressing that all come together to make a super simple and super tasty healthy salad recipe. It’s a nutritional powerhouse chocked full of healthy immune system-boosting ingredients. And it makes a great dinner, lunch, and everything in between because it can be served both hot and cold. It’s a great on-the-go vegan lunch salad that will keep you feeling energized and full for longer. 

What’s for dinner? Easy Herby Barley Salad is the answer

It’s time to think about dinner again, because we all need something healthy, and something new that can inspire our tastebuds and get us out of cooking the same meals week after week. But good news – help is coming to you in the form of a super easy-to-make, herb-filled tender nutty barley salad loaded with garlic roasted mushrooms, soft Caramelized onions, and fresh crunchy peppers. It’s a simple, tasty bowl of immune system-boosting ingredients that can brighten any day. 

This easy herby vegan barley salad with golden garlic roasted mushrooms, Caramelized onions, and fresh peppers is for you if you like

  • Colorful and nutritious meals
  • Salads that tastes amazing and will make you feel full for longer
  • Dinners loaded with vitamins and minerals 
  • Easy salads that are just as delicious when eaten the next day
  • Textures, textures, textures – from tender garlicky mushrooms to crunchy red bell peppers
  • Meal prep friendly salads
  • Easy recipes
  • Simple ingredients that are easy to get
  • Vegan salads full of flavor 

How to Cook Barley

If you don’t know how to cook barley, don’t worry. You’re not alone. But I’m here to guide you through it. And luckily, it’s actually pretty simple to cook the tender chewy barley that we all want. So, let’s look at how it’s done.

Cooking pot barley in an instant pot (time approximately 25-minutes)

  • Rinse the barley before cooking. Add 1 cup barley to the instant pot and cover with 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock. Add a pinch of salt. Make sure the ceiling ring is in place and close the lid shut with the nob turned towards the ceiling. 
  • Cook on high pressure with the quick release on for 25-minutes.
  • Use the natural pressure release until the pin drops (should take around 25-minutes).
  • Once the barley has cooked, carefully stir it with a spoon to make it fluffy and leave it to rest for 5-10 minutes before adding the vegetables.

Cooking pot barley on the stove (time approximately 50 minutes)

  • Pour the barley into a pot and cover it with the vegetable broth. Add a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cover the pot with a lid and bring the water to a boil (keep a close eye on the pot because barley tends to want to boil over). Once the water boils, turn the heat down to a simmer and let the barley cook until the water has absorbed. Pot barley will need to cook for around 50-minutes. 
  • Once the barley has cooked, remove it from the stove and leave to cool a little.

Cooking Pearl barley in an instant pot (time approximately 20 minutes)

  • Add 1 cup barley to the instant pot and cover with 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock. Add a pinch of salt. Make sure the ceiling ring is in place and close the lid shut with the nob turned towards the ceiling. 

Cook on high pressure with the quick release on for 20-minutes 

  • Use the natural pressure release until the pin drops (should take around 25-minutes).
  • Once the barley has cooked, carefully stir it with a spoon to make it fluffy and leave it to rest for 5-10 minutes before adding the vegetables.

Cooking Pearl barley on the stove (time approximately 35 minutes)

  • Pour the barley into a pot and cover it with the vegetable broth. Add a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cover the pot with a lid and bring the water to a boil (keep a close eye on the pot because barley tends to want to boil over). Once the water boils, turn the heat down to a simmer and let the barley cook until the water has absorbed. Pearl barley will need to cook for around 35-minutes.
  • Once the barley has cooked, remove it from the stove and leave to cool a little.

How to make the best easy vegan salad dressing 

The simple balsamic dressing I like to use for salads is a crowd-pleaser recipe for a reason. It just makes everything taste better and as a bonus, it’s also very easy to make. 

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you need to make what might be the best vegan balsamic dressing ever.

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 cup olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce 
  • 1 tsp salt

To make the dressing, simply whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour the dressing into a clean glass jar covered with a lid and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use. 

That’s it. Super simple and always a great dressing to have mixed and ready in the refrigerator.

Note:

The dressing should keep for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Frequently asked questions 

What kind of mushrooms can I use in salads?

