Barley Black Bean Salad

Protein-packed black beans pair with chewy, nutty barley to create a satisfying and delicious salad or meatless main dish.

Black Bean and Barley Salad

The best part of the indulgent holiday season is that after a few days of eating heavy, traditional foods we all crave clean, nourishing, whole foods. To save precious time, I have a trick up my sleeve: once a week, I make a large batch of whole grains in my rice cooker and store it in the refrigerator to use throughout the week.

The rice cooker is your secret weapon when it comes to cooking whole grains, especially those with longer cooking times such as the Bob’s Red Mill whole hull-less barley used in this recipe. Quinoa, farro, brown rice, steel cut oats…. you name it, I am cooking it.

Black Bean Barley Chip

No rice cooker? No problem! Whip up a double batch when you have a little extra time and keep it in the fridge to stir into soups, sprinkle on salads or eat with a dollop of plain yogurt as side dish.


My Black Bean and Barley Salad is perfect on it’s own but even better scooped up with one of my Smoky Baked Corn Tortilla Chips.

Your chip is waiting.

Black Bean and Barley Salad - The Lemon Bowl

Barley Black Bean Salad

4.29 stars average
Protein-packed black beans pair with chewy, nutty barley to create a satisfying and delicious salad or meatless main dish.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 40 minutes
TOTAL: 50 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 cup cooked barley (prepared such as Bob’s Red Mill Whole Hull-Less)
  • 15 oz can Bush’s black beans (rinsed)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 2 celery stalks (diced)
  • 2 scallions (minced)
  • 4 radishes (thinly sliced)
  • ¼ cup cilantro (minced)
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)
  • 1 juice of lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • smoky baked corn tortilla chips to serve (optional)


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss well.
  • Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  • Serve with broken baked corn tortilla chips on top.


Calories: 344kcal

28 thoughts on “Barley Black Bean Salad”

  1. I have been making this recipe for about a year now, with Spicy Chili Doritos! I love it so much. I tend to forget to circle back and comment on blogs, so here I am as I prepare to make a double batch for lunches this week. Thank you!

  2. I just made this salad last week. Now it is one of my favorites. I love the mix and taste of all ingredients and was so easy to make. I have passed this on to friends and family.

  3. Hi!

    I made this and it is delicious! I’m a little confused about your nutrition facts. First of all, it didn’t make 6 cups. And I don’t know how a fourth of this could be 333 calories – the calories only come from the barley and the olive oil. I entered it into Myfitnesspal’s recipe builder just to see what I was missing, and four servings was less than 200 calories. I thought I’d let you know!

    It really is very yummy! :)

    1. Hi Jennifer – I’m so glad you liked the salad!! First, I must apologize for missing the tomatoes in the ingredients list. It is listed now – thank you for pointing that out!! Second, now that you add the tomatoes it should yield 6 cups between the cooked barley, black beans, tomatoes and other vegetables. Third, the calories have actually increased a bit now due to the tomatoes. That being said, I must correct your statement that “the calories only come from olive oil and barley.” In this dish, the black beans alone provide 350 calories (healthy calories!) I’m hoping you remembered to enter that when you did the calculation. :) Let me know if this helps clarify and thank you again for pointing out the tomatoes!! We can’t forget those beauties. :)

      1. Thanks for replying! I did remember the black beans.. I am so confused! Are you measuring the barley before it’s cooked? I don’t know.. I guess it doesn’t matter what the calories are as long as it is healthy and delicious! :)

        1. Measuring the barley after it’s cooked (because you would only be eating it after it’s cooked – you know?) So one cup uncooked barley usually amounts to 3-4 cups cooked. :) I am with you on healthy and delicious being more important than specific calories!! Sorry it’s confusing. :)

          1. I think I see what happened! I only used a cup of cooked barley instead of all the barley that my cup of dried made. Oh well – c’est la vie. Sorry for all my badgering. I really enjoy all your recipes!!!

  4. This sounds so amazing, my kind of ‘salad’ :) I wish I had some for dinner right now. (STARVING).

    Thanks so much for linking up and entering the giveaway!! Good luck friend!! :)

  5. I found your recipe on Pinterest and I tried it, along with the chips, for dinner tonight. This is so yummy and I can’t wait to make it again. I made extra barley so I can make the apple and walnut breakfast barley in the morning! Thank you for sharing, I’m sure I’ll be a frequent flyer around here.

  6. I love salads and am always on the lookout for new and exciting ones to try. This looks healthy and delicious. Can’t wait to try it out! Pinning for later.

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