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vegan risotto

Dinner Recipe

Pearl Barley Vegetable Risotto

vegan vegetable risotto with bulgar wheat

Pearl Barley Roasted Vegetable Risotto

Using pearl barley as the base for a risotto instead of arborio makes a delicious alternative. This vegan friendly risotto is naturally gluten free with lots of flavour and brilliant eaten cold the next day. If there’s just two of you there’ll be loads for leftovers in the week. 

What’s in the recipe?

Pearl Barley- This is a grain that can be either cooked from raw or soaked overnight. If you know you’re cooking this in the evening, soak in the day, drain then add to the pot just as instructed. It will take less time to cook if it’s been soaked.

Vegetables- I’ve used courgette, tomatoes and peppers, sliced into small pieces as it works with the grains if they’re slightly smaller. If you roast the vegetables on a tray with the herbs and olive oil, it gives a delicious flavour instead of adding to the pot. If you’re unable to roast them, simply add the vegetables to the pot after frying the onion and garlic, sizzle for a few minutes then add the grains and white wine.

White Wine- I get asked if you can replace the wine, however having made risotto without it, can confirm it doesn’t create the same flavour. It’s really difficult to find a good substitute so find a nice white wine (vegan friendly if you’re vg) and enjoy. You don’t have to spend much on a bottle

Cooking Tips

Pear Barley- When cooking this grain, you can soak them for a few hours beforehand if you want to, however it isn’t essential to this recipe. If you do soak them, it will reduce the cooking time from about 40 minutes to 25 minutes.

White wine- I think the wine is a really essential ingredient for a good risotto, pour it into the pot before adding the stock, so it absorbs into the pearl barley. That way it’ll cook off the alcohol but retain the flavour.

Roasting the veg- I think adding the vegetables to the oven gives a delicious caramelised flavour. If you chop them up into fairly small pieces it also really helps it work with the grains without being too bit to take a big bite.

Slow and low- With a risotto the trick is to not rush but instead simmer and stir slowly. This will allow all the delicious flavours to marry each other and turn into a pot of comfort food.

Add my pepper and garlic oil to each bowl. Find the recipe just HERE. It’s a paste recipe, almost like harissa, so add a drizzle of the oil made from the paste to each bowl, it’s delicious!

pearl barley risotto vegan

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vegan vegetable risotto with bulgar wheat

Pearl Barley Vegetable Risotto

Using pearl barley instead of arborio to make this delicious vegetable risotto. It's vegan friendly and naturally gluten free with lots of flavour and brilliant eaten cold the next day. If there's just two of you there'll be loads for leftovers in the week.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 44 mins
Servings 4 people


  • For the roasting tray:
  • vine of tomatoes about 250g
  • 1 courgette diced
  • 1 pepper diced
  • Generous pinch of salt pepper, smoked paprika and thyme
  • For the pot:
  • 1 Knob of vegan butter 2 tbsp
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 large shallot or red onion
  • 250 g Pearl barley
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 1.2 l Boiling water + stock cub
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Generous serving of cracked black pepper to own preference
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley or dried


  • Pop the oven on to 200°C and add all of the veg to a roasting tray, add the seasoning with a drizzle of olive oil and toss, then pop in the oven and leave for 30 mins
  • Place the large pot on a medium heat, add the vegan butter and the diced shallot and fry for 4 minutes before adding the finely chopped garlic cloves
  • After a few minutes add the Pearl barley and toast before pouring in the white wine and allow to simmer and soak
  • Once soaked up, add the dried thyme and vegetable stock a cup full at a time until each batch has been absorbed
  • Once you’ve added all of the stock, add the salt and pepper, pop a lid on top and leave to simmer on a medium heat for a further 15 minutes or so
  • After around 30 minutes once the veg has cooked, the risotto should be about fully absorbed, add the roasted veg to the pot, mashing in the delicious tomato juices
  • Once the Pearl barley has softened and cooked, serve up with fresh chopped parsley (or dried) another pinch of salt and pepper and enjoy!


•Flora vegan butter is great
•A good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to top each dish is also great!
•If you want an extra kick add my garlic and pepper paste oil to each dish also!

If you like this recipe why not try my Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto

asparagus and shiitake vegan risotto


pearl barley risotto lucy and lentils

Dinner Lunch & Light Bites Recipe

Tomato and Garlic Vegan Risotto

vegan tomato and garlic risotto

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Risotto

This risotto recipe is vegan friendly and gluten free, filled with garlic and roasted tomatoes. If you are looking for a recipe to make in the week or to batch cook, give this risotto a try. It’s so easy to make with just a few key ingredients.

What’s in this risotto?

Arborio rice- Perfect for risotto, this rice works best if you add a little stock at a time until it absorbs it and repeat until all stock has absorbed

White wine- You don’t have to have anything fancy for this recipe, just choose a cheap – mid range price and it will work beautifully to add flavour and creamyness.

Garlic- I’ve added 5 cloves into this recipe to give it tonnes of flavour. You can add a little less if you prefer.

Tomatoes- Using cherry and vine tomatoes for this recipe gives a delicious sweetness to work with the acidity. You can use which ever tomatoes you have at hand.

Why arborio rice?

This is traditionally used in risottos, but you can swap this for soaked bulgur wheat if you would rather that grain. As mentioned before, to get a delicious and creamy risotto, toast the rice in the pan with the butter, garlic and onion before adding the stock. When adding the risotto stock, add a little at a time as you want it to absorb it slowly.

Optional Ingredients

If you want to make this extra indulgent, add 70g of vegan cheese (I’d recommend either a cheddar style or even a smoked vegan cheese) to make this beautifully rich. For a cheesy like topping I added 1 tbsp nutritional yeast.

vegan tomato and garlic risotto

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vegan tomato and garlic risotto

Tomato & Garlic Risotto

Easy Vegan and Gluten Free Risotto. This is perfect for batch cooking, easy to make and so creamy and delicious. You wouldn't know it's vegan friendly so perfect to make for friends and family. Just a few key ingredients and simple steps to make it.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings 2 People


  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 banana shallots
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 350 g tomatoes
  • 150 g risotto rice
  • 400 ml veg stock
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Top with

  • salt & pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil


  • Start by placing the tomatoes in a baking dish with a drizzle of olive oil and roast at 180ºC for 25 minutes
  • Finely chop the shallots and celery, add to a deep pot with the vegan butter and fry for around 5 minutes
  • Finely chop or mince the garlic cloves and add to the pot, fry for around 2 minutes before adding the risotto rice to the pot
  • Pour in the white wine and toss the rice until its covered and allow to absorb
  • After a minute slowly add the vegetable stock by just adding 1/2 cup at a time until it has absorbed, then pour in the next 1/2 cup until you've added all the stock
  • Generously season with salt and pepper and taste, adding a little more seasoning if needed
  • By this point the tomatoes should be baked, take out of the oven, de-stalk and add to the pot and gently mush with the back of a fork so they release their delicious tomato juice into the risotto
  • Optional toppings: watercress, chopped parsley and nutritional yeast


If your risotto is looking a little dry, add a little more boiling water at a time until to get that beautiful creamy texture.
You can add other veg such as asparagus or chargrilled peppers would also work
Season before serving and feel free to add fresh herbs such as parsley or top with watercress
Optional topping: 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

If you like this recipe why not try my easy roasted tomato gnocchi bake

gnocchi with slow roasted tomatoes & chilli