Barley with Eggs and Spinach is a quick, healthy dinner made with garlicky barley, baby spinach and soft, creamy eggs.
We all need recipes like this one, that come together quickly on the fly. Barley with eggs and spinach can be a main course or a side dish, a dish you can serve your whole family, or maybe something just for the adults when the kids are eating grilled cheese.
I love this quick dinner because it has interesting flavors and healthy ingredients that are satisfying and filling. You can also change it around, depending on what you like and what you have on hand.
Ingredients & Instructions
This recipe has just 7 ingredients
- Cooked barley
- Olive oil
- Coriander (or cumin, or curry powder, or your favorite spice)
- Tomato paste
- Baby spinach
Barley with eggs and spinach comes together in just under 10 minutes! It's something you can make with a toddler wrapped around you leg or a baby on your hip (as long as you can crack eggs with one hand).
Variations and Add-ins
This is also the type of meal that inspires many similar meals. You can add more flavor or change up this recipe in many different ways.
- Cheese - Oh, yes! I love this dish with melted cheddar on top. Put thin slices on top (or sprinkle your favorite grated cheese ) and melt for a few minutes under the broiler. Also delicious with crumbles of feta or cotija.
- More veggies - Frozen corn, leftover roasted vegetables, sauteed zucchini and onions, cooked sweet potatoes....all delicious!
- Add meat - Leftover cooked chicken or pork, ground meat, sausage
- Tofu - cook separately then add it to the pan (like easy weeknight tofu)
- Beans - any kind, homemade or from a can
- Sliced jalapeno - or other hot pepper
- Fresh herbs
- Your favorite condiment - harissa, kimchi, gojuchang, pesto
How to Cook Barley
The one catch with this recipe is that you'll needs a few cups of cooked barley (or farro) that are ready to go.
This guide for How to Cook Barley in your Instant Pot will make the task painless.
I've gotten into the semi-regular habit of keeping a cooked whole grain in the fridge each week. It makes it much easier to pack a quick lunch or throw a simple dinner together. I suppose you could call this meal prepping, but it feels less premeditated than that. Putting a batch of barley on to cook is a task like throwing in a load of laundry or washing dishes. You don't set aside time to do it; you just do it.
Also, I LOVE quick -cooking barley and farro. Such a convenient short-cut! It cooks in just 10 minutes in boiling water. Look for quick-cooking barley or farro at your grocery store (I find it at Trader Joe's).
More Barley & Farro Recipes
More Fast, Healthy RecipesPrint
Barley with Eggs and Spinach
Barley with Eggs and Spinach is a quick, healthy dinner made with garlicky barley, baby spinach and soft, creamy eggs. I also love adding cheese!
(You'll need cooked barley for this recipe)
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 side dish servings 1x
- Category: 30 Minute Meals
- Method: Saute
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to cooks the eggs
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I use a garlic press)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander (or cumin, curry powder or your favorite spice)
- ¼ cup water
- 2 to 3 cups cooked barley
- 1 to 2 large handfuls baby spinach
- 2 to 4 eggs (depending on how much you like eggs)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Saute olive oil, garlic, tomato paste and coriander (or another spice), in a wide skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring almost constantly. You want the garlic and tomato paste to be lightly cooked without browning or sticking to the pan.
- Add water and stir to blend until smooth. Simmer for 30 seconds or so.
- Add cooked barley. Mix well with the tomato paste. Saute the barley for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. The color will darken and the tomato paste will thicken and stick to the barley. Add salt to taste.
- Add spinach. Turn heat to medium low. Cook until the spinach is wilted to your liking.
- Push the barley to one side of the skillet. Drizzle more olive oil (a tablespoon or two) on the empty side of the skillet.
- Add eggs to the empty olive oil side of the skillet. Cook the eggs until done to your liking. I break the yolks, but I don’t really scramble the eggs. I cook the eggs only briefly, so the yolks are still runny. You can do this too, or completely scramble and cook the eggs. Or, you could also make fried eggs.
- Combine the eggs with the barley and spinach. Read the blog post above for a list of additional toppings (liked melted cheese or fresh herbs)
This sort of combination - grain, greens and eggs - can be made with any type of cooked grain. Try farro or quinoa.
I keep a tube of tomato paste in the refrigerator, for recipes that only require a tablespoon or two.
Keywords: barley, farro, whole grains, grain bowl
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