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Barley Salmon Salad

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1 (16 ounce) package pearl barley
4-1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey mustard
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 (16 ounce) package frozen corn, thawed
4 cooked salmon fillets, broken into pieces
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1-1/2 cups cubed provolone cheese

Barley Salmon Salad

Tender barley is combined with lots of veggies and delicious salmon in a fabulous main dish salad.

  • Serves 8
  • Easy

About This Recipe

I  love barley. I love how it tastes, I love the texture, and I love how nutritious it is. But most of all, I love barley in main dish salads like this one for Barley Salmon Salad.

When you buy barley, look for pearled barley. Hulled barley, or barley with only the tough outer layer removed, is more difficult to find and takes much longer to cook. Pearl, or pearled, barley, has been “polished” in a pearling machine so the outer bran layer is removed. It does have less fiber than hulled barley, but it’s still very good for you. It’s a great source of fiber, especially insoluble fiber, that may help prevent heart disease.

Barley has a wonderful nutty taste and tender, but slightly chewy texture. It’s fabulous in this salad, which is packed with tender salmon, sweet corn, and lots of bell peppers.

Tips for the best Barley Salmon Salad:

  • It’s easy to cook barley; just don’t overcook or undercook it. The only way to tell whether barley is properly cooked is to taste it. It should be tender but with a bite still in the center, kind of like al dente pasta.
  • You can use your favorite vegetables in this recipe; try sliced summer squash, cooked sliced carrots, or cooked green beans.

Why this recipe works:

  • Barley is delicious in salads. It’s similar to pasta but has a chewier texture and a nutty taste. be sure to cook it until tender according to the package directions.
  • Corn and bell peppers complement the barley because both of these vegetables are sweet.
  • Mustard adds another layer of contrasting flavor. The best recipes always have contrasting texture and flavor.
  • You can substitute canned salmon for the salmon fillets if you’d like for an easier and less expensive recipe. You can leave the bones and skin in; just crush the bones and no one will know they are there. Or remove them.

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In a large saucepan, combine the barley and vegetable broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, or according to package directions, until tender. Drain well if necessary.


While the barley cooks, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, and lemon juice in a large bowl and mix well.


Add the cooked and drained barley to the dressing in the bowl and stir well.


Add the remaining ingredients and stir to coat. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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