Pearled Barley with Butternut Squash


If you’re looking for a flavorful and warm autumn meal, then look no further. This delicious recipe is filed with nutrient-dense, low GI ingredients including barley, butternut squash, mushrooms and pecans. Serve piping hot, with a fresh spinach and goat cheese salad. Yum!


  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 24 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen, diced butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

(Remove squash from freezer upon preparation)

1. In a heavy pan with a tight-fitting lid, dry-toast pearled barley over medium-high heat until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and carefully pour in boiling water. Add a pinch of salt, return to heat, and bring to a simmer. Cover pan and cook until barley is tender but chewy, about 15 minutes. Drain if necessary.

2. Meanwhile, in a large deep pan over medium heat, add grapeseed oil; add shallots and sauté until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms; sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sauté over medium-high heat until mushrooms have released their liquid and are well browned, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.

3. Mix balsamic and broth together and stir into mushroom mixture. Cook until liquid is mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in thyme, and then cooked barley and butternut squash. When barley and squash are heated through, season with salt and pepper and pour into a large serving dish. Top with toasted pecans. Serve hot.

PER SERVING: 436 cal, 16g fat (11g mono, 2g poly, 2g sat), 0mg chol, 16g protein, 65g carb, 5g fiber, 43mg sodium


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