Burger and Barley Stew

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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2 tablespoons oil or other fat

2 pounds ground meat of your choice, such as beef, pork, turkey, chicken, lamb etc. (you can also use cubed stew meat; it will just take longer to cook)

1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)

1 pound sliced mushrooms

2 carrots, cut into discs

1 cup barley (rice, farro or other grains are also fine)

2 tablespoons dried herbs (basil, thyme and oregano will all work)

2 quarts (8 cups) stock or water

Salt and pepper


  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and add the oil. When hot, add the meat and cook, without stirring, until the meat is starting to brown on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Break it up with a wooden spoon, then add the onions and mushrooms and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the carrots, barley and dried herbs. Add the stock or water and bring to simmer. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Continue to simmer until the barley is tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. The cooking time will vary depending on the type of barley--pearled or hulled--or variety of grain you use. (If you are using cubed stew meat, you'll need to cook until the meat is tender, which may take 1 1/2 to 2 hours.)

Cook’s Note

For more ingredient substitution ideas, see the article below.