Pearl barley, bacon & leek casserole

Pearl barley, bacon & leek casserole

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(17 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins - 45 mins


Serves 4
This storecupboard grain makes a great alternative to rice or couscous. Team with bacon and veggies in this risotto-like stew

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcalories589
  • fat15g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs73g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre8g
  • protein43g
  • salt0.8g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 leek, thickly sliced



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 2 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 300g pearl barley
  • 4 carrot, cubed



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, plus extra to serve
  • 1l chicken stock
  • 300g Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 200g lean bacon joint, cooked, chopped into small pieces



    Bacon is pork that has been cured one of two ways: dry or wet. It can be bought as both rashers…

Compare prices

Want to see what this recipe costs at different supermarkets? Compare in one place here:


  1. Heat a large pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and cook the leeks for a few mins, then add the garlic and cook for just 1 min more.

  2. Add the pearl barley, carrots and mustard, then pour over the chicken stock. Season with plenty of ground black pepper and simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the cabbage with the bacon, and cook for 5-10 mins until cabbage is wilted and tender. Serve with extra Dijon mustard on the side.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (6)

jfowler12's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Nice and easy. Correct quantities in recipe. Nothing fancy, but a good, cheap mid-week eat.

sticker04's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

We did this without bacon and replaced the cabbage with some green leafy vegs we already had. The dish was excellent and felt really meaty already without the bacon. I added a little more stock.

vikingpurplepenguin's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Really tasty, but check the cooking time on your pearl barley as mine stated 45-60 mins and thus took a lot longer, and much more liquid than stated in this recipe. I also just made it with a pack of normal bacon rather than a joint, and kale rather than cabbage as that's what I had in.
My husband has recently given in to his lactose intolerance and really liked how 'creamy' this turned out. Froze half to eat another time.

Mike313's picture

I don't understand how this recipe is calculated to 589 calories per portion (serves 4). I did a rough calculation and can't understand how it can be more than about 350 calories per portion. Can someone enlighten me?

jannimac's picture

I agree there seems to be fewer calories but my my detailed calculations I'm getting a little over 500 per portion.... the difference may be in the degree of fat on the bacon joint and in the chicken stock?

Questions (1)

zoecoleman's picture

Would you be able to cook this in a slow cooker?

Tips (2)

pickwickpapers's picture

I also found that the pearl barley needs longer to cook, and more liquid.

mbslynne's picture

This recipe was put up as the second day use for a bacon joint, having used it in Braised bacon and colcannon cakes the day before. The recipe calls for 1lt of chicken stock. If you are using the bacon you braised the day before, the sensible thing would be to use the braising water instead of chicken stock.

Skills & know how

As well as helping you decide what to cook we can also help you to cook it. From tips on cookery techniques to facts and information about health and nutrition, we’ve a wealth of foodie know how for you to explore.

About BBC Good Food

We’re all about good recipes, and about quality home cooking that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for some healthy inspiration or learning how to cook a decadent dessert, we’ve trustworthy guidance for all your foodie needs.

Our recipes

All our recipes are tested thoroughly by us to make sure they’re suitable for your kitchen at home. We know many of you are concerned about healthy eating, so we send them to a qualified nutritionist for thorough analysis too.

Tell us what you think…

Love the new look or think we’ve missed the mark? We want to hear your thoughts – good and bad – to make sure we make the new website as useful as possible.


Subscribe to BBC Good Food magazine and get triple-tested recipes delivered to your door, every month.


Discover the dates and details of all the BBC Good Food Shows.


See your favourite chefs on Sky Channel 247, Virgin TV 260 and find their recipes at

Good Food Apps

Download the BBC Good Food Recipes, tips & cooking tools app and get good food on the go.