Vegetarian Barley and Mushroom Pilaf

Barley and mushroom pilaf

J. Hackett

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
161 Calories
4g Fat
27g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 161
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 702mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Protein 6g
Calcium 48mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is a warming and comforting vegetarian barley and mushroom pilaf recipe with plenty of earthy flavor from the onions, rosemary, and mushrooms. And, it's low in fat and very low in cholesterol as well. For a vegan barley pilaf recipe that is even lower in fat and completely cholesterol-free, simply omit the Parmesan cheese, or, you could try adding a bit of nutritional yeast instead of the cheese.

Some people love the texture and chewiness of barley, and you may find that you also love that it's a complete bargain at the check-out counter, particularly if you're used to some of the trendier whole grains, such as quinoa or kaniwa, which tend to be a bit on the pricey side. Of course, if you do like experimenting with different whole grains, you can always swap out the barley for your favorite, or try something new, such as whole grain freekeh or teff, if you haven't already. 

If you like barley or are looking for easy barley recipes, try something a little savory and a little sweet with this wild rice and cranberry barley pilaf recipe.


  • 1/2 cup fresh sliced mushrooms (use either regular white button mushrooms or fresh porcini mushrooms would also be delicious)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions (scallions)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese (omit or replace with nutritional yeast if you're eating vegan)
  • Optional: Sea salt or kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat olive oil in saucepan; add mushrooms and sauté until just barely tender, about a minute or two.

  3. Add the barley, vegetable broth, green onion, and rosemary. Bring to a boil.

  4. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.

  5. Sprinkle the freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the barley pilaf and serve hot.

  6. Season lightly with a bit of salt and pepper, depending on your taste. (Sea salt or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper will give you the best taste.) 

  7. Serve and enjoy!