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14 Best Substitutes For Pearl Barley

Barley is a non-gluten-forming grain used in soups and stews to thicken the broth, add body, and a different texture than whole grains like brown or wild rice. It is high in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and selenium. Moreover, it grows in every US state except Florida and Hawaii. It’s easy to grow from seed at home since you don’t even need a garden space—you can sow the seeds in containers. Barley is gluten-free but if you substitute pearl barley for real barley you should also substitute organic products. There are 14 Substitutes For Pearl Barley in this article.

You can substitute for barley with Quinoa, Millet, Rice, Spelled, Mung Bean Flour, Seeds, Tofu, Vinegar, Buckwheat, Sourdough Starter, Buttermilk, Corn, Chickpeas, Brown Rice.

Top Substitutes For Pearl Barley

  1. Quinoa
  2. Millet
  3. Rice
  4. Spelled
  5. Mung Bean Flour
  6. Seeds
  7. Tofu
  8. Vinegar
  9. Buckwheat
  10. Sourdough Starter
  11. Buttermilk
  12. Corn
  13. Chickpeas
  14. Brown Rice

1. Quinoa:

14 Best Substitutes For Pearl Barley

Quinoa is a fast-growing pseudo cereal from the Andes Mountains of South America cultivated for about 5,000 years. It’s an excellent substitute for white rice, especially since it has many more nutrients than traditional white rice: quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), including lysine which is usually missing in grains like brown or white rice.

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You can use Quinoato to make risotto just like Arborio Rice. It is a substitute for barley substitute in gluten-free soups and stews. To substitute 1 cup cooked quinoa replace three cups water with one cup quinoa, cover, and simmer 20 minutes until tender.

2. Millet:

Pearl Barley Replacement, Substitutes For Pearl Barley

Millet is the substitute for barley substitute that grows in every state but Alaska (it is not frost hardy). It has a low gluten content, and you can prepare it like rice. For 1 cup cooked substitute use two cups water and simmer 20 minutes until tender. You can use this grain to make pilafs or substitute for quinoa to make hot cereal.

It can also be ground into flour for baking purposes and, like quinoa, may substitute for barley substitute in soups and stews. Millet has five times as much calcium per serving as brown rice as well as more thiamin, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, and manganese.

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Chinese were using it in medicine millet to reduce stomach trouble and as a substitute for barley in soup. In India, you can use it to treat malaria, coughs, and jaundice. It can sprout which increases the nutritional value of millet by much more than 50% but you’ll need about three times as much water as grains, soak overnight, drain well, rinse once or twice a day until tiny sprouts emerge, and then cook like regular grain.

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The most common substitute for barley substitute here in Japan is Komugi (golden oat). Substitute 1 cup cooked substitute with 3 cups water. Millet has been cultivated since antiquity in Asia and Africa for its nutritious seeds; consequently, cultures all around the world have developed delicious ways to gluten-free barley alternative.

3. Rice:

Substitutes For Pearl Barley
This is the most nutritious of all grains with plenty of vitamins and minerals like thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, manganese, and selenium. A cup of white rice has almost twice as much calcium as 1 cup of brown rice but still, it is “the substitute for barley substitute” substitute. Rice has gotten a bad rap lately as being fattening, but substituting brown rice in gluten-free soups can actually help lose weight because it makes you feel fuller longer.

Plus, brown rice is a whole grain where substitutes for barley substitutes are not – this means that brown substitutes for barley substitutes are full of fillers, preservatives, and additives and have lost much of their nutritional value from processing during the milling process.

4. Spelled:

Substitutes For Pearl Barley

With its small, pearl-like white seeds and nutty flavor, spelled is a traditional substitute for wheat. while it is gluten-free, some people are sensitive to the gluten in it just like they are to barley substitute or any other substitute for barley substitute.

