Low-FODMAP Greek Sprouted Barley Salad

sprouted barley salad
Patsy Catsos
Total Time 35 min
Prep 15 min, Cook 20 min
Yield 10 (1 cup each)

Nothing beats a grain salad for a filling side dish or lunch. If you'd like to expand your repertoire of low-FODMAP grains, try this salad made with sprouted pearled barley. Unsprouted pearled barley is a source of oligosaccharides, but once sprouted, it can be part of an IBS-friendly diet, according to the latest information from the Monash University FODMAP lab.

This sprouted grain is another example, like sourdough bread, of a gluten-containing food that can be enjoyed on a low-FODMAP diet, since gluten itself is not a FODMAP. Plan to start your sprouts two days ahead of when you plan to serve this salad.


  • 1 cup dry pearled barley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, mint, and/or parsley)
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced scallion greens (green parts only)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ English cucumber, chopped


  1. Measure the barley into a 1-quart canning jar. Rinse the uncooked barley thoroughly. Cover the jar with foil and secure with the ring of a canning lid. Perforate the foil with a fork, and allow the water to drain out.
  2. Store the jar, upside down, in a bowl at room temperature. Rinse and drain several times a day for two days until the barley sprouts—you will see little tails emerging from the grains.
  1. After a final rinse, transfer the barley to a medium saucepan and cover it with water. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then adjust the heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Drain the barley and allow it to cool for 10 minutes in a large salad bowl.
  2. Stir in the salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, scallion greens, crumbled feta, cherry tomatoes, walnuts, and cucumber. Serve promptly, or refrigerate tightly covered until serving.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

An equal amount of any low-FODMAP vegetable can be used in place of the cherry tomatoes and English cucumber.

Pine nuts or pecans can be substituted for walnuts.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Pearled barley is generally located in the rice section of the grocery store. It has been polished (pearled) to remove both the husk and bran. It is different from "hulled barley," which has not yet been analyzed for its FODMAP content.

Unsprouted pearled barley normally takes about 40 minutes to cook. We found that grains which had been soaked and sprouted for 2 days were chewy, yet tender, in half that time. Feel free to adjust cooking time to your preference.

Once sprouted, barley can be frozen to cook and serve another time.

Rate this Recipe

You've already rated this recipe. Thanks for your rating!

Continue Reading