Got some cooked barley, brown rice, or other whole grain in the freezer or fridge? Then this simple—and simply delicious—Savory Mushroom Barley side dish can be on the table in 20 minutes.

This recipe was developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at

Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 sprig thyme or rosemary
  • ½ lb. mushrooms (any kind), chopped
  • 1 Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cups cooked barley, wheat berries, or brown or wild rice


  1. In a large pan over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Sauté the garlic, carrot, tomato paste, and thyme until the tomato paste starts to darken, 2–3 minutes.

  2. Add the mushrooms and soy sauce. Cook until the mushrooms start to brown, 3–5 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme stem. Stir in the barley and heat through, about 1 minute.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (¾ cup):

  • Calories: 180
  • Total fat: 7 g
  • Sat fat: 1 g
  • Carbs: 27 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Total sugar: 2 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 160 mg