Almost any type of edible mushroom will work well in this salad. I like to use button or cremini mushrooms because I can get them at all times of year. But chanterelles, portobello, and even shiitake mushrooms can all work just as well in salads as long as they are properly prepared before being added to the salad.

Is this salad meal prep-friendly?

Yes. Barley salad is amazing, not just because of the texture, but also because it’s one off the few salads that can be made in advance. Especially this barley salad is meal prep friendly, because all the ingredients have been cooked. You can make it a day in advance, and eat any leftovers for next days lunch.

What is barley?

Barley is a cereal grain that’s high in fiber and protein. It has much of the same tenderness to the bite as rice does and is often used in soups. Barley is a great healthy and budget-friendly alternative to regular rice. 

What is the glycemic index of barley?

The glycemic index of barley ranges from 20 to 37.

Is barley gluten-free?

No. Barley isn’t gluten-free. If you need a gluten-free alternative to barley I suggest using wild rice or quinoa to make this recipe.

What’s the difference between Pearl and pot barley?

In essence, Pearl and pot barley is the same thing. However, Pearl barley is the more processed of the two types. Both types taste almost the same and they can generally be used interchangeably in recipes. Pot barley will take longer to cook, so if you want a quicker cooking option it’s best to use Pearl barley.

Easy Herby Barley Salad with Garlic-Roasted Mushrooms and peppers

The best Herby Barley Grain Bowl! Garlic roasted mushrooms, Caramelized onions, crunchy peppers, and loads of fresh thyme. This healthy salad bowl is incredibly easy to make and the luxe creamy Balsamic dressing takes it to another level of deliciousness.
This might just be the best easy Herby Barley Salad you will ever make, thanks to the Garlic-Roasted Mushrooms, the crunchy peppers, and the creamy balsamic dressing that all come together to make a super simple and super tasty healthy salad recipe. It’s a nutritional powerhouse chocked full of healthy immune system-boosting ingredients. And it makes a great dinner, lunch, and everything in between because it can be served both hot and cold. It’s a great on-the-go vegan lunch salad that will keep you feeling energized and full for longer. 
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Barley Uncooked
  • 3 cups Vegetable Broth
  • ½ tsp Sea salt or Kosher Salt
  • cups (200g) Mushrooms Sliced
  • 1 Red Onion Sliced
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers Sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic Finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Thyme

Balsamic Dressing

  • ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 tsp Salt

Instructions

Cooking barley on a stovetop

  • Rinse the barley before cooking. Pour the barley into a pot and cover it with the vegetable broth. Add a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cover the pot with a lid and bring the water to a boil (keep a close eye on the pot because barley tends to want to boil over). Once the water boils, turn the heat down to a simmer and let the barley cook until the water has absorbed. Pearl barley will need to cook for around 35-minutes and pot barley will need to cook for closer to 50-minutes. 
    Once the barley has cooked, remove it from the stove and leave to cool a little.

Cooking barley in an instant pot 

  • Add 1 cup barley to the instant pot and cover with 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock. Add a pinch of salt. Make sure the ceiling ring is in place and close the lid shut with the nob turned towards the ceiling. 
    Cook on high pressure with the quick release on for:
    Pearl barley instant pot cooking time: 20-minutes 
    Pot barley instant pot cooking time: 25-minutes 
    Use the natural pressure release until the pin drops (should take around 25-minutes).
    Once the barley has cooked, carefully stir it with a spoon to make it fluffy and leave it to rest for 5-10 minutes before adding the vegetables.

Making the Salad

  • While the barley cooks, heat a non-stick pan and add the sliced mushrooms and onions. Let the vegetables cook while stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes or until the mushrooms start to soften.
  • Add the finely chopped garlic to the dish, along with a pinch of salt and the thyme. Stir together and let cook for a few more minutes. Finally, at the last minute, add the sliced bell peppers and allow to cook for 1 minute. 
  • Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. (Pour leftover dressing into a clean glass jar and store in the refrigerator).
  • Once the barley has cooked, add the garlic mushrooms mix to the barley and gently combine the salad. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.

Are you looking for more easy tasty salad recipes? You might like some of these:

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