Creamy Pea & Chive Pearl Barley Risotto (Reduced Fat)

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 25 mins

I am a big fan of pearl barley as it is cheap, tasty, healthy and very filling. This sounds like a great new way to enjoy pearl barley with a bit of an Italian flare. I originally found this recipe in the BBC Good Food Magazine.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat the oil in a large, deep pan, then gently fry the onion for 3-4 minutes
  2. Stir in the pearl barley, sizzle for a few mins, then pour in about a third of the stock.
  3. Simmer fiercely for 20 mins, stirring occasionally, adding more stock gradually as it is absorbed.
  4. With 5 mins to go, stir in the peas. After 20 mins there should be some liquid left and the barley should be cooked through.
  5. Turn the heat off under the risotto and let it sit for a min, then stir in the cream cheese and most of the chives.
  6. Season well and serve scattered with the rest of the chives.


Most Helpful

This was so easy to make and was a big hit with my family - especially my our year old son, he had 3 kid-size helpings! It was plenty of food for my fam of four and we also had leftovers. I did the math and it only cost me $5.25 to make! Definitely a keeper! The only changes I made was that I added minced garlic in with the onions and I added frozen peas at the very end, right before the cream cheese. I'm also eager to try new veggie and cream cheese combinations!

LaineO May 31, 2011

This came out really well, even with a bunch of modifications. I had a whole box of instant barley I wanted to use up, so I used 4+ cups of chicken broth and a little more cream cheese. I also added garlic salt, black pepper, garlic pepper, and some herb blend seasoning. Right at the end, the dish was tasting somewhat flat, so I added some white wine, which I absolutely recommend. I will be making this frequently!

juniperwoman July 18, 2009

I would never have thought of using pearl barley like this, and it was so good! Absolutely loved it, and the little I had left, I froze, and then took to work as my lunch, it freezes beautifully! this is a whole new experience and one I will definitely repeat, thank you for this marvellous discovery! made for Vegetarian swap#11

Karen Elizabeth June 09, 2009

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