Barley Risotto with Spinach & Tomatoes

Bev, Bev Cooks

Barley, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, baby spinach, and real butter are combined for a super simple weeknight dinner. Try out in this one-pan dish to comfort your taste buds and give the whole family something to warm up to this time of year.
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20 min Prep Time
25 min Cook Time
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Servings: 4 servings

Servings: 4 servings


  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 4 Tbs. butter, divided
  • 1 Tbs. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. garlic powder
  • 1 medium white onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup barley (quick cooking or medium cooking is fine)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 oz whole sun-dried tomatoes (from a jar)
  • 1 (5 oz) tub baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Coarse salt


Step 1

Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan. Once melted and foaming, add the cubed chicken in a single layer, and let sit for three minutes until chicken is browned on the bottom.

Step 2

Flip and sear another minute or two, seasoning with a pinch of salt, the garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Step 3

Bring a small saucepan to a medium heat; add the chicken stock and let it lightly simmer while you start the risotto.

Step 4

Back in the sauté pan, add the diced onion with a small pinch of salt. Sauté the onion for a few minutes, until you start to get a little color. Add the barley and and toss it in the buttery onions to coat and toast a minute. Then, add the warm chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring the barley to absorb the liquid. Once the barley absorbs the stock, add another ladle. Keep adding stock over the course of about 20 minutes, until the barley is creamy, plump and tender.

Step 5

Add the sun-dried tomatoes and the spinach, until the spinach fully wilts and pops in color. Add the chicken back to the pan.

Step 6

Turn the heat off and add the last tablespoon of butter, along with the grated parmesan. Toss, and add seasoning to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley and more cheese!