Barley Salad with a Garlic Lemon Dressing

Jessica Penner, RDMeatless, Recipes, Salad4 Comments

Barley Salad with a Lemon Garlic Dressing

This barley salad has a delightfully unique texture, and when drizzled with its garlic lemon dressing, snaps you into spring with a fresh finish of crispy veggies.

What makes the best chocolate chips cookies?

You might think of having high quality ingredients or the right mix of ingredients, but the real answer is…


A crisp, overbaked crumbly cookie is worthless, in my opinion.

A soft and chew chocolate chip cookie? Divine!

So… what do cookies and salads have in common?


I used to make this salad with couscous, but I realized I could make it even better by using barley instead!

Have you ever cooked barley? It has the most incredible texture! It’s soft, yet chewy at the same time… just like chocolate chip cookies! (I know you came here for a salad recipe, but in case I have you craving cookies by now, I do have a recipe for the BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever tasted! They’re gluten free to boot!)


more about this barley salad

This barley salad SCREAMS spring time! At least that’s what anything with radishes is telling me! And with all the fresh veggies, herbs, and the light zippy dressing, it has me dancing around the room, all excited about the snow melting and the thermometer rising… such a wonderful prelude to the real fun when summer begins!

why this barley salad is a smart choice

Barley is one of my favourite high fibre swaps. It has 2.6 times the fibre of couscous (pasta)! That extra fibre is important. Many people do not eat enough fibre. Fibre helps to slowdown the speed at which your body breaks down and absorbs carbs. The slower the speed of digestion, the longer lasting the energy and satiety of a meal!

Compounding this effect, the dressing has vinegar! Vinegar also helps to slowdown the breakdown and absorption of carbs.

Then, of course, there are all the veggies! Each serving of this salad will give you nearly one serving of vegetables.

Barley Salad with a Lemon Garlic Dressing

If you give this recipe a go, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or snap a photo and tag it with #smartnutritionrecipes on Instagram!  I’d love to see your creations! Knowing someone has enjoyed one of my recipes always makes my day brighter.  

Barley Salad with a Lemon Garlic Dressing

barley salad with a garlic lemon dressing

  • Author: Jessica Penner, RD
  • Yield: 12


An easy summer salad using fresh garden veggies and herbs



  • 2 cups uncooked pot barley
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • ½ cucumber, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 large radishes, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled


  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar


  1. Cook the barley according to your package’s directions.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  3. Pour the dressing over the barley once it has finished cooking. Stir to combine.
  4. Place in fridge to cool.
  5. Prepare the rest of the salad ingredients and add to the barley once it has cooled.

Calories:  271| Fat: 16g | Carbs: 28g | Fibre: 6.5g | Sugar: 2g | Protein: 5.5g

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