Prepare healthy and nutritious meals one step at a time

Spinach Tomato Barley One Pot Meal

As home cooks we all face the same issue, the aftermath of cleaning up the dishes and the kitchen.  Now let’s take that one step further, what if you are creating or cooking two or more dishes, WHOA, a disaster.  

Well, this spinach tomato barley one pot meal makes your life just a little bit easier.  It all comes together in just ONE pot.  Less mess, less clean up, no frustration, just smiles 🙂 well you know what I mean.

I think I can safely say that most of us dread the kitchen cleanup or may share the dreaded mess with hubby or a loved one.  But one way or another, it has to be done.  

Most times, I may do recipe testing or creations so I may cook three dishes while in the kitchen, that can really amount to a LOT of dishes, pots, pans and utensils. So I often try to do a little at a time while cooking or waiting for something to saute, boil or bake.  

I TRY on most occasions to clean up before I start the next dish.  I’m not perfect, but every second counts and a little bit at a time goes a long way.  It helps tremendously and it minimizes hubby pulling his hair out at the mess disaster when I ask for assistance.Let us chat a bit about this awesome grain barley.  Barley is a cereal type grain that has a nutty flavor and a chewy consistency when cooked .  You may be more familiar with it being used in soups or stews.  

It is hearty, robust and healthy too.  It is especially great if you are a person with type II diabetes as it is low on the glycemic index scale.  Barley is also high in dietary fiber, thus keeping you full longer, helping you to eat less during the meal and reduces the need to snack after the meal.  

In addition to fiber, barley is rich in several vitamins and minerals but it is exceptionally high in manganese, molybdenum and selenium all of which have important roles in the processes and functioning of the body.  If you would like to read more, additional information about this healthy grain can be found here.  

So lets put this meal together.  You will start by prepping and chopping your onions and garlic and setting them aside.  Wash and chop the spinach and set it aside.  Measure and set aside one cup of barley.

If you choose to use canned diced tomatoes please ensure that it has no added salt as you have no control of the extra salt added to your dish.   The canned tomatoes have approximately 1 cup of liquid which you can use in the recipe, measure it just to be certain as every can is different.  You will also need to add two additional cups of broth, stock or water to complete 3 cups of liquid as required by the recipe.

If choosing fresh tomatoes, dice two large ripe tomatoes and set aside.   You will want to measure out the seasoning mix and set it aside so that it is ready when you need it.  I also used two bay leaves which can be removed after cooking, however it is optional.

Heat a medium-sized pot and add avocado oil.  Add garlic and onions and saute for 1-2 min or until tender and fragrant.

Add barley and mix together to coat barley with the oil, garlic and onions.

Add diced tomatoes or the canned diced tomatoes.  Reserve the liquid for later use (use a no salt version).  Stir and mix with the barley. Saute for 2-3 mins.

Add water, broth and reserved tomato juices from the can (if using) for a total of 3 cups of liquid.  Add seasoning mix and organic vegetable bouillon.  I often use this organic vegetable bouillon but you can choose your favorite. 

Next, add the spinach.

Stir and cover.  When liquid begins to boil, reduce the heat and cook for 50 mins.  Remove from heat and gently fluff with a fork.

Serve and enjoy!

I would love to hear other unique ways in which you have cooked barley.  Drop me a line in the comments below.

Spinach Tomato Barley One Pot Meal
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4 Servings
  • 1 cup Pearled Barley
  • 1 can diced Tomatoes (no salt added) or 2 large tomatoes diced
  • 3 cups fresh Spinach- chopped
  • 1 medium Onion- diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic- chopped
  • 2 tsp Organic vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tbsp Avocado oil
  • 3 cups Water - if using canned diced tomatoes the juice in the can should equal approx 1 cup You can complete the 2 cups by using water or broth
seasonings & Spices: can be dried or fresh
  • ½ tsp Tarragon
  • ½ tsp Thyme
  • ½ tsp Rosemary
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • 2 Bay leaves (optional)
  • Salt & pepper- to taste
  1. Heat a medium- sized pot and add avocado oil
  2. Add garlic and onions and saute for 1-2 min or until tender and fragrant
  3. Add barley and mix together to coat barley with the oil, garlic and onions
  4. Add diced tomatoes or the contents of 1 can of diced tomatoes (use a no salt version)
  5. Stir and mix with the barley. Saute for 2-3 mins
  6. Add water or broth
  7. Add seasoning mix and organic vegetable bouillon
  8. Add spinach
  9. Stir and cover
  10. When liquid begins to boil, reduce heat and cook for 50 mins
  11. Remove from heat fluff with a fork and serve


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