White Bean & Barley Salad is a hearty Mediterranean-inspired salad that’s perfect for lunch or a side salad with dinner.
Why You’ll Love This Salad
- Healthy Salad: The white beans and barley are packed with fiber plus the vitamins and minerals from the veggies.
- Easy Recipe: It’s crazy easy to throw together (less than 20 min).
- Hearty Meal: The hearty white beans and barley are very filling.
- Make Ahead: This salad can easily be made ahead for lunch or dinner the next day.
- Protein: This meatless salad is packed with protein from the white beans.
Bean & Barley Salad Ingredient Notes
- White beans: These beans are a nutritional powerhouse and loaded with antioxidants.
- Barley: Barley is a superfood whole grain packed with fiber and essential nutrients.
- Chicken broth: The broth helps your system digest beans and grains more efficiently.
- Red onion: Red onion adds a sharp, spicy flavor along with a bright color and crispy texture.
- Cucumber: Cucumbers are low in calories and high in antioxidants and add a little crunch to this salad.
- Parsley: With a clean and peppery taste Parsley tastes great in this salad.
Greek Vinaigrette Dressing Notes
This is a classic vinaigrette dressing recipe with a combination of olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice.
- Lemon juice: Use fresh lemons if you have it, or bottled lemon juice in a pinch.
- Rice wine vinegar & Olive Oil: The coating benefits of the olive oil and the flavor of the vinegar combine to create a perfect base for additional flavorings.
- Garlic cloves: The cloves add a soft, sweet buttery flavor to the dressing.
- Dried oregano: The oregano adds a strong spicy taste with sweet and sour notes.
(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.)
How to Make Bean & Barley Salad
Protein-packed white beans pair with chewy, nutty barley to create a satisfying and delicious salad.
- Boil: Boil the chicken broth, salt and barley.
- Strain: Using a strainer, drain and rinse with cold water.
- Mix: Add the beans and then the sliced red onion, diced cucumber, and roughly chopped parsley and mix.
- Chill: Let the flavors meld by chilling in the fridge for 15 minutes.
If making this salad ahead of time add the dressing only when ready to serve.
How to Make Vinaigrette Dressing
- Mix: In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir well with a whisk or a fork until the ingredients are completely mixed together.
- Taste & Adjust: Add more olive if it’s too acidic; add more vinegar if there isn’t enough zip; Add another pinch of salt for a little more taste.
Variations & Cooking Tips
- Make it spicy by adding jalapeños.
- Add chicken, shrimp, pork, or beef.
- Make it vegan or vegetarian and substitute the chicken broth for the vegetable broth.
- For more crunch mix nuts such as almonds, cashews or walnuts.
- Use low sodium canned beans, if you prefer but keep in mind once the beans are strained a good portion of the sodium goes away.
- Substitute with pearly barley, if you prefer and have more time to prepare.
What Is Quick Cooking Barley?
This recipe calls for using uncooked quick barley which as the name suggests is much quicker to cook. Quick barley is partially cooked and dried before being packaged and cooks in about 10 minutes.
- 1 14 oz. can small white beans
- About 1.5 cup uncooked quick barley
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 24 oz. container chicken broth
- ½ red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 cucumber deseeded and diced
- 1 bunch parsley (roughly chopped)
- The juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ cup rice wine vinegar
- In a large pot, add the chicken broth & salt and bring to a boil.
- Add the barley and cook for about 20 minutes or until soft and tender.
- Using a strainer, drain and rinse with cold water.
- Add to a large bowl.
- Open the can of beans and pour into the strainer. Rinse with cold water and add to the barley.
- Add in the sliced red onion, diced cucumber, and roughly chopped parsley.
- In a food processor combine all of the ingredients for the dressing except for the olive oil.
- While blending, slowly add the olive oil to form an emulsion.
- Pour over the bean and barley mixture and toss to combine.
- Chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes to let the flavors meld (optional) and serve!
Try these salads next: