Expanding Your Grains: Chili con Barley


Guest Post By: Alexis Martinez, Aramark Dietetic Intern

Most people know that grains are one of our 5 food groups. Despite this, most people can only think of a few grains off the top of their head. That’s because we typically eat the same few grains over and over. The most common grains in the American diet are wheat, corn and rice. Although these are good sources of grains, there are many others to choose from! Quinoa, buckwheat, farro and barley are just a few of many whole grains that are readily available at many grocery stores for you to add into your diet! Whole grains are especially important as consuming them reduces the risk of heart disease, reduces constipation, helps with weight management, and provides many nutrients essential to the body.

For men, 6-8 ounces of grains is recommended each day and for women 5-6 oz is recommended. Half of all the grains you eat each day should be whole grains. Check out this delicious chili recipe below. It has many of the same ingredients as your favorite home cooked recipe but with the addition of barley for a hearty, nutty taste!


Chili con Barley


1 cup quick-cooking barley

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 can black beans

1 can chickpeas

1 can tomato sauce

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Shredded cheese for serving


In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, and celery and sauté them for about 5 minutes. Add the spices and the barley and cook them for about 2 more minutes. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and lemon juice and simmer the chili for about 30-40 more minutes, stirring often, until the barley is tender.

Serve in bowls and top with your favorite shredded cheese!

Nutritional Information

Per serving: Calories 280, Fat 5g, Carbohydrates 52g, Protein 9g

Yields 8 servings

Cook time: 30-40mins



Alexis Martinez is a dietetic intern for Aramark. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Alexis enjoys spending her time reading, cooking, watching Netflix and is currently busy planning her upcoming summer wedding.

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