Springtime Barley Recipe
Springtime Barley Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Springtime Barley Recipe

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While working as a sorority house mother, Sharon Helmick of Colfax, Washington occasionally filled in for the cook. “The girls really liked low-fat dishes like this attractive medley,” Sharon notes.
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES:4 servings
Quick Diabetic Exchange Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Nutritional Facts

3/4 cup equals 226 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 9 mg cholesterol, 396 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 9 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable 1/2 fat.


  1. In a large skillet, saute onion and carrot in butter until crisp-tender. Stir in the barley; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Add asparagus. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally and adding more broth as needed. Stir in marjoram and pepper; sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Springtime Barley in Taste of Home April/May 2006, p23

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Reviewed Mar. 24, 2014

"I did not care for this at all, very bland flavor."

Reviewed Mar. 4, 2009

"This was very tasty and easy to prepare. I did put a lid on it for the last 20 minutes and only stirred it a few times. I just couldn't see the asparagus cooking well with it uncovered."

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