This Barley and Lentil Pilaf is the perfect vegetarian side dish you never knew you needed in your life. It's savory, crave-worthy and super easy to make in your Instant Pot.
What Makes This Barley and Lentil Pilaf So Fantastic
Healthy. This side dish is absolutely bursting with nutrients like fiber, magnesium, iron and it's a good source of plant protein, making it a fantastic vegetarian recipe you don't have to feel guilty about eating.
Simple. This Barley and Lentil Pilaf is one of those simple one-pot recipes that takes almost no effort to make. Simply dump the ingredients in the Instant Pot and let the pressure cooker do all the work for you. Less time cooking means more time for you to do more important things with your time, like spending time with family or friends (or catching up on your current favorite binge-watching series 😜).
Delicious. Most importantly, this Barley and Lentil Pilaf is so very tasty. It's savory, earthy, aromatic and absolutely gratifying from start to finish. Trust me, it's one pearl barley recipe you are going to want to make again and again.
How To Make Instant Pot Barley and Lentil Pilaf
- Add ingredients. Put barley, beans, water, oil, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and pepper into the Instant Pot and stir.
- Cook. Cook at high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow the pot to release pressure naturally for 15 minutes and then release all remaining pressure.
- Serve. Stir well, garnish as desired and serve.
Is Barley Better Than Rice?
When it comes to health benefits, it really depends on what your dietary needs are.
Pearl barley and rice have a lot of the same micronutrients. Pearl barley has a higher amount of zinc and magnesium than white rice. Pearl barley also has a higher amount of dietary fiber than rice, which aids in blood sugar control, helps reduce blood pressure and assists in weight control.
Overall, this Instant Pot Barley and Lentil Pilaf is a pearled barley recipe that's rich with nutrients and is sure to keep you satisfyingly full.
What's The Best Way To Cook Barley?
Why in the Instant Pot, of course! I just love Instant Pot barley because it's so very simple to make. Simply place all the ingredients into the pot and cook it a high pressure for 15 minutes and you've got some deliciously filling and healthy barley with minimal effort! There's no need to babysit a boiling pot or mix the ingredients in the process. Just let the Instant Pot do all the work for you.
If you don't own an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, there are still plenty of other methods to cook delicious barley recipes. Check out my guide on How to Cook Barley for a complete guide on all things cooking barley.
Instant Pot Barley and Lentil Pilaf Tips And Tricks
- Make sure you are using pearl barley and not hulled barley. It won't turn out correctly if you use hulled barley instead.
- Want to switch it up? Use my shawarma spice or berbere spice mix in place of the spices in this barley pilaf recipe!
Perfect Barley and Other Barley Recipes
- How to Cook Barley (Instant pot, Stovetop, & Rice Cooker Instructions)
- Barley and Bacon Pilaf
- Barley and Chicken Soup
- Barley and Mung Bean Pilaf
More Delicious Vegetarian Dishes
- Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash - One of the tastiest spaghetti squash recipes out there.
- Mushroom Mascarpone Pasta - One of the creamiest, tastiest pastas I've ever had.
- Rosemary Roasted Potatoes - An easy side dish you can make in the air fryer.
- Simple Lentil Soup Recipe - Quick and easy to make in your Instant Pot.
- Ethiopian Cabbage And Potatoes - An easy, approachable Instant Pot dish for all to enjoy.
- Instant Pot Black Beans and Rice - One of the best black bean recipes you'll make in your Instant Pot.
- Haluski Recipe - A wonderful cabbage and noodles recipe.
- Low Carb Keto Cauliflower and Cheese - The ultimate low carb comfort food!
Just #trustUrvashi, you're going to love this delicious Instant Pot Barley and Lentil Pilaf! Make sure to share this recipe with your friends on Pinterest and Facebook so they can enjoy it as well!
- 1 Cup Pearled Barley
- 1/4 cup Green Mung Beans, dry, whole beans
- 1.75 cups Water
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup Chopped Parsley
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- Put barley, beans, water, oil, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and pepper into the Instant Pot and stir.
- Cook at high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow the pot to release pressure naturally for 15 minutes and then release all remaining pressure.
- Stir well, garnish as desired and serve.
Made this with lentils. It was yummy!
Love this! So easy. I want to start making a grain and bean dish and a bunch of roast veg every Sunday afternoon to prep my weekday lunches. This turned out perfectly, despite a couple substitutions. No changes to any quantities. I used black lentils (the roundish ones). And I didn’t have allspice, so I subbed in Chinese 5 Spice. The dish has this great N African taste and will be delicious w a bunch of roast sweet potato, onion, garlic, red pepper, broccoli, and cauliflower. Thanks!
Hi, how can I cook this on a stovetop / slowcooker?
Unfortunately I haven't tested the recipe that way, so I can't answer that question 🙁
After cooking so much at home lately I finally decided to invest in your recommended mealthy non-stick pan. (Tried making a Frankie and the egg stuck everywhere). To celebrate my online purchase (on sale right now, plus your discount code!) I decided to make your barley and lentil pilaf for the next day. I fell asleep before remembering to take it out of the Instant Pot! After 10.5 hours in keep-warm mode, it was a bit dry. But the cinnamon and allspice smell made me think oatmeal, so I added a bit of milk and ate it for breakfast! Thanks for virtual quarantining with me, Urvashi!
I'd like to make this tonight, can you suggest a substitution for the Mung beans? Shopping is rather limited nowadays 🙁
Oh I can imagine. Do you have little brown lentils? Those might work?
Brown lentils worked great, thank you! This recipe is so delicious - as ALL of your recipes are. Thank you so much!
I love your recipes. I’m trying to make this now but the title says Barley and lentil. In the recipe, I read Mung beans as the ingredient. Is lentil the same as mung bean?
I have this whole nerdy article about lentils and beans I’ve linked to and what constitutes a lentil etc. But in answer to your question yes. I used green mung beans in this recipe.
Thank you! It worked out great.