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Bean and Barley Salad Recipe: Healthy and Diabetes-Friendly

When you drain and rinse canned beans, you wash away about 40% of the sodium. I prefer long-cooking barley because I think it tastes better, but if you have a preferred brand of fast-cooking barley, feel free to use it. If you use the diabetes exchanges for meal planning, count them this way: 1 Starch, 1 Fat
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Course: Salad: Side Dish or Main Dish
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10 side salads
Calories: 145kcal
Author: Jill Weisenberger MS, RDN, CDE, FAND


  • 2 cups cooked pearled, barley (prepared without salt)
  • 3 ounces baby spinach, torn (about 4 - 5 cups whole baby spinach leaves), remove tough stems if any
  • 1 6- ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (about ¾ cup chopped)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (about 5 - 6 ounces)
  • 1 15- ounce can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or chopped
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled


  • In a large bowl, mix together the cooked barley, spinach, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and beans.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the oil, lemon juice, garlic and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the barley, beans and vegetables and mix well. Chill several hours. Before serving, sprinkle with the feta cheese and mix gently.
  • Variation: Feel free to add any vegetable you like. Shredded carrots are very pretty in this dish.


Serving: 3/4 cup | Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 230mg | Fiber: 4g