Looking for a tasty barley bowl? Try this Roasted Vegetable Barley Bowl with brussels sprouts, butternut squash, beets, shallots, and pumpkin seeds, with a tasty herb garlic sauce drizzle. Perfect for an easy weeknight meal or weekly meal prep!

a black bowl containing roasted vegetable barley ingredients with a gold spoon

Are you a fan of barley? If not, you should be! We love this sturdy grain in soups and as a side dish, but our favorite way to eat barley is in a bowl with seasonal roasted vegetables.

👉 Here are three reasons why you should make this Roasted Vegetable Barley Bowl:

  • It's super flavorful. With a combination of 4 vegetables and an herb garlic sauce, this bowl is full of flavor from a variety of ingredients.
  • It's packed with plants. Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, beets, carrots, and shallots are paired with two different herbs for a plant-iful plate.
  • It's great for meal prep. Want to prep ahead? This recipe is great to make ahead to eat later.

Ready to learn how to make a barley bowl with roasted veggies? Let's do it!

a platter with carrots, shallots, brussels sprouts, squash, barley, pumpkin seeds and olive oil
Ingredients: barley, brussels sprouts, squash, carrots, a beet, shallots, olive oil, salt and pepper, pumpkin seeds

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Roast the vegetables

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In the meantime, prep the vegetables by washing and cutting them into similarly sized pieces, which makes eating the bowl easier.

👉 Here are our suggested cuts for each vegetable in this bowl:

  • Brussels sprouts: wash, then trim off the stem and remove the outer leaves. Then thinly slice for crispy leaves or quarter for bite-size pieces.
  • Butternut squash: halve, peel the outer layer, then remove the squash guts. Then cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
  • Carrots: wash, trim ends, and peel (optional, we rarely peel carrots). Then dice into similar sizes to the butternut squash.
  • Beets: wash, trim ends, and peel (also optional). Then dice into 1/2 inch pieces so they are a similar size to the carrots and squash.
  • Shallots: trim ends, remove outer skin, then thinly slice

Once all vegetables are cut, add them to a sheet pan, drizzle them generously with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then using a spatula (or your hands!), toss to coat them in olive oil.

Add the sheet pan to the oven and cook the vegetables until they are golden brown, about 35 minutes. Make sure to toss them around on the pan throughout cooking to brown all sides.

a baking sheet with sliced and seasoned beets, carrots and brussels sprouts
Add cut vegetables to a sheet pan and season

2️⃣ Step Two: Make barley

While the vegetables are roasting, it's time to make the barley. Follow the instructions on the barley package, but usually this means adding 1 part dried barley to 2 parts water in a pan.

So for this recipe, it's 1.5 cups dried barley and 3 cups water to a medium sauce pan and bringing to a boil over high heat.

Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the sauce pan with a lid, and simmer until barley is fully cooked and has a fluffy texture, about 20-25 minutes.

a pan of cooked barley with a wooden spoon
Prepare barley

3️⃣ Step Three: Make the herb garlic sauce

While the barley is cooking, it's time to prep the cilantro and parsley garlic sauce.

Add chopped cilantro, chopped parsley, garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a food processor. Pulse ingredients until they are finely chopped, then add white wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse a few more times to gently mix all ingredients together.

a food processor with blended herbs and spices
Make the herb garlic sauce

4️⃣ Step Four: Build the roasted vegetable barley bowl

When the roasted vegetables and barley are done cooking, it's time to build the bowl!

To do this, add barley to bowl first, then top with the roasted vegetable mixture. Drizzle with the herb garlic sauce, then garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.

a roasted vegetable barley bowl with garlic herb sauce drizzled on top
Assemble the bowl

❓ Recipe questions + quick tips

Is barley a whole grain?

Barley is considered a whole grain if it has not been refined and its bran, endosperm, and kernel are present. However, the barley that is typically found in the grocery store is actually pearled barley, which is actually a refined grain because the outer shell is removed.

