Chicken and Barley Soup


If you are looking to add more healthy foods to your diet, here is a great alternative to chicken noodle soup that taste just as good but is a healthier option. The traditional egg noodles found most chicken noodle soups don’t have much nutrition but barley on the other hand is perfectly good for you.

Chicken and Barley Soup | Cooking Classy

I make chicken noodle soup at my house almost every week lately so it’s nice to have something I can rotate it with. I will likely even find myself making this more than the traditional chicken noodle soup. I love the texture the barely adds and how filling it makes this soup.

This would also be a great recipe to have on hand next week when you have an abundance of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.

Enjoy and stay warm!

Chicken and Barley Soup | Cooking Classy


Chicken and Barley Soup

Yield: About 6 servings

Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 3/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast , cooked and shredded
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (about 4)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery (about 4)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large)
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 4 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as desired
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley (uncooked)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp of each dried rosemary , thyme, and marjoram
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 1/4 cup slightly packed , chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion and saute 3 - 4 minutes, add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Stir in chicken broth, barely, bay leaves, sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until barely is tender, about 50 - 60 minutes.
  2. Stir in chicken, parsley and lemon juice and serve warm. As soup rests the barely will absorb more liquid so add more chicken broth to thin as desired.
  3. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Chicken and Barley Soup | Cooking Classy


  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet: I have a bag of barley in my pantry so this is perfect timing! This soup is happening this week! November 18, 2014 at 8:06am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you do try it and love it Anna :)! I need to make it again soon! November 18, 2014 at 4:25pm Reply

  • Krystal: I wish there were more reviews. I want to try this but am a little nervous. I’ll let you know how it goes! March 24, 2015 at 12:10am Reply

  • Carolyn: This soup is amazing and I am making it again tonight. I will add more barley this time :) April 1, 2015 at 7:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you like it Carolyn! Thanks for your comment :)! April 1, 2015 at 10:09pm Reply

  • Amanda: I haven’t cooked with barley much. Will it hold up well if I freeze the soup and reheat it? Should I under-cook the barley? Thanks. April 8, 2015 at 8:48am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I probably wouldn’t recommend under-cooking it unless you plan on cooking it for the remaining time after freezing. It will absorb some of the broth though, so you can always add more later on. May 2, 2015 at 10:55am Reply

  • Jess: Hi there. Have you frozen portions of this recipe before? April 27, 2015 at 7:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t but I imagine it would freeze fine, the barley will absorb the broth but you can always add more later on. April 27, 2015 at 8:13pm Reply

  • Krystal: I forgot to comment last time, but this soup is fantastic! Making it again tonight! August 24, 2015 at 6:38pm Reply

  • Robert Gorrell: How should I cook the chicken? January 18, 2016 at 9:15am Reply

  • T: You think you can use the crockpot for this with uncooked chicken and put it all in at once? February 1, 2016 at 8:47am Reply

  • Mark: Great soup recipe. Came out wonderful February 27, 2016 at 6:25pm Reply

  • Christa Russell: I love this soup, I make it almost every week just for lunches/supper April 3, 2016 at 4:44pm Reply

  • Brant: Hey, I made your soup for dinner last night and it was delicious! I had smoked a turkey and made a meal of it and plucked the remainder of the meat and froze it. I defrosted it and used it to make your soup and the family really enjoyed it. Thanks for posting your recipe! September 29, 2016 at 10:40am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Brant! October 4, 2016 at 1:39pm Reply

  • Carrie: This is one of the most delicious soup recipies ever. My family loved it!! January 1, 2017 at 2:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad it was loved Carrie! January 3, 2017 at 10:58am Reply

  • Lisa Connors: Love this soup, the only thing added was a handful of spinach at the end. April 10, 2017 at 11:53am Reply

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