Italian Sausage and Barley Stew

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-085.jpg

I’m squeezing in one more warm and cozy dish before moving into spring. It may be April but we’re still having soup and stew weather here and there.

I don’t care what the calendar says, I love to cook things like this on a grey, drizzly day.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-065.jpg

Thanks to Johnsonville and Allrecipes, I recently had the opportunity to try out some recipes using Johnsonville’s line of sausages. This one impressed me so much that I just had to share it with you. This post is not a requirement I am fulfilling; I am sharing the recipe purely because my family loved it and I thought you would too!

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-002.jpg

The grocery list – Barley, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, white wine, a big can of crushed tomatoes, beef broth (or base to make broth), onion, garlic, yukon gold potatoes, baby bella (brown) mushrooms, carrots, baby spinach, celery, and the star of the show – Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage. You’ll also need a little olive oil.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-006.jpg

Barley is a fantastic whole grain to use in stews and soups. It adds great texture, fiber, and acts as a natural thickener.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-012.jpg

Let’s start by coating a Dutch oven with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Place it over medium heat and add the chopped onion and garlic. After that cooks together for a couple of minutes, add the sausage links.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-015.jpg

Let the sausage cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-017.jpg

While the sausage is sizzling away, prepare the veggies. Peel and chop the potatoes and carrots into 1″ chunks.. Quarter the mushrooms and chop the celery.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-019.jpg

Remove the partially cooked sausage to a cutting board to cool.  It will not be completely cooked through at this point and that is fine. It will go back in the pot soon.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-020.jpg

Toss all the chopped veggies into the pot with the onion and garlic.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-022.jpg

Once the sausage has cooled enough for you to handle it, slice it up.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-024.jpg

Add the uncooked barley to the pot. No need to cook it prior to adding it – so easy!

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-027.jpg

Along with the barley, it’s time to add the beef broth, crushed tomatoes, wine, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-028.jpg

Add the sliced sausage back to the pot. It will finish cooking as the stew simmers, covered, for about 55 minutes.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-033.jpg

After close to an hour, the barley will have softened, the veggies will be just right, and the sausage will be fully cooked through.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-034.jpg

Add the entire bag of baby spinach. I know it looks like a lot but it will cook down and practically disappear as you stir it in. Keep the pot over medium heat for just another minute or two.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-036.jpg

Looking good! Ready to serve.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-053.jpg

A little French bread will complete the meal.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew-073.jpg

A hearty, wholesome, family meal. Loaded with veggies, barley, and flavorful Italian sausage.

Italian Sausage and Barley Stew

Servings: 6


  •  1 (19.76 ounce) package Johnsonville® Mild Italian Sausage links
  •  2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •  1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  •  2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  •  4 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  •  8 ounces baby bella (brown) mushrooms, quartered
  •  2 stalks celery, chopped
  •  1/2 cup barley, uncooked
  •  1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  •  1-1/2 cups beef broth
  •  1 cup dry white wine
  •  1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1 (6 ounce) package fresh baby spinach


Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic; cook 3 minutes or until slightly soft. Add sausage links to pan; cook 10 – 12 minutes or until sausage is browned and almost cooked through. Remove sausage links to cutting board and allow them to cool before coin slicing. Stir in carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, and celery into the Dutch oven. Add the barley, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, wine, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Add sliced sausage to the pot. Stir to combine all the ingredients.

Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and continue to simmer for about 50 minutes or until the barley is cooked. Remove cover and stir in spinach. Cook another  3 or 4 minutes, uncovered, till spinach has softened. Serve.

Adapted from


I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not
compensated for my work with

Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews
on From Valerie’s Kitchen. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this
blog are purely the sole opinions of Valerie.


  1. says

    I love adding Italian sausage to soup. There is something about the flavor that it adds, especially when there are greens involved. I don’t use barley much, but your soup makes me want to go buy some. Definitely a delicious, hearty and healthy soup!

  2. says

    This looks so comforting! I haven’t really eaten much lately but all the sudden I get a nice appetite looking at this. Hope you are enjoying very nice spring weather. I am a 24/7 stew eater, and this sounds very good, Valerie!

  3. says

    Just got home from the office–too lazy to cook. Boy am I wishing I had this on the stove now. You’re right, there’s still a little bit of winter in our neck of the woods so wouldn’t mind cooking this soon.

    By the way, enjoyed reading your interview at Cravings…
    and your lemon bars are to die for!

  4. says

    I really enjoyed your interview at cravings of a lunatic… it is so nice to get to know you a little better. Your youngest is graduating soon, this will be a life changing experience for you. You are going to have teach yourself not to cook for a football team anymore, might be one of the biggest challenges after all these years with 4 boys. A great way to fill them up and warm them up with this delicious hearty sausage and barley stew.

  5. Yep Another Valerie says

    Wow! Looks fabulous and sounds tasty! This is a must try for me very soon. Heck maybe this weekend!! Thanks

  6. Bukowski Family says

    So, this is the first recipe from your website that we’ve made. (We know, we know–what took us so long?) We just so happened to have spinach, mushrooms, and Italian sausage on hand (which hardly ever happens–it was like a culinary trifecta). We don’t have a Dutch oven, so we just used a very large, heavy stock pot instead. It turned out terrifically! We will be making this throughout the spring, autumn, and winter. Thanks for sharing it.


Leave a Reply

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>