Baked Barley Risotto With Mushrooms and Carrots

Baked Barley Risotto With Mushrooms and Carrots

Wholesome and nutty, barley is a superb alternative to arborio rice in this risotto, since it’s naturally plump and chewy when cooked. The grated Parmesan and butter stirred in at the end release the barley’s starches, creating a silky, creamy texture. Make sure to use pearl barley, not hulled, since it cooks much faster and is more tender. As for the mushrooms, white button, cremini and earthy shiitakes are a tasty, accessible mix, though any combination of oyster, king trumpet and maitake would raise the bar. Still, the best thing about this risotto, which is a satisfying vegetarian weeknight dinner (or side to any large roast or fish) is that it’s baked, taking away the pressure of constant stirring at the stove.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms start to soften, about 3 minutes.
  2. Step 2

    Stir in barley, carrot and 4 1/2 cups water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake until barley is tender and chewy and almost all of the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    Stir in Parmesan and the butter until slightly thickened and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Step 4

    Divide among shallow bowls. Sprinkle with chives and more Parmesan, to taste.