Mushroom Barley Pilaf makes a Comforting Plant-Based Side


Barley is such an under-loved grain. It’s low-GI, inexpensive, and a good source of manganese, selenium, fiber, copper, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals. Not to mention, it’s got that super-cool texture that’s soft, but a little chewy. And this mushroom barley pilaf recipe is a great way to enjoy it.

Mushroom Barley Pilaf Recipe - vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free , oil-freeand delicious!

Mushroom Barley Pilaf makes a Comforting Plant-Based Side

Though we share a lot of dairy alternatives, there is so much more to enjoy! Dairy-free encompasses so many delicious foods and flavors, but it’s still easy to get stuck in a recipe rut. To mix things up, I usually start by trying out some new side dishes. And I know mushroom barley pilaf is probably new to many of you! It pairs well with beef, chicken, tofu, or a vegetable dish. You can also just add leftover chicken or chickpeas to it for a light lunch.

Some pilafs do use dairy butter, others call for oil. But this particular version is both butter-free and oil-free. If you do want to add a little richness, you can cook the vegetables in 1 tablespoon of olive oil instead of the stock. If you don’t have any scallions or celery on hand, it’s okay to omit them, or substitute some other vegetables, like diced bell pepper or minced shallots.

Mushroom Barley Pilaf Recipe - vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, oil-free, and delicious!

Special Diet Notes: Mushroom Barley Pilaf

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, oil-free, and vegetarian.

Mushroom Barley Pilaf
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If you have fresh herbs on hand, thyme, basil, or sage all go beautifully in the easy dish. I adapted this recipe from a newsletter that I received long ago.
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 servings
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup barley, hulled or pot
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • ½ pound mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  1. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the stock. Place the remaining stock in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Add the barley, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until tender, about 50 minutes.
  2. Drain the barley and transfer it to a large bowl.
  3. While the barley cooks, heat the reserved 3 tablespoons of stock in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions and celery and cook until the celery is crisp-tender, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook until the vegetables are soft and most of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir the cooked vegetables into the barley until well distributed. Serve hot or cold.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 191 Fat: 1.3g Saturated fat: .2g Carbohydrates: 39g Sugar: 3.2g Sodium: 305mg Fiber: 8.9g Protein: 7.8g

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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