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Side, Vegetarian, Whole Grains/Pasta/Rice |220 calories per serving|25 minute recipe

Golden Quick Barley with Sweet Peas and Corn

This content was last updated on February 7, 2020

For a quick and easy side dish, look no further than your pantry and freezer staples. Quick cooking barley pairs well with frozen sweet green peas and corn. Barley is a whole grain that’s rich in soluble fiber, beneficial for controlling blood sugar, cholesterol and weight. It also contains beta–glucans that may help prevent inflammation and chronic diseases like cancer. Turmeric contains curcumin, a golden pigment that has antioxidant properties.


  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup quick pearled barley
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
  • tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
  • Juice of ¼ fresh lemon (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, optional
Makes 3 servings (¾ cups per serving). Per serving: 220 calories, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 40 g carbohydrates, 7 g protein, 8 g dietary fiber, 420 mg sodium, 3 g sugar, 0 g added sugar.


  1. In 2-quart medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add barley and stir 1 minute to toast.
  2. Add broth, Italian seasoning, salt, turmeric and 4-5 grinds pepper. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in peas and corn. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Barley mix should be slightly wet.
  4. Stir in lemon juice. Sprinkle on or mix in cheese, if using, and serve immediately.

This recipe contains cancer fighting foods:

This recipe was specially crafted to support cancer prevention and survival. It adheres to AICR's Cancer Prevention Recommendations. Learn more about our recipe guidelines.

All Foods

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Easy dinner side dish

March 6, 2024

Made this for my family. It was easy to prepare and I had all ingredients. My only issue was that it needed a 10 minuete longer cook time and even then it was still too ‘wet’.