Recipe: Barley Risotto with Beans & Greens

This barley risotto is absolutely delicious. It’s creamy, rich, and comforting! The parmesan gives the recipe a sophisticated touch, and the butter is all you need to make the dish totally satisfying.

I first saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, a great food blog with tons of recipes. I changed a few things to make it my own, but for the most part it is the same. I hope you enjoy this risotto, and please let me know your thoughts if you try it at home 🙂

Barley Risotto with Beans & Greens

Serves 3 to 4


  • 5 cups vegetable both, no sodium
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 diced onion, medium-sized
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 cup (7 oz) pearled barley
  • 1 cup white beans (canned or pre-cooked)
  • 3.5 cups escarole, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste


In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable broth on moderately high heat. Once simmering, reduce heat to a low.

In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and thyme. Cook until the onion is soft, about six minutes. Stir in the barley and cook for another two minutes.

Pour in one cup of the warm vegetable broth. Stir until the broth is nearly absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, six times. (At the end there will be one cup of broth left in saucepan.) Stir a lot to make sure the broth is absorbed.

Cook for about 35 minutes, and then add the beans and rest of the vegetable broth. Cook for one minute, and then add the escarole. Mix in the parmesan and butter. Wait a minute or two (until butter is melted, escarole is wilted, and parmesan is well mixed in), and then serve! Season with salt and pepper, and feel free to add more parmesan cheese. I had my barley risotto with sautéed Brussels sprouts 🙂

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