Barley-Squash Gratin

Barley is an excellent source of fiber, and in this slow-cooker recipe it's paired with nutrient-dense spinach and butternut squash. Topped with shredded Parmesan cheese, this side dish will be happy sharing a plate with whatever else you're serving.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 25 mins
12 servings


  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and cubed (about 5 cups)

  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges

  • 1 cup regular barley (not quick-cooking)

  • 1 (14 ounce) can vegetable broth

  • ½ cup water

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)


  1. In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, stir together squash, spinach, onion, barley, broth, water, garlic and pepper.

  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

  3. If possible, remove ceramic liner from cooker or turn off cooker. Sprinkle squash mixture with Parmesan cheese. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes before serving.


Tips: For easy cleanup, line your slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner. Add ingredients as directed in recipe. Once your dish is finished cooking, spoon the food out of your slow cooker and simply dispose of the liner. Do not lift or transport the disposable liner with food inside.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

108 Calories
1g Fat
21g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Serving Size 2/3 cup
Calories 108
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 5g 9%
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Vitamin A 8215IU 164%
Vitamin C 14mg 15%
Folate 52mcg 13%
Sodium 224mg 10%
Calcium 98mg 8%
Iron 1mg 7%
Magnesium 45mg 11%
Potassium 310mg 7%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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