Pearl Barley and Pumpkin Risotto

Rich in flavor, this Pearl Barley and Pumpkin Risotto Recipe is easy to make, Vegan & Meal-Prep friendly.

Pearl Barley and Pumpkin Risotto

We continue with our super-simple pantry meals and today we bring you the Pearl Barley and Pumpkin Risotto recipe!

If you have never made a pearl barley risotto, you are missing out! 

Not only is pearl barley healthier than white rice, but it has also more flavor, fiber and keeps you full longer. Also, when using pearl barley (instead of regular barley), you cut down on cooking time significantly.

So if you want to try something new and different, try this Pearl Barley and Pumpkin Risotto.

Pearl Barley and Pumpkin Risotto Ingredients

Let’s check the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • red onion. You can substitute it with regular onion.
  • garlic
  • carrot
  • red Kuri pumpkin. You’ll need about 2 cups of diced pumpkin. Butternut squash would work as well, or you could even use pumpkin puree (about 1 cup)
  • pearl barley. The key to the recipe, but if you don’t have it, you can use risotto rice in its stead, just make sure to shorten the cooking time accordingly.
  • parsley. If you don’t have fresh parsley, you can use dry or frozen. Reduce the amount if using dry parsley by half.
  • vegetable stock
  • plant-based cooking cream. The cream is added at the last minute, so you could also use a neutral unsweetened plant-based yogurt (or just skip it).

Pearl Barley and Pumpkin Risotto

How to make this Pearl Barley and Pumpkin Risotto

Making this Pearl Barley Risotto is super simple. Start by preparing your vegetables, so they are ready to go – finely dice your onion, garlic, and carrot. Cut your pumpkin, then slice it, remove the seeds and peel, and dice it. You’re gonna need about 2 cups of diced pumpkin (or about 1 cup pumpkin puree – see substitutions).

Once your vegetables are diced and ready, heat a pan and add a drizzle of oil. 

Gently fry your onion on medium until translucent, stirring occasionally. Then, add in your carrot and saute for a couple of minutes, just until it starts softening.

Next, stir in your garlic and pumpkin and pour in a ladle of vegetable stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook on low with the lid on for about 10 minutes, or until the pumpkin softens.

Once your pumpkin is soft, you’ll want to roughly mash it, so that we get a thicker and creamier sauce, but still, have a couple of whole pumpkin chunks in there. I like to just use a fork or a potato masher, but a stick blender would work as well.

Once your pumpkin is mashed, stir in your pearl barley and parsley and cook on low, stirring regularly. Add more vegetable stock as the barley cooks.

Cook your barley risotto for about half an hour, until the barley is cooked al-dente (is cooked through, but still has a bit of a bite). 

Lastly, stir in the plant-based cooking cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.

How to serve the pearl barley risotto

Always serve the pearl barley risotto hot. You could sprinkle some more fresh parsley on top or even add some grated plant-based parmesan or hard cheese.

Pearl Barley and Pumpkin Risotto

Do you need to pre-soak the pearl barley?

No, you don’t need to soak the pearl barley before use, it will get tender while cooking and absorbing the vegetable stock. The cooking time of pearl barley is shorter than regular barley and only needs about 30 minutes of cooking time.

Can I reheat the pearl barley risotto?

Yes, pearl barley risotto holds better than the regular rice risotto, so you can make it ahead or as meal-prep, and then just reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. Bear in mind that as it cools, it will soak up the liquids and may get dry – I like to just add a splash of water when reheating it.

Pearl Barley and Pumpkin Risotto

Pearl Barley and Pumpkin Risotto

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Rich in flavor, this Pearl Barley and Pumpkin Risotto Recipe is easy to make, Vegan & Meal-Prep friendly.

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 cups red kuri pumpkin, diced
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp cooking cream, plant-based
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt, pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Finely dice 1 red onion, 3 cloves garlic, and 1 carrot. Peel and dice red Kuri pumpkin, removing the seeds (we need about 2 cups).
  2. In a pan heat a drizzle of oil. Add diced onions and gently fry on medium until translucent. Add diced carrot and saute for a couple of minutes, until it starts softening, then stir in garlic and pumpkin. Pour in a ladle of vegetable stock, season lightly with salt and pepper, and saute for about 10 minutes with lid covered, until the pumpkin softens.
  3. Using a fork or a potato masher, roughly mash the cooked pumpkin, so we get a somewhat creamy sauce with a couple of unmashed pieces. Stir in 1 cup of pearl barley and chopped parsley and add more vegetable stock as the barley cooks on low.
  4. Cook on low, stirring frequently, for about half an hour, until the barley softens. Then, stir in the plant-based cooking cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve hot with more fresh parsley.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 1024mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 7gSugar: 11gProtein: 6g

Nutrition data is automatically calculated using Nutritionix and may not be accurate.

Pearl Barley and Pumpkin Risotto

This recipe is brought to you by Hofer Slovenija.

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