Barley Risotto With Roasted Vegetables

"This is originally from Cooking Light, but I modified it a bit because the reviews on their website all mentioned how bland it was. I added some spices and left out the nuts (although you can add them back; they are listed below as optional). The recipe originally calls for winter vegetables, but use what is in season for the best taste. This is a very satisfying meal. It has a little more tooth than rice-based risotto, but I actually preferred it that way. It is also made with a whole-grain, unlike regular risotto, so it has more fiber and other nutrients. This can be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead of chicken. I wouldn't recommend making it vegan by leaving out the cheese, as that seemed to add a lot to the dish. Serves 4 as a main dish, 8 as a side dish."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
1hr 5mins




  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Add 3 cups broth and barley; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and barley is al dente.
  • Meanwhile, combine parsnip, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper, remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, black pepper, seasoned salt, and chili powder on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray, and toss well to coat. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring after 10 minutes.
  • Add the remaining 1 cup broth to the barley, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next. Stir in parsnip mixture and 1/3 cup cheese. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup cheese, pecans (if used), and parsley.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. monami4277
    This is a simple absolutely delicious recipe. I did not use as much cheese and it was still very tastey!
  2. WI Cheesehead
    If my picky child likes it, it gets 5 stars! :) The barley was chewy (not mushy) and the vegetables still had a little crunch. I reduced the green bell pepper to 1 C and I chopped everything (except cauliflower and broccoli) in my mini chopper to make it more palatable to the kids. I used a combo of red and yellow onion. I also chopped the garlic in the chopper (I hate my press - too wasteful.) I didn't use the nuts or the parsley. After adding cheese and veggies, I let it cook a little while longer to absorb more of the liquid. Lots of leftovers, since no one was real hungry tonight.


I moved from Ohio to the West Coast about 4 years ago and I currently work as an assistant at an intellectual property law firm in Silicon Valley. I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen. I'm not much of baker, though, since I hate to measure my ingredients. Like most everyone else these days, I am always on the lookout for low-calorie recipes. I recently married and I try to cook dinner for my husband and I at least 6 times a week, which he heartily supports. When I'm not cooking or browsing through cookbooks from the library or second-hand store, I can usually be found knitting something, playing video games with DH, or just watching tv. I also love exploring the great outdoors, whether it be hiking, kayaking, biking, or just doing a little sightseeing around town. I am finishing up a paralegal certificate at the community college and am now considering preparation for law school. The crockpot recipes here definitely helped us stay fed while I was taking night classes! <img src=""> "My motivation to cook is that I'm always hungry." -Jacques Pepin
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes