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Barley Salad

Barley Salad with Lemon

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 side dish servings 1x


This barley salad is irresistibly fresh and tasty! Pair the whole grain with crunchy veggies and cover in a lemon and olive oil dressing.


  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (or 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or mix of herbs (we used parsley and basil)
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbles (omit for vegan and add more salt to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Place the barley in a saucepan or pot with 3 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 25 to 30 minutes (or 45 to 1 hour if using hulled barley; you can add more water if the pan becomes dry).
  2. Drain any excess water. Place the barley in a single layer on a baking sheet and allow to cool for a few minutes (pop it in the freezer for 2 minutes to speed up the process and get the grains to room temperature).
  3. Meanwhile, mince the garlic and slice the shallot. Slice the cherry tomatoes in quarters. Dice the bell pepper. Chop the dill and mint.
  4. When the barley is done resting, place it in a large bowl with the chopped vegetables and herbs. Add the feta cheese crumbles, lemon juice and zest, the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix gently to combine.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days (flavor is best right away but tastes great after refrigeration; you may need to revive the flavors with a pinch or two of salt).
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Barley salad