Renae Diggles

November 24, 2021

Pearl Barley, Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

Renae Diggles

November 24, 2021

This pearly barley, chicken and mushroom risotto is good for you as well as very satisfying. You won’t be left hungry, while still eating a meal under 500 calories. It’s really high in fibre, with 8grams of fibre per serve, and it is absolutely bursting with flavour. While you can use arborio rice instead of the pearl barley, we love the flavour and texture of the barley.

With the additional of green leaves, mushrooms and yoghurt, this recipe as an overall winner, with a balance of calcium, dietary fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.

It is so yummy, that if you have left overs, you’ll definitely want to reheat them and take them to work for lunch the next day.

barley chicken mushroom risotto

Pearly Barley, Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

Pearly barley, chicken and mushrooms are a match made in heaven. The barley is high in fibre and offers a great alternative to rice.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 490 kcal


  • 2 Chicken Breast Fillets
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 cup Pearl Barley Washed
  • 2 tsp Thyme
  • 2 litres Water
  • 175 g Mushrooms
  • ½ cup Spinach
  • 2 tbsp Low-Fat Greek Yoghurt
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Continental Parsley


  • Grill the chicken under the grill until cooked through, turning once. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Sautée the mushrooms in a large pan with olive oil. Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.
  • Dice the onions, and sautée them in the same pan as the mushrooms. Once the onion is translucent add the garlic and the washed pearl barley. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Next, add the water, ½ cup at a time and cook over a medium to high heat. Stir every 5 minutes to avoid the barley from sticking to the pot. After 20 minutes of cooking, add the thyme leaves and mushrooms back into the pan.
  • After the barley is nearly cooked through, or has been cooking for 30 minutes and the liquid has reduced, add the chopped spinach and stir through. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Dice the grilled chicken, and stir it into the risotto with the yoghurt and parmesan cheese. Finally, sprinkle with a garnish of parsley to your liking.


Calories: 490kcalCarbohydrates: 37gFat: 19.5gFiber: 8g
Keyword barley, butter chicken, mushrooms, pearl barley, risotto
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Tips and Swaps

The addition of yoghurt will give the risotto a creamy finish. If you want to reduce the calories, you can leave out the parmesan cheese. But it does give it that added flavour.

We know that many people don’t like the texture of mushrooms. If this is you, keep the mushrooms whole when your cooking the chicken and mushroom risotto, and remove them at the end. That way, you’ll get the amazing mushroom flavour, without the texture.

On the other hand, if you love mushrooms, and you’re vegetarian, leave the chicken out, load up on the mushrooms and spinach, and consider adding other vegetables such as peas.

Finally, we like to swap the water with a salt reduced chicken stock for extra flavour. While it increases the salt content of the dish and adds a few extra calories, it definitely makes this a more enjoyable meal.

For more recipes, you can take a look at our Barley Mushroom and Herb Salad recipe, or why not try our tasty Vegetable and Lentil Soup recipe?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Nutritional values are a guide and may vary depending on brands used.

Join Retirement Now

Join our network and receive exclusive offers, the latest eNews and retirement eGuides.

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe. You can always unsubscribe.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.