Healthy Eating

Festive Barley Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes  | Cook Time: 55-60 minutes  | Total Time: 65-70 minutes |*Servings: 6 (1 ½ cup servings) 

This one-pot comfort recipe is bursting with flavour and fibre. The main ingredient, pot barley, is a rich source of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fibre that can help boost the immune system and lower inflammation.

Frozen green peas are also a great source of fibre and an economical vegetable that can be purchased all-rear round. A diet rich in fibre promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria which can have anti-inflammatory effects.

Use a rotisserie chicken to reduce the prep time for this recipe. Removing the skin from the chicken reduces the saturated fat content and increases exposure to lean protein. Lean protein enhances the satisfaction of a meal and helps keep your immune system functioning well and helps your body repair damage.

Sweetened dried cranberries add a splash of festive flavour, colour and fun! Enjoy this dish hot or cold.

Nutritional information (per serving*): Calories: 379; Total Fat (4g); Saturated Fat (1g); Monounsaturated Fat (1g); Carbohydrates (56g); Protein (11g); Fibre (11g); Sodium (416 mg); Omega-3 Fatty Acids (0.05g)


  • 3 ½ cups reduced salt chicken stock
  • 1 ½ cups pot barley
  • 2 cups skinless, cooked chicken, chopped (you can use a rotisserie chicken to save time or skinless, cooked chicken breasts)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen sweet green peas
  • ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries 
  • 1 tsp cumin

Optional garnish:

  • ¼ cup parsley
  • 1 lemon sliced into lemon wedges


Step 1
Rinse the pot barley in cold water and drain.

Step 2
In a medium-sized pot, bring the broth to a boil.

Step 3
Add the rinsed pot barley to the pot and stir. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the barley is cooked.

Step 4
Fold in the chicken, sweetened dried cranberries, frozen green peas and cumin.

Step 5
Allow the ingredients to simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 6
Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Step 7
Garnish with parsley and a lemon wedge.

Step 1: Add barley

Step 2: Simmer broth

Step 3: Add vegetables, chicken and simmer

Step 4: Cover and simmer

Extra tips:

  • This is a great leftover dish and can be served cold.

  • Create a stew by adding 2 more cups of chicken stock.

  • Sprinkle feta or parmesan cheese over the chicken for extra flavour and calcium.

  • Add a tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt to each dish for extra creaminess and protein.

  • Swap the sweetened dried cranberries for raisins or chopped dates.

Step 5: garnish and serve