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Spelled has higher protein content than wheat with more fiber. You can substitute it in many recipes as an equal amount of flour because the texture of spelled is chewier than all-purpose flour which makes it more similar to brown rice substitute rather than white rice substitute. You can substitute 2 cups cooked Spelt (cook according to package directions) replace three cups water with two cups of Spelt, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until tender. 

5. Mung Bean Flour:

pearl Barley alternative

Mung bean is also known as green gram aka moong dal aka mungo bean which comes from a small legume that grows in hot climates (the difference between them is basically size). It needs only mild cooking to become tender.

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Substitute 2 cups cooked mung bean flour replace three cups water with two cups cooked mung bean flour, cover, and simmer 20 minutes until tender (use 1 teaspoon baking soda substitute for one cup of water substitute when cooking mung bean flour substitute).

6. Seeds:

pearl Barley alternative

If you want to substitute for barley substitute in a soup, try adding some seeds instead. It can add a different flavor to the dish, but it’ll still work just as well as a thickener.

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Try something like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seed substitute. substitute 1 cup of water substitute for 2 cups of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or sesame substitute. Cover and simmer 20 minutes until tender substitute.

7. Tofu:


For some substitute for barley substitute, tofu can be a great substitute in gluten-free soups because it provides protein and an extra thick texture that you might have been missing in your substitute for barley substitute-based dishes.

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You’ll need to press the excess liquid out of the tofu before using it. First, wrap the tofu in paper towels, put the wrapped block on a plate and top with another plate, then weigh down the top plate with several cans (about 40 ounces each). Let this sit for at least 10 minutes but up to an hour if you want a super dry substitute for a barley substitute. If you need a substitute for barley substitute to substitute 1 cup of water substitute for 2 cups of tofu substitute. Cover and simmer 20 minutes until tender substitute.

8. Vinegar:


One thing that’s sure to be missing from your gluten-free life is the vinegar substitute. It can be used to substitute for barley substitute in most recipes. Use a substitute for barley substitute vinegar substitute instead of a substitute for barley substitute and you’ll have just about the same results.

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You can use apple cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar, or distilled white vinegar as a substitute for barley substitute. Substitute 1 cup water plus 2 tablespoons vinegar substitute for 2 1/4 cups water in any recipe that calls for a substitute for barley substitute.

9. Buckwheat:


Substitute buckwheat for barley substitutes in dishes like soups or stews and it’ll work just as well to thicken the stew’s broth substitute. Buckwheat substitute cooks much faster than other gluten-free grains, so you can boil it first and then cook the rest of the ingredients.

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You can substitute 1 cup of substitute for barley substitute for 2 cups buckwheat substitute. Cover and simmer 20 minutes until tender substitute.

10. Sourdough Starter:

sourdough starter

This is a great gluten-free substitute for barley substitute if you can stand the sour taste that sourdough ingredients give your dish. Sourdough starter gives a substitute for barley substitute a unique flavor, but it’s worth it in order to eat gluten-free foods!

Just follow these instructions (refer to the image below) on how to make this sourdough starter as a substitute for barley substitute. Mix 1/4 cup substitute for barley substitute, 1 tablespoon sugar substitute, 2 tablespoons warm water substitute, and 1 teaspoon active dry yeast substitute in a medium saucepan.

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Cover with a towel substitute and then set aside for several hours until bubbly (at least 8 hours). Stir well and then cover again. Keep this going in the refrigerator substitute every 4 days or so to keep it growing substitute. You can use sourdough as a substitute for barley substitute by mixing 3 cups gluten-free flour substitute (like rice substitute, buckwheat substitute, or almond meal), 1/2 cup sourdough starter, 2 teaspoons baking powder, salt substitute, and 12 ounces water together until smooth.

This makes about 5 x 9-inch pan of bread that substitute for barley substitute can substitute. You can substitute sourdough starter substitute with buttermilk substitute, but you only have to let it sit substitute a few hours until it’s a bubbly substitute.

11. Buttermilk:


This is the closest substitute for barley substitute when you’re making baked substitutes like biscuits or bread. It thickens your dish and gives it a sweet flavor.

