Chorizo & rosemary pearl barley risotto

Chorizo & rosemary pearl barley risotto

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(33 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 4
Replace the usual rice with filling, storecupboard barley. Spicy Spanish sausage provides a rich flavour and vibrant colour

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal497
  • fat15g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs68g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre3g
  • protein25g
  • salt1.6g
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  • 225 chorizo ring, sliced



    A coarsely textured spiced pork sausage widely used in Spanish and Mexican cooking. It is made…

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 300g pearl barley
  • 400g can chopped tomato with sliced olives
  • 1l hot chicken stock, made with 1 stock cube
  • 2 stalks rosemary, leaves chopped



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…


  1. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the chorizo for 3-4 mins until it turns golden and releases its oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  2. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, and cook for 3-4 mins, until they begin to soften. Add the pearl barley and stir well to coat in the oil, before tipping in the chopped tomatoes and the chicken stock. Bring just to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 30 mins, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the pearl barley is tender. You may need to top up with a little extra water as you go.

  3. Season and stir in the rosemary and chorizo to serve.

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Comments (24)

SmileyBecks's picture

The pearl barley was good a nice change to a usual risotto, however it tasted overwhelming of tomato as other reviewers said. I added extra smoked paprika and chilli as some others suggested. Not sure if we'll make this one again.

JALF's picture

This recipe is great! My daughter loves it. I added anchovies and it went down a treat! Try its guys. J x

rainbow_tink's picture

Love this dish, simple, tasty, filling and inexpensive. A family favourite. Make extra and use left overs to stuff peppers topped with melted cheese.

jfowler12's picture

I really liked the use of pearl barley in place of risotto rice. It has a really lovely texture; worth giving a try. I accidentally put in four sprigs on rosemary, which was FAR too much, so do be careful with your herb quantities, people!

nmaslin's picture

I was worried about making this as not sure the family would like pearl barley but took on the recommendations from below, added mushrooms, peppers, cayenne pepper, my touch smoked paprika, tomato puree and chicken because i did not have as much chorizo left as i thought. It went down a treat .
It did take longer for the barley to soften but will be making it again. wanted to out 5 stars but it wouldn't let me ? why

panixx's picture

I really liked it. Used less chorizo and added torn pieces of leftover roasted chicken and mushrooms. My chorizo was spicy so didn't need extra flavouring but stock was too salty so will add more water next time; good amount of tomatoes for me. Definitely needs a salad or other vegetables on the side.

ameliapink00's picture

Nice. Added smoked paprika and chilli powder after noting comments. Will make again. Might try without tomatoes next time.

jonesm19's picture

I completely forgot to buy tomatoes and both me and my girlfriend thought it was better that way (although I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of tomatoes!). Also, i'd highly recommend using spicy chorizo, even if you're not into hot foods. Fantastic dish, especially for the price.

EmmaLouiseRobson's picture

Love this, fantastic budget dish that my daughter loved. I added an extra teaspoon of paprika to balance the tomato and it worked a treat. Only used 150 g of chorizo and two sprigs of fresh rosemary from my windowsill cut up small. It flavoured it perfectly. Very filling, enough for both myself and my daughters tea, with enough in the fridge for tomorrows packed lunches! perfect. Think I'll add some sweetcorn and green beans next time or perhaps some courgette and aubergine for variety. well worth the time to cook!

DanSlack's picture

My girlfriend really loves this and keeps requesting it, so it's become a bit of a staple. I use regular risotto rice instead of the pearl barley because I don't know where to find it, but it works just great and cooks a little faster too I think.

aoifek14's picture

I got pearl barley in the health food section of tesco (alongside lentils and beans) - it's well worth trying it out if you can get it.

heybear's picture

I really wasn't keen on this. The dish tasted overwhelmingly of tomato, and quite bland with the exception of the chorizo. Perhaps it would taste better with some smoked paprika and a kick of chilli? Either way, I won't be cooking this again.

rgkjersey's picture

My husband does not like risotto and I love it, so when I found this recipe, I thought I had the perfect compromise - and it was! I only had 100g of pre-sliced chorizo but that was fine - although I had to add a little olive oil and sweet smoked paprika to ensure the full flavour was there. A friend makes his own chili sauce so I stirred a TINY amount of that through too to warm up the flavours. My pearl barley had an expiry date of 2 years ago, but the taste was fine although it did take an hour to cook....Now I know that DH likes this, I'll buy a fresh stock of pearl barley! I had some leftover cooked green beans which I added and at the end, we stirred loads of grated Parmesan into our bowls. This was a really easy recipe, one which I will do again and can see that added vegetable variations (peas, sweetcorn etc) will work too. Delicious!

Victrola's picture

This is a delicious and comforting meal! I used vine ripened cherry tomatoes, which I stirred in at the end with the chorizo. They added a burst a flavour. I did have to simmer for about 35 minutes.

cagath's picture

This is a good one, I like grilling some Halloumi to place on top and adding green beans and broccoli to increase the veg count.

AmyLisa's picture

I didn't partucularly enjoy this recipe because the pearl barley didn't feel cooked enough even after 45 minutes. The recipe suggested 30 minutes but the packet I bought said it needed to be cooked for an hour! I'd also use less rosemary as it was quite overpowering.

kwshef's picture

Easy, delicious and cheap! I added more water towards the end to stop it from going stodgy, and also added a sprinkling of paprika and chilli.

charlottemarriott's picture

Loved it! I'm particularly pleased to find a low GI alternative to rice, pearl barley was an excellent substitute, probably even more filling. I'll be switching Pearl Barley for rice in the future.

Do chop the rosemary up finely though. I accidentally chewed down on a large piece which was unpleasant.

skatkat92's picture

great recipe, so cheap and tasty

clairesastar's picture

Made this last night, really tasty and east to make. Really like using the Pearl Barley instead of rice- great texture and pretty much fool proof!


Questions (2)

okciaran's picture

Is this freezable at all or does it last in the fridge?

AFX77UK's picture

Have frozen lots of times before with no problems :)

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