Butternut and Barley Salad


butternut barley salad

Giveaway and a salad recipe! Pacific Merchants sent me this beautiful wooden salad bowl and tongs set; see their handcrafted acacia wood pieces here.

I made a butternut and barley salad to go in mine, which would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving table but also fits the bill perfectly for the make-abead, complete-meal kinds of salads that I love to keep in the fridge for quick lunches, sides and snacks. It’s hearty and healthy and even vegan if made with vegetable stock.

The curry powder adds depth and a gentle heat, but if you’re not a fan of curry powder, it would be good with some ground cumin or coriander instead. I was lazy and used some storebought roasted pepitas, but if you like, you can follow this recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds using the butternut squash seeds that you just scraped out of the squash.  Waste not, want not, after all.



Butternut and Barley Salad Recipe – Printable


Butternut and Barley Salad

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4.7 from 17 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8-10 1x


  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 small butternut squash (1.52 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups baby kale or spinach
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (Pepitas)
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries or cherries
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Combine barley and stock in a covered pot and set to boiling. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 35-40 minutes until tender and most of the stock is absorbed. Turn of heat, remove lid and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, set oven to 425ºF
  3. Peel, seed, and dice squash into 1/2″ pieces. Toss with coconut oil, curry powder and salt. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes until soft and browned. Remove and allow to cool.
  4. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Toss warm barley with squash with half the dressing
  6. Arrange greens in the bottom of a salad bowl and loosely pile barley mixture on top.
  7. Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds and dried fruit. Drizzle with remaining dressing.
  8. (If making ahead, gently combine barley, squash, seeds and fruit with the dressing. Add greens and cheese to each serving individually)


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 260
  • Sugar: 9
  • Fat: 9.8
  • Carbohydrates: 41
  • Protein: 6.5

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  1. Great Stone Face on November 1, 2014 at 10:58 am
  2. Erica on November 1, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I love to throw fall fruit into my salads – crisp apples and pears – paired with some goat cheese or gorgonzola and dried cranberries. Yum!

  3. Rilla on November 1, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    i call it Arti-tom Chick-feta salad… Make a base of gluten free rotini or quinoa… A balsamic vinaigrette or pesto seasoning… Then load it up with red onion, bell pepper, feta, marinated artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes in olive oil, and grilled cubed chicken, top with some nice pitted olives… It’s great hot or cold… Hot version I sauté the red onion and bell peppers in the olive oil from the sundried tomatoes, add chicken, then all the other ingredients… Mmmmmm… My favourite leftovers…

  4. Birdiebee on November 1, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    My favorite fall salad is Waldorf Cabbage Salad.

  5. Eileen on November 1, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I heart all the salads, fall or otherwise, but a simple mix of greens with chopped apples, toasted almonds, and some black pepper is probably my favorite. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  6. Anis on November 1, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I don’t know if my salad of choice is technically a “fall” salad, but we love broccoli salad. Small pieces of broccoli with diced red onion, chopped (crispy!) bacon, and halved red grapes. I usually toss it with a dressing of a little mayo, apple cider vinegar, and a touch of sugar or honey. Thanks for the giveaway!! It is an absolutely beautiful set!!

  7. The Other Randy on November 1, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    My latest favorite is your Vegan Caesar Salad. I also love your Quinoa Salad with Eggplant and Sesame.
    But I suspect that I’m going to love this one, too. I love salads made with grains.

    BTW, I recently heard a farmer say that butternut squash can be left on the counter for up to a year. I had no idea…I recently threw one out that I’d had for three months 8>(

  8. Susan G on November 2, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I love a salad with spinach or kale and a grain like quinoa or barley. Anything from the fall garden thrown together. 🙂

  9. Lilly Li on November 2, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I love your quinoa saladssss! But I usually just try to incorporate whatever veggies I have on hand.

  10. Anthony on November 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Pickled beet, goat cheese, red onion, orange tossed with watercress!!

  11. Anne @ EZGlutenFree on November 2, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    My favorite fall salad is a brown rice walnut and cranberry medley with an orange vinaigrette.

  12. Melissa on November 2, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Quinoa, roasted squash, dried cranberries and pepitas. Yummmmm…

  13. Jenny on November 2, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Warm spinach salad with bacon because bacon. 🙂

  14. Kevin on November 2, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Maybe it’s not technically a salad, but I like to stir fry a bunch of fresh fall greens like bok choy, swiss chard, kale, spinach, etc. Add some roasted kohlrabi and a really good ginger dressing or some soy and/or fish sauce and it’s an awesome warm “salad.”

    Another favorite is a really simple spinach salad with grilled chicken strips, dried cranberries, and almonds. I usually use store bought Goddess dressing for that–but that’s not very original.

