Healthy Barley Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

This filling and easy healthy barley salad with Green Goddess Dressing came together as miraculously as the title suggests. I decided to grab a bunch of random veggies and an apple just to see how it would all turn out. Verdict: very green and very delicious!

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Palace Hotel plaque that states "established 1875"

I’m still a little new to barley; it first appears in my recipe for beans, greens, and barley (get more tips on cooking barley on that page), which uses butter to flavor this ancient and versatile grain. For this recipe, I use a method similar to the one I use for bonus rice, which you can find in my recipe for sauerkraut pork roast. So I next thought I’d try my hand at a healthy barley salad that includes lots of veggies in both their solid chopped form and their blended form as the famous Green Goddess Dressing, quintessentially Californian, with a bit of a dark history, and notoriously first concocted at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

I usually buy my barley in the bulk aisle—get pearl barley because it takes less time to cook than hulled barley does. If your supermarket doesn’t have it, though, you can order it from Amazon.

Meal prep for this healthy barley salad

If you are able to plan ahead, prepare the barley beforehand because it will need to be cool anyway. If you are just now prepping it for a meal today, have a big bowl of ice handy. Then, when the barley has finished cooking, transfer it to a medium heat-proof bowl and set the bowl over the ice.

I won’t judge if you buy your Green Goddess Dressing at the store or order it! But, if you’re preparing your own Green Goddess Dressing for this healthy barley salad, try the one at the link above, or make this vegan version from Oh She Glows, which is the one I used and recommend. You can store it in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Healthy barley salad can be made with Primal Kitchen Green Goddess dressing as shown here.

Because I always have loads of veggies in my fridge to combat acid reflux, I used whatever I had, so you can stick to my list or change it up to whatever you got or like. That also goes for the cheese: leave it out for a vegan and dairy-free meal or use whatever you have on hand, such as cheddar, feta, Swiss, or whatever.


Potluck hero

This recipe for healthy barley salad with Green Goddess Dressing makes a lot, so it’s great for potlucks—the first time I made it, we just so happened to be throwing an impromptu brunch with some friends, and they couldn’t get enough of it. I hope you and your friends or family enjoy it as much as we did!

Meal prep options

barley, Green Goddess dressing

Just a note

Healthy potluck dish

Make this …

Vegetarian: It already is!
Paleo: Use riced cauliflower instead of barley.
Gluten-free: Use wild rice medley instead of barley.
Non-dairy: Leave out the manchego.

Shopping list


1 apple
2 carrots
small bunch kale
small red cabbage
2 stalks celery

Eggs and dairy

2.25 ounces manchego cheese


small package green peas


6 ounces pearl barley

Oils and dressings

10 ounces Green Goddess dressing
2 ounces olive oil


kitchen knife
cutting board
medium lidded pot
wooden spoon
medium heat-proof bowl
small bowl
large mixing bowl

Healthy Barley Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Serves: 4
Total time: 1 hour

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients and preparation


2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup pearl barley
2 cups water


2/3 cup frozen green peas: Thaw in small bowl
2 leaves kale: Rinse and tear leaves from stem
2 carrots: Peel and chop
1 cup red cabbage: Chop
2 stalks celery: Chop
1 apple: Chop
1/4 cup manchego: Chop
1 1/4 cup Green Goddess dressing


  1. Heat the olive oil on high in the medium lidded pot until hot. Turn the heat down a bit, and add the barley. With the wooden spoon, gently stir the barley for even frying and to prevent it from burning. Fry until most grains are browned. Add the water (it will sizzle loudly). Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 25–30 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Transfer to the heat-proof bowl and place in the fridge to cool.
  2. Mix all the salad ingredients and barley in the large mixing bowl, and serve.

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