How to Cook Barley for Breakfast Cereal

Like oatmeal, cooked barley is a healthy and versatile way to begin the day. Barley has been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, and may reduce the risk of heart disease. It's also an excellent source of fiber. Barley takes a while to cook, but fortunately it reheats beautifully. Make a large batch and enjoy it for breakfast all week. Simply microwave the cooked barley for a minute or so, then flavor it with your favorite additions.

Step 1.


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Boil 3 cups of water for every cup of uncooked barley in a medium saucepan over high heat.

Step 2.


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Add barley to the saucepan once the water is boiling. Return the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and cook until the barley is tender, about 45 minutes for pearl barley and 55 minutes for whole grain barley.

Step 3.


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Add flavorful ingredients to cooked barley. Sweeten it with honey, maple syrup, agave nectar or brown sugar. Season it with a few dashes of cinnamon or nutmeg. Add chopped, dried fruit and nuts, or a spoonful of jam or jelly. Top with a dollop of ricotta cheese, spoonful of yogurt or a splash of milk. Sprinkle the barley with grated cheese and top it with a cooked egg for a savory morning meal.

Things You Will Need
  • Saucepan

  • Water

  • Sweetener, optional

  • Spices, optional

  • Dried fruit, optional

  • Nuts, optional

  • Jam or jelly, optional

  • Yogurt, ricotta cheese or milk, optional

  • Shredded cheese, optional

  • Egg, optional


When cooking whole grain barley, you may have to strain the barley of excess liquid once it is finished cooking.

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