Healthier Pot Barley Jambalaya

Healthier Pot Barley Jambalaya with sausage and shrimp
Healthier Pot Barley Jambalaya

Healthier Pot Barley Jambalaya is something you won’t find on restaurant menus. I developed this low salt recipe to take advantage of the health benefits of pot barley. Personally, I don’t digest rice as well as barley which makes sense since it has more fibre and great for digestion.

You can read more about barley’s benefits at this link. In particular, barley can help with weight reduction, control blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, and reduce blood pressure. Those are some mighty big benefits, and that’s in addition to the minerals and vitamins it contains.

I was inspired to create this recipe by the popular southern dish but I made it less spicy, and with much less rice. If desired, you can tailor it to suit your tastes by adding more chilli seeds or choosing chicken instead of shrimp. It will taste great either way. 

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This Jambalaya also makes an excellent side dish to accompany steak, chicken, fish, or pork, if you’re looking for something different. I should also note that I chose to use brown rice in place of white rice because it’s a healthier choice as well. Why? Read more about it at this link.

So for me, the use of pot barley and brown rice were no-brainers and I love their chewy texture and nutty flavours. Once I realized that they not only tasted great but also were so beneficial to my health, I was hooked. I hope you will be too—enjoy!

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Makes 4 servings.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small to medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 1/2 stalk of celery sliced, chopped.
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/3 each sweet red, & green peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika powder
  • pinch of chilli pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2/3 cup pot barley
  • 1/3 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 mild Italian sausages
  • 12 shrimp (21-30 size)

Onion peppers celery carrot garlic rice barley mushroom on cutting board ingredients chopped and shown on cutting board

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  • In a 10 to 12-inch diameter non-stick fry pan, heat oil over medium heat, add onions, celery, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, stirring occasionally until softened (5 to 7 minutes). 
  • Add and stir in the garlic, black pepper, paprika powder, chilli pepper flakes, oregano, and thyme, and cook for another 5 minutes.
Chopped peppers onion mushrooms etc. in the frying pan
Chopped Vegetables in the frying pan
  • In a medium-sized pot, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then add the pot barley, brown rice, and cook for a few minutes. 
  • Add and stir in the contents of the frying pan, reduce heat to low, and cover.
Barley, rice and soup stock in the pot on the stove top
Barley, rice and soup stock in the pot
fried vegetables added to the barley & rice in the pot
Vegetables added to the barley & rice in the pot

  • In the frying pan, add a dash of olive oil, and again at medium heat, fry the Italian sausages until done, remove and drain on paper towel.
  • Slice sausages into 3/8 to 1/2” thick pieces, and add them to the pot.
Sliced sausages returned to the frying pan (optional step)
Sliced sausages returned to the frying pan
  • Optional: Brown the sausage slices on each side in the frying pan.
  • Cover and continue cooking on low for about 40 or 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add a few ounces of water as needed if mixture appears too dry.
  • Add the shrimp, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until opaque.
Shrimp added to the pot for cooking on stove top
Shrimp added to the pot for cooking
  • Stir and mix cooked shrimp in the pot.
  • Serve family style in the same pot and garnish with green onion.
Pot Barley Jambalaya With Sausage & Shrimp garnished with green onions
Pot Barley Jambalaya With Sausage & Shrimp

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Possible Alternatives:

  • Consider using proteins such as chicken, steak, or polish sausage.
  • Freely substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock or water for the barley cooking liquid.
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Healthier Pot Barley Jambalaya

Healthier Pot Barley Jambalaya is something you won’t find on restaurant menus. This low salt recipe takes advantage of the health benefits of pot barley. You can read more about barley’s benefits at this link. Brown rice instead of white rice? Why? Read more about it at this link.

Makes 4 servings

  • Author: Bill Wilkat

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small to medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 1/2 stalk of celery sliced, chopped.
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/3 each sweet red, & green peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika powder
  • pinch of chilli pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2/3 cup pot barley
  • 1/3 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 mild Italian sausages
  • 12 shrimp (21-30 size)

Instructions

  • In a 10 to 12-inch diameter non-stick fry pan, heat oil over medium heat, add onions, celery, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, stirring occasionally until softened (5 to 7 minutes).
  • Add and stir in the garlic, black pepper, paprika powder, chilli pepper flakes, oregano, and thyme, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • In a medium-sized pot, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then add the pot barley, brown rice, and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add and stir in the contents of the frying pan, reduce heat to low, and cover.
  • In the frying pan, add a dash of olive oil, and again at medium heat, fry the Italian sausages until done, remove and drain on paper towel.
  • Slice sausages into 3/8 to 1/2” thick pieces, and add them to the pot.
  • Optional: Brown the sausage slices on each side in the frying pan.
  • Cover and continue cooking on low for about 40 or 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add a few ounces of water as needed if mixture appears too dry.
  • Add the shrimp, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until opaque.
  • Stir and mix cooked shrimp in the pot.
  • Serve family style in the same pot and garnish with green onion.

Notes

Possible Alternatives:

  • Consider using proteins such as chicken, steak, or polish sausage.
  • Freely substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock or water for the barley cooking liquid.
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Author: Bill Wilkat

Retired Luthier, and now a blogger writing about food including recipes, restaurant and product reviews, and guitar related information which includes "how-to" info. and more.