  15. Ciara on November 2, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I’ve recently been loving a fall salad that consists of granny smith apples, goat cheese, dried cranberries and roasted pumpkin seeds! I’m a freshman in college so on the weekends, I like to go home and cook up some delicious but yet light salads with my mom. My favorite past time for sure. Thanks, Hilah and congrats on your new bundle of joy! 🙂

  16. Libby on November 2, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Your wild rice salad! Though this will definitely be a contender–sounds delish!

  17. Meg on November 2, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Can’t wait to try this! My current favorite fall salad is a warm kale with sweet potato and roasted pumpkin seed salad 🙂

  18. Austin on November 2, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    My favorite is a mixed green salad with pears, cranberries, and goat cheese with a Dijon vinaigrette

  19. Darren on November 2, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    This salad I got from Real Simple. It has radicchio, butternut squash, Granny Smith apples, feta and some other stuff in it.

  20. Faren on November 2, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Ok, I’ve been making this Chik’n Caesar salad lately. I sear Beyond Meat’s Chik’n strips with sliced grape tomatoes with a dash of salt, pepper and thyme. Once done I dump all on a bed of romaine lettuce, arugula and purple cabbage then drizzle a vegan Caesar dressing I got from Sweetpea Baking (follow them on Instagram, they put out great recipes occasionally) all over it. It’s divine, and savory and textural and refreshing. Try it! Congrats on the baby and may the raffle gods rain down on me xoxo

  21. Julie on November 2, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    My favorite fall salad is butternut squash with chick peas and cranberries 🙂

  22. Stephanie on November 2, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I don’t know about a fall salad but nothing beats a steak salad with all the fixins – french fries are a must!

  23. Katie on November 2, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I love raw massaged kale salad with apples, raisins and sunflower seeds. I make the dressing with apple cider vinegar and honey. I am going to try this butternut squash and barley salad this week. It has all of my favorite ingredients!

  24. Sarah Sprei on November 2, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Hilah!

    This recipe looks divine! I will definitely be making it for dinner this week.

    My favorite fall salad is kale with roasted sweet potato wedges and dried cranberries with a balsamic vinaigrette! Fall bliss 🙂

    And Congratulations on the baby!!!

  25. Penni on November 3, 2014 at 4:04 am

    We love lentil-and-brown-rice salad (eaten hot or cold) – with sauteed onions, spices, and tangy yogurt or tzatziki on the side!

  26. Nicci on November 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I love winter salads inspired by pickled beets and dried cranberries with whatever greens I can find (lettuce, spinach, kale.. get some lemon juice on there), with goat cheese from the farmers market mmm! maybe some maple syrup? congrats on the bebe!

  27. Anita on November 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Any kind of apple salad with added Walnuts! Tasty and healthy.

  28. Eva on November 3, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    My favorite fall salad definitely contains carrots, pine nuts, mushrooms, some kind of squash and pecans. I just add any greens and other vegetables if I can find any fresh ones. Then I make a dressing with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and some kind of nut oil (mostly walnut oil). I really like the nutty flavor, I think it tastes like fall.

  29. Melania on November 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Farro salad with cramberries, Brussel sprouts and pecans!

  30. SaraSaige on November 4, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I love a kale-chickpea-citrus-feta-toasted pecan salad. Yum!!

  31. Scott Meeks on November 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    My favorite fall salad is so fabulous that it doesn’t have a name. (Actually, that’s because I never gave it one. Maybe I should?) It’s mixed greens with candied walnuts on top. Back in the old days when I ate dairy, I’d sprinkle a few blue chz crumbles on top too. A handful of dried cranberries and that’s it for the salad part. The dressing was also super simple. EVOO, lemon juice, splash of maple syrup, salt, pepper (lotsa pepper) and a super-fine diced shallot. Really, that’s it. And I love it. Boom!

  32. Amy Glover on November 4, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Its called Sweet and Spicy fall salad.

  33. Gretta on November 4, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I got a couple of cabbages from my mom last time I was home, so I’ve been making a lot of no-mayo coleslaw with cabbage, carrot, red onion, red bell pepper, parsley, and an oil and white balsamic vinegar dressing. To make it a bit more autumnal, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds get added. Real tasty, and super pretty!

  34. Gail DeWalt on November 4, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Kale, tomato and orzo pasta salad. Fresh kale and tomatoes from the garden makes it even better.

  35. Karen Nodden on November 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Fresh apples from Maine in a Waldorf Salad:
    •1/2 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
    •1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
    •1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced (or a 1/4 cup of raisins)
    •1 sweet apple, cored and chopped
    •3 Tbsp mayonnaise
    •1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

  36. Michael Phelps on November 4, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    My favorite salad for anytime of the year is Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad from AppleBee’s. I need to figure out how to make it for myself.

