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Barley Beef Skillet

Even my 3-year-old loves this family-favorite beef barley skillet. It's very filling, inexpensive and full of veggies. It's also really good spiced up with chili powder, cayenne or a dash of Tabasco. —Kit Tunstall, Boise, Idaho
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 20 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 small carrots, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup medium pearl barley
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Add the broth, tomato sauce and water; bring to a boil. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until barley is tender, about 20-25 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 400 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 682mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 10g fiber), 30g protein.

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  • David
    Feb 24, 2021

    We added beef bouillon, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, basil, oregano... and cooked it a bit longer to soften the barley. Delicious

  • maryannet
    Dec 27, 2019

    I made Beef Barley Skillet from Everyday Day Slow cooker cookbook page 103. Beef Barley skillet is similar to this recipe. One difference that might make people who commented Happy, is the addition of peppers and chili sauce. I used chili powder. This recipe is similar to one I have made for a long time. Good substitutes are ground turkey and TVP. This recipe would be easy to make in an instant pot.

  • pastiepie
    Jan 20, 2019

    I added a can of stewed tomatoes and some mushrooms

  • jcadreau
    Oct 15, 2017

    Replaced tomato with a can of Ro-Tel (drained), which added a perfect amount of heat. I also used tomato paste and adjusted the water. Perfecto!

  • ellimaye1
    Mar 5, 2016

    This was so easy and yummy! I added an extra tomato and used a 15 oz can of tomato sauce since that's what I had and just reduced the water. A keeper for sure!

  • TXmomma
    Feb 26, 2013

    Such a shame that the previous person posting said they through away the entire thing and likely wasted good food when that is so unnecessary. Rule of thumb: recipes are best used as merely a guideline and then to add to it your own tweaking of spices and flavors that you like. I added more garlic, garlic powder, Mrs. Dash, paprika, bay leaf, and a few dashes of worcestershire. Hot garlic bread and green salad made it a great meal here.

  • Leawalsh
    Jan 11, 2013

    Sorry, but this just didn't work for us. I had my reservations before I made it but was persuaded by the high reviews. More reviews are needed to get a true picture. Italian seasoning just doesn't work here. Had to throw it all out.

  • i_like_pie
    Jan 7, 2013

    Made this tonight with ground turkey and 3 carrots and no zucchini. I did like the addition of the parmesan cheese as suggested. It's pretty tasty and filling for what seems to be a healthy meal.

  • mglahti
    Oct 3, 2012

    No comment left

  • wiscook
    Aug 5, 2012

    does need more spice, very easy, very good, I will try with ground turkey as some suggest.