Asparagus and Edamame Barley Risotto

If you are looking for a hearty vegan main dish, barley risotto is a good option!  The recipe I am sharing with you today is actually healthier than traditional risotto, and is really easy to make.  I use hulled barley, a whole grain instead of the usual rice, and instead of cream and cheese I use coconut milk and nutritional yeast which may sound odd but trust me, they taste cheesy in this dish.  I include asparagus, since it is in season now and edamame for protein so this is a full meal.  This is serious comfort food, and something you will want to make again!

Author: Amy Lyons O’Neil

Amy has worked for Fresh and Natural Foods since 2006 contributing to the variety of healthful foods we offer. She graduated with a degree in studio art from Bethel University in 2007, but in her senior year of college, found that her passion was with the art of food. She later used her photography and culinary skills to create a vegan food and recipe blog, Fragrant Vanilla Cake. She has also written 3 cookbooks. She specializes in vegan and vegetarian recipes. Local, fresh and organic food has always been her focus in whatever she creates.



  1. Add the oil, leeks and garlic  to a medium sized pan with a lid over medium heat and sautee until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the thyme, barley, veggie stock, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer over low heat and put the lid on.  Cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes until most of the liquid has absorbed.
  3. Add the asparagus, edamame, coconut milk, and nutritional yeast, and cook until the veggies are tender a few minutes more.
  4. Serve!

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Recipe Type

  • Dairy-Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

Course Type

  • Entree
  • Side Dish

Skill Level

  • Beginner
  • Easy