We love hearty, fresh, grain-based salads, and this barley salad is no exception!

This superfood grain is crunchy, colorful, and nutritious and jam-packed with fresh vegetables and a zesty dressing!

Barley Salad in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon on the side

Barley is easy to find, affordable, and has a mild nutty flavor. It goes great with all kinds of ingredients and can be served hot or cold.


VEGGIES This barley salad is a play on our favorite Greek salad recipe with, juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and sweet red onions.

OLIVES We add tangy kalamata olives for a punch of flavor, but sub out black olives if you prefer.

CHEESE Feta cheese adds a nice salty flavor in this recipe.


One batch of this Mediterranean-style barley salad can last a whole week! Don’t be afraid to mix and match ingredients in your fridge.

Olive oil, vinegar, and lemon are perfect on this salad or toss it with a simple Greek salad dressing. It’s great with almost any vinaigrette.

Barley Salad ingredients in a bowl before being mixed

How to Make Barley Salad?

Healthy, delicious barley salad is super easy to make!

  1. Cook barley in salted water according to the recipe below.
  2. Chop vegetables.
  3. Drain and cool barley completely. PRO TIP: To quickly cool barley, spread it out on a sheet pan, and place it in the freezer for a few minutes.
  4. Place chopped vegetables in a large bowl, add barley and dressing.
  5. Garnish with feta cheese and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Storage Tips for Barley

  • Store uncooked barley in a sealed bag or container and keep it in a cool, dry place like a pantry.
  • To store barley salad, keep the salad in a container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator and it should last up to 7 days.

Great Grains

Did you make this Barley Salad? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

Barley Salad in a glass bowl
5 from 32 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Barley Salad

This Barley Salad is a colorful, fun twist on Greek salad!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 4
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  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup cucumber diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced, any color
  • ¼ cup red onion diced
  • cup kalamata olives or black olives
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup Greek salad dressing or Italian dressing
  • fresh parsley for garnish


  • Bring salted water to a boil. Add barley, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook 25 minutes or until barley is tender. Drain any liquid and cool completely.
  • While barley is cooking, chop vegetables and place in a large bowl.
  • Add cooled barley and dressing. Toss well to combine.
  • Garnish with feta cheese and parsley. Chill 1 hour before serving.


A few tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and squeeze of lemon, salt & pepper are perfect on this salad if you don't have Greek salad dressing.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. 
5 from 32 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 559 | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 1298mg | Potassium: 368mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1369IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 2mg

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

Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Greek
Barley Salad in a bowl with writing
Barley Salad in a glass bowl with text
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Barley Salad in a serving bowl with a title


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About the author

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 wasn’t sure about barley salad but this is over the top delicious. It had everything I love in a salad with all the veggies and I thought the cucumber and red onion really made the flavor pop. This is going to be a regular dish from now on in my house.5 stars

  2. I was searching for something in the pantry besides pasta, potatoes and rice, and there sat some barley – I’ve always associated it with my Nana’s PA dutch soups and loved it, so was happy to see a few options pop up in my recipe search. I added roasted asparagus and a different soft cheese but otherwise followed this healthy recipe to the letter, including the dressing. We agreed it should be a feature in our summer “delicious side” rotation. Thank you!5 stars

  3. Great recipe, I also added also chickpeas and followed your suggestion for the vinegrette, the added lemon juice was very good.5 stars

  4. Excellent salad! Fresh tasting and makes a beautiful presence on a buffet table! I used goat cheese instead of feta because it was what I had on hand. I also included a can of rinsed and drained canned chick peas and fresh basil along with the fresh parsley and it was delicious.5 stars