Slow Cooker Bean and Barley Stew

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 8 hr 10 min
  • Active: 10 min
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings
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8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 pound dried bean mix (navy, kidney, pinto mix), rinsed 

2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

3 stalks celery, diced 

2 carrots, diced 

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1 medium yellow onion, chopped 

1 bay leaf 

A few sprigs fresh thyme 

8 ounces dried barley 

8 ounces baby spinach 

Toasted crusty bread or baguette, for serving


  1. Combine the broth, bean mix, salt, pepper, celery, carrots, garlic, onions, bay leaf, thyme and 2 cups water in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours. Add the barley and, if the broth looks low, another cup of water. Cover and cook on low an additional 1 hour (8 hours total).
  2. Just before serving, stir in the spinach to wilt. Serve in a big bowl with toasted crusty bread or baguette.