Barley Salad with Black Beans, Avocado, and Corn

Need a healthy lunch you can make ahead of time and eat for several days? Try this Barley Salad with Black Beans, Avocado, and Corn.

Barley Salad with Black Beans, Avocado, and Corn

Even though I work out of a home office, I find myself not wanting to spend a lot of time making lunch. Sometimes, I don’t even want to take time out to eat lunch! High-fiber salads, just sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be scooped onto a serving plate, are my kind of meal on a busy day.

This vegan barley salad recipe comes from The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet by Barbara Rolls, PhD with Mindy Hermann (affiliate link). I reviewed this book several years ago and cook from it frequently.

Barley Salad Variations

The best thing about this recipe is its versatility.

  • Gluten-free? Substitute cooked brown rice or another gluten-free grain for the barley.
  • Short on time? Use a bottled citrus-based vinaigrette and skip step one.
  • Don’t like black beans? Any type of bean will do.
  • Like things spicy? Add some minced jalapeño.
  • Want to cut back on the carbs? Reduce your portion size or use less of the beans, corn, and/or barley.
Barley Salad with Black Beans, Avocado, and Corn
Versatile, portable, high-fiber salad that you can make ahead of time
Recipe type: Salads & Dressings
Serves: 4
  • juice of 1 orange (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or fruit-flavored white balsamic vinegar (I used pomegranate)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or citrus-flavored extra virgin olive oil (I used Persian lime)

  • 1 cup cooked barley, cooled (from ⅓ cup dry)
  • One (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 medium avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Make dressing: Whisk together orange juice, vinegar, cumin, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper until well-combined. While whisking, add olive oil in a steady stream.
  2. Make salad: In a large bowl, gently mix together barley, black beans, corn, scallions, red pepper, and cilantro (if using). Add dressing and toss to combine. If serving later, refrigerate.
  3. Add finishing touches: Add avocado to salad and serve with lime wedges.
Gluten-free? Replace the barley with cooked brown rice or another gluten-free grain.

Too many carbs? Reduce your serving size or cut back on the amount of barley, black beans, and/or corn.

Time-saving tip: Use a citrusy store-bought vinaigrette and skip the first step.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: about 1 cup Calories: 256 Fat: 8g Saturated fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 40g Sugar: 5g Sodium: 245mg Fiber: 9g Protein: 9g Cholesterol: 0mg


  1. Vanessa Davis says

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to check it out. I’m happy to see more recipes that I’m able to make. Keep them coming!

  2. Shelby Kinnaird says

    Vanessa – Glad to hear this is the type of recipe you like. If you have particular dietary restrictions, let me know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *