Barley Risotto Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

4.50 from 12 votes
1 hour
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Barley Risotto Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms are a meatless meal even a carnivore will love!  No meat, but a meaty, hearty texture and flavor!  Steakhouse Creamed Spinach is perfect on the side for a super satisfying meatless meal!

Photo of Barley Risotto Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms on cast iron pan garnished with parsley and Parmesan cheese.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

I had a Saturday night all to my lonesome recently.  My hubby, stepson and grandson went to a basketball game.  So what’s a girl to make for herself while the boys are out playing?

We don’t have mushrooms around the house very often because my husband is allergic to them and won’t feel well for hours after eating any trace of them.  My husband can eat the hottest habanero raw, two-week-old leftovers he won’t let me throw out and everything else on planet Earth, but mushrooms are a “no go.”

So I decided to treat myself because I enjoy them!

Close-up photo of the gills of a Portobello mushroom.

What are Portobello Mushrooms?

There’s no mistaking the Portobello mushroom!  The Portobello mushroom, with its meaty texture, is a mature version of the cremini mushroom.  Creminis are a brown mushroom that resembles the common white mushroom.

The term “Portobello” wasn’t used until the 1980s when someone found a glamorous way to market cremini mushrooms that grew too large and were disposed of because they wouldn’t sell.  The marketing ploy worked–they’ve been popular ever since.

Portobello mushrooms are often sold in packs of two but you can find them loose and sold by the pound.  When purchasing Portobellos to stuff, select mushrooms with high sides–they’re ideal for filling.

Because cremini mushrooms are baby Portobellos, it just seemed right to add them to the risotto.

Photo of baby Portobello mushrooms being sauteed in nonstick skillet.

Barley is another one of my favorite things.  Mushrooms and barley are a culinary match made in heaven!  Perfect for these Barley Risotto Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms!

Photo of uncooked barley in a glass jar.

Now, you may be thinking….risotto?  Isn’t that supposed to be a rice dish?

Actually, the risotto cooking method can be applied to other things like barley, farro, orzo pasta or even diced potatoes.

Barley is a great substitute for rice.  It’s a low-glycemic grain, loaded with fiber and has a delicious nutty flavor and delightfully chewy texture.  If you have gluten sensitivity, lentils would be a great substitute in this dish.

Photo of barley mixture cooking in skillet and being stirred with a white spoon.

Then add some spinach and cheese!  TWO types of cheese!  To add creaminess to this barley risotto, I stirred in some Taleggio cheese and Parmesan.  Taleggio is another one of my favorites and it’s perfect here because of its mushroomy undertones.  Some more Parmesan over the top and mama!

Photo of Barley Risotto Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms being sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Photo of Barley Risotto Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms garnished with parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Barley Risotto Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms!  The perfect comfort food for my night in!

Photo of Barley Risotto Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with a fork taking some of the stuffing off the mushroom.

For more vegetarian stuffed vegetable recipes, be sure to try my:

For all my vegetarian, meatless and vegan recipes, you can find them here:  Vegetarian / Vegan Recipes

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Barley Risotto Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

4.50 from 12 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef's Kitchen
Barley Risotto Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms are a meatless meal even a carnivore will love!  No meat, but a meaty, hearty texture and flavor!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Vegetarian / Vegan Entrees
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 489 kcal


  • 5 tablespoons olive oil - divided
  • 1 package (8-ounces) cremini mushrooms - sliced or an 8-ounce package of sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 3-4 cups chicken, beef or vegetable broth - (as needed)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bag (5-ounce) baby spinach
  • 2 ounces Taleggio cheese - cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese - plus more for garnish
  • 4 large Portobello mushroom caps
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley or sprigs - for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the cremini mushrooms and cook, stirring often until browned, approximately 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large shallow pan over medium heat. Add the onions, reduce heat to low and cook 10-12 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the garlic, stir until fragrant.
  • Add the barley, 3 cups broth, tomato paste, basil and oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently until barley is tender, approximately 20 minutes.
  • Add the spinach, Taleggio and Parmesan cheese and stir until spinach is wilted and cheese is melted. Stir in cooked cremini mushrooms. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Keep warm.
  • Lightly brush Portobello mushrooms with remaining olive oil. Roast for 7-8 minutes or until mushrooms give up some of their water. Immediately flip the mushrooms over to drain for 1-2 minutes.
  • To serve, top Portobello mushrooms with equal amounts of the risotto. Top with additional grated Parmesan cheese and garnish with chopped fresh parsley or parsley sprigs.


MAKE AHEAD:  Risotto can be made 1-2 days ahead of time.  Refrigerate until needed.  Reheat in the microwave before filling mushrooms.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 788mg | Fiber: 11g

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.50 from 12 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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    1. Hi, Stella, Thanks so much for your question. It depends on how far ahead. I would do the barley risotto ahead of time–no problem. You might want to do the mushrooms just before serving for the highest quality, then top with the reheated barley risotto. You might need to add a little water or broth. Thanks again and let me know how it goes!

  1. Made this last night and it’s very good! Subbed Gouda and green onions because that’s what I had. I wanted to comment on the nutritional facts – these must be wrong, 80g of fat and over 1,200 calories??? Was it supposed to be 8g?

    1. Hi, Rhea, Thanks so much and so glad you enjoyed. I think Gouda would be great in this recipe! Glad you brought the nutritional information to my attention. I recalculated and it still came up with the same result. It’s a computer-generated result so hard to know what it’s picking up. However, I ran the recipe through another program I have and the information there now should be more in line. Thanks again!

  2. I’m dying to make these they look and sound amazing, my boyfriend and I just got introduced to barley so I was wondering what kind did you use pearl or hulled?

    1. Hi, Heather, I used regular pearl barley. I’m also a huge fan of barley and love the texture of the pearl barley. These mushrooms are one of my favorite meatless meals. Hope you enjoy!

  3. All the pictures are making me want to grab a bite of it right now! Even without stuffing, I am sure the barley risotto will be a great hit. I am going to try make something similar with pearl millet. I got a pack of the pearl millet grain when I came from India and it will be great to see how the grain does in international dishes!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. I just had to comment — gorgeous photos but the mushroom sounds amazing. Poor hubby! Can’t eat mushrooms. We love all types of mushrooms but stuffed ones are really incredible. I’ll be making this very soon. Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. Oh my goodness, Carol. Your photos are making me drool. I love this combination of portobello and barley. Sounds so warm and comforting. It’s snowing here in Ohio, so this is going to the top of my cooking list. Thanks for a great recipe!