Shrimp, Barley and Lemon Stew

shrimp and barley stew
Laurel Randolph
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
409 Calories
6g Fat
61g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 409
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 170mg 57%
Sodium 1481mg 64%
Total Carbohydrate 61g 22%
Dietary Fiber 11g 40%
Protein 33g
Calcium 310mg 24%
*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.)

Barley is a grain that often appears in stews, thanks to its sturdy texture and the natural creaminess it lends to broth. It's typically paired with beef for a classic Beef and Barley Stew, but swapping the traditional protein for shrimp offers a lighter, yet still satisfying option. Sweet potato adds some body and texture, and a nice dose of garlic keeps things flavorful. Fresh shrimp, bright green spinach and lemon are added at the last minute so that they don't overcook. It's a brightly flavored dish with plenty of body, making it a soup for all seasons. Serve with a salad and crusty bread to make it a hearty meal.

When buying barley for this recipe, we recommend seeking out the pearled variety. It cooks in less time, preventing the other ingredients from turning to mush, and has a nice, not-too-chewy texture. Score!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 celery ribs (diced)
  • 1 large carrot (diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 medium sweet potato (peeled and small diced)
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 pound small (raw shrimp, peeled)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach (packed)
  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil followed by the onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes.

  3. Add the sweet potato, barley and chicken broth, and stir. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until barley is tender.

  4. Add the shrimp, spinach, lemon juice and zest. Bring back to a simmer, cover and turn off the heat.

  5. Let sit for 5 minutes and serve.

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