I was so disappointed when I found out that barley wasn’t a gluten-free grain. With this realization, I had to find substitutes for barley. And by now you would’ve understood that great replacements for barley aren’t that easy to pinpoint.
Luckily, I’ve done all the work for you and have found the best substitutes for barley. These substitutes will work in any recipe, whether it’s a soup, stew, or even beer!
I’ve been using them myself and can’t be any happier with how they’ve turned out in the recipes I needed to replace barley in to make them still taste great.
If you’re interested in the most suitable alternatives, then you’ll find one in this list.
Substitutes For Barley
- Mung Bean Flour
- Brown Rice
Spelt can be used as a substitute for barley. It is a type of wheat that is high in protein and fiber. It also has a nutty flavor that can add depth to your recipe.
When substituting spelt for barley, it is important to use less spelt than barley.
This is because spelt has a higher density than barley and will result in a denser product.
Spelt is also more absorbent than barley, so you may need to add more water when using it.
There are many reasons why you might want to substitute rice for barley in a recipe.
Perhaps you’re looking for a gluten-free option, or you simply don’t have any barley on hand.
Whatever the reason, rice is a perfectly acceptable substitute for barley. Moreover, the benefits of using rice as a substitute for barley include the following:
- Rice is more widely available than barley, making it easier to find and purchase.
- Rice is gluten-free, whereas barley contains gluten. This makes rice a suitable choice for people with celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities.
- Rice is less expensive than barley, so substituting it can save you money.
Rice can be used as a substitute for barley in any recipe that calls for the latter. This includes soups, stews, casseroles, and even beer!
When substituting rice for barley, remember that the ratio of water to rice may need to be adjusted.
Because rice tends to absorb more water than barley, you may need to add additional water or broth to your recipe.
Mung Bean Flour
Mung bean flour is a great substitute for barley in many recipes. It has a similar texture and flavor, making it a perfect replacement for dishes like soups, stews, and casseroles.
Additionally, mung bean flour is high in fiber and protein, making it a healthy and nutritious option.
When substituting mung bean flour for barley, you may need to add a little extra water to the recipe to account for the different absorbency of the two flours.
One recent discovery that I have been excited about is using chickpeas as a substitute for barley.
Chickpeas are a type of legume that is high in protein and fiber, making them a healthy option for those looking to build muscle or lose weight.
They also have a milder flavor than barley, which makes them a good choice for dishes that are not heavy on spices.
In addition, chickpeas cook more quickly than barley, making them a convenient option for busy weeknight meals.
I have found that they work well in soups, stews, and even salads.
One of the most common substitutes for barley is buttermilk.
Buttermilk is a suitable substitute for barley because it is high in protein and has a similar nutritional value.
It is also less expensive than barley and is readily available in most supermarkets. Comparison shopping shows that buttermilk typically costs less than either yogurt or sour cream making it a more economical choice as well.
Buttermilk can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, and baking recipes. It imparts a rich, creamy flavor to recipes and can be used in place of milk or cream.
When substituting buttermilk for barley, it is important to remember that it will thicken the recipe so it may be necessary to add additional liquid to the recipe.
Buttermilk is also a good substitute for yogurt or sour cream. It can be used in dips, spreads, and salad dressings.
When substituting buttermilk for these ingredients, it is important to remember that it will thin out the recipe so it may be necessary to add additional thickening agents such as flour or cornstarch.
Another advantage of using buttermilk as a substitute is that it has a longer shelf life than either yogurt or sour cream making it a good choice to keep on hand for when you need it.
Oats can be a great substitute for barley in many recipes. While they have a similar texture, oats are slightly sweeter and more versatile than barley.
Additionally, oats are a good source of fiber and protein, making them a healthy option for those looking to add more whole grains to their diet.
When substituting oats for barley, it is important to keep in mind that they will absorb more liquid than barley.
As a result, you may need to add additional liquid (such as water or milk) to your recipe.
Additionally, the oats will change the flavor and texture of the dish slightly. However, with a little experimentation, you can find a way to use oats that best suits your taste.
Millet is a small, gluten-free grain that has a mildly sweet flavor and a slightly chewy texture.
It can be used as a substitute for barley in many recipes, and it has several health benefits.
Millet is high in fiber and magnesium, and it contains all eight essential amino acids. It is also a good source of iron, phosphorus, and manganese.
Moreover, millet is easy to cook and can be used in a variety of recipes. It will cook more quickly than barley, so it is important to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
When substituting millet for barley, it is important to keep in mind that millet will absorb more liquid than barley. As a result, you may need to add more water or stock when cooking millet.
Brown rice makes a great substitute for barley in most recipes. Brown rice has a similar texture and flavor to barley, and it cooks in about the same amount of time.
Plus, brown rice is much more widely available than barley, and it’s usually less expensive as well.
