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Vegan Risotto With Barley and Swiss Chard

vegan risottoBefore I became a vegan, barley was practically foreign to me. I’d had it once or twice in lackluster soups, and that was about it. When I transitioned to veganism, however, I decided to give barley another shot-and I am very, very happy I did. Not only does it make an amazingly creamy vegan risotto, it also makes a great base for many other dishes. Barley comes in several forms depending on how much of the hull has been removed, and you can pick and choose your favorite (some forms are better suited for cereals, some for main dishes, some for soups). My go-to variety for dishes like this vegan risotto is hulled barley. This complete whole grain is the least processed and most nutrient-dense form of barley. It is incredibly versatile, goes well with a variety of herbs and vegetables, and can be soaked overnight to reduce cooking time. This recipe includes Swiss chard and fresh herbs from my garden, but you can use the vegan risotto recipe as the base for any veggie you desire. I hope you enjoy!

Check out more healthy recipes via Twitter @berryripeblog and @vegarissa!



1 cup hulled barley

2 1/2 cups water

4 cups vegetable stock

3 cups Swiss chard (washed and chopped)

2 white button mushrooms

1 medium yellow onion (chopped)

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. caraway seeds

1/2 cup chopped fresh tarragon, rosemary and thyme

salt and pepper, to taste



Rinse the barley. In a large saucepan, bring water and barley to boil and cook for about 45-50 minutes until all of the water is absorbed (this can be done the night before).


In another saucepan, bring stock to a boil and cover to keep warm.


Add two cups of the hot broth to the barley, simmer on medium until almost absorbed, stirring frequently (about 5 minutes).


Continue adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, allowing it to be absorbed before adding more. Make sure to keep stirring (you’ll build arm strength at least). Add salt, pepper and caraway seeds.


Heat olive oil in a saute pan, cook onion over medium for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, cook for about 5 minutes.


Once you are on your last 1/2 cup, add fresh herbs to barley, and saute chard in pan with onion and mushrooms. Cook until wilted.


Serve chard and mushrooms over barley.


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