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cooked barley from overhead inside the instant pot

Instant Pot Barley

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1/2 cups 1x


This 20 minute instant pot barley is a delicious healthy grain dish to use for meal prep, to serve as a side dish or use in buddha bowls. It can be added to soup or used in barley salad.



1 ½ cups pearled barley* See ingredient note

3 cups water

2 teaspoons olive oil (or unsalted butter)

½ teaspoon salt


  1. Stir together barley, water, oil and salt in the insert of an instant pot.
  2. Cover and set vent to sealed. Pressure cook on high for 20 minutes.
  3. Carefully turn vent to quick release (or natural release if desired.) Remove lid and fluff with a fork. If there is excess moisture in the bottom of the instant pot insert, drain the cooked barley through a fine-mesh sieve.


Ingredient Notes:

If you use hulled barley for this recipe, use the same ratio of water to barley and pressure cook for 30 minutes.

You can use vegetable or chicken broth in place of the water to add more flavor to this recipe.


Barley can be frozen up to two months. Add directly to soups or chili, or thaw and use for salad. Reheat with seasonings and vegetables for an easy side dish.

Make Ahead:

Chill and cover leftover barley. Keep refrigerated until ready to reheat. This barley can be kept in the fridge, covered, for three days. To reheat, microwave on high power until steaming hot. To reheat barley on the stovetop, stir with water or broth in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook until steaming hot, stirring often.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: instant pot
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup
  • Calories: 153
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Keywords: instant pot barley, how to cook barley in instant pot, pressure cooker barley

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