When substituting brown rice for barley, you may need to add a little extra liquid to your recipe since brown rice tends to absorb more moisture than barley.
Sorghum is a great substitute for barley in many recipes. It has a similar flavor and can be used in most cases where you would use barley.
Sorghum is also a good source of fiber and nutrients, making it a healthy choice for many people.
However, there are some things to keep in mind when using sorghum as a substitute for barley.
First, it may take longer to cook than barley. Second, it may absorb more liquid than barley, so you may need to adjust the amounts of liquid in your recipe accordingly.
Finally, sorghum may not be as dense as barley, so it may not provide the same level of texture or flavor in your dish.
Farro can be used as a substitute for barley in most cases. It has a nutty flavor that goes well with meat or vegetables, and it is especially good in soups and stews.
Farro is a good source of fiber and protein, and it is also high in vitamins and minerals.
What’s more, farro is easy to cook and can be found in most health food stores.
Barley can also be replaced with tofu, which offers several benefits.
First, tofu is much lower in calories than barley, making it a healthier option.
Second, tofu is a good source of protein, making it a suitable replacement for barley in vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Finally, tofu absorbs flavors well, so it can be used in many different types of recipes.
When substituting tofu for barley, it is important to keep in mind that the texture will be different.
Tofu is softer than barley, so it may need to be cooked longer to achieve the desired consistency.
Additionally, the flavor of the dish may be slightly altered due to the different tastes of tofu and barley.
When I found out about teff, I was intrigued. Teff is a type of grain that is native to Ethiopia and has a nutty flavor. It is also very nutritious, containing high levels of iron, calcium, and fiber.
I have found that it makes a great substitute for barley in dishes like stews and soups. Moreover, the benefits of using teff are numerous.
First, it is gluten-free, so it is suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Second, it is rich in nutrients and has a low glycemic index, making it a healthy option for people with diabetes.
Third, it is very versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes. I have found that it works well in both sweet and savory dishes.
Finally, teff is relatively easy to find in most grocery stores.
Buckwheat is a hearty grain that is a perfect stand-in for barley, with a few notable benefits.
First, buckwheat is more easily digestible than barley, making it a good choice for people with sensitive stomachs.
Second, it has a higher protein content than barley, so it’s a great option for vegetarians and vegans looking to boost their protein intake.
Finally, buckwheat has a subtle earthy flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients in a stew or soup.
Quinoa is a great substitute for barley and is higher in protein and fiber, making it a healthier choice.
It has a nutty flavor that pairs well with beef, chicken, and vegetables. Quinoa is also a good source of iron and magnesium.
When cooking quinoa, be sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any bitterness.
You can cook quinoa in water or broth on the stovetop or in the oven. Other than that, Quinoa can also be added to soups and stews as a thickener.
There are many cases where amaranth can be used as a substitute for barley.
Amaranth is a gluten-free grain that is high in fiber and protein. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy option for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Additionally, amaranth has a nutty flavor that pairs well with foods such as roasted vegetables and grilled meats.
It can be used in place of barley in any recipe, including soups, stews, casseroles, and grain salads.
The only difference that amaranth will make in the recipe is the texture; amaranth is a softer grain than barley.
Commonly Asked Questions When Choosing Substitutes For Barley
Now that we’ve gone over some of the best substitutes for barley, let’s answer some commonly asked questions.
What is the best substitute for barley in soup?
There are a few different options when it comes to substituting barley in soup. You can use quinoa, amaranth, or buckwheat. Each of these grains will add a similar nutty flavor to the soup.
What is the best substitute for barley in a stew?
The best substitute for barley in a stew is teff. Teff is a hearty grain that will absorb the flavors of the other ingredients in the stew. It is also a good source of iron and fiber.
What is the best substitute for barley in a casserole?
Amaranth is a good substitute for barley in a casserole. Amaranth is a gluten-free grain that is high in fiber and protein. It will also add a nutty flavor to the dish.
How to choose the best substitute for barley?
The best substitute for barley depends on what you are looking for. If you need a gluten-free option, quinoa or amaranth would be a good choice.
If you are looking for grain with a similar flavor, buckwheat would be a good option. If you need a grain that will absorb the flavors of the other ingredients, teff would be a good choice.
Finally, if you are looking for a grain that is easy to find in most grocery stores, quinoa or teff would be a good choice.
Why is barley good?
There are a few reasons why you might want to use barley. First, it is a healthy grain that is high in fiber and protein.
Second, it is a good source of vitamins and minerals. Third, it has a nutty flavor that pairs well with other ingredients.
Finally, it is a versatile grain that can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, and grain salads.
So there you have it, a list of the best substitutes for barley. Be sure to experiment with different grains to find the one that you like the best.
And don’t forget, you can always substitute barley in any recipe.