Easy Greek-Style Barley Salad

Easy Greek style barley salad

​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 6 servings

A simple whole grain salad or pilaf made with barley, tomatoes, bell peppers and feta cheese in a simple dressing. Omit the cheese to keep it vegan and dairy-free, or, replace the feta with a baked or seasoned tofu instead. If you don't have one of the ingredients on hand, such as the olive or the bell pepper, this salad will still be delicious.

Many Greek salad recipes call for artichoke hearts (yum!), cucumbers or green onions, so feel free to add those in too; I just didn't happen to have any on hand, but that doesn't mean they don't belong!

I don't often toot my own horn, but this vegetarian barley salad was much, much more delicious than I had anticipated, so if you're on the fence about trying this barley recipe, please do - you won't regret it!


  • 1 cup pearl barley

  • 3 cups water

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped red onion

  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 pepper bell pepper, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (omit for a vegan dish)

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley or mint, optional

  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 pinch kosher salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Greek style barley
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  2. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add a half teaspoon of salt.

    Boiling water
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  3. Add barley, cover, and allow to simmer over medium low heat for about 40 minutes, or until barley is cooked.

    Add barley
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  4. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and gently toss with the barley to coat well.

    Add red wine vinegar
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  5. Allow the barley to cool slightly, then add in the red onion, tomato, bell pepper, feta cheese, kalamata olives, and fresh parsley or mint, and oregano.

    Allow barley to kill
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  6. Season well with oregano and sea salt or kosher salt, and adjust seasonings to taste.

    Season with oregano
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  7. Serve your Greek-style barley salad either chilled or at room temperature. If you're using this for a nice luncheon, it might be nice to plate it on top of a few butter lettuce or romaine lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

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