Mexi-Barley Casserole

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 slices


  • 1 cup barley
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium bell peppers, any color
  • 1 lb ground meat, turkey, pork, lamb, beef
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 16 oz can salsa
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • cilantro, chopped


  • Bring water, cumin, and oregano to boil in a medium saucepan, add barley, cover, and reduce to simmer. Cook for 45-55 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Alternatively: combine all ingredients in an Instant Pot, set to High Pressure and cook for 35 minutes. Do a natural pressure release for 5 minutes, drain and rinse barley.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degree F 20 minutes before barley is done. Spray a 13x9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  • Dice onion and chop bell peppers into strips.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat add onion and bell pepper strips and saute until tender. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
  • In the same skillet add the ground meat and garlic cooking until done.
  • Spread barley in an even layer on the bottom of the casserole dish, pile onions and bell peppers on top, then add cooked meat. Spread salsa and diced tomatoes over meat, then the cheese on top.
  • Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling. Add cilantro to top before serving.