The Washington Post

Bean and Barley Chili

Bean and Barley Chili 8.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Dec 22, 2019

Pearl barley gives this chili a hearty texture, while spices — including a hefty dose of chili powder — add a nice kick. Serve with your choice of accompaniments, including scallions, crushed tortilla chips, avocado, chopped tomato and/or fresh cilantro.

Storage Notes: The chili can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.

8 - 10

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-10 servings

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup light-colored Mexican beer, such as Tecate or Modelo
  • 3 cups no-salt-added or homemade vegetable broth (see related recipe)
  • 3/4 cup pearled barley
  • One (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • One (25-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed, or 2 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar (optional)

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In a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Stir in the green peppers, onion, bay leaves and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, to toast the spices for about 1 minute.

Pour in the beer and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Cook for about 2 minutes, then stir in the vegetable broth and barley. Partially cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar to let steam escape, and bring the chili to a gentle boil, reducing the heat if necessary to keep it from boiling too vigorously. Boil until the barley is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and beans. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot again with the lid slightly ajar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender and the chili is thick, 20 to 30 minutes. Add a little water, if necessary, to thin out the chili to your liking.

Stir in the lime juice and agave, if using, then taste and season with more salt, if needed. Remove the bay leaves, if you can find them. Serve hot, with your choice of accompaniments.

Recipe Source

Adapted from “I Can Cook Vegan,” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Abrams, 2019).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 200

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 4g 6%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 520mg 22%

Total Carbohydrates: 33g 11%

Dietary Fiber: 9g 36%

Sugar: 7g

Protein: 7g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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