Beef Barley Soup packs in big beefy flavor, chunks of meat, & tons of veggies and barley. Super easy to make, it’s hearty, family comfort food at its best.

Barley, an ancient grain and one of my favorite soup ingredients. It thickens and brings a unique nutty flavor to this Beef Barley Soup. I love the way the beef and veggies harmonize with the barley and herbs.

The Beef Barley Soup Food Network puts out uses oxtails or beef shin, depending on which version you use. I’m not a huge fan of those cuts and prefer the meaty chunks and flavor of chuck roast. The Beef Barley Soup Pioneer Woman endorses has a wonderful taste (I just prefer mine a little more). Tasty uses stew meat, which is a good option if you don’t have chuck roast. The chuck roast takes the flavor and heartiness of this soup to the next level! With its simple one-pot preparation, this recipe is the best Beef Barley Soup out there, in my humble opinion!

What  I Love Most About This Beef Soup:

  • This Beef Soup is thick, hearty, and really delicious
  • Every bite is bursting with beefy goodness
  • The perfect balance between meat, veggies, and barley
  • The nutty tone from the barley adds fantastic depth of flavor


Rich ad Hearty Beef and Barley Soup

What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Beef And Barley Soup?

This recipe for beef barley soup contains all the traditional ingredients of this classic soup, with my favorite touches. For the meat, you’ll need a chuck roast, some beef bouillon and beef broth to boost the beefy taste. Vegetables include garlic, onion, carrots, frozen green beans, canned tomatoes, and cremini mushrooms. Finally, fresh thyme and rosemary, bay leaves, a smidge of sugar, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce round out the flavor. Of course, you’ll need pearl barley to thicken and add a nutty, earthy tone to the soup.  

How To Make Beef Barley Soup?

To create this classic beef barley soup, brown the chunks of meat in vegetable oil and set aside. The onion and carrot go in next, followed by the mushrooms and garlic. Once they are softened, add the meat and the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Simmer for about an hour until the barley and beef are tender.

Beef Barley Soup Recipe

This delicious Beef Barley Soup Recipe is full of flavor and packs a bit of down-home comfort in every bite!

Beef and Barley Soup

Recipe Notes For Beef Barley Soup:

What Is The Best Beef For Soup? The typical beef choice for this easy beef barley soup is a chuck roast. Most soup or stew beef cuts come from the front of the cow, including the chuck, plate, and shank areas- or the upper shoulder, leg, and chest for us non-butchers. These areas are not tender enough for steaks, so they’re perfect for soups and stews. As a bonus, they’re less expensive!

As a side note- if you’ve got leftover roast or steak, this is a great way to use it up!

Slow Cooker Version:  To make beef barley soup slow cooker method, follow the same steps as outlined. You’ll need to brown the meat and saute the veggies in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker. Cook on low for about 7-8 hours or 4-5 hours on high.

Ground Beef Variation: To make ground beef barley soup, substitute 1 ½ lbs ground meat for the chuck roast. Cook the ground meat completely and drain any fat before moving on to the vegetables.

Herbs: I love the flavor fresh herbs bring to this soup. However, I know that you might not always have them on hand. If you need to substitute dried for fresh, use ⅓ of the called for amount. This recipe calls for 4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme, which will give you about 1½ tsp of leaves. So, about a ½-¾ tsp of dried thyme would be appropriate. It also calls for 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, which equates to about 1 tsp of leaves. To substitute dried rosemary, use a scant ½ tsp.

Dutch Oven: I love to cook in my dutch oven! It lets me cook everything in one pot and can be cooked on the stove top or in the oven. I especially like it use it for soups and stews. You never lose any of the fond- those little brown bits that stick on the bottom of the pan. Every bit of yumminess stays right there in the soup! If you don’t have a dutch oven, you can use a large stock pot. However, if you’re going to brown the meat and saute the veggies in it, make sure it has a thick bottom to avoid burning your meat or veggies! If it doesn’t, use a heavy bottomed skillet for the browning and transfer everything in the stock pot to simmer.

How To Make Beef Barley Soup Ahead Of Time: Just like old fashioned beef barley soup, this recipe improves with time. The flavors deepen and mature, making this soup even better a day later! It can be keep in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.  

How To Freeze Beef Barley Soup: Since it lacks dairy, beef and barley soup freezes beautifully. Allow it to cool completely and put in freezer containers. It will keep about 3-4 months.

What To Serve With Beef Barley Soup: Hearty and bursting with flavor, this soup can stand alone as a meal, particularly served with a nice warm loaf of bread. Soda crackers or pita chips are also good options. It can also be served as a starter course to Sunday dinner, and you can never go wrong with a soup and salad combo.

Beef and Barley Soup


Beef and Barley Soup
5 from 1 vote

Beef Barley Soup

Beef Barley Soup packs in big beefy flavor, chunks of meat, & tons of veggies and barley. Super easy to make, it’s hearty, family comfort food at its best!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 320 kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 2 Pounds Boneless Beef Chuck Roast Trimmed and Cut Into 1 Inch Cubed
  • 2 Tablespoons Plus More As Needed Vegetable Oil
  • As Needed Salt
  • As Needed Black Pepper
  • 1 Medium Onion Diced
  • 4-5 Large Carrots Peeled and Diced
  • 6 Large Cloves Garlic Rough Chopped
  • 16 Ounces Cremini Mushrooms Trimmed and Quartered
  • 1 ~~28 Ounce Can Whole Tomatoes Including Juice
  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon Better than Bouillon~Beef Flavor or 2 Large Bouillon Cubes
  • Beef Stock 64 Ounces
  • Fresh Thyme 4~6 Sprigs
  • Fresh Rosemary 1 Sprig
  • 2 Dried Bay Leaves
  • 3/4 Cup Pearl Barley
  • 1 Cup Frozen Green Beans Thawed and Well Drained
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce


  1. Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven, over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the beef in batches and cook until well browned on all sides. Remove the browned meat to a plate and set aside. Continue with remaining beef, adding more oil as needed. Lower the heat through the browning process, as needed, if the meat or fond (little brown bits on the bottom of the pan) begin to burn.

  2. Add onion and carrots to the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits and cook over medium heat until they just begin to soften about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms soften, another 4 minutes or so.

  3. Return the browned beef, as well as any juices that have accumulated to the Dutch oven. Add 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the pan. Crush the whole tomatoes with your hand and add to the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.

  4. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the barley is cooked and the beef is tender about 1 hour.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
Beef Barley Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 320 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 204mg 9%
Potassium 944mg 27%
Total Carbohydrates 25g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 5g
Protein 26g 52%
Vitamin A 105.3%
Vitamin C 12.3%
Calcium 7.3%
Iron 21.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Yummy Variations: 

Vegetable Beef Soup

I love a good ol’ fashioned Vegetable Beef Soup! This filling, delicious soup stands alone as a meal with its chunks of flavorful beef and tons of vegetables!

Barley Soup 

The earthy flavor of barley is the star of the show in Barley Soup. Packed with flavor and fiber, this filling soup comes together in a snap!

Beef Noodle Soup

Introducing beef noodle soup: a complex broth teeming with chunks of browned beef and an array of chopped vegetables. A toothsome midweek pick me up!