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Use 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar substitute to make 1 cup of buttermilk. Just add the ingredients together in place of the regular milk substitute that your recipe calls for. You may need to add more flour in order to get the right consistency.

12. Corn:


You can use Corn substitutes to thicken soups and stews, but you can also make gluten-free pancakes with it! Substitute barley with 1/4 cup of cornstarch substitute for 2 tablespoons of cornmeal substitute. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water substitute and then whisk into the mixture until smooth.

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Make sure you cook your pancakes immediately after making the batter because this will prevent them from becoming tough when chilled.

13. Chickpeas:


If you’re looking for a plant-derived substitute then using chickpeas to replace pearl barley will do just fine! Chickpeas are less likely to get soggy during cooking as they have a higher starch content than any other legume.

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You can buy chickpeas already cooked or dried in most grocery stores.

14. Brown Rice:

Brown rice

Brown rice is gluten-free and you can substitute it for barley in a number of ways. But it does not have the same thickening power as corn. Substitute 1/4 cup brown rice flour substitute with 2 tablespoons of white rice flour substitute. You can also just use all-purpose flour if you prefer.

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You can use wild rice or brown rice to make bread, muffins, pancakes, cookies, and cakes! While this won’t help you replace pearl barley (as far as I know). Instead, it will give you an alternative way to enjoy your favorite foods while still avoiding gluten.


Does anyone know what the best substitute for pearl barley is?

You can also try sorghum, which may be healthier than pearl barley and definitely has a more pleasant taste.

What is Barley, and what is Pearl Barley?

Barley comes from a grass family that has been cultivated for thousands of years. The grain itself looks similar to wheat berries but the taste is very different; barley is nuttier, sweeter, and earthier. It can be used as an additive in soups, stews, casseroles, and other dishes to add flavor. Pearl barley is minimally processed and thus still retains some extra fiber.
It has a chewy texture similar to oats and can be used in place of barley or as an alternative to wheat berries for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Pearl barley can also be cooked into porridge or used in place of rice in many recipes, but it does not have the same nutty flavor that you will find with barley.

Barley vs Pearl Barley: What’s the difference?

Pearl barley contains less “chewy” fiber than regular barley and is thus more palatable to those with gluten intolerance, but it does not have a nutty flavor. It also has added sugar and preservatives that regular barley doesn’t contain. Both are digested about the same, and both can be used as barley substitutes or in recipes that call for barley.

What is Barley?

Barley was one of the first grains ever cultivated. It has been used in beer-making since around 2000 B.C., and it’s also popular as a side dish due to its nutty flavor. A type of barley called hulled barley is frequently ground and used in cereals.

How do you cook Pearl Barley?

Pearl barley can be cooked in a variety of ways, just as rice can. It is high in fiber and low in gluten which makes it an ideal substitute for wheat berries or tofu if you are trying to avoid gluten.

How to substitute Pearl Barley in recipes?

When a recipe calls for barley, you can substitute pearl barley. However, like rice, pearl barley also requires extra time to cook. For each cup of dry pearl barley, add 3 cups of liquid and simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender. One cup of dry wheat berries will yield 2 cups of cooked wheat berries.

What are the health benefits of barley?

Barley is a good source of manganese, fiber, and B vitamins. It also contains chromium which helps the body properly metabolize carbohydrates. Barley reduces cholesterol levels in the blood while also being a great source of dietary fiber. With regard to weight management, pearl barley helps stabilize blood sugar levels as well as control cholesterol and blood pressure.


Grains such as pearl barley, millet, and teff are common ingredients in soups and stews. These grains may be substituted with other gluten-free grains like flaxseed, corn, or sorghum. I don’t have celiac disease but it seems every time I go to compare products something has changed. No longer can you just look at the label of a product and know that it’s free from all contaminates (gluten included), now you really need to do some homework before making your decision.

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