Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes: Baked Barley with Mushrooms

November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Side Dish: Baked Barley with Mushrooms
Barley is a whole grain that’s high in fiber, high in protein, and low in price. It all sounds great, but have you ever wondered, what the heck do I do with barley?! So did I, until I discovered this recipe. And now I can’t stop making it (mostly because my husband begs for it constantly!). This baked barley with mushrooms is warm and satisfying on a cold autumn day, making it the perfect veg friendly side dish for Thanksgiving. It also lends itself well to experimentation; try using different types of mushrooms, roasted veggies, or herbs like rosemary and parsley.

Thanksgiving Side Dish: Baked Barley with Mushrooms

Baked Barley with Mushrooms


-2 tbsp olive oil

-1 cup pearled barley (pearled barley has the hull removed, making it faster to cook with)

– 8 oz cremini mushrooms

– 2 garlic cloves

– 1 yellow onion

– 1-2 carrots

– 2 cups mushroom or vegetable broth

– 1/2 tsp thyme (I prefer fresh, but dried works just fine!)

Thanksgiving Side Dish: Baked Barley with Mushrooms

How to:

Step 1: While the oven is preheating to 350, prep your veggies. Mince the garlic, chop the onions, peel and roughly chop the carrot, and slice the mushrooms.

Step 2: Soften the minced garlic, onion, and chopped carrot together in a pan with the olive oil. A dutch oven with a lid works best, but you can always cook everything in a pan first and transfer it to an oven safe container later.

Step 3: Add your sliced mushrooms, and continue to cook until they soften and deepen in color, about 5 minutes.

Step 4: Add the barley to the pan and lightly toast until the barley becomes golden brown and smells slightly nutty.

Step 5: Add the mushroom broth to the pan and stir to combine. Add the thyme, and season to taste. Then, transfer everything to an oven safe dish or if using a dutch oven, put the lid on and place in the oven for about 1 hour. 

Step 6: Remove the baked barley from the oven, and fluff with a fork. Bon appetit!

Simple, flavorful and filling. The barley is chewy and dense, and toasting it gives it a wonderful nutty complexity that makes this dish even more comforting. Tell me, what are your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes?

Also by Sarah: 10 Stress-free Party Planning Tips
Easy Vegan Indian Dal Recipe
More vegan side dishes: Mushroom Herb Gravy and Coconut Oil Biscuits

Photo credit: Sarah McEwing

Sarah is a freelance writer based out of Portland, Oregon. Her top three passions in life include her family, her husband, Geoff, and her pug, Rupert. She also enjoys spending her time volunteering, traveling, and experimenting with new recipes. Follow her on Pinterest.


always stay inspired!