Too busy for a healthy, delicious dinner tonight? Not with this addictive Mexican Barley Salad! It is loaded with two kinds of beans, whole grain barley, jicama, peppers, corn, and the most amazing dressing. It lasts for a week in the fridge and only gets better tasting the longer it sits.
I created this barley salad over 15 years ago and it is still one of our family’s all-time favorites! First off, you can never go wrong with southwest flavors and the jicama in this Mexican Barley Salad adds the perfect amount of crunch as well.
What is Quick Cooking Barley?
I used to make this barley salad recipe with whole pearl barley but it does take quite a long time for that barley to cook so a few years ago I began using quick cooking barley and now this whole recipe can be done in 15 minutes!
Quick cooking barley is partially steamed and rolled to make their surface area larger, then dried before being packaged. These two steps that are done make for a quick 10 minute cook when you are preparing it in your home.
What Barley Salad Recipe Variations Can I Try?
Like any great recipe, the sky is the limit so feel free to substitute ingredients you know your family loves! Here are some easy additions or substitutions you can make to the original recipe:
- 1-2 fresh jalapenos minced
- cooked chicken, pork, or beef for added protein
- use flat leaf Italian parsley instead of cilantro
- for more crunch, some toasted almonds or cashews would be great
- chopped avocado mixed in would create a more creamy texture
Mexican Barley Salad Video
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- 1 C quick cooking barley
- 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 oz can corn, drained
- 8 green onions, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 C chopped cilantro
- 3 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1/2 large jicama, peeled and diced
- Fresh lime, cut into wedges
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tb chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/3 C red wine vinegar
- 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
- Cook barley according to package directions. Once it is cooked, quickly rinse in cool water to reduce the temperature of the barley.
- Combine all your salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together all your dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Toss to combine.
- Serve at room temperature and squeeze a generous amount of fresh lime juice on each serving.
*If you like a bit of heat, add a minced jalapeno or two to the salad
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Salads
- Method: Fresh
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Serving Size: 1/7th
- Calories: 384
- Sugar: 6g
- Sodium: 758mg
- Fat: 17g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Unsaturated Fat: 13g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 49g
- Fiber: 13g
- Protein: 12g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: main dish salad recipes, whole foods, healthy salads