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Barley Jambalaya

Posted by Courtney Schupp | January 12, 2022

Prep time: 25 minutes | Cooking time: 60 minutes | Servings: 6


  • 1 cup instant pearl barley
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 3 medium onions (diced)
  • 2 small celery stalks
  • 1 cup green, red, yellow, or orange bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 ounces ground turkey
  • 2 (14.5-oz) cans diced tomato (no salt added)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Live Well Tips

  • Jambalaya is a special Creole and Cajun dish influenced by French, African and Spanish cuisine.
  • To save time, cook barley up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate (covered) until ready to use.
  • Substitute barley with brown rice.
  • To make it vegetarian used cooked or canned pinto or black beans in place of turkey.


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. In a colander, rinse barley under cold water.
  3. In a medium pot over high heat, bring barley, water, and bay leaves to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook barley until tender and water is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes.
  4. In a colander, drain barley. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in In a large pot over medium-high heat.
  6. Add onions, celery, pepper, and garlic to pot. Mix well and cook until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add ground turkey to pot. Cook until turkey is fully cooked, about 5-8 minutes, or temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Add tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a simmer.
  9. Add spices and stir to combine. Cover pot and reduce heat. Cook at a low simmer for 15 minutes.
  10. Add cooked barley to the mixture. Stir to combine. Add more water or broth if mixture is too thick. Cook uncovered over low heat to blend flavors, about 5-10 minutes.
  11. Remove bay leaves and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size 1.5 cups: Calories–230; Protein–9g; Carbohydrate–41g; Total Fat–5g; Saturated Fat–1g; Cholesterol–15mg; Fiber–9g; Sodium–440mg; Vitamin C–48mg; Vitamin A–45mcg; Iron–3mg; Calcium–80mg

Adapted from