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Pea Barley Risotto-plated with pot in the background

Pea Barley Risotto

Pea Barley Risotto, a take on risotto, this dish combines fresh sweet peas and pearl barley. Finish it with butter and Parmigiano, like a classic risotto, or omit both to keep it vegan.

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings 1x


  •  1 cup sweet peas, shelled
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, whole, smashed
  • 2 Tbsp evo oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine


  1. Cook peas in a pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain under cold water. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the vegetable broth in a medium/large pot and keep warm over low heat.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons evo oil in a saucepan (I like to use a Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add barley and salt. Stir to coat with the onion/garlic mixture for 1-2 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Add wine and cook, stirring, until evaporated.
  4. Add 1 cup of broth and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until almost all absorbed.
  5. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes, adding 1/2 cup warm broth at a time, stirring, waiting to add more until the liquid is nearly absorbed after each addition.
  6. At about 15-minute cooking time add the peas, adjust with salt, stir, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until barley is tender but still al dente.
  7. Turn off heat, add 1 Tbsp butter and a handful of Parmigiano (optional). Stir and let rest for a couple of minutes before serving.
  8. Serve with some freshly cracked pepper on top.


Use olive oil instead of butter, and skip the Parmigiano to make this recipe a vegan dish.

Pearl barley cooks in about 30 minutes and stays al dente.

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stove top

Keywords: peas, pearl barley, garlic, green onion, main, vegetable broth, seasonal, summer

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