How long does it take to cook barley?

It takes about 25-30 minutes to cook barley. For best results, bring the water and the barley to a boil in a sauce pan. The heat should then be lowered and the pan partially covered until it is absorbed, which usually takes about 25-30 minutes. Be sure not to overcook it as it will become very sticky and mushy.

What vegetables pair well with barley?

Barley pairs well with many vegetables, but its sturdy texture and mouthfeel taste great with sturdy vegetables like brussels sprouts, squash, and root vegetables like carrots and beets.


🔁 Variations

This barley bowl is a great foundational recipe that can easily be customized with your favorite ingredients. Here are a few ideas for making it your own:

  • Switch up the vegetables: try different types of seasonal squash or root vegetables
  • Use a different herb in your sauce: try herbs like basil, thyme, or sage in your herb drizzle
  • Add crunchy garnishes: try crushed nuts, seeds, or even crispy garlic flakes for extra texture
a close up photo of the roasted vegetable barley bowl with herb garlic sauce

🧊 How to store

This vegetable and barley bowl is a great option for meal prep because you can make it days (or even weeks!) ahead of time. Here's how to store it for best taste:

  1. Refrigerator storage: Store leftover roasted vegetables, barley, and sauce in airtight containers – either separate or mixed together – for up to 4 days
  2. Freezer storage (if applicable): This recipe is also a great option for freezing. Simply mix ingredients, freeze in airtight containers, and then thaw and reheat in a pan when ready to serve.
a bowl of roasted vegetable barley with herb sauce, a gold spoon and a bowl of pumpkin seeds

🍛 More grain bowl recipes

Want more vegetable and grain bowl recipes? We've got you covered:

Roasted Vegetable Barley Bowl

Looking for a tasty barley bowl? Try this Roasted Vegetable Barley Bowl with brussels sprouts, butternut squash, beets, shallots, and pumpkin seeds, with a tasty herb garlic sauce drizzle. Perfect for an easy weeknight meal or weekly meal prep!
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Ingredients

For Barley Bowl

  • cups dried barley
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 1 large red beet, diced
  • 2 whole shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds, for garnish

For Herb Sauce

  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • cup olive oil

Equipment

  • 1 large sheet pan
  • 1 food processor

Instructions 

  • Roast vegetables: Preheat oven to 400. Toss sliced brussels sprouts, butternut squash cubes, diced carrots, diced red beets, and sliced shallots in olive oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add to a sheet pan and cook until golden brown, about 35 minutes, flipping throughout cooking to roast all sides of vegetables.
  • Make barley: Prepare barley according to package instructions. Typically this means adding 1.5 cups dried barley and 3 cups water to a medium sauce and bringing to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the sauce pan with a lid, and simmer until barley is fully cooked and has a fluffy texture, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Make sauce: Add chopped cilantro, chopped parsley, garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a food processor. Pulse ingredients until they are finely chopped, then add white wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse a few more times to gently mix all ingredients together. Set aside.
  • Build barley bowl: When the roasted vegetables and barley are done cooking, it's time to build the bowl. Add barley to bowl first, then top with the roasted vegetable mixture. Drizzle with the herb garlic sauce, then garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Meal prep instructions: To reduce cooking time, roast the vegetables, cook the barley, and make the herb garlic sauce up to two days ahead of time and then build the bowls when ready to eat.
  • Leftovers and storage: Store leftover ingredients – either separately or mix the ingredients together – in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can freeze this meal to thaw and reheat later, but know that the vegetable consistency may not be as crunchy after thawing.
  • Nutrition notes: The nutrition information was calculated with the full amount of sauce prepared and used. This recipe features all plant-based ingredients, which makes it suitable for vegan diets. It is also nut-free, but does contain gluten in the barley. For a gluten free option, substitute barley with a gluten free grain like quinoa or rice.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1g, Calories: 325kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 80mg, Potassium: 783mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 9445IU, Vitamin C: 69mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 4mg