Wild Mushroom & Barley Risotto

Wild Mushroom & Barley Risotto

9 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2007

In this pungent mushroom risotto, we substitute fiber-rich barley for the more traditional arborio rice. Any combination of mushrooms will work; if you use shiitakes, remove the stems from the caps before using.

Ingredients 6 servings

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  • 6 cups vegetable, mushroom or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups mixed wild mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ cups pearl barley, rinsed
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 6 cups baby arugula
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Bring broth and water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Adjust heat to maintain a steady simmer.
  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they begin to release their juices, 2 to 3 minutes. Add barley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute more. Reduce heat to medium.
  3. Add ½ cup hot broth to the barley and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding ½ cup hot broth at a time and stirring until the liquid has been absorbed after each addition, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, until the barley is tender and creamy but still somewhat firm, 35 to 45 minutes. (You might not use all the broth.)
  4. Stir in arugula and cook, stirring, until it is wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in cheese, butter and vinegar. Season with pepper.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1¼ cups
  • Per serving: 309 calories; 9 g fat(3 g sat); 10 g fiber; 47 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 39 mcg folate; 9 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 563 IU vitamin A; 4 mg vitamin C; 91 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 735 mg sodium; 373 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 2½ starch, 1 vegetable, 2 fat

Reviews 9

February 24, 2017
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By: Michelle Brothwell
I did mine with white wine, used pearl & black barley & a mushroom stock.... (a mix of mushroom stalks & dried shiitakes) HEAVEN!!
March 04, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Rich and Tasty I substituted kale for the arugula and skipped the water and cheese (I have issues with cheese) while adding additional wine. Also, I threw in some oregano and rosemary in a fit of whimsy. Absolutely lovely. It's now on my list of comfort foods. I made the full batch even though I'm only cooking for one. I put the rest in individual containers and freezed them for future meals. Very convenient. I highly recommend this recipe. Pros: Healthy and Flavourful Cons: NULL
February 26, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Fabulous This is so full of nutrients, is very tasty, and is a welcome change to eating rice, pasta, etc... It's not often that I find a recipe that I want to make again and again. This one is definitely a keeper. Pros: Healthy and tasty. Cons: It is hands on.
December 14, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
LOVE THIS RECIPE I made this almost exactly as written. I used just the basic white mushrooms and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Four ounces of store bought chicken broth and two ounces of my home made. stock. It is so tasty -- you can use it as a main dish or as a side. I will definitely make this again! Pros: Tasty, easy to make Cons: Takes a little time at the stove
August 30, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Really, Really Good!!! This recipe is awesome! I actually made it using 1/2 recipe, as it's just me! And I used quinoa instead of barley, because my local grocery store didn't seem to have barley, or I just didn't know where it was... I will DEFINITELY make this again! SO good! Pros: Flavor, ease
November 09, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Great dish! I used white wine instead of red, omitted the balsamic at the end, added Romano & Parmesan cheeses & it was fabulous! I had no idea that barley could be cooked like arborio. Will definitely make again! Pros: Tasty filling winter Cons: Labor intensive
March 22, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Pretty Good I used arborio rice instead of the barley...and that may have been a mistake. I found the flavors to be bland and the ingredients mushy. Although I appreciate using mushrooms as a meat, I have to say I feel like the recipe was missing something like a meat.
November 28, 2011
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By: cmbrown222
Earthy Yumminess This was a great way to use up the barley in my pantry, which I don't cook all that often. It's a humble, but tasty dish--has the mouth feel of an arborio rice risotto, but much earthier in flavor. I found the serving size filling--had it for lunch today--but now it's 2 hours later and I'm hungry. Probably should have eaten something with it. I added some frozen peas to amp up the veggies. Can't believe how a huge pile of greens can wilt down to almost nothing--blows me away every time. I see this as a great weekday dish, and I think it's a recipe that can be played with. I was wishing I had a red pepper, because I think that would add some more eye appeal and a compatible flavor. I also want to try it with beef broth, which is always a good partner to barley. Pros: High fiber Cons: Constant attending
December 19, 2009
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By: cinemama
Fantastic dish! Risotta is always labor intensive, but this is one version that is definitely worth the effort. Meaty, flavorful and very filling. Really, really good! It looks beautiful too. Great dish for dinner parties too. One tip: while cooking this I thought it wasn't seasoned enough. I almost added salt, but thankfully I didn't. I hadn't taken the broth I was adding into consideration. Never did need to add salt. Also, be careful not to have the flame up too high, otherwise the barley won't absorb as much liquid.
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