Corporate wellness insights

Coach’s Corner: Healthy Risotto with Mushrooms & Barley

Posted by Team WCS on 09.13.2018

Last week we shared information about types of whole grains that you might not see very often. Many of those grains could be used as a substitute for refined grains in common recipes. This healthy risotto recipe uses barley rather than white rice, but still provides the same creamy texture as traditional risotto. This recipe is vegetarian, high fiber, and low in calories. It’s the perfect healthy side dish for meals, and we hope you’ll give it a try this fall!

The recipe serves 6. 


  • 6 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups mixed wild mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ cups pearl barley, rinsed
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 6 cups baby arugula
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Bring broth and water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Adjust heat to maintain a steady simmer.
  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they begin to release their juices, 2 to 3 minutes. Add barley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute more. Reduce heat to medium.
  3. Add ½ cup hot broth to the barley and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding ½ cup hot broth at a time and stirring until the liquid has been absorbed after each addition, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, until the barley is tender and creamy but still somewhat firm, 35 to 45 minutes. (You might not use all the broth.)
  4. Stir in arugula and cook, stirring, until it is wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in cheese, butter and vinegar. Season with pepper.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Eating Well

Wellness Corporate Solutions (WCS) is a leading provider of biometric screenings, health coaching, and comprehensive wellness programming. Our mission is to spread wellness in the workplace.