Baked Barley Casserole with Mushroom & Squash

Slightly crunchy with a mildly nutty flavor, pearl barley cooks more quickly than the hulled variety while retaining its high-fiber, low-cholesterol benefits.

Photo: Photographer: Edward Pond

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barley casserole
Edward Pond

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Christine Gomberg
Ringoes, New Jersey
“This recipe could not have been easier to assemble! I used pre-peeled and chopped squash and a package of mixed wild mushrooms. I tried this recipe out at an extended- family function and the feedback was unanimous: They approved! Comments included, ‘It’s a blend of delicious earthy flavors,’ and ‘Please make this again tomorrow!'”

Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
60 min


  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz mixed wild mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, cremini), sliced (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 5 oz butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup diced leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 1/2 cups low-fat, low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 1/2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms begin to release their moisture, about 2 minutes. Add squash, leeks, celery and remaining 1 tsp oil and continue to cook, stirring, until mushrooms are brown and squash is tender, about 4 minutes. Add barley and garlic and stir until thoroughly coated and slightly toasted, about 1 minute. Add broth, parsley and thyme and stir.
  3. Transfer mixture to an 11-cup (2.6-L) casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake in oven until barley is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 35 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and cheese and return to oven. Bake, uncovered, until seeds are toasted and cheese is softened, about 10 minutes.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 8-oz serving (using vegetable broth)
  • Calories 232
  • Carbohydrate Content 37 g
  • Cholesterol Content 3 mg
  • Fat Content 6 g
  • Fiber Content 7 g
  • Protein Content 7 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 2 g
  • Sodium Content 208 mg
  • Sugar Content 3 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 0 g