This Vegan Potluck Barley Salad is a great idea for taking to potlucks, picnics, and barbecues!
Have you had your first party of the summer yet?
I know, we still technically have one more month of spring, but let’s be real. Summer starts THIS WEEKEND with Memorial Day!
If you’re looking to live your best food life this weekend, don’t forget about this list of 35 recipes to rock your summer that I came up with last year. I’m proud to say I made them ALL.
Today we’re talking about being vegan at a potluck. Maybe you feel like a Debbie Downer showing up and saying no thank you to all the burgers, hot dogs, and creamy potato salads lining the tables.
Vegetarians are usually in the same boat, but at least you can throw a piece of cheese on a bun to survive until you get home.
I love how hearty this salad is, so you won’t be stuck eating just chips and salsa if choosing to abstain from meat at a party or potluck!
It all starts off with pearl barley, which I love for it’s heartiness. I recommend cooking up a bunch at one time. From there it can be frozen, or used all week in soups, salads, and grain bowls.
You’ll do best to follow the instructions on your package of barley, otherwise to make 3 cups of cooked pearl barley you should bring 1 cup pearl barley and 3 cups water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, 40-50 minutes.
So what else goes into this vegan party dish? We’re adding super healthy kale, tender white beans, more veggies, herbs, and a light oil dressing.
When it comes down to it we’re hitting plenty of food groups, textures, and flavors. That’s what makes this one of the best grain salads I’ve tried!
This vegan potluck barley salad can be customized! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- You can omit either the barley, kale, or beans and still have a substantial salad (omitting the barley will make this a gluten-free vegan salad)
- Omit the oil, vinegar, parsley, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes, useing your favorite Italian dressing to taste instead
- Substitute your favorite leafy green for the kale such as spinach or arugula
- Add feta, gorgonzola, or shaved parmesan cheese (not vegan)
- Meat eaters can add cooked, diced chicken or shrimp (also not vegan)
If you make this recipe be sure to rate it, leave a comment, or tag #theliveinkitchen on Instagram!
- 2 cups kale stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups cooked pearl barley
- 15 ounces canned white beans such as cannellini, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cucumber cubed
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil over kale and massage with your hands until completely incorporated. Add the cooked barley, white beans, red onion, cucumber, red wine vinegar, parsley, oregano, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
How to cook 3 cups of pearl barley: Bring 1 cup uncooked pearl barley and 3 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer 40-50 minutes until the barley is tender and the water is absorbed. Allow to sit covered off the heat for 5 minutes before using.