Paprika Spiced Beef, Pepper and Mushroom Barley Pilaf Recipe (With Vegan Option)

Paprika Spiced Beef, Pepper and Mushroom Barley Pilaf Recipe by Spicie Foodie |  #dinner #beef #mushrooms #pepper #paprika #barley

Happy Sunday and a very Happy Father’s Day to all you wonderful dad’s around the world. Today I will be sharing a one pot dish that is comfort food in my home. Now just because it’s comfort food it doesn’t mean it has to be fatty and unhealthy, this dish is light and all the fresh ingredients make it quite healthy. The main component is pearled barley, have you ever eaten it or cooked it? I absolutely love barley! Its firm, fluffy, soft, absorbs flavours wonderfully, and cooks fast too.

Paprika Spiced Beef, Pepper and Mushroom Barley Pilaf Recipe by Spicie Foodie |  #dinner #beef #mushrooms #pepper #paprika #barley

Over the past few years I went from never having eaten barley to eating it at least once a week, nowadays it’s less often than that but I still enjoy it very much. Plus I love that where I live I can purchase an organic 500 gm bag for under 2 USD — that’s a super bargain. I’m sure this is a grain that is inexpensive every where so you too should enjoy the bargain. You can purchase some here.Paprika Spiced Beef, Pepper and Mushroom Barley Pilaf Recipe by Spicie Foodie |  #dinner #beef #mushrooms #pepper #paprika #barley

This recipe is one that I shared way back when I first started this blog. But at the time I had like two readers and feel that this scrumptious and easy recipe did not receive the attention it so deserved, and so I’m sharing it with you again with a few new variations. Here’s how you prepare this yummy meal!

Paprika Spiced Beef, Pepper and Mushroom Barley Pilaf Recipe by Spicie Foodie |  #dinner #beef #mushrooms #pepper #paprika #barley

5.0 from 3 reviews
Paprika Spiced Beef, Pepper and Mushroom Barley Pilaf Recipe (With Vegan Option)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy and fast one-pot dish that is comfort food in the Spicie Foodie home. The taste of paprika permeates the steak, peppers, mushrooms and barley deliciously!
Recipe type: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: International, Fusion, European
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 cup or 200g uncooked pearl barley
  • ¾ lb or 340g lean steak or beef cut of choice
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup or 115g button mushrooms (either fresh or canned, if canned rinsed)
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 cups or 500 ml low salt & no MSG beef broth, more if needed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp each of salt and black pepper, adjust to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp sweet or smoked paprika, more if desired
  • 1 or 2 dried red chiles, optional
  1. Pick through and rinse the barley. Place in a bowl and cover with water, set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pot or pan. Saute the onions until soft then add steak and cook through. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes then add the garlic and bell pepper slices, cook a further 3 minutes. Add all of the spices and mix well. Drain the barley and add to the pan then pour in the beef broth. Cover and simmer until barley has fluffed up and softened. Make sure to stir now and then. If the liquid has been absorbed and the barley is still hard mix in a little bit more broth.
  3. Serve with your favorite green vegetable on the side for a complete meal.
**FOR VEGAN OPTION: Swap the beef broth for vegetable and beef for more mushrooms, or can also omit.


Paprika Spiced Beef, Pepper and Mushroom Barley Pilaf Recipe by Spicie Foodie |  #dinner #beef #mushrooms #pepper #paprika #barley

The results are a wonderful taste of paprika that permeates the steak, peppers, mushrooms and barley deliciously! The ingredients and process is so simple but the smells and flavours are so enticing, you might want to double the recipe.

Parting shot.

Paprika Spiced Beef, Pepper and Mushroom Barley Pilaf Recipe by Spicie Foodie |  #dinner #beef #mushrooms #pepper #paprika #barley

I love pears, don’t you? They make a great in-between meals snack or even dessert.

Have a great Sunday everyone!


Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide to Better Photos, Photography eBook by Spicie Foodie



  1. says

    I love the flavor of basic paprika–and living where you do, you must have access to many great variations coming from all sorts of chiles. I also like that you gave a vegetarian option here. My husband loves the flavor of all paprikash/stroganoff and other dishes heavy with paprika, but he is a vegetarian who would love the pure mushroom version of this dish.

    • says

      Me too and also the color is gorgeous. Yes, I’m spoiled with all the varieties. That’s great that your hubby is also a fan. I hope you get to try both versions of the recipe sometime.:)

  2. says

    I just want to dig my fork right into it… it looks so yummy and comforting. I have never worked with pearl barley… now another ingredient I must put on my list to learn to cook. :) Hope you are having a great weekend.

  3. says

    I’m so glad you redid this recipe! I always think about doing a deep dive into my favorite foodies’ recipe indexes but never get around to it. Barley is such a underrated ingredient. Its flavor and texture is wonderful and I don’t use it near enough! Your recipe is fabulous with all of the vegetables but it’s the seasoning that makes it comfort food in my book. Love the heavy on the smoked paprika and red chile optional? Never! :) Thanks for sharing this!

    • says

      I agree and many people have never cooked it or tasted it in anything but soup, pity. Haha, I know but some people don’t like spicy so had to give them the option.;) Thanks MJ!

  4. says

    Great dish! I do use barley, but not nearly as often as I should. It’s got great flavor, and this pilaf looks wonderful! Love the touch of purple in the photos. Good post – thanks.

  5. Eha says

    I read this and suddenly felt I was back, if not the northern part of my birth, certainly ‘Mittel-Europa’!! What wonderful fun both with the paprika and the barley! Unctious soulfood :) ! With our days and nights getting uncomfortably cold it is lovely to begin cooking these dishes again :) ! Coming from up north, I so clearly remember meeting my second-husband-to-be [Hungarian], a food critic, good cook and food author and seeing about 1/2 dozen different 30-40 cms high differing paprika containers on his kitchen shelf! QUITE a learning curve!! The marriage may not have lasted, the recipes sure did! Thanks for the memory and the suggestions . . .!

  6. says

    Delicious looking barley dish Nancy! Very healthy. I love my barley plain with a teaspoon of butter or mushroom soup with barley from my childhood-)

  7. says

    I love the deep colors of this one-bowl meal. Barley is so versatile and I always have it in the cupboard but I admit to not reaching for it (instead of rice) as often as I should. Thanks for the reminder what a gem it is and also for a great recipe!

  8. says

    I’m so glad you brought back this wonderful mushroom barley pilaf! What a fantastic side dish. I tend to use barley just in soup…and you’ve inspired me to use my stash in a new way.

    PS…such a gorgeous photo of the pear.

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