instant pot barely recipe
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Instant Pot Barley Recipe

Are you looking for a vegan recipe that is healthy and delicious? Then, this Instant Pot barley recipe is a fantastic choice. Barley is a versatile and nutritious grain that has been enjoyed for centuries. It’s packed with fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals, making it a great addition to any meal. And with the help of an Instant Pot, you can have a delicious barley dish on the table in no time.

Whether you’re a fan of hearty grains or simply looking to incorporate more healthy foods into your diet, this recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

In this article, we will walk you through the steps of making a mouthwatering Instant Pot barley recipe. From the perfect cooking time to the best flavor combinations, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your Instant Pot and get ready to enjoy a wholesome and satisfying meal that the whole family will love.

Recipe Highlights

  • Simple and minimalist recipe. 
  • Soft, chewy, and delicious. 
  • Gets ready within 20 minutes.
  • No prep is required.
  • Prepare it with just 3 ingredients.

Other Instant Pot Recipes

Best Recipe For Instant Pot Delicata Squash

Instant Pot Beef Rendang 

Instant Pot Millet

How to Cook Barley in the Instant Pot

instant pot barely recipe


½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

For Pearled Barley

2 cups of water

1 cup pearled Barley

For Hulled Barley

3 cups of water

1 cup hulled Barley

Step-By-Step Guide For Cooking Instant Pot Barley

adding barley in instant pot

Step-1: Take one cup of barley and rinse it in running water.

adding water and barley in instant pot

Step-2: Add rinsed barley to the instant pot. And two cups of water to it.

Step-3: Add salt and olive oil and stir for a while.

cooking barley on high pressure in instant pot

Step-4: Pressure cook for 20 minutes followed by natural release.

Notes & Tips

1- You can use salted butter instead of olive oil as well.

2- For a better taste, use vegetable broth or chicken stock instead of water.

3- 1 cup of raw barley yields approximately 3 cups of cooked barley. 

4- Rinse barley under running cold water.

5- You can skip salt or add it as per your taste.

Pearled Vs. Hulled Barley

Barley comes in two types known as hulled barley, and pearl barley. Both types differ from each other in terms of color, cooking duration, nutritional value, taste, and texture. 

Hulled barley is also known as barley groats. It is darker in color as compared to pearl barley and is an excellent source of fiber. Hulled barley comes with outer husks removed only, that’s why it is harder. It has a chewier texture and takes more time to cook. You can cook it in an Instant pot or stove top. 

Pearl barley, also known as ‘pearled barley,’ is a more refined and processed form of barley. It is typically lighter in color and comes with both husk and bran layers removed which makes the grains lighter and hence they cook more easily. 

Main Dishes to Serve With This Recipe

You can pair barley with a variety of dishes that complement its earthy flavor and chewy texture. Here are some main dish ideas to serve with Instant Pot barley:

Beef Stew: An absolute classic choice, and one of my favorites. Beef stew with tender chunks of meat, vegetables, and a savory broth goes wonderfully well with barley. The barley adds an extra layer of heartiness to the dish.

Chicken and Vegetable Soup: A thick, dense soup is so comforting with barley. The barley absorbs the flavors of the soup and adds a satisfying bite.

Salmon Fillets: Use salmon fillets or try stuffed salmon with barley. Oven cooked and grilled salmon both are nice options. 

Storing & Reheating Guide

You can store leftovers for later consumption. Allow it to cool, pack in an airtight container, and store in the fridge. You can use it anytime within 3 days. 

You can also store uncooked barley in your freezer for a long period of time. It has a longer shelf life and can last a few months in the freezer. Just make sure to pack it safely in an airtight bag. 

You can keep uncooked pearled barley in an airtight jar in a cool and dry place for up to one year.

Some Useful Tips For Storage:

  • Allowing barley to cool down to room temperature prevents condensation inside the storage container, which can lead to moisture and may result in spoilage or mold.
  • Plastic or glass containers can also be used, just make sure that they have a tight-fitting lid to keep air out.
  • If you are planning to use barley in various recipes, consider portioning it into smaller containers or resealable bags. This makes it easier to grab the amount you need without exposing the entire batch to air.
  • When handling cooked barley, make sure your hands and utensils are clean to prevent contamination.
  • Always adopt a habit of labeling your storage container or freezer bag with the date of preparation.
  • Avoid cross-contamination by keeping barely separate from raw meats and other perishable items in the refrigerator or freezer.


You can reheat barely either in a microwave, oven, or stovetop. Take it out from the fridge, and add a little water like 2 teaspoons before reheating. You can also have chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of water for even better results. 

Oven: Add barely in preheated oven and reheat for 4-5 minutes.

Microwave: Reheat for 1-2 minutes.

Stovetop: Spread in a pan, add 2 teaspoons of water or broth, and reheat on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. 

Barley to Water Ratio

Hulled Barley: For 1 cup of barely use 2.5 cups of water. 

Pearled Barely: For 1 cup of barely use 2 cups of water.

Hulled barley is hard and requires more water and additional cooking time as compared to pearl barely. 


What is the best way to cook barley?

You can cook barely using an instant pot or in a pot over the stovetop. I like to cook barley in my Instant Pot because it cooks quickly; all I have to do is add the ingredients—barley, salt, and oil—and turn on the pressure cook setting.

How do you know when barley is ready?

It will depend on which type of barely you are cooking and your method of cooking. If you are doing it in the instant pot, it gets ready within 20 minutes. Barley is ready when it has almost tripled in volume and is soft and chewy.

What happens if you don’t rinse barley before cooking?

Washing barley before cooking is good but not compulsory. I like to wash it well before cooking just to get rid of dirt and make it clean.  

Just like many grains, barley can sometimes have dust, debris, or small ting particles mixed in with the grains. Rinsing helps remove these particles, ensuring that you’re cooking with clean barley.

What can be used as a substitute for pearl barley?

 You can use hulled barely. It slightly takes more time to cook due to its harder outside surface. And you have to increase water as well as it absorbs more water during cooking. 

instant pot barely recipe
Instant Pot Barley Recipe
Ab ChaudharyAb Chaudhary
It is a delightful and nutritious dish that can be used for meal prep, as a side dish, in buddha bowls, in soup, or in barley salad. Plus, with just 20 minutes of cooking time, it couldn't be any simpler!
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Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 186 kcal


  • Instant Pot


  • Start by rinsing one cup of barley in running water.
  • Then, place the rinsed barley in the Instant Pot and add two cups of water.
  • Stir in some salt and olive oil, and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 20 minutes.
  • Once the cooking is complete, allow for a natural release.
  • This simple and straightforward process will yield perfectly cooked barley.


Calories: 186kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 5gFat: 1.8gSaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 301mgPotassium: 142mgFiber: 7.8gSugar: 0.4gCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Ab Chaudhary

AboutAb Chaudhary

Hi, my name is Basit Ali. I’m a cooking enthusiast who loves trying out new recipes in the kitchen! I also like to upgrading my kitchen accessories from time-to-time with all sorts of interesting gadgets for making food prep easier and more convenient than ever before.

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