Barley Salad

A quick and delicious barley salad recipe with zucchini, tomatoes and feta cheese to celebrate the end of summer.

I made this salad about a week ago and figured I better post about it soon before the title becomes a little obsolete!

If you’re anything like me, you still have a few zucchini on hand even though pumpkin and butternut squash are slowly taking over your thoughts day by day. If so, I implore you to make this “salad.”

You won’t be disappointed.

Barley Salad

Barley is one of my favorite “new” grains. I say “new” because prior to last year I had never cooked it myself. It seemed intimidating and something I’d only find in soups and dishes at a restaurant. That couldn’t be further from the truth though. You can cook barley the same way you do rice, 2:1 water to grain. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Easy peasy. It has a fun chewy texture that beats out brown rice any day in my opinion.

Shrimp Barley Salad

At first, I was going to make this as a side dish for dinner (I made it at lunch time) and then I tasted it once it was all combined and knew there was no way I was going to be able to hold out that long. So I said peace out to the boring hummus sandwich I had planned on and instead sautéed up some frozen shrimp for added protein and called it lunch.

I seriously could not stop eating this. The lemony dressing gives it a tangy taste but the feta keeps it salty. Somehow, that combination works wonderfully. If you’re too impatient to let the barley completely cool before combining everything like me, the cheese will slightly melt making it even more delicious.

Ulysses had the rest for dinner when he came home that night and it was gone in no more than 6 hours. I suggest at least doubling the recipe so the same tragedy doesn’t repeat itself.

Summer Barley Salad

Serves 2     adjust servings

Barley Salad

Cook Time 25 min 2017-06-26T00:25:00+00:00Prep Time
Preparation 5 min 2017-06-26T00:05:00+00:00Cook Time
Total Time 30 mins 2017-06-26T00:30:00+00:00 Total Time

A quick and delicious barley salad recipe with zucchini, tomatoes and feta cheese to celebrate the end of summer.


  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper


  1. Cook barley on stove top. I cook it like rice with a 2:1 water to grain ratio.
  2. While barley is cooking, chop zucchini & saute in pan with olive oil for about 3-4 minutes just to take the "rawness" out.
  3. Slice tomatoes in half.
  4. Prepare dressing in a small bowl by whisking together lemon juice, olive oil and salt & pepper. Combine zucchini, tomatoes and feta cheese in medium bowl.
  5. Once barley is fully cooked, drain and let cool for a few minutes.
  6. Once slightly cooled, add it to the bowl with the vegetables and feta.
  7. Season liberally with salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Pour dressing over the top and toss to combine.
  9. Serve warm or cold.


What’s your favorite and/or go-to grain?




  1. brandi

    i love barley salads! they’re my favorite thing to make for lunches on the weekends – you can throw anything in and they’re always good :)

  2. Jess

    OMG I have got to try this! I have been eyeing barley for awhile but it also intimidates me! Now that I know it’s no more difficult than making rice, I’m totally going to try this!! I’m practically drooling over here just thinking about it ;-)

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Funny you asked that b/c I almost described it as a “chew factor” in between rice and wheatberries. It’s a little less chewy than I find wheatberries to be. but that could be b/c I never have the patience to cook them as long as I should!

  3. Cait's Plate

    I’m usually a brown rice girl through and through – I definitely don’t give barely/quinoa and others enough love. I gotta change that.

  4. Beth (Well I'll Be)

    I’ve never made barley before, but apparently it is super easy. This salad also looks super easy, but so delicious!

  5. Tessa @ Amazing Asset

    Oatmeal is my favorite…but I should branch out and try other grains! This looks wonderful as usual Gina, thank you!

  6. Pingback: Barley salad recipe | ClubEvoo

  7. Kati Mora, MS, RD, Kellogg's FiberPlus(R) Wellness Advocate

    There are so many fabulous grains out there, its hard to choose just one! Barley is really a great one and I love that you incorporated it into salads – I’ve always used it in soups, but it seems there are so many other great uses for this fiber-licious grain.

  8. Alexis @ Lex & Learn

    This looks so good. So good in fact that I shopped for the ingredients yesterday, just made it despite Mike being in class late tonight and me not feeling well, and am devouring it as I type! Thanks so much for the recipe. I am going to blog about it later this week and link back to you and the recipe!

  9. Pingback: Barley Salad Recipe | Lex and Learn

  10. Claudia Mooney

    Does Barley have a similar texture and chew to wheatberry?? Can’t wait to do a grocery shop! This looks wonderful as usual Gina, thank you! I’m usually a brown rice girl through and through – I definitely don’t give barely/quinoa and others enough love.

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      It’s similar. I think wheatberry has the most chew, then barley then brown rice. I love them all though and any would work in this!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *