Pearl barley and lentil salad

Today’s full of vitamins, rich in protein and fiber, pearl barley and lentil salad is not only super tasty but also very easy to prepare. All you have to do is boil the barley [ you can also use the leftovers of the barley cooked up to 3 days earlier ] and dice the vegetables.

I love such simple, wholesome, healthy and satisfying, veggie-packed recipes!
Even my 13-year-old niece enjoyed it and asked for more! And believe me, she rarely tries anything other than my pasta dishes.
Salad stores very well in the refrigerator and, unlike regular salads, it gains in flavor after a day or two.

What are the health benefits of pearl barley?

Barley groats are a good source of B vitamins, which are responsible for the proper functioning of the nervous system, metabolic processes and the body’s immune responses. Vitamin B3 is especially important to me, as it inhibits the toxic effects of drugs and other chemicals. The groats are also a source of vitamins A, E and K as well as manganese, selenium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and calcium.

How to cook barley?

First of all – never cook barley in a large amount of water. Doing so, you will deprive it of most of the vitamins and minerals, which will end up in the sink together with cooking water.
Pearl barley, just like rice, is best cooked in the right amount of water:
1 part of barley to 3 parts of water.

Rinse the groats on a fine sieve. Boil water [ you can add a tablespoon of olive oil ], salt to taste, add barley, stir and simmer, covered, until the water is completely absorbed – it will take about 20 minutes.
Do not stir while cooking. After absorbing the water and turning off the stove, leave your cooked barley covered for 10 minutes.
Then mix with a fork and it’s ready to use!

What do you need to make barley and lentil salad and other other variations.

The salad requires neither complicated ingredients nor a lot of time. For its preparation, crispy vegetables such as cucumber or pepper work best, but you can also add lettuce or tomatoes. Without their addition, however, salad stores longer in the refrigerator.
I used red and orange bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, spring onion and a large amount of parsley. Naturally, you can successfully replace lentils with chickpeas or beans.
In this recipe I used canned lentils. To be honest, since I found salt and preservative free options at my local supermarket I stopped cooking lentils. Canned ones are not too soft, keep their shape nicely and simply save time.
To prepare the dressing, simply mix olive oil with lemon juice, wine vinegar, coarse mustard, yeast flakes, maple syrup, garlic clove, salt and pepper. You will find the exact proportions below.
Dressing works great also with other salads, it can be poured over baked or grilled vegetables or used as a dip for raw veggies.
Store your dressing in a closed jar, refrigerated for up to a week. Just shake the jar before every use.

barley and lentil salad
5 from 1 vote

Pearl barley and lentil salad

Servings 2 servings
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins


  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • 2 bell peppers diced
  • 1 cucumber diced
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 handful spring onion chopped
  • 1 handful parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp almonds chopped, optional, to serve
  • 1 tbsp hazelnuts chopped, optional, to serve
  • watercress optional, to serve


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 tsp yeast flakes optional
  • 1 tsp agave or maple syrup
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Cook barley according to the directions above. Set aside and wait for it to cool down.
  • In the large bowl combine all the dressing ingredients.
  • Dice the cucumber, pepper and onion into small cubes and add to the bowl with dressing.
  • Add chopped parsley, spring onion, lentils and pearl barley and toss to combine all the ingredients with dressing.
  • Serve with roasted nuts and watercress.


Nutritional value - ½ salad with toasted nuts and almonds
430 kcal | Carbohydrates 58.5 g | Protein 10.5 g | Fat 18.5 g | Fiber 8.5 g
Nutritional value - ½ salad without toasted nuts and almonds
357.5 kcal | Carbohydrates 56.5 g | Protein 8.5 g | Fat 11.5 g | Fiber 8.5 g
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Keyword: budget friendly, easy

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @vitobites on Instagram and hashtag it #vitobites.
Hungry for more? Subscribe to the newsletter, follow me on Instagram and Pinterest!

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    Looking delicious..Tomorrow I must try cook that..🤗🤗🌞⭐
    Wow..Yamy, Yamy🤗🤗

    1. Thank you! I’m sure you will enjoy it 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cooked with by Magdalena Wrona.
© Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.