Barley Risotto with Tomato and Dill

Tomato Dill Barley Risotto-6


My first memory of risotto was the premiere season of Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey from back in the day. He actually smooshes plates of inferior risottos onto the front of the contestants chef coats. One unfortunate gent was named Dewberry. Poor guy. I still feel sorry for him. Not really the most pleasant memory to say the least. 😉

Your standard restaurant-style risottos that, although amazingly delicious, are no doubt loaded with butter, salt and cheese. Not really classified as an Honour System regular.

Enter barley. It’s a nice whole grain that has bite. A bit of a chew factor like the Arborio pasta used in traditional risotto.

To add lots of flavours without adding unhealthy ingredients, I used a few different spices and veggies. What pairs nicer together than tomato and dill? Sprinkle with some parsley and freshly grated parmesan? Boom!

Tomato Dill Barley Risotto-16

I also thought I’d lightly caramelize the red onion. Granted, I didn’t have the time to slowly caramelize them in the true sense, but I let them get nice and tender and soft over a lower heat before stirring in the garlic.

Tomato Dill Barley Risotto-2

Add a can of diced tomatoes and the dill. I love me some dill! If you have access to fresh, please use it. If you’re stuck with the dried stuff don’t feel bad. I’m right there with you. It was dried dill from the cupboard for me. Dried rosemary too. Can’t leave out rosemary. 🙂

Tomato Dill Barley Risotto-3

Cover it all with some hot water.

Tomato Dill Barley Risotto-4

Unlike fussy risottos where you are constantly stirring and stirring, this meal comes together fairly easily. Just stir every so often, adding a little more broth or water to the pot if needed.

Tomato Dill Barley Risotto-5

The finishing touch is the grated parmesan cheese. I highly recommend it as the punch of salty cheese just brings everything together.

This is a great lazy weekend supper with a nice light salad and maybe some crusty bread. Enjoy!

Tomato Dill Barley Risotto-8

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Want to Save This Recipe?

Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week.

Save Recipe

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from The Honour System

Barley Risotto with Tomato & Dill

Sharon Rhodes
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 132 kcal



  • In a medium sauce pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced onions and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in the garlic. Careful not to burn, stir for about a minute
  • Add in the barley, tomatoes, spices, tomato paste and 1 cup of the hot water. Stir it all together and let it simmer for 40-50 minutes, occasionally stirring
  • Add in ¼ cup of hot water after 15 minutes and then again 15 minutes later to make sure the barley still has liquid to cook in.
  • Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan


Calories: 132kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSodium: 238mgPotassium: 395mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 260IUVitamin C: 14.1mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 2.1mg
Keyword barley risotto
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts


  1. Sharon, I am absolutely starving at the moment, and this barley risotto is exactly, EXACTLY what I wish I was gonna eat next! Bravo! Awesome idea all around! First, for making risotto so much healthier, and second, for making it so, so much easier without all the constant, fussy stirring (I’m not sure I know more than maybe three people who actually have time for that … ever!). This is just gorgeous … pinning IMMEDIATELY!!!! Yum! 😀

    1. Thanks Shelley! Looking at pictures of food when hungry is just as dangerous as grocery shopping when you haven’t eaten. 😉 I hope you’ll love it!

  2. Love this! I have some barley sitting in the pantry and I’ve been wondering what to do with it…tried it in some soup and wasn’t a fan. But this.. this looks delish!

    1. Thanks Meliss! 🙂 I was so happy with how it turned out. That being said , I’m a big barley fan.

  3. A healthier version of risotto? Sign me up! I’m a big fan of dill so I know I would love this.
    I don’t watch Hell’s Kitchen but that’s so sad they had to be humiliated like that. If that were me, Gordon Ramsey would have a food fight on his hands!

  4. That bowl looks so warm and cosy! Barley is great, I’ll have to try it in risotto sometime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.