Barley Risotto with Mushrooms and Thyme

The perfect risotto takes patience to create, and the savory end result is worth every minute.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 50 minutesTotal: 50 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 4


  • 4½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese


  • Boil vegetable broth in a large saucepan over high heat. Remove from heat and cover.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and Italian seasoning and cook for 1 minute. Remove mushroom mixture from pan and set aside.
  • Return skillet to medium heat and add another tablespoon of oil. Sauté onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add barley, thyme, and 2 cups heated broth to pan with onion; bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and simmer while continuously stirring until the broth has mostly absorbed, about 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining heated broth to barley mixture ½ cup at a time, allowing broth to absorb before adding additional ½ cups. Continuously stir risotto until done, about 45 minutes.
  • Serve risotto hot, topped with mushroom mixture and Parmesan cheese.