Warm Citrus Barley Salad – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian

Make a satisfying, hearty salad, thanks to freshly cooked whole grains, citrus segments, red onion slices, walnuts, and a lemony chipotle vinaigrette. This salad is the perfect antidote to a dull gray day, as the citrus sparkles with zesty good taste, the kale offers a deep green bite, and the lemon chipotle dressing provides just the right smoky kick. Not to mention the nutrition power that comes packed in every bite of this plant-based salad, which is like a mean in one. The freshly cooked barley gently warms the salad, making it a satisfying addition to your day. Make it gluten-free by swapping out another grain. You can also serve this Warm Citrus Barley Salad chilled the next day, as the leftovers are great.

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Warm Citrus Barley Salad

  • Author:
    The Plant-Powered Dietitian

  • Total Time:
    35 minutes

  • Yield:
    8 servings 1x

  • Diet:


This Warm Citrus Barley Salad sparkles with the flavors of mandarins, grapefruit, whole grain barley, kale, red onions, walnuts, and a lemony chipotle vinaigrette.

Cooked Barley:

  • 1 cup barley, uncooked
  • 3 ½ cups water


  • 3 medium mandarin oranges
  • 1 small grapefruit
  • ½ medium red onion, sliced
  • 4 cups chopped fresh kale, lightly packed
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Lemon Chipotle Vinaigrette:


  1. Place barley in a small pot with water. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook until just tender, yet firm (about 30 minutes). Drain any remaining water.
  2. While barley is cooking, prepare the salad and vinaigrette.
  3. Peel mandarin oranges and slice into thin horizontal circles.
  4. Peel grapefruit, and segment, removing the membrane around the segments.
  5. Place sliced mandarin oranges and grapefruit segments in a large salad bowl.
  6. Add red onion slices and chopped kale.
  7. Add warm cooked barley.
  8. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
  9. Whisk together lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, chipotle seasoning, and salt (optional) in a small dish.
  10. Pour over the salad and toss together gently.
  11. Serve immediately.
  12. Makes 8 servings.


Serve this warm or at room temperature. Chill leftovers in a covered container in the fridge, and reheat or serve cold.

To make this recipe gluten-free, use a gluten-free grain instead of barley, such as quinoa, brown rice or sorghum.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan salad, best vegan salad, easy salad recipe, citrus salad

Instant Pot 1

Cook the barley in this recipe quicky using an Instant Pot. Get my affiliate code to order your own here.

For other plant-based salads, check out some of my favorites recipes:

Spicy Sorghum Avocado Salad
Tofu Kale Power Bowl with Tahini Dressing
Quinoa Waldorf Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette
Vegan Kale Cesar Salad

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