Apricot Barley Salad

5 from 4 votes

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Looking for a hearty and healthy alternative for dinner tonight? How about this Barley Salad with Apricot and Pine Nuts?  Served as is, with shredded chicken, or like we had the other evening, grilled shrimp, this is a satisfying and tasty salad. Who doesn’t like a salad thats a meal?

Barley Salad with Apricot and Pine Nuts. www.keviniscooking.com

In my continuous pursuit of eating better I am trying out more and more grains, beans and lentils to keep things, and you, interested. I believe this is one salad that will get pushed into the meal rotation it’s that good.

You could even make the barley the night before and this mid-week dinner comes together in no time at all. Steamed barley takes about 30 minutes for a chewy, delicious grain. It is quick to absorb flavorings like a dressing and makes for a great cold salad.

After the barley gets steamed I drop in the fresh sliced shallots and chopped apricots, cover with the lid again to soften and permeate the barley. The savory shallots and sweet pop of flavor from the dried, chopped apricots are a great combination. After the salad gets cooled it gets mixed with the fresh, chopped basil.

Barley Salad with Apricot and Pine Nuts. www.keviniscooking.com

Big, bold, bright flavors are the result and the textures of the chewy barley, fresh basil and toasted pine nuts make this another winner.

The tart and peppery apple cider salad dressing make this barley salad, and it all comes together when mixed with fresh baby spinach leaves. Easy enough, right?

Barley Salad with Apricot and Pine Nuts. www.keviniscooking.com

For those who want a protein, I like to add shredded chicken or like we did the other evening mixed in some quickly pan seared shrimp or from the grill. This salad is a great base for whatever you’d like to add.

See, healthy, good for you food doesn’t have to be boring, and truth be told, this barley salad was even better leftover the next day for lunch. Enjoy!

Barley Salad with Apricot and Pine Nuts. www.keviniscooking.com
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Barley Salad with Apricot and Pine Nuts. www.keviniscooking.com

Apricot Barley Salad

5 from 4 votes
This healthy and hearty cold barley salad has a lot of flavor from the shallots, apricots, basil and dressing all served over a bed of fresh baby spinach.
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes



  • Bring the barley, water and 1/2 tsp kosher salt to a boil. Reduce to simmer, covered, and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the sliced shallots and chopped apricots. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
  • Drain any excess liquid, but it should all be absorbed. Chill in a bowl in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • In a small sauté pan lightly toast pine nuts until golden and set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil, other 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper. Pour dressing over barley, add basil and spinach and stir to mix.
  • Serve chilled with toasted pine nuts on top.


Slightly adapted from The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook by Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN.


Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.6g | Protein: 5.4g | Fat: 8.9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.4g | Sodium: 341.5mg | Fiber: 7.3g | Sugar: 9.1g

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
Barley Salad with Apricot and Pine Nuts. www.keviniscooking.com


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. You’ve just reminded me of the bag of barley I have in the fridge. Next to the box of freekeh, container of millet and two bags of rice. I think we may share the same love of grains, Kevin! Barley would have to be one of my favourites, so I may have to try this salad of yours.

    1. Have you tried farro yet? Love that one as well. Barley is my pick as well as are wheat berries. They are great in cold salads as well. 🙂

  2. This is right up my alley! I love the touch of sweetness from apricot paired with the savory flavors here. I would be happy whipping up a batch of this to enjoy for lunches all week long!

    1. Yes! The tangy apricot really works well in this one and combined with the basil it’s just delicious and healthy. Win, win. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Why do I always forget about barley? I love it in soups and salads and this one looks amazing. Love the apricots and pine nuts too. Even thought pine nuts are expensive, there’s really nothing like them and a little goes a long way.

    1. I’ve been on a bit of a grain binge since I was down in the South with all that amazing fried goodness. Salads and grains, especially barley are so good for you and are fantastic in cold salads, glad I could remind you. I agree on the pine nuts, thank goodness Costco carries and I hoard them in the freezer for just the right recipe! 🙂