  37. Otis on November 4, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    I crave fresh and zingy salads to accompany the rich comfort foods that are abundant this time of year. Tabbouleh is a favorite. All that parsley though makes it necessary to frequently check my grill, girl. Congratulations! I hope you’re both having a wonderful time with your new baby!

  38. Marc Gilliard on November 4, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    i love a warm Thai beef salad, with noodle and some heat!

  39. Mark. Yezzi. on November 4, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Romaine lettuce, dried cranberries, Gorgonzola crumbles, garlic croutons tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

  40. Amanda on November 4, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    I love chopped, fall veggie salads with homemade italian dressing!

  41. MaryEllen on November 5, 2014 at 9:11 am

    I’m currently in love with Farro. So farro, butternut squash, pomegranate arils, parsley, s ‘n’ p, rosemary and lime…. mmmmmmmmmmmm

  42. PH Eudy on November 6, 2014 at 8:43 am

    An apple/celery/walnut/cottage cheese salad made with Miracle Whip and lemon juice. The new olive oil Miracle Whip really is good in this. I like it so well I even have it for breakfast.

  43. Diane on November 6, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    I love grain salads! Barley with corn, red bell pepper, basil, and a dressing made with champagne vinegar is a good one. But this looks better . . . .

  44. michelle on November 7, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Every fall I get overly excited about beets! Beets with walnuts and goat cheese is my fav.

  45. Linda on November 7, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Classic spinach, red onions, toasted pecans, strawberries and crumbled feta with raspberry vinaigrette. Made it last Thanksgiving and it was a big hit with some folks who live under a rock and had never had it before!

  46. Voisin on November 7, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Arugula, Wild Rice & Sweet Potatoes (Roasted with Chili powder). Yum.

  47. Nicole on November 8, 2014 at 12:42 am

    I love making salads with any fruit I pick up from the farmer’s market! I recently made one with some arugula, blue cheese, and persimmon

  48. Carla Haverland on November 11, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Caesar Salad with lots of garlic, and homemade croutons!

  49. Thad on November 13, 2014 at 11:29 am

    This is a recipe I found (for those that want to see quantities and instructions) that is similar to a salad I like to enjoy in autumn and winter. If I don’t have pears on hand, I’ll use apples. http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/10/autumn-pear-salad-balsamic-vinaigrette/

  50. Eddie Castillo on November 13, 2014 at 11:37 am

    My Favorite is not a Traditional salad per se.
    My favorite salad is a Frito pie Salad! its real easy Man Food! it contains
    taco meat(ground beef with taco seasonings)
    Chopped lettuce
    Chopped tomatoes
    Sauteed onions(preferably made before browning the meat in the same pan)
    shredded cheese(any kind)
    Jalapenos chopped(if you like it a spicy)
    Frito Corn Chips (as much as you like!)
    Optional:sour cream

    Mix:Fritos and meat to coat the Fritos in the tasty meat sauce!
    then add onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, half of the cheese
    lastly add the lettuce
    serve immediately!

  51. Linky Barmore on November 13, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Oooooh girl, that salad looks tasty. I think I’ll make it for tofurky day this year. We have a LOT of greens in our garden lately so my favorite has been lettuce, arugula, with goat cheese, soaked almonds, honeycrisp apples and rosemary balsamic. Yummmmm.

  52. Rachel on November 13, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Kale cut in thin strips with matchstick pears, almond pieces sauteed in sugar, lemon juice and olive oil. YUM! Great for breakfast to get me going. I want it NOW! Along with that dang salad bowl.

  53. Susanne on November 13, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    For me, adding persimmons to a salad adds a dose of instant fall.

  54. Perrie Row on November 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Waldorf salad is my all time FAV!!! It reminds me of my Grandmother, which makes it that more awesome!

  55. Tanya N on November 13, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    I love using the last of the season’s stawberries for a warm chicken & spinach salad, with blue or gorgonzola cheese. Just marinade the strawberries in some balsamic vinegar, saute chicken breasts in olive oil, and decide if you’d like nuts in your salad. Then toss everything together, with some baby spinach and cheese crumbles. So yummy!

  56. Michele Sherman on November 13, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    My favorite salad for all seasons is a potato salad. The mustard and vinegar kind. For fall I might try a German Potato salad – I think that’s what I’m picturing – like a warm potato salad. Definitely going to try this butternut barley salad, I’ve only tried butternut squash once ever, and this recipe seems nutritious, which I can definitely use more of!

  57. Anna Piland on November 15, 2014 at 1:09 am

    I love a roasted kabocha squash and caramelized red onions with some feta on a bed of greens. Add some balsamic glaze for good measure!

  58. Charles Sibley on November 15, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    I like a green bean and sweet potato salad that my wife makes. She changes it up and I would love her to have this.

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