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3 1/2 to 4 cups
Prep time:
5 minutes
Cooking time:
45 to 60 minutes


1 cup pearl barley, rinsed (see Notes)

3 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. In a saucepan, combine barley, water and salt, if desired. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover the pan and simmer until barley is tender, about 45 to 60 minutes.
  3. Drain off excess liquid and serve as desired.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.


  • Enjoy cooked barley as a side like rice or in a whole grain salad or grain bowl.
  • Add barley to soups or stews.
  • Enjoy barley at breakfast with toppings you would add to oatmeal, such as cinnamon, milk and blueberries.
  • Pearl barley is found in many grocery stores. It is high in fiber but is not a whole grain because the bran layer has been removed. Hulled barley is the name given to whole grain barley. Hulled barley can be cooked the same way as pearl barley but it will take an extra 20 to 30 minutes to soften.