Chicken Barley Soup

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There isn’t anything more comforting than this Chicken Barley Soup recipe on a cold day. It’s hearty, warm, and easy to make. You’ll want to enjoy it all winter long!

chicken barley soup on spoon

Healthy Chicken Soup With Barley

I always recommend chicken barley soup to anyone who enjoys traditional chicken noodle soup. It’s a healthy and delicious way to get whole grains into your diet. Many people think it’s difficult to cook barley, but it isn’t. It can be cooked right along with the other soup ingredients. There’s no need to cook it ahead of time. 

The barley has a nice, soft texture, so it goes so well in this soup with the chicken and veggies. My family loves to have soup as a quick dinner during the fall and winter. It’s like a warm hug! Even my kids requested this soup. They love it with grilled cheese or crackers!

Ingredients for soup

Ingredients You’ll Need

You’ll notice that the ingredients needed in this chicken soup with barley are similar to classic chicken noodle soup. They are affordable and easy to find all year round!

  • Olive Oil: This is to saute the chopped veggies before adding the stock. You can use another cooking oil like canola, but olive oil is my go-to.
  • Onion: One medium yellow onion is perfect. Dice the pieces small so there are not huge chunks of onion in the soup.
  • Garlic: Finely chopped fresh cloves or pre-minced garlic in a jar both work great.
  • Carrots: As long as the carrots are chopped evenly, they can be larger than the onion. Be sure to peel the fresh carrots before chopping.
  • Celery: Slice the celery ribs into small pieces. Don’t forget to remove the leaves!
  • Rotisserie Chicken: This makes prepping the soup so much easier. Shredded or chopped is great.
  • Chicken Stock
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Barley

How to Make Chicken and Barley Soup

Soup is one of my favorite foods to make. It’s so easy! With quick prep time and only 30 minutes to cook, it’s a great dinner to make any night of the week.

  • Step 1. Get your barley ready by rinsing and draining it. Set it aside for later.
  • Step 2. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the chopped onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook the onion and garlic until the onion becomes translucent. This should take around 3-5 minutes.
  • Step 3. Next, add the onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Stir all of the ingredients in the pot to combine.
  • Step 4. Then, add the chopped carrot, celery, barley, and chicken to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  • Step 5. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  • Step 6. Reduce the heat to low and taste. Add more salt and pepper as needed.
  • Step 7. Cover the soup and simmer for 30 minutes. The barley should be soft after this.
  • Step 8. Do a final taste test for salt and pepper then serve!

Tips and Tricks

  • This chicken barley soup can also be made in a crock pot. Increase the amount of liquid used because the barley will soak up a majority of the broth.
  • Instead of rotisserie chicken, you can cook the chicken yourself. Add the chopped raw chicken after you saute the onions and garlic. Once it is mostly cooked through, you can proceed with the rest of the steps.
  • You can use any broth you have on hand instead of chicken stock. Depending on what you use, it may alter the flavor of the soup.
ladle with chicken barley soup

How to Store Leftovers

Store any leftovers of this chicken and barley soup in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for up to 4 days. It is easily reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop. Since the barley will soak up much of the broth, you may need to add extra broth, water, or stock.

white bowl with chicken barley soup

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Chicken Barley Soup feature
5 from 1 vote

Chicken Barley Soup

There isn’t anything more comforting than this Chicken Barley Soup recipe on a cold day. It’s hearty, warm, and easy to make. You’ll want to enjoy it all winter long!
Servings: 6
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 29.6 ml
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped, about 3/4 cup or 39g
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped, about 1 tablespoon or 8.43g
  • 2 medium carrots chopped, about 3/4 cup or 39g
  • 3 ribs celery chopped, about 3/4 cup or 39g
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken 291.4g
  • 4 cups chicken stock 800ml
  • 2 teaspoons salt 4g
  • 1 teaspoon pepper 2g
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 2g
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 2g
  • 1 tablespoon italian seasoning 5.5g
  • 3/4 cup barley 150g


  • Rinse and drain your barley and set aside.
  • In a large pot, add the olive oil and place over medium heat. Once the oil has warmed, add the chopped onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Add in the onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine. Then add the carrots, celery, barley, and chicken. Stir to combine.
  • Add the chicken stock and bring the soup to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, do a taste test, and season with salt and pepper if needed, then cover, and allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes or until the barley has softened.
  • Once the barley has softened, do a final taste test and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Last Step:

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Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 1039mg | Potassium: 444mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3513IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg


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5 comments on “Chicken Barley Soup”

    1. Hi Debra. Yes, you could use Basmati. You really could use any rice as a substitute depending on your preference.