Mushroom Barley Risotto is unique and elegant. Pearl barley is cooked with mushrooms and garlic and mixed with parmesan cheese for a creamy and savory flavor! 

Mushroom Barley Risotto in a pan with a spoon

Wild mushroom risotto is the perfect side for a juicy pork tenderloin or a deliciously flavorful meatloaf recipe.

What is Pearl Barley Risotto?

Traditionally, risotto is made with Arborio rice which is a short grain rice. Arborio rice requires constant monitoring on the stovetop. Pearl barley, however, is less expensive and easier to work with.

Pearl barley gives this dish a creamy texture similar to a classic risotto but has a slightly nuttier, more brown rice-like flavor. Paired with mushrooms and a dash of truffle oil, this barley risotto simple and delicious!

Truffle oil is optional but if you enjoy the flavor, it can be ordered online. A very small bottle (which will run about $12-14) lasts me forever since you just need to add a couple of drops to pastas, butters or risotto (or toss with french fries or popcorn).

Ingredients for Mushroom Barley Risotto in a pot

How to Make Risotto

This recipe uses pearl barley instead of the traditional Arborio rice for a nutty flavor!

  1. Cook onions and mushrooms until tender (per recipe below). Add barley.
  2. Add liquids and simmer, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender and the risotto has a creamy consistency.
  3. Stir in cheese and season to taste. Finish with a dash of truffle oil if desired.

Mushroom Barley Risotto with a spoon in a pot

What to Serve with Barley Risotto

Wild mushroom barley risotto makes a perfect side dish for any kind of protein like beef, chicken, pork or even a heavy fish like a salmon filet. All you need is a crisp tossed salad with tomatoes, a veggie side like roasted brussels sprouts and a slice of thick, crusty garlic bread!

Storing the Leftovers

Mushroom barley risotto keeps well in the fridge for about 5 days. Heat in the microwave or on the stove top adding a bit of water or broth if needed.

Great Grains

Spoonful of Mushroom Barley Risotto in a pot
5 from 23 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Mushroom Barley Risotto

Unique, elegant, and flavorful dish cooked with mushrooms, garlic, and mixed with parmesan cheese for a creamy and savory flavor! 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 8 ounces mixed mushrooms cleaned and sliced (Use your choice of cremini, white, portebello)
  • 3-4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese finely shredded
  • ½ tablespoon truffle oil (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add onion and cook 4 minutes until soft.
  • Add mushrooms & garlic and cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add barley and cook 2 minutes.
  • Pour in white wine and cook until evaporated
  • Add 3 cups of chicken broths and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 55 minutes until liquid evaporates stirring occasionally. If liquid evaporates before barley is cooked, add remaining broth.
  • Once barley is soft, stir in ½ of the cheese, salt and parsley.
  • Top with remaining cheese and if desired, truffle oil.


Nutrition information calculated without optional ingredients.
5 from 23 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 296 | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 490mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 133IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
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Mushroom Barley Risotto ingredients in a pot with writing


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. I make a damn fine risotto, and forgot to buy some last week and then I recalled hearing about substituting barley and found this recipe. Everyone loved it! I will be doing this over and over again. I treated mine more like a straight up risotto and added Brie at the end of it and it was over the top special. I also only had canned mushrooms, crisped them up with the onions, garlic and butter, yum!5 stars

    1. You can swap for additional chicken broth. And while the flavor will be slightly different, it will still be delicious! If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out Susan!

    1. 8 oz of mushrooms is the weight (8 oz in a cup is volume/liquid). 8 oz of sliced mushrooms will measure approximately 2 1/2 cups. If you have a little bit more or less, it will work just fine in this recipe.

  2. Loved it! Healthy alternative to many side dishes. Had it with broccoli stuffed chicken breast and steamed broccoli. My picky husband loved it too!5 stars

  3. It was so good!! The kids loved it!!! My son said that it tasted like the pizza Mac and cheese at cici’s pizza and my daughter said that it tasted like raviolis. They ate it all. Thank you for the recipe!!

  4. This was loaded with flavor and actually pretty simple to make! We have been looking for more dinner recipes that don’t include meat and this is most definitely going to be in the rotation! It was absolutely delicious and very filling! I added kale instead of peas and probably doubled the cheese.5 stars

  5. Sorry one more question, just trying to use what I have instead of making a trip to the store. If I cannot omit wine from the recipe can I use sherry cooking wine or white wine vinegar? Thank you.

    1. While I haven’t tried it, I think it would work if you used a little bit for flavor (not the full amount) or you can just leave it out. Let us know how it goes!