Vegan Barley, Wild Rice, and Cranberry Pilaf

Cranberry barley pilaf salad

Dorlin Kindersley / Getty Images

  • Total: 55 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
328 Calories
25g Fat
23g Carbs
5g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 328
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 33%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 252mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Protein 5g
Calcium 51mg 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.)

When you're looking for a healthy side dish or a vegetarian main, turn to this healthy whole grain barley pilaf with wild rice and cranberries. It's flavored with orange juice, a touch of salt and fresh parsley, with chopped walnuts for extra texture and protein. It's a nutritious and high-fiber side dish or vegetarian main dish. You can also use this mixed grain pilaf to stuff an acorn squash or another oven-roasted fall squash for a colorful fall or Thanksgiving dinner entree.


  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 1/4 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon onion (finely chopped)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1 cup walnuts (coarsely chopped)
  • Optional: Feta cheese, greens for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium saucepan with lid, bring the water to a boil. Add the pearl barley, wild rice, and salt; return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook about 40 minutes or until barley is tender but chewy.

  3. While the barley and wild rice mixture are cooking, pour the orange juice over the dried cranberries and set aside.

  4. Drain any excess liquid from cooked barley and rice mixture. Place barley and wild rice in large bowl.

  5. Drain the cranberries, reserving 5 tablespoons of the orange juice.

  6. Toss cranberries with barley and wild rice.

  7. Mix the reserved orange juice with the lemon juice and onion. Whisk in olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  8. Pour dressing over barley mixture. Add chopped parsley and toasted walnuts; mix well.

  9. If you're not eating vegan, you may want to top your cranberry pilaf off with a bit of crumbled feta cheese.

  10. Serve at room temperature or chilled.


  • You can turn this pilaf into a salad for lunch, plate it with a few greens, either on a bed of butter lettuce or romaine lettuce leaves, or, some mesclun greens, arugula or kale italia