Stovetop Mushroom-Barley Paella | Cook for Your Life
wholesome whole- grains - cook for your life- anti cancer recipes

Stovetop Mushroom-Barley Paella

Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 9 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 30 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 4 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 16 ingredients

Pearl barley is a great-tasting, low-gluten grain that too often gets overlooked. If you can find hulled barley, it is even more nutritious. If you don’t have barley on hand, substitute brown rice. If you...


  • ½ cup dried porcini or shitake mushrooms, reconstituted (see step 1)
  • 2 cups pearl barley, washed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock, including the mushroom soaking water
  • 1 whole sprig Italian parsley, plus 3 tablespoons, chopped
  • 2 to 3 large portabella mushroom caps, washed and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and sliced
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped off
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, deseeded, veined, and cut into short thin strips
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (sweet)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup lemon water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Missing an Ingredient?
Visit our ingredient substitution guide ›

Nutrition Facts


478 cals


9 g

Saturated Fat

2 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

2 g

Monounsaturated Fat

5 g


90 g


4 g


20 g


15 g


1026 mg


  1. Cover mushrooms in hot water and let sit until softened, about 20 to 30 minutes. Pour mixture over a strainer into a small bowl. Press mushrooms to remove any liquid. Reserve soaking liquid. Roughly chop the mushrooms. If using shiitake, discard tough stems. Set aside.
  2. Put barley in a pot with the mushroom soaking water, stock, a good pinch of salt, parsley sprig and a drizzle of olive oil. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes. Check the barley for doneness after 25 minutes. It should be almost done but not quite, as it will finish cooking in step 5.
  3. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a wide, shallow stovetop-to-oven dish, with a lid. Add the thyme and garlic and cook until the garlic begins to take color. Add the shallots and peppers. Cook, stirring, until the peppers soften and the shallots start to caramelize.
  4. Add the dried mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of the chopped parsley. Sauté for a few minutes. Add the cumin and paprika, cook for a minute, then add the diced portabellas, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt. Mix well and sauté until the mushrooms wilt and darken, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the lemon water and cook until it has a syrupy consistency. Cover and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. By this time the grain should be ready.
  5. Remove the parsley sprig and add the barley to the mushrooms, along with any cooking liquid left in the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and, stirring occasionally, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the grain is al dente. Stir in the cilantro and remaining parsley, heat through and serve.

Chef Tips

Hulled barley, takes longer to cook, so up the initial cooking time in step 1 to 45 minutes and double the amount of stock used.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society

This site is registered on as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.