Jambalaya with Barley

meatI’ve been more and more interested in experimenting with other whole grains besides rice so here we go! You’re already familiar with some of the common ones; wheat, corn, oats, rye, and rice. But, did you know that those grains aren’t necessarily ‘whole’ unless it hasn’t been overly processed? Some dietitians will recommend you consume all grains or at least half of your grains in whole fashion. Barley, quinoa, millet, farro, and couscous are some more commonly uncommon whole grains out there. [I even had wheat berries the other day. Nope. They’re not berries.]

How do you know if it’s a whole grain? Well, not just by looking at the packaging. You’ll want to read your ingredient list first. If the items says it’s whole grain, then the first ingredient will be ‘Whole [Whatever]’. Very sneaky what we see here.

Anyway, that was your lesson for today. It’s like Mrs. Kim making you take a religious pamphlet if you’re going to have one of her tofu-egg salad sandwiches. #GilmoreGirls.

Recipe adapted & modified from http://www.lifesatomato.com

For the spice mix:

  • 2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 3 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 4 tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried chives
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme

For the jambalaya:

  • 2 cups instant barley*
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2/3-all of spice mix above
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1-1 1/2 lbs meat (cubed, cut, or whatever you feel necessary) *I used chicken and Andouille sausage
  • Olive oil

*Cooking barley from scratch can take close to an hour. I was lucky to find this par-cooked barley at Costco and it was done in 10 minutes. This particular brand said to cook 1 cup of barley with 1 1/4 cup water for 10 minutes while simmering.


  1. In a large pot, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the chicken on each side, approximately 7-10 minutes, until lightly browned on both sides. I didn’t need to cook the sausage; just let it thaw. Set chicken aside.
  2. In the same pot, begin sautéing the bell pepper. After 3-5 minutes or so, add the water and barley according to package directions. Add your seasonings and stir to combine. Cook until the barley is done.
  3. While the barley is cooking, cube or slice the chicken and sausage however you’d like it. After the barley is cooked, add meat to the pot. By this time, you shouldn’t have much liquid in the pot. Go ahead and add the tomato sauce.
  4. At this point, you can turn up the heat a little to warm the dish back up but essentially, you’re done!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s