Bean & Barley Chili

Bean & Barley Chili

5 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 1999

This hearty vegetarian chili is a full-flavored antidote for winter's chill. Serve with nonfat plain yogurt and baked corn chips.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 2 cups dried pinto beans
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 dried mild New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Avocado Salsa, (recipe follows), optional


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Soak beans in cold water in a large pot for at least 8 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, cook beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Cover and set aside for 1 hour.) Drain and rinse beans.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, cumin and oregano; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add water, bay leaf and beans; bring to a simmer. Skim foam from surface. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1¼ hours.
  4. Meanwhile, lightly toast chiles in a heavy dry skillet over medium-low heat. Transfer to a plate and let cool; tear into several pieces.
  5. Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add chiles; cover and let soften, turning several times, for 30 minutes. Transfer chiles and broth to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  6. When the beans have simmered for 1¼ hours, add chile puree, tomatoes, barley and salt. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until beans and barley are tender and chili has thickened, about 45 minutes more.
  7. Remove bay leaf. Season chili with vinegar, sugar, pepper and salt. Serve with Avocado Salsa, if desired.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 283 calories; 4 g fat(0 g sat); 16 g fiber; 52 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 222 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 4,552 IU vitamin A; 12 mg vitamin C; 107 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 463 mg sodium; 970 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (91% daily value), Folate (56% dv), Iron (22% dv), Vitamin C (20% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2½ starch, 2 vegetable, 1 lean meat

Reviews 5

April 11, 2011
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By: Granny48
Awesome This turned out incredible. I used canned beans and canned chilies. It was much quicker to prepare. My husband the meat lover thought it was fantastic. Pros: Very Flavorful Cons: Long preparation time
October 21, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Per serving: 289 calories; 4 g fat (0 g sat, 1 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 53 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 16 g fiber; 456 mg sodium; 978 mg potassium I like to know what I'm putting in my body! Sure, the nutritional info gives you the amount of calories, fat, cholesterol, carbs, etc in this meal per serving but it does NOT tell us how much a serving is! Any help here?? Thank you very much. Vince :)
January 27, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
My daughter is a vegetarian, and my husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Finding recipes that make them both happy is a challenge. This has become my chilli. I use canned beans to make this easier, and my husband likes me to add a cup of smoky barbecue sauce to the finished pot. Very filling, and everybody is happy.
September 21, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
Great soup! I substituted two 4-oz cans of diced green chilies instead of the dried chilies. I used the dried beans, but rinsed & drained canned beans would work if you're short on time. Tracy, Tucson, AZ
September 21, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I made a batch with the barley and without the barley because my mom can't eat barley. The batch without the barley actually tasted better - very flavorful! Sara, Fort Wayne, IN
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