Slow Cooker Mushroom Barley Risotto

mushroom barley risottoI can’t take a lot of credit for this one. I found the recipe on and adapted it a little (although i guess most ideas are repurposed anyway) I love slow cooker recipes.. you could definitely make it on the stove… but why gradually stir in liquid for an hour when you can stick it in a crock pot and forget about it.

The best part is that this ENTIRE recipe is 550 calories. Yes, the entire slow cooker. It’s vegetarian…remove the cheese and it’s vegan AND only 375 calories. (Honestly the cheese adds some richness… but it still tastes AMAZING without it). It makes about 4-6 servings… depending on how much you eat… and it’s EXTREMELY filling.

Calories: 550 for the entire recipe. (375 for the vegan version) Makes 4-6 servings. ( I did NOT account for oil used in this recipe. Add another 120 for a tablespoon of olive oil)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups pearl barley
  • 1-1 1/2 cup maitake mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • 1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
  • ~ 2 tsp (or to taste) Thyme (you can use fresh.. it’s better… but i used dried)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • Garlic to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Green peas (optional)
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (leave out if making vegan version)
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Heat a pan with olive oil. Add the onion, and cook until they begin to caramelize. Then Add in the mushrooms and cook until soft (this happens very quickly). Add in the barley, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper, until the barley is golden brown. (about 5 minutes)

Add the barley mixture to the crockpot along with the carrots, water and broth. Let cook on high for about 3 hours. (keep checking… my slow cooker took a little less time) (if you add in peas.. throw them in with about an hour left to go… they don’t take as long to cook) When the barley is soft, and all the liquid is absorbed turn the slow cooker off. (If you’re making the vegan version.. stop here and serve!) Add in the cheese and vinegar, add any more salt and pepper you might want. ( i found it did NOT need any more salt)

Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you tried it!!


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