Chicken Barley Soup

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Chicken Barley Soup is deliciously simple. Tender chunks of chicken, barley and vegetables in a flavorful broth! Serve this belly-warming soup recipe with 30 Minute Dinner Rolls and a side salad for a perfect meal any time of year!

Chicken Barley Soup in white bowl

Easy Barley Soup

Chicken Barley Soup is the dish my grandma used to make. While we most frequently have Beef Barley Soup, I do love the flavor of a rich chicken barley soup recipe as well! Carrots, celery, chicken, tomatoes, and of course barley are all simmered in chicken broth to create this comfort food classic.

I love making soup almost as much as I love eating (or slurping) it. Chicken noodle soup, split pea soup… you name it, I am there. This chicken barley soup recipe is no exception. It is so mouthwatering and actually good for you! What’s better than guilt-free comfort food? Nothing.

Freezing & Reheating

This easy soup recipe freezes perfectly and reheats super quickly, making it perfect for lunches or an impromptu dinner! When we make this soup, you should make sure your chicken is cooked before adding it in. It’s a great opportunity to use up leftover chicken or to quickly make some poached chicken or rotisserie chicken in this recipe… Easy and flavorful!

When you make chicken barley soup, make sure you don’t add the fresh herbs right away. If you add them in the beginning, they will overcook. so stirring them in right at the end of cooking is the best option.

Chicken Barley Soup with carrot

How To Cook Barley In Soup

Unless it is simmered for a while, barley is crunchy. No one likes crunchy in their soup! This recipe uses pearl barley, which is the most common type of barley. It is a small grain, with a chewy texture and slightly nutty flavor.

At the very minimum, pearl barley takes about 25 minutes of simmering on the stovetop. Barley is very hard to overcook, so don’t worry about simmering your soup for longer! We simmer this chicken barley soup for about an hour which I find is the perfect time to combine and intensify all the flavors! I think soup is the perfect fall food!  It’s easy to make, naturally pretty healthy and it just warms you from the inside out!

Chicken barley is one of our favorites, this one is jam-packed with all kinds of goodies.  The fresh herbs in this soup are optional but the fresh dill really adds something special to this dish so if it’s available I’d strongly recommend it!

As with most soup recipes, leftovers are completely delicious so this is the perfect soup to make on the weekend and pack for lunches all week!

Other Delicious Cold Weather Soups:

Chicken Barley Soup in white bowl
4.84 from 24 votes
Review Recipe

Chicken Barley Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Chicken Barley Soup is easy to make, naturally pretty healthy and it just warms you from the inside out!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth or homemade
  • 1 ½ cups carrots chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 14.5 ounces low sodium diced tomatoes canned, lightly drained
  • ¾ cup pearl barley
  • 2 ½ cups cooked chicken
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

Fresh Herbs (OPTIONAL)

  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley

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  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion & garlic and cook until slightly softened. Add remaining ingredients except fresh herbs.
  • Bring to a boil and let simmer uncovered for 1 hour or until barley is tender.
  • Discard bay leaves and stir in fresh herbs.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 327, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Sodium: 277mg, Potassium: 784mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 5750IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 77mg, Iron: 3.2mg

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

Course Soup
Cuisine American

More Recipes You’ll Love

*  20 Minute Broccoli Cheese Soup * Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup * Crock Pot Ham & Potato Soup *

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Chicken Barley Soup with writing
Chicken Barley Soup with title
About the author


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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. Made this soup for dinner tonight and my husband and I both thought it was delicious. I used rotisserie chicken and added some baby spinach at the end. Definitely a keeper for us. Thanks5 stars

  2. Made this last night, I baked the chicken breasts in the oven with a little salt & pepper and some fresh rosemary. Then when cooked added it to the soup as the recipe said. We really enjoyed this!

  3. I’m known for changing recipes around but I didn’t change much in this other than adding a little extra chicken, 1 cup barley and about 3 cups fresh spinach leaves that cook down. Absolutely delishous on a cold January night! My question is what is the serving size for the calorie count and nutrition information listed?5 stars

  4. I made this for my family tonight and it was delicious! I added a little fresh squeeze of lemon but that was all it really needed. I love your recipes Holly 5 stars

  5. I am so glad I found you! I am going to try your chicken pot pie. My husband loves to go to Cheddar’s Retaurant and always has their Chicken Pot Pie. I have never found a recipe I like for home, so sill be making your with the spice mix you recoomend. Thanks so much!