Chicken Veggie Barley Bake

A few weeks ago, Brittany sent me this recipe from Layers of Happiness (she and I love sending each other recipes – especially those involving baby cabbages). I knew immediately I wanted to use some leftover uncooked barley I had to make my own version! So this past Sunday during my weekly meal prep, I did just that. Monday night dinner was the moment of truth. How would it turn out? The verdict was…GREAT! So I’m here to share my take…

Chicken Veggie Barley Bake

(Adapted from Layers of Happiness Pesto Chicken & Vegetable Quinoa Bake)

Makes 4 servings


  • 2 raw chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 1.5 cups uncooked barley
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 3/4 lb brussels sprouts, halved (I used 1 lb but I’m trying to consider normal baby cabbage eaters here :-P)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth (I used 99% fat free, low sodium)
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/3 cup pesto (I used TJ’s Basil Pesto…it rocks)
  • 2% shredded Kraft sharp cheddar cheese
  • garlic salt, as desired
  • diced tarragon, as desired


  1. If you are making this dish to eat right away, preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Cook barley in water on stovetop, strain with colander, and add to a large casserole dish.
  3. Cook chicken in water on stovetop, shred with fork, and add to the casserole dish.
  4. Strain “bean liquid” from black beans with colander, and add to the casserole dish.
  5. Add the pesto to the container, and mix everything together.
  6. Prepare any veggies that need to be sliced-and-diced, and sautee on the stovetop in the EVOO and with the tarragon. While sauteeing, add the chicken broth.
  7. Once the veggies are cooked to your liking, add to the casserole dish, add desired garlic salt, and mix everything together.
  8. Sprinkle as much cheese as you’d like on the top.
  9. Bake in oven at 350 degrees (F) for about 25 minutes (time may vary depending on how hot you like your food and how melty you like your cheese!)

Just out of the oven! Probably could’ve cooked a bit more but I was hungry.

This dish was super satisfying, but if I could do anything over again I’d add in some cheese before stirring everything together (and still top it with cheese). I would have loved if the cheese was spread throughout! I already ate all the cheese off the top and I think when I eat the leftovers I’m going to sprinkle cheese on top before I microwave them. CHEESE PLEASE.


Hello barley!

Warning: this dish is very fibrous!!! I guess when you’ve got a pound of baby cabbages involved that’s gonna happen, huh? I love the chewy texture of the barley and am glad I went with that over quinoa. I’ve never been much of a quinoa fan anyway so it was perfect that I had the leftover barley on hand (from when I made a Roasted Brussels with Cranberry and Barley dish). I’ll probably be having leftovers of this tonight – and adding that cheese!

Do you like to sprinkle cheese on top of dishes, or mix it throughout? Or…both!?

Do you ever see a recipe you want to make, but end up creating something different?

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