Creamy pea & chive risotto

Creamy pea & chive risotto

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

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 25 mins Ready in 30 mins


Serves 2
Pearl barley is rich in calcium, minerals, iron and potassium, and that's just to start with. Make the most of it with this creamy risotto

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily halved
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal656
  • fat20g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs104g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre8g
  • protein20g
  • salt1.41g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

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

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



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

  • 200g pearl barley
  • 1.2l vegetable stock
  • 140g pea



    A type of legume, peas grow inside long, plump pods. As is the case with all types of legume,…

  • 100g light cream cheese with chives
  • small bunch chives, snipped


  1. Heat the oil in a large, deep pan, then gently fry the onion for 3-4 mins. Stir in the pearl barley, sizzle for a few mins, then pour in about a third of the stock. Simmer fiercely for 20 mins, stirring occasionally, adding more stock gradually as it is absorbed. With 5 mins to go, stir in the peas. After 20 mins there should be some liquid left and the barley should be cooked through.

  2. Turn the heat off under the risotto and let it sit for a min, then stir in the cream cheese and most of the chives. Season well and serve scattered with the rest of the chives.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
9th Jan, 2011
I think this recipe needs some amendments as firstly pearl barley definitely needs longer than 20minutes to cook- i would say more like 1 hour. Secondly 200g of pearl barley feeds 4 people amply. With the above amendments taken into consideration this recipe is great. I also added shredded chicken as I had some left over roast chicken the day before and in place of cream cheese I added grated Parmesan which finished it off perfectly.
24th Jul, 2010
I absolutely love making and eating risotto so thought this sounded like a great recipe to try...I was wrong!! The pearl barley took over 40 minutes to cook and even then wasn't very nice! The texture was all wrong and nothing like a proper risotto. I managed to eat half a portion (which, by the way, are huge. This definitely serves more than 2) but then sadly binned the rest. By far the most disappointing recipe I have ever tried from Good Food. I advise everyone to stick to making risotto with rice!!!
2nd Apr, 2010
This was sickly. I was wary about using cream cheese with chives, as it tastes a bit synthetic, but thought I would give it a go. No! It was too rich, the chive flavour was too overpowering and the barley texture is just too much as the main constituent of the meal. I am vegetarian and like to try out interesting ideas, but even I found this unpleasant, my partner who has more conventional tastes could hardly bring himself to eat this. I would try it again for myself with risotto rice, and with plain cream cheese mabye, but would still probably be a bit rich.
21st Sep, 2009
I found this took much longer than the recipe stated to cook the pearl barley, ended up taking over an hour and i'm not sure it was fully cooked - was chewy... unsatisfied with this one, would have to use risotto rice in future as the flavour was nice! Shame Good Food... p.s the pealr barley packet stated it woul dneed boiling for 1hr15m or until tender - stated do not eat uncooked!!!!
4th Apr, 2009
I cooked this recipe yesterday and definately going to make it again! absolutely scrummy!
15th Dec, 2008
I think I´ll add a handful of dried wood mushrooms next time :-)
phil1957's picture
26th Oct, 2008
I have made this once with the pearlbarly and cream cheese, I found the pearlbarly a bit hard, I might not have cooked it long enough, but I do prefer making it with rice
15th Oct, 2008
Have just eaten this and used risotto rice and added strips of skinless chicken. Was lovely - my 1st time cooking risotto and turned out lush, will definately be making this again.
15th Oct, 2008
Have just eaten this and used risotto rice and added strips of skinless chicken. Was lovely - my 1st time cooking risotto and turned out lush, will definately be making this again.
1st Sep, 2008
I've been meaning to write a review of this for a while but I'm only just getting round to it. I really enjoy this recipe, I find the pearl barley holds together much better than risotto rice, which can end up going a bit mushy. The cream cheese makes it lovely and comforting. Nom nom nom.


Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?