Barley chicken salad is perfect for lunch or dinner and is filled with fresh veggies, chunks of chicken and barley.
This barley salad with chicken and feta cheese is amazing! It's filled with bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and kalamata olives. I made a batch of this salad this weekend and it disappeared quickly.
What is barley?
Barley is a member of the grass family and is a cereal grain. Barley is high in fiber, vitamin and minerals. I've used pearl barley in this recipe. Pearl barley is barley with the outer hull removed.
Is barley gluten free?
No, barley contains gluten. If you are allergic to gluten or gluten intolerant you do not want to eat barley. You could substitute quinoa for the barley if desired.
How do I cook barley?
Barley is cooked similar to rice. Cook 1 cup of barley with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Place a lid on pan and simmer for 45-50 minutes until almost all the water has been absorbed. Turn off heat and leave lid on for an additional 5 minutes. Drain off any excess water.
When cooking barley, check and stir from time to time. I've cooked it on two different burners. One had a very low, simmer flame and it worked perfectly. This is the same burner I use when cooking rice. Another time I left it on low on a different burner and I didn't keep an eye on it. The water evaporated quickly, even with a lid and the barley burned in the pan! Check your barley as it's cooking to make certain your burner isn't too high.
I made a large batch of this salad and put the leftovers in small containers to take in my lunch. My kids loved this salad and also took it in their lunches. The flavors keep developing with this salad and the leftovers are delicious. Leftovers are good for 3-4 days when stored in the refrigerator.
To make Salad -
- Cook barley and allow to cool slightly.
- Place barley, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions and olives in a bowl. Toss lightly to mix ingredients.
- Add chopped chicken
- Mix dressing in a glass jar with a lid
- Pour dressing over salad and feta cheese. Toss lightly.
- Serve right away or cover and refrigerate
Can I make this vegetarian?
Yes, just omit the chicken to make this a vegetarian salad.
Other great salads
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Quinoa Salad
- Quinoa Peach Salad
- Israeli Couscous Salad
- Farro Salad
- Oriental Pasta Salad
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Barley Chicken Salad
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1 cucumber (peeled, seeded and chopped)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
- 1 cup yellow bell peppers (chopped)
- ½ cup kalamata olives (seeded and halved)
- ¼ cup green onions (sliced)
- ⅓ cup feta (crumbled)
- 2 cups cooked chicken (chopped)
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh basil (minced)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- Add barley and 3 cups of water to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer barley with lid on for 45-50 minutes. Let pan sit for an additional 5 minutes with lid on. Fluff barley with a fork and allow to cool. Drain off any excess water.
- Add barley, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and olives to a bowl. Toss lightly. Add chicken
- Add dressing and feta cheese and toss lightly.
- Serve right away or cover and refrigerate.
- Place olive oil, vinegar lemon juice basil, thyme and salt in a jar with a lid. Shake until well combined.