Butternut Squash Barley Risotto

Whole grains are healthy when you buy organic and non-GMO like the ones sold in the bulk section at Fresh and Natural Foods. If you are looking for a hearty Fall and Winter comfort food dish that is healthy, delicious and provides a serving of whole grains as well, try this barley risotto recipe!  Traditional risotto is made with rice, but barley is a nice change.  In this recipe I am pairing it with squash and arugula, and it gets super creamy and delicious without having to add any dairy thanks to the coconut milk I add and the nature of the barley itself.  Give this a try next time you are in the mood for comfort food!

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. In a medium saucepan, combine the shallots and oil.  Sautee for a few minutes until softened.
  2. Add the garlic, thyme and barley, and sautee a minute more.
  3. Add the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes over low heat, stirring often.
  4. Add the squash, and continue to cook until the squash has softened and the barley is cooked through.
  5. Add the miso and yeast and stir until incorporated.
  6. Remove from heat and add the arugula and stir in until wilted.
  7. Spoon into bowls and serve!

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Recipe Type

  • Dairy-Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

Course Type

  • Entree
  • Side Dish

Skill Level

  • Beginner
  • Easy