How to cook pearl barley

Sophie Godwin shows you how to cook perfect pearl barley so you can make delicious soups, stews and salads.

Points to remember:

  • For 100g pearl barley add 600ml cold water. Bring that to the boil and cook for 30 minutes. 
  • Drain off any remaining water and serve straight away as you would rice. Alternatively, if you want to serve the pearl barley cold, perhaps in a salad, it’s a good idea to cool it down as quickly as possible after cooking. You can do this by spreading it out on a large tray or rinsing it in a sieve under running cold water.
  • Cooked and cooled pearl barley will keep, covered in the fridge for up to three days.
  • Pearl barley can be cooked into stews or broths and can also be used in place of Arborio rice in a risotto.
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Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at all our pearl barley recipes.