Barley Salad with Chickpeas and Cherries

Happy Friday everyone!┬áThe weekend is finally here! Since we started Monday off with a sweet treat, Cookies ‘n Cream Mini Cheesecakes, I thought we better go a little healthier today. Today I’m sharing this wonderful recipe for Barley Salad with Chickpeas and Cherries.

Barley Salad with Chickpeas and Cherries | Recipe Runner | A hearty whole grain salad full of flavors and texture! #vegetarian

I decided to make this salad because I’ve been craving all the sweet cherries I’ve been seeing in the stores lately. I love cherries IF they are sweet. If they aren’t forget it, I’d rather eat a lemon. Typically I just eat cherries as a snack or in a delicious cherry pie, but now I’ve discovered how wonderful they are in a savory salad. This might sound strange, but one of my favorite 4th of July memories involves cherries. When I was a kid our family would get together with some of our neighbors and their kids every 4th of July for a barbecue and swimming. After we had stuffed ourselves with hamburgers, lemonade, and dirt (the dessert not the stuff in the ground) we would go watch fireworks. We would bring blankets and lawn chairs and go sit out on a golf course to watch the show. As if we hadn’t eaten enough I remember someone would bring a big bowl of cherries to snack on. I can remember eating the cherries by the handful until I thought I would pop! How I didn’t make myself sick eating that many cherries I’ll never know.

Barley Salad with Chickpeas and Cherries | Recipe Runner | A hearty whole grain salad full of flavors and texture! #vegetarian

Back to this Barley Salad with Chickpeas and Cherries. If you’ve never eaten barley in a salad before it’s a must try! There are two kinds of barley, pearl and hulled. Pearl barley is more common and cooks faster than hulled. Hulled barley is the whole grain form of barley. It is chewy in texture and rich in fiber. Hulled barley is similar in texture to wheat berries. I actually used a combination of hulled and pearl barley in this recipe because I didn’t have enough hulled. You can do a combination of both if you would like, but next time I will just stick to the hulled version. So, we have our fiber loaded whole grain in the salad now we need some protein. I chose to use chickpeas in this salad because they are hearty and hold up well. For more crunch and texture celery, green onion, and toasted slivered almonds did the trick. Then I added in those sweet cherries. I don’t know about you, but I love adding fruit to my savory salads. I guess it comes from my love of salty sweet combinations.

Barley Salad with Chickpeas and Cherries | Recipe Runner | A hearty whole grain salad full of flavors and texture! #vegetarian

The final two components of the salad are a delicious lemon dijon vinaigrette and creamy goat cheese. The goat cheese really takes this salad to a whole new level. I love the way the goat cheese almost melts into the salad when you toss it, giving it a creamy and slightly tangy coating all over the barley. The combination of flavors and textures in this salad is out of this world and they all work together so well! This salad is hearty enough to serve as a main dish or would make a wonderful side dish. If you love sweet cherries, nutty tasting chickpeas, creamy goat cheese, and salads full of texture then you must make this Barley Salad with Chickpeas and Cherries. Make it this weekend or bring it to your 4th of July barbecue, your friends and family will love it!

Barley Salad with Chickpeas and Cherries | Recipe Runner | A hearty whole grain salad full of flavors and texture! #vegetarian

Barley Salad with Chickpeas and Cherries

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

6 servings

A hearty whole grain vegetarian salad that is perfect as a side dish and filling enough for a main course.


    For the Salad
  • 1 cup hulled barley, uncooked
  • 14.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • For the Dressing:
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. grapeseed oil or other flavorless oil
  • 1 T. dijon mustard
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/8 t. black pepper


  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Once the water is boiling add some salt and the cup of hulled barley then turn the heat down to low and cover.
  3. Simmer the barley for 45-60 minutes or until the barley is cooked but still chewy.
  4. Drain and rinse the barley in cool water, then set aside in a bowl.
  5. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas, celery, green onion, and toasted almonds to the barley.
  6. In a small bowl whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and add them to the barley, tossing until everything is coated.
  7. Add in the cherries and crumbled goat cheese and gently fold them into the salad.
  8. Serve the salad immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour before serving.


If you don't plan on serving the salad right away reserve the cherries and toasted almonds and add them right before you serve to prevent the cherries from bleeding in the salad and the almonds from turning soft.

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  1. says

    This salad looks perfect Danae. I have been craving everything cherry too.. its like the first thing I see when I walk into the grocery store. Loving all the flavors and textures you added to this dish, especially the goat cheese. (I’m a goat cheese addict. :) Pinned and can’t wait to try chica! Have a great weekend!

  2. says

    This is my lunch today! It is fantastic! I had to switch the barley for brown rice to make it gluten free, but otherwise made it exactly the same. Such a great summertime salad!

  3. says

    I am a HUGE fan of barley salads like this – so I know I would love this! Especially with the cherries! When cherries are good … boy are they good!

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